Isaac Asimov


Quotations

  • ''Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. repr. In Asimov on Science Fiction (1981). "How Easy to See the Future," Natural History (New York, April 1975).
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  • ''It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.... This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. repr. In Asimov on Science Fiction (1981). "My Own View," published in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. Robert Holdstock (1978).
  • ''Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today—but the core of science fiction, its essence ... has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. repr. In Asimov on Science Fiction (1981). "My Own View," The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. Robert Holdstock (1978).
  • ''Let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics.... We have: one, a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Two, a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. And three, a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. I, Robot (1950). Powell, in Runaround, story first published in Astounding Science Fiction (March 1942). These three laws have been generally adopted by writers on robots, according to Asimov, who called the formulation his most important contribution to science fiction, and also claimed that this passage contains the first recorded use of the term, "Robotics" (see "My Robots" in Robot Visions, 1993).
  • ''Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise—even in their own field.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. The Roving Mind, ch. 25, Prometheus Books (1983).
  • ''How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.''
    Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born U.S. author. The Roving Mind, ch. 25, Prometheus (1983).

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