Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Russian-born author and biochemist Isaac Asimov observed his birthday on January 2 (1920). He grew up in Brooklyn and taught himself to read at age 5. Best known for his science fiction and popular science works, he was one of the world’s most prolific writers, having written or edited more than 500 books and published works in all 10 major Dewey Decimal categories. His most famous work is the Foundation Series, and his 1964 "Nightfall" is considered one of the best science fiction short stories. I, Robot is a 1950 collection of nine short stories (pictured) sharing a theme of morality in the interaction of humans and robots; taken together they tell Asimov's fictional history of robotics. He is credited with introducing the words “positronic,” “psychohistory” and “robotics” into English. He coined the last of these without suspecting it might be an original word.