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The Isaac Asimov Quotebook

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Asimov on Science and Science Fiction:

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on Science Fiction Writers

on Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury became the apostle to the Gentiles, so to speak; science fiction's ambassador to the outside world. People who didn't read science fiction, and who were taken aback by its unfamiliar conventions and its rather specialized vocabulary, found they could read and understand Bradbury.
"Ray Bradbury," TV Guide, January 12, 1980
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 198

on Arthur C. Clarke

We have a treaty that we put together in a taxi barreling down Park Avenue about fifteen years ago. This "Asimov-Clarke Treaty of Park Avenue" states that I must insist at all times that Arthur C. Clarke is the best science fiction writer in the world (accepting second place for myself)while Arthur must equally insist that Isaac Asimov is the best science fiction writer in the world (accepting second place for himself).

I don't think either of us means it, since humility is a word neither of us has ever heard of, but we are honorable men who stick to the bargain.

"Arthur C. Clarke," Material for Childhood's End, recording, Caedmon, 1979
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 200

John Campbell

The great writers of the Golden Age in Astounding were more Campbell than themselves. I admit, freely and frequently, that this was so in my case. Other writers are perhaps more reluctant to do so.
"Big, Big, Big," unpublished
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 100

Campbell might be out-written by many others, in and out of science fiction, in terms of characterization, plot and dialogue, but no one ever outdid him in visualizing the grandeur of the universe.
"Big, Big, Big," unpublished
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 176

The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was meeting Campbell at the very beginning of his editorial career, for if ever there was a patron saint of "new voices" it was he.
"The Campbell Touch," New Voices II: The Campbell Award Nominees, ed. George R. R. Martin, 1980
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 176

The late, great science fiction editor John Campbell was fascinated by all sorts of fallacious devices that purported to do something in defiance of the well-understood laws of nature.
"The Radiation That Wasn't," Magazine of F & SF, March 1988.
Out of the Everywhere, pg. 127

on Harlan Ellison

I had, very early in the game [of getting I, Robot to the screen] urged him to be diplomatic, but Harlan is a seething volcano who thinks "diplomatic" refers to someone who has earned a college degree.
"Hollywood and I," IASFM, May, 1979
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 296

on E. E. "Doc" Smith

Although E. E. Smith was a wonderful human being, beloved by all who knew him (including myself), the sad truth is he was an indifferent writer, who developed only moderately with the years.
"The Second Nova," The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, 1974
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 192

on Stanley Weinbaum

The super-jungle of the dayside of Venus as pictured in "Parasite Planet" is, in my opinion, the most perfect example of an alien ecology ever constructed.

"The Second Nova," The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, 1974
Asimov on Science Fiction, pg. 194

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