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Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) - psedonym Paul French


Highly prolific American writer, one of the three grand masters of science fiction with Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein. For five decades Isaac Asimov was one of the central figures of science fiction. His popular works include Nightfall  (1941), Foundation (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952), Second Foundation (1953), The Caves of Steel (1954), The End of Eternity (1955), The Naked Sun (1957), and The Gods Themselves (1972), which won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

"I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it." (from I. Asimov, 1994)

Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia, the son of Judah Asimov and Anna Rachel Berman Asimov. His father was educated within the limits of Orthodox Judaism, but religion did not play a central role in Isaac's childhood. "He didn't even bother to have me bar mitzvahed at the ago of thirteen," Asimov remarked later. Judah Asimov was well read in Russian literature, but especially he loved Sholem Aleichem's Yiddish stories. During World War I he served in the Russian Army. In 1923 the family moved to the United States, and settled in New York. Before opening a sweet-shop, Judah worked in odd jobs, and learned also to speak English. In old age, when he retired to Florida, he became Orthodox again. Asimov himself never learned Russian, and the culture of his parents' native country remained him distant.

Asimov could read before he entered the first grade. He also had "a near-photographic memory." At school Asimov finished books in a few days. His father got him a library card, but did not supervise the books his son read. A classic "bookworm", Asimov devoured early works on Greek mythology, the Iliad, William Shakespeare plays, history books, all kinds of miscellaneous reading. One library was not enough - he used to go to every one within reach. After leaving Boys High School in Brooklyn, an elite school in those days, Asimov studied chemistry at Columbia University, New York, where he graduated in 1939 and received his M.A. in 1941.

In 1942 Asimov married Gertrude Blugerman; they had two children. The marriage was not easy - "sex didn't work out too well", recalled Asimov, "with neither of us possessing experience." She also smoked. During WW II Asimov worked in the US Naval Air Experimental Station alongside such science fiction writers as L. Sprague de Camp, who, according to Asimov, had "something very British about his appearance", and Robert A. Heinlein, who made Asimov feel "particularly gauche" with his courtly way. Asimov's relationship with Heinlein became later somewhat strained. He believed that Heinlein, a liberal during the war, adopted "rock-ribbed far-right conservative" attitudes afterwards under the influence of his wife.

At the NAES Asimov remained from 1942 to 1945. After the end of the war Asimov served in the army as a corporal - he received his draft notice in September 1945. Asimov served eight months and twenty-six days. In 1948 he received his Ph. in biochemistry from Columbia University. Asimov's pseudo-dissertation, 'The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline', was published in 1948 in Astounding Science Fiction. In 1949 Asimov joined the Boston University School of Medicine, where he was made an associate professor of biochemistry in 1955.

Although Asimov was one of the best lecturers at the university, after 1958 he taught only from time to time. Research did not interest him much. "As far as I know, not a single research paper to which my name was attached ever proved of the slightest importance," Asimov said. He devoted himself to writing and focused mostly on non-fiction, publishing such works as The Intelligent Man's Guide to Science (1960), and books on history and literary topics. Asimov remained an associate professor until 1979, and subsequently held the title of professor.

In the wake of the Cold War paranoia about Communism, an anonymous tipster told the FBI in a letter, that Asimov had been born in Russia. "Asimov may be quite all right. On the other hand, . . . . ." Moreover, the FBI's Boston office considered the possibility that he was the Soviet informant, a microbiologist,  codenamed RONPROF. Asimov was a biochemist and no evidence was found to support this hypothesis. (Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, edited by JPat Brown, B. C. D. Lipton, Michael Morisy, 2019) In the Soviet Union, Asimov was a popular writer, but it was not until his earlier autobiographic books appeared there, that Asimov began to receive letters from his Russian relativies.

Asimov married in 1973 the writer and psychoanalyst Janet Opal Jeppson. He had met her already in the 1950s. During the following years, Asimov saw her from time to time on his visits to New York. Correspondence with her convinced Asimov that she was the kind of person that suited him perfectly. Janet Jeppson began to write science fiction in the 1970, most of it for children. Her early works she published under the name J.O. Jeppson. Among her books are The Second Experiment (1974), The Last Immortal (1980), Laughing Space (anthology, 1982), The Mysterious Cure, and Other Stories of Pshrinks Anonymous (1985), and Mind Transfer (1988). For young readers she created in collaboration with Isaac Asimov the Norby Chronicles, which depicted the adventures of a robot.

"Since I am an atheist and do not believe that either God or Satan, Heaven or Hell, exists, I can only suppose that when I die, there will only be an eternity of nothingness to follow." (from I. Asimov) Asimov had in 1977 a heart attack and in 1983 he had triple bypass surgery. Given a blood transfusion, he contracted the HIV virus, which was not discovered until 1990. The doctors adviced against going public on this; Janet Asimov tested negative. The winter of 1989-90 Asimov spent in a hospital due to a congenital weakness of the mitral valve in the heart. In Forward the Foundation (1993) Asimov said farewell to Hari Seldon. Asimov's heart and kidney failure worsened and he died at New York University Hospital on April 6, 1992.

Asimov began to write at the age of eleven. When he worked at his father's store, he became interested in pulp magazines, and imitated their language in his early works. At the age of 18 Asimov sold his first story, 'Marooned Off Vesta'. One of the magazines, which printed his tales, was Astounding Science Fiction. It was edited by John W. Campbell Jr, who encouraged and trained many of the field's rising writers. Fredrik Pohl, a few weeks older than Asimov, edited Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories, both of which bought several of Asimov's stories. Asimov's first novel, Pebble in the Sky (1950), was published by Doubleday. The first nonfiction book Asimov wrote for the general public, The Chemicals of Life (1954), was published by Abelard-Schuman.

'Nightfall' (1941), Asimov's breakthrough work, is acclaimed to be the best science fiction story ever written - an overstatement of course. The poetic story depicts a world which has six suns, at least one of which is always shining. The world have experienced a universal eclipse every two millennia, and lost its social organization as a result. When the darkness falls the reason for this cyclical development is revealed: suddenly the thousands of stars are visible. Most of Asimov's books are pure adventure, and good entertainment, often giving solutions to all kinds of problems of human society and technology. Among his most popular works are the Foundation novels - based very very loosely on Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - and Robot novels and stories.

The first Foundation trilogy is perhaps the most impressive of Asimov's achievements. Set in the far future, the space opera depicts the period between the fall and the rise a new Galactic Empire. Hari Seldon, the mysterious inventor of psychohistory, has established two Foundations to control this development. The first 'Foundation' is public and based on the physical sciences. But there is also a second Foundation, which is secret. It copes with the unknown factors, which Hari Seldon could not have anticipated. The grand scheme is thrown away when the "Mule", a mutant warlord, comes on the scene. Using his ability to manipulate minds by direct force, the Mule gives history a new direction. According to the science of psychohistory, the behaviour of humans in the mass can be predicted by purely statistical means - if the human conglomerate is unaware of the psychohistoric analysis and act randomly. The third part of the trilogy concerns the efforts of the Second Foundation both to get history back on course and to avoid detection and destruction by the First, which perceives it as a rival. Outside this epic future history Asimov wrote The End of Eternity, which examined the paradoxes of time travel.

In the 1960s Asimov did not publish science fiction novels - he felt it had passed beyond him. The "New Wave" was more experimental and radical compared to the Golden Age tradition, but Asimov's works still sold well. He returned to novels in 1980s and started the ambitious project to amalgamate the Robot and Foundation sequences into one huge tale. The new books included Foundation's Edge (1982), The Robots of Dawn (1983), Robots and Empire (1985), Foundation and Earth (1986), Prelude to Foundation  (1988), and Forward the Foundation (1993), in which Hari Seldon struggles to create his twin foundations, to preserve human civilization in the future of the Galaxy. In Robots and Empire (1985) R. Daneel Olivaw learns the tricks of telepathy, a step toward the Foundation. The Second Foundations Trilogy was a homage to Asimov's grand vision, beginning with Foundation's Fear (1977) by Gregory Benford, and continuing with Foundation and Chaos (1998) by Greg Bear, and Foundation's Triumph (1999) by David Brin.

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine was founded by Davis Magazines. It started to appear quaterly from 1977, monthly from 1979 and 4-weekly from 1981. IASFM was a success from the start and its stories have won an extraordinary high number of awards. Its title changed in 1992 to Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, when the magazine was sold to a new publisher. The actual editorial work was done first by George Scithers and then by a succession of other editors. Asimov himself wrote a 1,500-word editorial in every issue, and answered letters.

Robot stories were based on the Three Laws of Robotics, a set of programmed instructions, introduced in the 'Liar!' (1941), about a telepathic robot. Asimov formulated the laws with John W. Campbell, Jr.: 1) a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; 2) a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict the First Law; 3) a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Most of Asimov's Robot stories, collected as I, Robot (1950) and The Rest of the Robots (1964), revolve around various interpretations of these laws. They are also basis for the novels The Caves of Steel (1954) and The Naked Sun (1957), introducing the detective team of Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, a humaniform robot. The books were set respectively on an overpopulated Earth and barely populated colony world.

Asimov was extraordinarily prolific writer of a prodigious number of works including science fiction, science fact, mystery, history, short stories, guides to the Bible and Shakespeare, and discussions of myth, humor, poems, limericks, as well as annotations of literary works. Asimov authored nearly 500 books, but never wrote a screenplay for a major film. Several attempts have been made to adapt Foundation trilogy for the screen. TriStar Pictures purchased its rights in 1994, but then sold them to New Line. Dennis Feldman was assigned to work on a script, which would cover the first novel.

As a fiction writer, Asimov's strength was in his great skill to develop logically interesting ideas within a conventional story frame, which did not have much sensual or visual references. His critics noted that the stories resembled "a diagram on a blackboard", as Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove described Asimov's Empire in Trillion Year Spree (2001). " I make no effort to write poetically or in a high literary style," Asimov admitted. Usually he sat down at his old Selectronic III IBM typewriter from 7:30 until 10 P.M. - the word processor he used only for the preparation of manuscripts. His autobiographies, In Memory Yet Green (1979) and In Joy Still Felt (1980), give a detailed picture of the enormously popular author. I. Asimov (1994) was a collection of vivid sketches of important people and events in his life. Asimov had ended the manuscript with hope that he would see it published before his death. It appeared posthumously. The completed manuscript was edited by Janet Asimov.

For further reading: Asimov Analyzed by Neil Goble (1972); The Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov by Joseph F. Patrouch, Jr. (1974); Isaac Asimov, ed. by Joseph D. Olander and Martin H. Greenberg (1977); Asimov: The Foundations of His Science Fiction by George Edgar Slusser (1980); Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction by James Gunn (1982); Isaac Asimov by Jean Fiedler and Jim Mele (1982); St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, ed. by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast (1999); Trillion Year Spree by Brian Aldiss & David Wingrove (2001); It's Been a Good Life, by Janet Jeppson Asimov (2002); Conversations with Isaac Asimov,  edited by Carl Freedman (2005); Notes for a Memoir: on Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing by Janet Jeppson Asimov (2006); An Asimov Companion: Characters, Places and Terms in the Robot/Empire/Foundation Metaseries by Donald E. Palumbo (2016); Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee (2018)

Selected bibliography / novels, poetry, and short stories:

  • Nightfall, 1941
    - Yö saapuu (uusi versio yhteistyössä Robert Silverbergin kanssa, suom. Sari Kallioinen & Anita Puumalainen, 1994)
    - Films: Nightfall, 1988, prod. New Horizons, screenplay Paul Mayersberg, dir. Paul Mayersberg, starring David Birney, Sarah Douglas and Alexis Kanner; Nightfall, 2000, prod. Concorde Pictures, Magic Plastic Films, adaptation John William Corrington, Michael B. Druxman, Gwyneth Gibby, dir. Gwyneth Gibby, Jennifer Burns, Winsome Brown, Joseph Hodge, David Carradine
  • Pebble in the Sky, 1950
  • I, Robot, 1950
    - Film 2004, prod. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Mediastream Vierte Film GmbH & Co. Vermarktungs KG, Davis Entertainment, screenplay Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman dir. by Alex Proyas, starring Will Smith, Bridget Moyhnahan, Bruce Greenwood, Chi McBride
  • The Stars, Like Dust -, 1951
  • Foundation, 1951
    - Säätiö (suom. Tuulikki Lahti, 1976)
  • David Starr: Space Ranger, 1952 (as Paul French)
  • The Caves of Steel, 1952
    - Teräsluolat (suom. Matti Kannosto, 1974)
    - TV film: The Caves of Steel , 1964, in Story Parade, prod. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), dir. Peter Sasdy, starring Peter Cushing (as Elijah Baley), John Carson (as R. Daneel Olivaw) and Stanley Walsh
  • The Currents of Space, 1952
    - Avaruuden merivirrat (suom. Anja Toivonen, 1978)
  • Foundation and Empire, 1952
    - Säätiö ja Imperiumi (suom. Tuulikki Lahti, 1977)
  • Second Foundation, 1953
    - Toinen säätiö (suom. Tuulikki Lahti, 1977)
  • Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids, 1953 (as Paul French)
  • Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus, 1954 (as Paul French)
  • The End of Eternity, 1955
    - Ikuisuuden loppu (suom. Aulikki Lehkonen, Markku Lehkonen, 1987)
    - Film: Konets vechnosti, 1987, prod. Mosfilm (Soviet Union), screenplay Budimir Metalnikov, Andrei Yermash, dir. Andrei Yermash, starring Oleg Vavilov, Vera Sotnikova and Georgi Zhzhyonov
  • The Martian Way and Other Stories, 1955
  • Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury, 1956 (as Paul French)
  • The Naked Sun, 1956
    - Alaston aurinko (suom. Matti Kannosto, 1975)
    - TV film: The Naked Sun, 1969, in Out of the Unknown, prod. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), teleplay Robert Muller, dir. Rudolph Cartier, with Paul Maxwell (as Elijah Baley) and David Collings (as R. Daneel Olivaw)
  • Earth is Room Enough, 1957
  • Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, 1957 (as Paul French)
  • The Death Dealers, 1958
  • Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn, 1958 (as Paul French)
  • Nine Tomorrows, 1959
  • The Rest of the Robots, 1964
  • Fantastic Voyage, 1966
  • Through a Glass, Clearly, 1967
  • Asimov's Mysteries, 1968
  • Nightfall and Other Stories, 1969
  • The Best New Thing, 1971
  • The Early Asimov, 1972
  • The Gods Themselves, 1972
    - Itse jumalat (suom. Ari Koskinen, 1974)
  • The Best of Isaac Asimov, 1973
  • Tales of Black Widowers, 1974
  • Have You sen These?, 1974
  • Buy Jupiter and Other Stories, 1975
  • The Heavenly Host, 1975
  • Lecherous Limericks, 1975
  • "The Dream", "Benjamin's Dream", and "Benjamin's Bicentennial Blast", 1976
  • Good Taste, 1976
  • The Bicentennial Man, 1976
    - Film: Bicentennial Man, 1999, prod. 1492 Pictures, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Laurence Mark Productions, screenplay Nicholas Kazan, dir. Chris Columbus, starring Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz and Sam Neill
  • More Lecherous Limericks, 1976
  • More Tales of the Black Widowers, 1976
  • Murder at the ABA, 1976
  • The Key Word and Other Mysteries, 1977
  • Still More Lecherous Limericks, 1977
  • Asimov's Sherlockian Limericks, 1978
  • Limericks Too Gross, 1978
  • Casebook of the Black Widowers, 1980
  • Views of the Universe, 1981
  • A Grossery of Limericks, 1981
  • Three by Asimov, 1981
  • Foundation's Edge, 1982
    - Säätiö veitsen terällä (suom. Pekka Markkula, 1984)
  • The Complete Robot, 1982
    - Robotit (suom. Matti Kannosto, 1985)
  • Norby, the Mixed-up Robot, 1983 (with Janet Asimov)
    - Norby, seonnut robotti (suom. Jyrki Kiiskinen, 1990)
  • The Robots of Dawn, 1983
    - Aamunkoiton robotit (suom. Pekka Markkula, 1987)
  • The Winds of Change, 1983
  • The Union Club Mysteries, 1983
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers, 1984
  • Norby's Other Secret, 1984, 1984 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Norby and the Lost Princess, 1985 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Robots and Empire, 1985
    - Robotit ja Imperiumi (suom. Pekka Markkula, 1989)
  • Norby and the Invaders, 1985 (with Janet Asimov)
  • The Edge of Tomorrow, 1985
  • It's Such a Beautiful Day, 1985
  • The Disappearing Man and Other Stories, 1985
  • Best Mysteries of Isaac Asimov, 1986
  • Foundation and Earth, 1986
    - Säätiö ja Maa (suom. Pekka Markkula, 1991)
  • Robot Dreams, 1986
  • Norby and the Queen's Necklace, 1986 (with Janet Asimov)
  • The Alternate Asimovs, 1986
  • Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov, 1986
  • Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain, 1987
  • Norby Finds a Villain, 1987 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Other Worlds of Isaac Asimov, 1987
  • Azazel, 1988
  • Prelude to Foundation, 1988
    - Säätiön alkusoitto (suom. Anu Niroma, 1994)
  • Norby Down to Earth, 1988 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Nemesis, 1989
    - Nemesis (suom. Anu Niroma, 1992)
  • All the Troubles of the World, 1989
  • Franchise, 1989
  • Robbie, 1989
  • Sally, 1989
  • The Asimov Chronicles, 1989
  • Norby and Yobo's Great Adventure, 1989 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Puzzles of the Black Widowers, 1990
  • Nightfall, 1990 (with Robert Silverberg)
  • Robot Visions, 1990
  • Norby and the Oldest Dragon, 1990 (with Janet Asimov)
  • The Asimov Chronicles, 1990 (3 vols.)
  • Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, 1990-92 (2 vols.)
  • The Asimov Chronicles, 1991
  • Child of Time, 1991 (with Robert Silverberg)
  • Our Angry Earth, 1991 (with Frederik Pohl)
  • The Ugly Little Boy, 1992 (with Janet Asimov)
  • Forward the Foundation, 1993
    - Kohti Säätiötä (suom. Jorma-Veikko Sappinen, 1995)
  • Norby and the Court Jester, 1993 (with Janet Asimov)
  • The Positronic Man, 1993 (with Robert Silverberg)
  • Gold, 1995
  • Magic, 1995
  • Foundation; Foundation and Empire ; Second Foundation.2010 (with an introduction by Michael Dirda)


  • In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov (1920-1954), 1979
  • In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov (1954-1978), 1980
  • Asimov Laughs Again, 1992
  • I. Asimov: a Memoir, 1994
  • It's Been a Good Life, 2002 (with Janet Jeppson Asimov)

Non-fiction and other:

  • Biochemistry and Human Metabolism, 1952
  • The Chemicals of Life, 1954
  • Races and Peoples, 1955
  • Chemistry and Human Health, 1956
  • Inside the Atom, 1956
  • Only a Trillion, 1957
  • Building Blocks of the Universe, 1957
  • The World of Carbon, 1958
  • The World of Nitrogen, 1958
  • The Clock We Live On, 1959
  • The Living River, 1959
  • Realm of Numbers, 1959
  • Words of Science and the History Behind Them, 1959
  • The Intelligent Man's Guide to Science, 1960
  • The Double Planet, 1960
  • The Kingdom of the Sun, 1960
  • Realm of Measure, 1960
  • The Wellsprings of Life, 1960
  • Realm of Algebra, 1961
  • Words from the Myths, 1961
  • Words in Genesis, 1962
  • Words on the Map, 1962
  • Life and Energy, 1962
  • Fact and Fancy, 1962
  • The Search for the Elements, 1962
  • The Genetic Code, 1963
  • The Human Body, 1963
  • View fro a Heights, 1963
  • Words from the Exodus, 1963
  • A Short History of Biology, 1964
  • The Human Brain, 1964
  • Quick and Easy, 1964
  • Adding a Dimension, 1964
  • Planets for Man, 1964 (with Stephen H. Dole)
  • Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1964
  • The Greeks, 1965
  • The New Intelligent Man's Guide to Science, 1965
  • Of Time and Space and Other Things, 1965
  • An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule, 1965
  • The Noble Gasses, 1966
  • The Neutrino, 1966
  • The Roman Republic, 1966
  • Understanding Physics, 1966 (3 vols.)
  • The Genetic Effects of Radiation, 1966 (with Theodosius Dobzhansky)
  • The Universe, 1966
  • From Earth to Heaven, 1966
  • The Egyptians, 1967
  • Environments Out There, 1967
  • From Earth to Heaven, 1967
  • Is Anyone There?, 1967
  • The Roman Empire, 1967
  • The Dark Ages, 1968
  • The Near East, 1968
  • Photosynthesis, 1968
  • Science, Numbers, and I, 1968
  • Words from History, 1968
  • Asimov's Guide to the Bible, 1968-69
  • The Shaping of England, 1969
  • Opus 100, 1969
  • Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare, 1970
  • Constantinople, 1970
  • Unseen World, 1970 (teleplay)
  • The Land of Canaan, 1970
  • To the Solar System and Back, 1970
  • The Space Dictionary, 1971
  • The Starts in their Courses, 1971
  • The Left Hand of the Electron, 1971
  • Asimov's Treasury of Humor, 1971
  • The Sensuous Dirty Old Man, 1971 (as Dr. A.)
  • The History of Science Fiction from 1938 to the Present, 1971 (filmscript, with James Gunn)
  • Electricity and Man, 1972
  • The Shaping of France, 1972
  • Worlds within Worlds, 1972
  • More Words of Science, 1972
  • The Story of Ruth, 1972
  • Asimov's Annotated "Don Juan", 1972
  • Physical Science Today, 1973
  • The Shaping of North America from Earliest Times to 1763, 1973
  • Today and Tomorrow and..., 1973
  • The Tragedy of the Moon, 1974
  • Asimov on Astronomy, 1974
  • Asimov on Chemistry, 1974
  • The Birth of the United States, 1763-1816, 1974
  • Our World in Space, 1974
  • Asimov's Annotated "Paradise Lost", 1974
  • Birth and Death in the Universe, 1975
  • Of Matters Great and Small, 1975
  • Our Federal Union, 1975
  • Science Past - Science Future, 1975
  • Eyes on the Universe, 1975
  • The Ends of the Earth, 1975
  • Asimov on Physics, 1976
  • The Planet that Wasn't, 1976
  • Asimov on Numbers, 1977
  • The Beginning and the End, 1977
  • The Collapsing Universe, 1977
  • The Golden Door, 1977
  • Familiar Poems Annotated, 1977
  • Quasar, 1978
  • Life and Time, 1978
  • The Road to Infinity, 1979
  • Opus 200, 1979
  • A Choice of Catastrophes, 1979
  • Extraterrestrial Civilizations, 1979
  • Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts, 1979
  • The Annotated "Gulliver's Travels", 1980
  • Opus, 1980
  • In the Beginning, 1981
  • Visions of the Universe, 1981
  • The Sun Shines Bright, 1981
  • Asimov on Science Fiction, 1981
  • Change!, 1981
  • Exploring the Earth and the Cosmos, 1982
  • Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1982
  • Isaac Asimov Presents Superquiz, 1982 (with Ken Fisher)
  • Isaac Asimov Presents Superquiz 2, 1983 (with Ken Fisher)
  • Counting the Eons, 1983
  • The Roving Mind, 1983 (rev. ed., 1997)
  • The Measure of the Universe, 1983
    - Maailmankaikkeuden mitat (suom. Risto Varteva, 1985)
  • Isaac Asimov's Aliens and Outworlders, 1983
  • Isaac Asimov's Space of Her Own, 1983
  • Isaac Asimov on the Human Body and the Human Brain, 1984
  • X Stands for Unknown, 1984
  • The Exploding Suns, 1985
  • The Subatomic Monster, 1985
  • Opus 300, 1985
  • The Impact of Science on Society, 1985 (with James Burke and Jules Bergman)
  • Asimov's Guide to Halley's Comet, 1985
  • Robots, 1985
  • The Dangers of Intelligence and Other Science Essays, 1986
  • Future Days, 1986
  • Isaac Asimov's Wonderful Worldwide Science Bazaar, 1986
  • The Alternate Asimov's, 1986
  • Isaac Asimov, 1986
  • Past, Present, and Future, 1987
  • As Far as Human Eye Could See, 1987
  • How to Enjoy Writing: A Book of Aid and Comfort, 1987 (with Janet Asimov)
  • The Relativity of Wrong, 1988
  • Asimov's Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, 1988
  • Asimov on Science, 1989
  • Asimov's Chronology of Science and Technology, 1989
  • The Secret of the Universe, 1989
  • Asimov's Galaxy, 1989
  • The Tyrannosaurus Prescription and One Hundred Other Essays, 1989
  • The March of Millennia, 1990
  • The Next Millennium, 1990
  • Out of Everywhere, 1990
  • Library of the Universe, 1988-90 (24 vols.)
  • Asimov's Chronology of the World, 1991
  • Isaac Asimov Laughs Again, 1991
  • Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space, 1991
  • Atom, 1991
  • Frontiers, 1991
  • Our Angry Earth, 1991 (with Fredrik Pohl)
  • Frontiers II. 1993
  • The Future in Space, 1993 (with Robert Giraud)
  • Conversations with Isaac Asimov, 2005 (edited by Carl Freedman)
  • Legends, Folklore, and Outer Space, 2005 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Is there Life in Outer Space?, 2005 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Science Fiction: Vision of Tomorrow?, 2005 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • A Stargazer's Guide, 2005 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • UFOs, 2005
  • What killed the dinosaurs?, 2006 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • The Milky Way and Other Galaxies, 2006 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Global Space Programs, 2006 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Astronomy in Ancient Times, 2006 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Exploring Outer Space, 2006 (with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)
  • Astronomy Projects, 2006 (rev. and updated ed. with revisions and updating by Richard Hantula)

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