Re: Asimov

Subject: Re: Asimov
From: jhedtke -at- OZ -dot- NET
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 02:39:41 PDT

>>I agree that his writing was erratic. Much of it was churned out at
a grueling pace that left little time for polishing. Still, I
remember writing to him in the 1950s when I was an avid science
fiction reader and an aspiring writer. I wanted to air my
speculations about cancer. He took the time to answer, assuring me
that intelligent people were working hard on the problem. ...RM

Asimov himself said that he usually wrote the stuff, checked his
facts, did a quick check for typos and the like, and would send it
in. Blessed with total recall, he had some advantages that we mere
mortals do not, but it's still fast writing. I agree that his stuff
wasn't as polished as it might've been, but I found that his fiction
generally told a good story, and his non-fiction was quite engrossing
and made the subject very approachable. And, say what you may,
turning out 300 books in a lifetime is an amazing accomplishment for
anyone. Having done but 11 myself, with my maximum having been 4 in
a year, I cannot imagine doing 300. I'll be very lucky if I can
manage to do 50 in my life.

BTW, I asked Asimov if he'd be willing to do a foreword for the 2nd
edition of "Using Computer Bulletin Boards" back in 1992. He was in
the hospital at the time and died about a month later, but I did have
a chance to talk to his wife, who said that he was flattered, but
that he didn't feel like he knew anything about the subject and so
didn't feel that he was the best person to do this. <sigh>


Yours Truly,


John Hedtke

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