I have been accused on several occasions of spending more ink than the man deserves defending the legacy and writing of Isaac Asimov. After all, he’s not superversive, right (he’s not, at least most of the time). And anyway, what’s the point of defending him? He’s not the one who’s been edited out of history like the pulp authors are – in fact, he was one of the hand-picked chosen ones to replace them, and despite that STILL never became as popular as legends like Howard and Burroughs.
So what gives?
Here’s the thing: I’m a fan of Asimov. The man can write. I think this is indisputable; that he has his flaws doesn’t change that. Most authors have flaws, and most aren’t as popular, and haven’t written books and stories as good as, Isaac Asimov. Are there better writers? Of course, but that’s not my point.
So when I see people claiming that Isaac Asimov wasn’t that influential (a preposterous comment) or wasn’t a good writer, I’m seeing pure revisionist history – and I don’t like it. It’s not true and it’s not honest; at best it’s stating your own opinion of the man’s work as if its a fact. I’m not saying you need to like the guy. I’m not saying *I* like the guy. I’m saying that his influence on the field is undeniable, and to honest observers – even those not necessarily fans – his skill as well.
I don’t appreciate revisionist history by anyone, and we shouldn’t be engaging in it just because we don’t like someone.
One last thing – I’ve also been told, more than once, that I spend too much time defending Asimov because he’s an enemy of the superversives. Shouldn’t I be focusing on how he hurt our cause (he did, in some ways at least)?
But it’s simply not true to say that I’ve done nothing to conter Asimov’s negative effect on the genre. In fact, regarding Asimov specifically, I’ve done more than most: I reframed Asimov’s robot puzzles in a superversive context.
And how about that for a response?