Isaac Asimov is widely considered to be one of the founding figures of American science fiction. This volume contains a general introduction to Asimov's work and explores his towering status among American science fiction writers, with special emphasis on the Foundation trilogy and the Robot novels and stories.
An actual scientist in the field of biochemistry, Asimov utilized his expertise to become one of the most successful popular science writers of all time. He began his writing career as a teenager in 1939, moving forward to influence not only science fiction, but also the genres of detective fiction, fantasy, children's science fiction, pulp fiction, memoir, and many other subgenres of nonfiction.
In this edition of Critical Insights the cultural and historical influence present in Asimov's works will be examined, as well as the author's own influence on the evolution of literature and culture in the "Golden Age of Science Fiction."Within the fourteen essays on this volume, readers will encounter analysis of Asimov's texts according to traditional critical theories, as well as fresh new insight to comparative works and the genre of science fiction.
This title is divided into four sections:
1. Career, Life, and Influence
This volume begins with a series of discussions of Asimov’s work within specific critical contexts. M. Keith Booker’s overview of Asimov’s career, “On Isaac Asimov,” seeks to introduce readers to the unusual volume and variety of writing produced by Asimov in his long and illustrious career.
2. Critical Contexts
Four critical context essays offer top notch-scholarship on an impressive range of Asimov's works, including consideration of both the social and political events that impacted Asimov's career and the developments within American culture that influenced his writing - and on which Asimov's work, in turn, exercised an influence.
3. Critical Readings
This main section of the book provides ten in-depth essays that offer an examination of all aspects of the author. Each essay is 2,500-5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "works Cited" along with endnotes.
The volume's appendices offer a section of useful reference resources:
- A chronology of the author's life
- A complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
- A general bibliography
- A detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
- Notes on the individual chapter authors
- A subject index