Isaac Asimov: The best works of the writer
Isaac Asimov (Isaac Asimov) - American-Russian science fiction writer, scientist, who set himself the goal of popularizing science. He has written over five hundred books, and almost all in the science fiction genre. In addition, he tried himself in other genres: fantasy style, detective stories, humorous tales. However, his main goal did not change: he tried to make science more accessible to a wide circle of readers.
Isaac Asimov is not only books. Some of the concepts proposed by the author came into real life from the world of his works and remained there: robotics, positron, psychohistory (the science of the behavior of large groups of people). These words are no longer Occasionalisms, but scientific terms. But Azimov was the first to pronounce them.
He recalls the science fiction writer from the cycle “Alice's Adventures” by Kir Bulychev: he wrote his novels in the 20th century, based on information from the future shared by scientists from the 21st century, visiting him using a time machine.Perhaps this fantasy was Asimov.
Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clark and Robert Heinlein - they are often referred to as the “Big Three” by science fiction writers. Their works are not just entertaining fiction, it is a warning, an analysis of life, a psychohistory, to put it in the words of Azimov himself.
Addressing his readers, Azimov stated the humanistic role of science fiction in our world:
History has reached a point where humanity is no longer allowed to quarrel. People on Earth should be friends. I have always tried to emphasize this in my works ... I do not think that it is possible to make all people love each other, but I would like to destroy the hatred between people. And I quite seriously believe that science fiction is one of the links that help connect humanity. The problems that we raise in science fiction become the immediate problems of all of humanity ... A science fiction writer, a science fiction reader, science itself serves humanity.
Once Azimov said: “The most interesting phrase that can be heard in science, the one that announces new discoveries. And this is not “Eureka!” (I found it!).This is "Hmm, funny ...".
The contribution of Isaac Azimov to science fiction literature can not be overestimated, and his books, of course, compete with the best books of Arthur Clark and the greatest works of Robert Heinlein. Be it "I, the robot" or "I, Azimov" - author's memoirs - choose for yourself: each book is a masterpiece.
It is difficult to write about the best books of Isaac Asimov - they are all the best, and each carries something of its own. And together they make up the whole universe of Azimov.
Isaac Asimov, "The Foundation"
The Foundation is one of Azimov’s most famous novels. It is believed that it was in him that the writer revealed the main ideas of his “Universe”. There is another version of the translation of the name of this book.Isaac Asimov - "Academy".
The Foundation is not quite a novel: it does not tell one complete story. In fact, these are five different plots about various fictional events that were gathered by chance under one cover. Each of the five stories has its own plot structure.
The plot of the "Foundation" unfolds in the Galactic Empire - it is a cosmic super-state, spread out throughout the Milky Way.The scientist Seldon developed a new science - "psycho-history" - and with its help found out that the Empire will inevitably fall in a short time, and the Dark Ages will come. Seldon creates a special organization and gives it a name - "Foundation". Her goal: based on the “Seldon Plan,” to try to save civilization and revive it.
It reminds (and the idea was taken from there) the story of the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Foundation was inspired by the work of Edward Gibbon - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The plot of the first part of the novel is devoted to the growth and development of the Foundation, against the backdrop of the “decline and fall of the Galactic Empire.” Azimov’s novel was also influenced by the political trend of the science fiction fandom, known as Michelism, the trend that science fiction should, by its nature, advocate for a utopian existence, the application of science to human happiness and a more sound outlook on life.
The Foundation inspired writers such as Douglas Adams, George Lucas, as well as public figures such as Paul Krugman and Newt Gingrich. In 1966, the Founding trilogy won the Hugo Award for the best series of books of all time, beating even the Lord of the Rings.Azimov himself admitted that he was amazed to win the award, believing, like many others, that Tolkien, of course, had to win.
Isaac Asimov, "The End of Eternity"
This novel was written in 1955.
The "end of eternity" at some point lost in time. Unlike the famous "Foundations" of Azimov and the series "I, Robot", "The End of Eternity" is mainly known only to rare and especially fanatical fans of science fiction. However, serious devoted Asimov readers believe his only greatest novel.
It describes the work of an organization called "Eternity" (it employs people called Eternal). This organization exists outside of time.
The idea of the novel is as follows: what would happen if we had eternal guards, standing on the verge of time and always ready to protect us from our own mistakes?
Eternity controls the flow of Time and Reality using the Wells of Time. However, it is possible to go on a journey in time only for those years that go after XXVII (when “Eternity” was founded). Centuries to XXVII are, if you use the vocabulary of the Eternal, Primitive history.Time travel requires a lot of energy, which Eternity obtains in almost unlimited quantities - from the Sun from the future, when it became Supernova. With the help of a certain mass duplicator, scientists have created similar to each other Sectors of Eternity. Eternal lived, engaged in science and the development of a new future in these sectors. Also of them they could go at the right time for them. In the sectors of Eternity themselves there is no ordinary time, but there is a bi-time. It is beyond the control of the Eternal.
Those who live beyond eternity are called time. Eternal contact with them and help them trade between different centuries. However, the purpose of Eternity is time unknown. It actually changes human history, and this is called the Reality Changes. Even the negative effects of such changes are always compensated for by positive ones, and all this works for the benefit of mankind.
"I am a robot"
When talking about Isaac Asimov, “I, the robot” is perhaps the name that immediately pops up in everyone’s head. Fans know that “I, the robot” is the best collection of science fiction stories about robots.He had an invaluable influence on this genre in particular and on the scientific approach to this field in general. Isaac Asimov was the first to formulate the three laws of robotics, which set out the provisions of this system so precisely that they could well be applied. And not only in the field of science, but also in life.
The collection consists of 10 stories, including the preface, and is a description of the life and work of the robot psychologist Susan Kelvin and what she had to face.
The stories, though different in meaning and private intentions, are united by a common idea: is the robot really that different from humans?
The idea of the “three laws” became extremely popular and served as the basis for the subsequent works not only of Azimov, but also of many other fantastic works.
Three Laws of Robotics
These laws look very logical, but the stories are based on the fact that often these laws conflict with each other or as a result of a collision with the human factor. In reality, it is difficult to imagine a robot that would exist in harmony with these laws: smart bombs and homing missiles are also types of robots, and they easily break the first and third laws.Computers do what they are programmed to do, and, of course, they will harm people if they are set up like this. The mistake of these laws is that they are based on human concepts and concepts. People’s actions can be malicious, but machines simply do what they are programmed to do.
In the stories themselves it was mentioned more than once that these laws are very similar to human commandments, which once again makes one wonder: what are we? Who are the robots?
Wronger than wrong principle
Wronger than wrong ("wrong than wrong") is a principle described by Michael Shermer on the basis of the Asimov axiom. This is a logical error, discussed in Asimov’s essay “The Relativity of Irregularity”. A statement that equates two errors is more incorrect than a wrong one, when one of the errors is clearly more erroneous than the other. As Azimov said: “When people thought that the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking that the Earth is spherical is as erroneous as the fact that the Earth is flat, then your opinion is more incorrect than the two previous statements put together. ”Azimov explains it this way: science is a progressive and collective concept. Despite the fact that scientific theories later turn out to be erroneous, their degree of irregularity decreases with time, since they are modified in response to errors of the past. For example, data collected using satellite measurements show with a high level of accuracy how the shape of the Earth differs from an ideal sphere.
The books of Isaac Asimov are worth reading, because in his works there are answers to many questions that we ourselves have not been able to formulate.