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Science Fiction Day

January 2, 2012 by staff 

Science Fiction DayScience Fiction Day, Isaac Asimov was born January 2, 1920–officially, that is. Unofficially, of course, is another matter. He was born in Russia, and I imagine that in those turbulent times people were more concerned about living to see another day than recording the exact day a baby joined the living.

However, when the Asimovs arrived in America in 1923, little Isaac’s date of birth had to be declared. It was probably January 2, but who could be sure? What better day to select, the Asimovs may have thought, than the day after the New Year is celebrated? As the year begins, so does our son’s life.

During his lifetime, Asimov received numerous degrees, awards, and other emblems of distinction. I bet that one of his favorite modes of recognition, though, was having his official birthday function as National Science Fiction Day. Of course, Isaac did more than scientifically imagine and create works of science fiction.

He wrote between 400 and 500 works of fact, fiction, criticism, religion, and everything in between. (Even Asimov lost count.) Nevertheless, the architects of National Science Fiction Day knew what they were doing. Asimov may have been a PhD chemist, professor, and a member of Mensa (R), but envisioning the future seemed to fire up his imagination more than science, teaching, and interactions with geniuses. He must have been proud of his scientifically fictitious images of space and robots–which sometimes turned out to be more truth than fiction.

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