Isaac Asimov It's Been a Good Life

ISBN 13: 9781573929684

It's Been a Good Life

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9781573929684: It's Been a Good Life

New one-volume autobiography spans Asimov's life for the first time!

As one of the most gifted and prolific writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Asimov became legendary for his inexhaustible creativity, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and talent for explaining complex subjects in clear, concise prose. While regaling his readers with an incredible opus of almost five hundred entertaining and illuminating science fiction and nonfiction books, he also found time to write a three-volume autobiography. Now these volumes have been condensed into one by Asimov's wife, Janet, who also shares excerpts from letters he wrote to her. Together these writings provide an intimate portrait of a creative genius whose love of learning and playing with ideas is evident on every page.

Reading this autobiography is like sitting down with Isaac Asimov and experiencing his witty, engaging, and brilliant personality firsthand. We are treated to many marvelous stories about his upbringing in Depression-era Brooklyn, his early fascination with the new science fiction pulp magazines, the thrill of his first published story, the creation of his well-known story "Nightfall," the genesis of the Foundation series, and the evolution of his creative life as a writer.

He also reveals his inner thoughts about and experiences with various luminaries in science and science fiction. Above all, Asimov's autobiography conveys unbounded enthusiasm for his craft, the infectious joy of learning and creating, complete intellectual honesty, his strong humanist convictions, and his infinite fund of good humor and optimism even at the end of his life - all told in the lively clear writing style that was his trademark.

Although Janet Jeppson Asimov concludes this work with a shocking revelation about her husband's death, the volume is clearly intended as a celebration - as the title suggests - of a wonderful, creative life. As a poignant coda to this work, Janet has appended one short story that was Isaac's favorite, and his 400th essay on this thoughts about science.

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From the Publisher:

"Without question, Isaac was one of the Great Men of Our Time. Wildly witty, inexhaustively creative, core-of-the-Earth deep and wide in wisdom and knowledge, he was also Great Company. Yes, his was a 'good life,' for him; but more important, he made it a better-than-good life for all of us--just by having existed." -- Harlan Ellison

"Isaac Asimov was certainly the Shakespeare of the twentieth century--no other author, no ten other authors, matched his output in range, quantity, clarity, joy, and depth of writing about the growth of knowledge and human conditions. Grab this autobiography for a fascinating, delightful series of glimpses into the many lives of this extraordinary writer." -- Paul Levinson, author of THE SILK CODE

"Who better than Janet Asimov to delineate the innermost thoughts of the seer, author, and nontheist we know as the science-fiction genius who coined 'robotics' and intrigued us with the memorable Foundation and robot novels! IT'S BEEN A GOOD LIFE is a hoot and a must read!" -- Warren Allen Smith, author of WHO'S WHO IN HELL

From the Inside Flap:

As one of the most gifted and prolific writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Asimov has become a literary legend. In reflecting on his years and his career in the last volume of his autobiographical trilogy, he said modestly, "It's been a good life."

Now ten years after her husband's death, Janet Jeppson Asimov has carefully mined the depths of Asimov's most personal thoughts about his life and work. She lovingly combines these with revealing excerpts from his letters to create an intimate portrait of a genius whose tireless passion for writing is evident on every page.

Throughout the book, Asimov shares many important experiences: his years as a child prodigy in Depression-era Brooklyn, his early fascination with science-fiction pulp magazines, the thrill of his first published story, the creation of his well-known story "Nightfall," the genesis of the Foundation and robot series, and how he evolved as a creative writer. Significant moments throughout his life are described with Asimov's characteristic wit, sense of humor, and ever-present optimism.

IT'S BEEN A GOOD LIFE envelops the reader with the warmth and wisdom of Asimov's unique style as though engaged in an exclusive conversation with the author. Beyond offering a compelling chronology of the events in the author's life, many chapters highlight subjects and ideas that were particularly important to him: religion and the Bible, Shakespeare, and humanism, to name a few. Featured in this volume are "The Last Question," which Asimov admitted to being his favorite story, his 400th essay on his thoughts about science, and several never-before-published photos. In the revised epilogue, written by Janet, she reveals the true story of Isaac's final illness and death.

Isaac Asimov revolutionized what it means to be a writer. He created superbly enlightening science and history books about the world around him and wonderful science-fiction worlds where his readers could lose themselves for hours. No other twentieth-century writer wrote with such Shakespearean eloquence or had more of a literary impact than Isaac Asimov. Simply put, IT'S BEEN A GOOD LIFE is a behind-the-scenes look at genius and a must-have for Asimov fans as well as science and science-fiction fans in general.

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