Whatever happened to...

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,085
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
a site called The Asimovians? Used to be a forum on Asimov and other SF stuff but it seems to have disappeared! Anyone on here used to be a member? I was but i can't remember my user name there!
 

pnerd

Active Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
37
I used to be a member (though I was not very regular there). And yeah, it seems to have disappeared.
 

Darkday

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
43
The Asimovians forum was hacked, and some weeks later the whole site went down. I have searched since then for other Asimov forums, and it seems this rather quiet sub-forum is the most active one. I think this tells a lot, apparently Asimov's popularity has declined considerably since his death. Or am I wrong?
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,034
Well, along with Heinlein (and Bradbury, if you count him - and Bradbury has the advantage of being alive), he's the only Golden Age author still regularly on the shelves of the (new) bookstores I go to. Besides, I don't know that I'd count web presence as an indicator of popularity. Everyone can't exactly get excited about and discuss his new work, y'know? But people can still read and enjoy the stuff many of them have read and enjoyed for years.

This may sort of touch on the recent SF vs. fantasy threads and more. He was a rationalist par excellence and didn't waste any words in his early work and not as many as was fashionable in his late works. Some people seem to like turgid prose of hundreds of irrational pages and his concise crystalline prose may indeed be out of fashion.

So, no, I don't think he's gotten more popular since his death, but I figure he's hanging in there. ;)

As far as the website, it seems like I used to go to an Asimov-centric website, but I can't even really remember, and don't know if it was the same one y'all mean or not. I'm thinking the one I went to might have been based in some South American country, for some reason. Or something like that. It would be nice to find that sort of a place again.
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,085
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
I don't think Asimov's popularity has gone down at all. He's as unpopular as ever ;)
No seriously every bookshop I've been in still has Asimov's books in the A section often at the expense of Aldiss.
Of course its only us SF readers who have a clue who these guys are. Most people I know from day to day life read fantasy cos its easier.
 

CatBar

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
41
Location
Also started getting quite fond of Elijah too. Wou
<quote from AE35Unit> I don't think Asimov's popularity has gone down at all. He's as unpopular as ever </quote>

I agree. I feel Asimov has never been popular in the way all this (tedious) Harry Potter and Buffy and Anime/Manga Fantasy stuff is. There are obviously too few intelligent people around to make Asimov popular in the same way.
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,085
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
<quote from AE35Unit> I don't think Asimov's popularity has gone down at all. He's as unpopular as ever </quote>

I agree. I feel Asimov has never been popular in the way all this (tedious) Harry Potter and Buffy and Anime/Manga Fantasy stuff is. There are obviously too few intelligent people around to make Asimov popular in the same way.

Exactly. More popular does NOT mean better! Hence pop music.
 

Darkday

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
43
True, you can find Asimov in every bookstore, but it's always the same meager assortment: "I, Robot," the Foundation novels and (if you're lucky) the Robot novels. That's it. Most of the rest is out of print. For example, the Galactic Empire novels were out of print when I tried to get them two years ago. And even a classic as The End of Eternity is currently not in print in the US. The same applies to most of the short story collections. It's quite hard nowadays to get all of Asimov's short stories. The series "The Complete Stories" was started in 1990, but aborted after two volumes. This all shows that there is apparently not much demand nowadays for Asimov books (outside of Foundation and Robots), hence my reasoning about his popularity.
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,085
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
Well obviously they are going to concentrate on the most popular and well known works. Thats to be expected. Look for Frank Herbert and you'll see Dune and its sequels. Larry Niven, Ringworld,Clarke,the Odyssey series etc.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,034
True, you can find Asimov in every bookstore, but it's always the same meager assortment: "I, Robot," the Foundation novels and (if you're lucky) the Robot novels. That's it. Most of the rest is out of print. For example, the Galactic Empire novels were out of print when I tried to get them two years ago. And even a classic as The End of Eternity is currently not in print in the US. The same applies to most of the short story collections. It's quite hard nowadays to get all of Asimov's short stories. The series "The Complete Stories" was started in 1990, but aborted after two volumes. This all shows that there is apparently not much demand nowadays for Asimov books (outside of Foundation and Robots), hence my reasoning about his popularity.

Yeah, the part about the assortment is true - that's one thing the SFBC is good for: they released The Complete Robot, an omnibus called Robots and Murder (first three robot novels), The Empire Novels, The Foundation Trilogy, and even The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr but even they have released none of the independent collections or The End of Eternity or The Gods Themselves and so on.

Not too long ago, the SFBC got fully acquired by a multinational multimedia conglomerate which fired the editors and started cross-promoting their other clubs within the SFBC, though, so they're probably not long for this world.

But as far as aborting the Complete Stories, Doubleday was also in corporate chaos at the time, screwed up the second volume and basically collapsed. I believe this was done under the "Doubleday Foundation" imprint, which was discontinued. And this reflects on Doubleday, IMO, rather than Asimov. I'm glad I have the 12 collections (plus Robot Visions) which get me 99% of his stories so I don't have to worry about it. Though that's its own problem, too: I no longer have any Asimov SF finds to realistically look forward to.
 

Darkday

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
43
Quite a few of Asimov's short stories have never appeared in collections, I'd say about 10%. But, of course, the best ones have been collected.
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
22,626
Location
England
Most people I know from day to day life read fantasy cos its easier.

Easier for them perhaps.

Personally, I find it quite hard to imagine how a large dragon would be able to fly. Or a humanoid with wings. (I have to force myself not to think about this when I read fantasy books with these sorts of creatures in them.)


I read The Complete Robot eighteen months ago. I thought the stories were very good, although the style was, inevitably, somewhat dated.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,034
Quite a few of Asimov's short stories have never appeared in collections, I'd say about 10%. But, of course, the best ones have been collected.

Yep, about. I think he wrote about 400 stories but maybe 120 of those were mysteries (rounding wildly). AFAIK, only 16 or so haven't been collected and those are mostly short comic vignettes or mysteries. There are at least four uncollected mysteries. So about 6 or 7%.

And, yeah, the dozen collections don't collect anywhere from a dozen to a dozen and a half (depending on whether YA stories and alternate versions count) that are collected in more obscure volumes, some of which aren't story collections at all. (Anything from Benjamin's Dream to Only a Trillion.)

So, my "99%" was definitely rhetorical flourish (i.e., wrong) and somewhat more precisely, they get you about 93% of 93%. :)

-- Oh, BTW: welcome to the Chrons, darkday!
 
Last edited:

Darkday

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
43
Thanks, J-Sun!
The numbers I have are a little bit different, but it's definitely in that region. I heard that there are even two mysteries that have not been published yet.

@AE35Unit: You mean Gold and Magic, don't you?
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,085
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
Thanks, J-Sun!
The numbers I have are a little bit different, but it's definitely in that region. I heard that there are even two mysteries that have not been published yet.

@AE35Unit: You mean Gold and Magic, don't you?

Ah yes,i don't know where Silver came from. A logical antiphony to Gold i suppose.
 

Similar threads


Top