Discussion:
Isaac Asimov's 100th Anniversary!
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l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-02 16:05:07 UTC
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Plenty of tributes...

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1CAFIXM_enUS882&ei=nxQOXrGgH_Cg_QbC8qjYCA&q=isaac+asimov+100th+anniversary
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-03 19:52:59 UTC
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My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.

Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________

Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________

...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!

Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!

Not to mention that since the 1990s or so, it's become impossible to read the story in the same way. (Not that most parents would really want their kids homeschooled in that particular manner; neither of Margie's parents is her "teacher," after all.)

But there's still at least one other distinctive prediction that HASN'T come true:
______________________________________________

They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.

"Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw IT away."
________________________________________________

In other words, kids of the future aren't even expected - or allowed - to read any page or book more than once! (Though it's not clear whether this has more to do with kids' impatience or parents' impatience.)

You can read the whole thing here:

https://lewebpedagogique.com/anglais/wp-content/blogs.dir/16/files/the-fun-they-had.pdf


Lenona.
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-04 00:42:06 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Well, gosh, when? Before _Star Trek_, there was
_Captain Video_, and before that _The Time Machine_
whose adventures basically occur in the future,
and before that the Book of Revelation.
Not to mention the weather forecast.
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Not to mention that since the 1990s or so, it's become impossible to read the story in the same way. (Not that most parents would really want their kids homeschooled in that particular manner; neither of Margie's parents is her "teacher," after all.)
There's a lot of discussable quirks, such as
dealing with variation in students' ability
by playing the film lesson slower. And yet
that isn't the point of the story. This wasn't
Isaac Asimov trying to be brilliant; I think
he just couldn't help it.
Post by l***@yahoo.com
______________________________________________
They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.
"Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw IT away."
________________________________________________
In other words, kids of the future aren't even expected - or allowed - to read any page or book more than once! (Though it's not clear whether this has more to do with kids' impatience or parents' impatience.)
https://lewebpedagogique.com/anglais/wp-content/blogs.dir/16/files/the-fun-they-had.pdf
Lenona.
On throwing the book away: one, this is a kid's
speculation, and, two, "when you're through"
doesn't mean here that you read the book, but
that you intend never to read it again.
These kids probably had _Where The Wild Things
Used to Be_ (2063) read to them 1000 times,
mostly mechanically. /Then/ they were through
with it. For now.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-04 14:52:52 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Well, gosh, when? Before _Star Trek_, there was
_Captain Video_, and before that _The Time Machine_
whose adventures basically occur in the future,
and before that the Book of Revelation.
Not to mention the weather forecast.
Um, I said, I was 8.

MAYBE I was watching Star Trek reruns by then, but I didn't necessarily understand or care that it was supposed to happen in the future - I only knew it wasn't real. (Btw, Star Wars - which I didn't see until years after its release, for complicated reasons - takes place in the past.) Besides, aliens have presumably existed in all centuries, so why not spaceships? Not to mention that there's a big difference between flashy TV shows and quiet textbooks with no bells and whistles.
Post by Robert Carnegie
On throwing the book away: one, this is a kid's
speculation, and, two, "when you're through"
doesn't mean here that you read the book, but
that you intend never to read it again.
Please read this again:


They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.


I mean, even today, what's so noteworthy about words that stay put - on a screen - for as long as you NEED to stare at them? Or that can be read again and again? Unless that sort of thing DOESN'T happen with "telebooks"?

In other words, the unmistakable implication is that one is not really allowed (or at least not encouraged) to read something more than once. That would certainly give an extra reason for Margie to hate school; lingering and contemplation don't seem to be part of the "teacher's" method. (Also, think how that would ruin one's enjoyment of a mystery novel or thriller; you wouldn't be able to look for subtle clues you missed the first time!)


Lenona.
Peter Trei
2020-01-04 17:39:21 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Well, gosh, when? Before _Star Trek_, there was
_Captain Video_, and before that _The Time Machine_
whose adventures basically occur in the future,
and before that the Book of Revelation.
Not to mention the weather forecast.
Um, I said, I was 8.
MAYBE I was watching Star Trek reruns by then, but I didn't necessarily understand or care that it was supposed to happen in the future - I only knew it wasn't real. (Btw, Star Wars - which I didn't see until years after its release, for complicated reasons - takes place in the past.) Besides, aliens have presumably existed in all centuries, so why not spaceships? Not to mention that there's a big difference between flashy TV shows and quiet textbooks with no bells and whistles.
By the time I was 8, I'd been reading Tom Swift for a year at least, and
watching SuperCar, Fireball XL-5, and the Twilight Zone. ST:TOS wasn't out
yet, but the idea of stories set in the past or the future was definitely a feature of my world.

pt
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-05 20:56:16 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
I mean, even today, what's so noteworthy about words that stay put - on a screen - for as long as you NEED to stare at them? Or that can be read again and again? Unless that sort of thing DOESN'T happen with "telebooks"?
In other words, the unmistakable implication is that one is not really allowed (or at least not encouraged) to read something more than once. That would certainly give an extra reason for Margie to hate school; lingering and contemplation don't seem to be part of the "teacher's" method. (Also, think how that would ruin one's enjoyment of a mystery novel or thriller; you wouldn't be able to look for subtle clues you missed the first time!)
Not to mention that it's perfectly normal for children to crave (and need?) a certain amount of repetition; this is why little kids want to hear the same short stories over and over. (Mind you, I don't think parents should have to tolerate this more than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's only fair that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can hand them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one of these." This can be done before or after the parent reads aloud a book that's very familiar to the kid.)


Lenona.
D B Davis
2020-01-05 21:10:20 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
Post by l***@yahoo.com
I mean, even today, what's so noteworthy about words that stay put - on a screen -
for as long as you NEED to stare at them? Or that can be read again and again?
Unless that sort of thing DOESN'T happen with "telebooks"?
In other words, the unmistakable implication is that one is not really allowed
(or at least not encouraged) to read something more than once. That would
certainly give an extra reason for Margie to hate school; lingering and
contemplation don't seem to be part of the "teacher's" method. (Also, think
how that would ruin one's enjoyment of a mystery novel or thriller; you
wouldn't be able to look for subtle clues you missed the first time!)
Not to mention that it's perfectly normal for children to crave (and need?) a
certain amount of repetition; this is why little kids want to hear the same
short stories over and over. (Mind you, I don't think parents should have to
tolerate this more than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's
only fair that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can
hand them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one
of these." This can be done before or after the parent reads aloud a book
that's very familiar to the kid.)
All of the above's perfectly sensible to me. Giving children a say in
things by offering them a choice is a good parenting technique. Besides
books, parents can also use it for for clothes, food, etc.



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Titus G
2020-01-06 04:54:05 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
All of the above's perfectly sensible to me. Giving children a say in
things by offering them a choice is a good parenting technique. Besides
books, parents can also use it for for clothes, food, etc.
LITTLE KIDS.
Naked or Diapered.
Pyjamas All Day or Scrubbing Behind Ears Before Dressing.
Milk or Coke.
Sugar or Vegetables.
Afternoon Nap or More Sugar.
Early Bedtime or Screaming and Yelling.

You would end up with a whole nation of robotic Trumps deficient in
Asimov's Laws.

Thank goodness the topic adherence police are on holiday.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-06 15:09:17 UTC
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Post by Titus G
Post by D B Davis
All of the above's perfectly sensible to me. Giving children a say in
things by offering them a choice is a good parenting technique. Besides
books, parents can also use it for for clothes, food, etc.
LITTLE KIDS.
Naked or Diapered.
Pyjamas All Day or Scrubbing Behind Ears Before Dressing.
Milk or Coke.
Sugar or Vegetables.
Afternoon Nap or More Sugar.
Early Bedtime or Screaming and Yelling.
You would end up with a whole nation of robotic Trumps deficient in
Asimov's Laws.
Thank goodness the topic adherence police are on holiday.
You DO know, don't you, that DB Davis was referring to situations like this one?

https://fborfw.com/strip_fix/?s=%22i%27ve+been+tricked%22


Trouble is, one might argue that that system doesn't work for long. But I wouldn't know.


Lenona.
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-01-06 15:46:15 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
Post by Titus G
Post by D B Davis
All of the above's perfectly sensible to me. Giving children a say in
things by offering them a choice is a good parenting technique. Besides
books, parents can also use it for for clothes, food, etc.
LITTLE KIDS.
Naked or Diapered.
Pyjamas All Day or Scrubbing Behind Ears Before Dressing.
Milk or Coke.
Sugar or Vegetables.
Afternoon Nap or More Sugar.
Early Bedtime or Screaming and Yelling.
You would end up with a whole nation of robotic Trumps deficient in
Asimov's Laws.
Thank goodness the topic adherence police are on holiday.
You DO know, don't you, that DB Davis was referring to situations like this one?
https://fborfw.com/strip_fix/?s=%22i%27ve+been+tricked%22
Trouble is, one might argue that that system doesn't work for long. But I wouldn't know.
It has been known to work very well at certain ages. It gives a
small child who is just beginning to discover "I have a mind of
my own!" the illusion of choice.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Joy Beeson
2020-01-09 06:09:27 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
It has been known to work very well at certain ages. It gives a
small child who is just beginning to discover "I have a mind of
my own!" the illusion of choice.
To be more precise, it gives the child choices that he is qualified to
make, and gives him practice in making decisions.
--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
Titus G
2020-01-06 04:34:37 UTC
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On 6/01/20 9:56 am, ***@yahoo.com wrote:
snip
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Not to mention that it's perfectly normal for children to crave (and need?) a certain amount of repetition; this is why little kids want to hear the same short stories over and over.
And should be thrashed at the same time every day until they are old
enough to retaliate.

(Mind you, I don't think parents should have to tolerate this more
than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's only fair
that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can hand
them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one
of these."

Seriously? What if I decide I want to read the Praxis Trilogy and the
three year old I am babysitting chooses book 3 first?

Did Asimov hand his robots three laws and say: "Here. Pick one of these."

I'll get my coat.
Kevrob
2020-01-06 05:08:31 UTC
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Post by Titus G
snip
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Not to mention that it's perfectly normal for children to crave (and need?) a certain amount of repetition; this is why little kids want to hear the same short stories over and over.
And should be thrashed at the same time every day until they are old
enough to retaliate.
(Mind you, I don't think parents should have to tolerate this more
than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's only fair
that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can hand
them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one
of these."
Seriously? What if I decide I want to read the Praxis Trilogy and the
three year old I am babysitting chooses book 3 first?
Did Asimov hand his robots three laws and say: "Here. Pick one of these."
I'll get my coat.
The kid's always going to pick "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie,"
as long as there's a copy in the house. :)

https://calvinandhobbes.fandom.com/wiki/Hamster_Huey_and_the_Gooey_Kablooie

Kevin R
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-06 15:20:13 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
The kid's always going to pick "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie,"
as long as there's a copy in the house. :)
https://calvinandhobbes.fandom.com/wiki/Hamster_Huey_and_the_Gooey_Kablooie
Of course. All the more reason to BORROW as many books from the library as possible, so that you can pretend a certain book isn't available even when it is. As Amy Dacyczyn, author of "The Complete Tightwad Gazette," wrote (not verbatim): "If you borrow five books a week, you still will not exhaust your local children's library supply by the time your kids go off to college."


Lenona.
David DeLaney
2020-01-09 06:12:45 UTC
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That's how I was raised. A book _of your very own_ was a special thing.
I sometimes got books as Christmas or Birthday presents from Aunts and
Uncles who knew I was a big reader. But my parents had bought a house
just under a mile from our elementary school, and the public library
that served our area was the halfway point on the walk or bike ride home
from school. We all got cards as soon as it was allowed. Between the
schoolbooks for 9 kids, and all the ones we borrowed, our house was
practically a sub-branch.
We spent our summers on the other side of our Island, where
we had an unheated bungalow. We joined the library in that town,
too. One had to have books for when it rained, even at the beach!
All our schools had libraries, too.
I started off with the East Cleveland Public Library main branch, right next to
Windermere transit hub and across the street from E Cleveland Community
Theater where my dad spent time (along with Dobama). The children's-books room
had its good points, but they were letting me wander the stacks unsupervised
while my age was still single-digits. In my early teens we started also
frequenting the Cleveland Heights main branch, and later, when I was making a
weekly trip downtown to pick up my comics, I invaded the Cleveand main branch
there.

I was an odd kid, too smart for almost anyone's good, and my brother and sister
weren't much different. I _adored_ Asimov's collections of 17 science essays
each, and think they should all still be in print, for example. Our family had
one main rule about the library: you weren't allowed to check out more books at
one time than you could physically carry to the car in one trip. To this DAY, I
get asked regularly at Barnes & Noble, by an employee eying the stack I'm
carrying, "...would you like me to get a basket for you, sir?", and I think the
new ones don't really believe me when I say it's fine, I'm okay.

I didn't really start collecting books on my own (as distinct from comics)
until around high school - early teens. I still had few enough in college they
could all live in my dorm room; moving into an apartment just let them expand.

Dave, now I possess more in this apartment than the laws of physics want to
allow, and am in something of the same predicament as Dorothy for accessing
them
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Paul S Person
2020-01-09 23:54:41 UTC
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On Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:12:45 -0600, David DeLaney
Post by David DeLaney
I started off with the East Cleveland Public Library main branch, right next to
Windermere transit hub and across the street from E Cleveland Community
Theater where my dad spent time (along with Dobama). The children's-books room
had its good points, but they were letting me wander the stacks unsupervised
while my age was still single-digits. In my early teens we started also
frequenting the Cleveland Heights main branch, and later, when I was making a
weekly trip downtown to pick up my comics, I invaded the Cleveand main branch
there.
Lucky you.

Once I had read /all/ the books in my age-appropriate section, they
refused to let me read anything else. For another two years, IIRC.

That's when I discovered the many uses of Used Book Stores ...
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-07 21:45:39 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
(Mind you, I don't think parents should have to tolerate this more
than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's only fair
that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can hand
them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one
of these."
Seriously? What if I decide I want to read the Praxis Trilogy and the
three year old I am babysitting chooses book 3 first?
I'm sure you know there ARE books that both small children and adults can enjoy. (To be fair, I can only think of one right now that isn't as familiar as Grimms' Fairy Tales - namely, Aesop's Fables.)



Lenona.
Titus G
2020-01-08 02:13:16 UTC
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Post by l***@yahoo.com
Post by l***@yahoo.com
(Mind you, I don't think parents should have to tolerate this more
than half the time; they can explain to the kids that it's only fair
that reading aloud should be fun for BOTH parties. Then they can hand
them three books or so that the PARENTS like, and say: "Here. Pick one
of these."
Seriously? What if I decide I want to read the Praxis Trilogy and the
three year old I am babysitting chooses book 3 first?
I'm sure you know there ARE books that both small children and adults can enjoy. (To be fair, I can only think of one right now that isn't as familiar as Grimms' Fairy Tales - namely, Aesop's Fables.)
Yes. Good examples. (I was just enjoying being silly.)
Jack Bohn
2020-01-04 16:04:20 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by l***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Well, gosh, when? Before _Star Trek_, there was
_Captain Video_, and before that _The Time Machine_
whose adventures basically occur in the future,
and before that the Book of Revelation.
Not to mention the weather forecast.
I protest the use of _The Time Machine_ there. It took place in the present, that the protagonist traveled to the future to bring us back the tale is the whole point of inventing the time machine. (OMG! Did Wells regret inventing the time machine? As, sending his traveler to essentially an arbitrary date in the future, he didn't need the precision and control implied by Victorian machinery. Would he have preferred the legacy of the novel be variations on what the proletariat and the bourgeoisie evolve into and their various conflicts rather than changing histories and logical conundrums?)

I'm slightly interested in the question of when it became accepted that a story could take place wholly in the future. I'm a lazy scholar, depending on other's compiled lists of futurian fiction, reading them as they get entered to Project Gutenberg. I'd have to categorize the relationship with the future: there-and-back-again, dream/daydream/prophesy, (Shelly's _The Last Man_ is not *set* in the future after a plague, it is the transcribed tale of an oracle,) or today-through-tomorrow, (Wells' _The Shape of Things to Come_ or others that start the story in the present and extrapolate into the future,) all as opposed to "here we are, it is the future" of things like Orwell's _1984_ with the clocks striking 13. An interesting case is _Looking Backward: 2000-1887_ which begins with a man going to sleep in the latter year and waking up in the former, but, before the beginning, has a preface in which a 2000s scholar admits to using such a device to fictionalize his points.

I wonder if the comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" is an early mass experience with "set in the future." It begins as "today through tomorrow" with a current-day man sleeping into the future, but the extremely long middle section means new readers may have come upon it without knowing that connection. (We also don't have the end, so we don't know if he came back in time to give us this tale, making it a "there and back again" type.

ObAsimov: for his first hardback novel, _Pebble in the Sky_, did he feel a need to reach out to those who hadn't been reading magazine sf, and include a present day man hurled into his far future?
--
-Jack
William Hyde
2020-01-04 22:35:29 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
ObAsimov: for his first hardback novel, _Pebble in the Sky_, did he feel a need to reach out to those who hadn't been reading magazine sf, and include a present day man hurled into his far future?
But it wasn't written to be a hardback novel. It was just another serial for the SF magazines. It was written as a long novella for "Startling Stories" whose editor wanted to publish something a bit more Campbellian. SS then rejected it as being too cerebral, but Campbell also rejected it. Only then did Pohl (I think) contact Doubleday which agreed to publish if Asimov fleshed it out to novel length. More details in Asimov's autobiography.

Pohl was Asimov's agent for some time. If he was at this point he certainly earned his cut. Asimov was prepared to throw the ms in a drawer and forget about it.

In an alternate timeline "Pebble" is published after Asimov's death as a trunk novel.

William Hyde
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-05 22:29:49 UTC
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Post by William Hyde
Post by Jack Bohn
ObAsimov: for his first hardback novel, _Pebble in the Sky_, did he feel a need to reach out to those who hadn't been reading magazine sf, and include a present day man hurled into his far future?
But it wasn't written to be a hardback novel. It was just another serial for the SF magazines. It was written as a long novella for "Startling Stories" whose editor wanted to publish something a bit more Campbellian. SS then rejected it as being too cerebral, but Campbell also rejected it. Only then did Pohl (I think) contact Doubleday which agreed to publish if Asimov fleshed it out to novel length. More details in Asimov's autobiography.
Pohl was Asimov's agent for some time. If he was at this point he certainly earned his cut. Asimov was prepared to throw the ms in a drawer and forget about it.
In an alternate timeline "Pebble" is published after Asimov's death as a trunk novel.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alternate_Asimovs>
collection offers completists "Grow Old With Me,
a shorter and less refined version" of Pebble.
This year I may get around to reading my copy,
or at least his comments which address the
creative choices, including the present-day
participant.

I do recall the collection introduction where
he stated that he usually threw unsold ms in
a fire pit, so that these are not necessarily
his most interesting examples of story revision.

I also have a very unreliable impression that
this may be a story where the revision was
mainly undertaken by Pohl.

On reflection, the Book of Revelation also has
a "present-day" observer of the future events.
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-11 00:16:16 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by William Hyde
Post by Jack Bohn
ObAsimov: for his first hardback novel, _Pebble in the Sky_, did he feel a need to reach out to those who hadn't been reading magazine sf, and include a present day man hurled into his far future?
But it wasn't written to be a hardback novel. It was just another serial for the SF magazines. It was written as a long novella for "Startling Stories" whose editor wanted to publish something a bit more Campbellian. SS then rejected it as being too cerebral, but Campbell also rejected it. Only then did Pohl (I think) contact Doubleday which agreed to publish if Asimov fleshed it out to novel length. More details in Asimov's autobiography.
Pohl was Asimov's agent for some time. If he was at this point he certainly earned his cut. Asimov was prepared to throw the ms in a drawer and forget about it.
In an alternate timeline "Pebble" is published after Asimov's death as a trunk novel.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alternate_Asimovs>
collection offers completists "Grow Old With Me,
a shorter and less refined version" of Pebble.
This year I may get around to reading my copy,
or at least his comments which address the
creative choices, including the present-day
participant.
Now that I've looked at the comments, the latter
matter wasn't touched on.
Post by Robert Carnegie
I do recall the collection introduction where
he stated that he usually threw unsold ms in
a fire pit, so that these are not necessarily
his most interesting examples of story revision.
Barbecue pit, but how he destroyed nine never-sold
stories up to 1941 without it isn't clear.
Post by Robert Carnegie
I also have a very unreliable impression that
this may be a story where the revision was
mainly undertaken by Pohl.
This did not happen to any story in this volume.
Pohl told Asimov to offer "Grow Old with Me" to
Doubleday, who were going into new territory
(in that time and place) of science fiction in
hardcover. Doubleday - editor Walter I. Bradbury -
paid for a rewrite to around 70,000 words (says
here) - "Startling Stories", editor's name withheld,
had asked for 40,000, got a manuscript of 49,000,
said nope.

If I read about such wholesale rewriting as I
imagined by other hands of another story, including
Pohl's, it probably was in rec.arts.sf.written.
Post by Robert Carnegie
On reflection, the Book of Revelation also has
a "present-day" observer of the future events.
Kevrob
2020-01-04 23:55:19 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
I wonder if the comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" is an early mass experience with "set in the future." It begins as "today through tomorrow" with a current-day man sleeping into the future, but the extremely long middle section means new readers may have come upon it without knowing that connection. (We also don't have the end, so we don't know if he came back in time to give us this tale, making it a "there and back again" type.
The story BRit25thC is based on, "Armageddon 2419 A.D.' by Philip
Francis Nowlan [AMAZING STORIES, AUG 1928] has the conceit that
it is a memoir, written in the future, for the benefit of those
in the 30th Century!

[quote]

Elsewhere I have set down, for whatever interest they have in this,
the 25th Century, my personal recollections of the 20th Century.

Now it occurs to me that my memoirs of the 25th Century may have an
equal interest 500 years from now—particularly in view of that
unique perspective from which I have seen the 25th Century, entering
it as I did, in one leap across a gap of 492 years.

[/quote] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32530 has several formats.

HTML version @

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32530/32530-h/32530-h.htm

Killer issue, Aug `28! Not only "Anthony Rogers'," but Doc Smith's
cover-featured tale, "The Skylark of Space"! I'd have been miffed if
my favorite newsstands had sold out before I could get mine.

--
Kevin R
a.a #2310
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-10 04:41:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Jack Bohn
I wonder if the comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" is an early mass experience with "set in the future." It begins as "today through tomorrow" with a current-day man sleeping into the future, but the extremely long middle section means new readers may have come upon it without knowing that connection. (We also don't have the end, so we don't know if he came back in time to give us this tale, making it a "there and back again" type.
The story BRit25thC is based on, "Armageddon 2419 A.D.' by Philip
Francis Nowlan [AMAZING STORIES, AUG 1928] has the conceit that
it is a memoir, written in the future, for the benefit of those
in the 30th Century!
[quote]
Elsewhere I have set down, for whatever interest they have in this,
the 25th Century, my personal recollections of the 20th Century.
Now it occurs to me that my memoirs of the 25th Century may have an
equal interest 500 years from now—particularly in view of that
unique perspective from which I have seen the 25th Century, entering
it as I did, in one leap across a gap of 492 years.
[/quote] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32530 has several formats.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32530/32530-h/32530-h.htm
Killer issue, Aug `28! Not only "Anthony Rogers'," but Doc Smith's
cover-featured tale, "The Skylark of Space"! I'd have been miffed if
my favorite newsstands had sold out before I could get mine.
The cover shows the scene where Richard Seaton is demonstrating the
first controllable and free-flying model of his space drive:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20869/20869-h/20869-h.htm

Since _Armageddon: 2419 AD_ also has personal flight packs, consisting
of a quantity of anti-gravity metal to offset the weight of the user
and apparatus and a rocket drive, some people have thought that
_Armageddon: 2419 AD_ was the cover story. I have seen this cover
used to illustrate a history of the jet pack in fact and fiction,
being attributed to Mr. Nowlan's story.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
D B Davis
2020-01-10 14:56:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Kevrob
Post by Jack Bohn
I wonder if the comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" is an
early mass experience with "set in the future." It begins as "today
through tomorrow" with a current-day man sleeping into the future,
but the extremely long middle section means new readers may have
come upon it without knowing that connection.
(We also don't have the end, so we don't know if he came back in
time to give us this tale, making it a "there and back again" type.
The story BRit25thC is based on, "Armageddon 2419 A.D.' by Philip
Francis Nowlan [AMAZING STORIES, AUG 1928] has the conceit that
it is a memoir, written in the future, for the benefit of those
in the 30th Century!
[quote]
Elsewhere I have set down, for whatever interest they have in this,
the 25th Century, my personal recollections of the 20th Century.
Now it occurs to me that my memoirs of the 25th Century may have an
equal interest 500 years from now—particularly in view of that
unique perspective from which I have seen the 25th Century, entering
it as I did, in one leap across a gap of 492 years.
[/quote] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32530 has several formats.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32530/32530-h/32530-h.htm
Killer issue, Aug `28! Not only "Anthony Rogers'," but Doc Smith's
cover-featured tale, "The Skylark of Space"! I'd have been miffed if
my favorite newsstands had sold out before I could get mine.
The cover shows the scene where Richard Seaton is demonstrating the
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20869/20869-h/20869-h.htm
Since _Armageddon: 2419 AD_ also has personal flight packs, consisting
of a quantity of anti-gravity metal to offset the weight of the user
and apparatus and a rocket drive, some people have thought that
_Armageddon: 2419 AD_ was the cover story. I have seen this cover
used to illustrate a history of the jet pack in fact and fiction,
being attributed to Mr. Nowlan's story.
A cropped closeup, which contains most of the head, outstretched arm,
and waist, appears on the cover of _Wings Over Tommorrow_ (Nowlan) [1].
Why is the sky yellow?

Note.

[1] https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2548475.Wings_Over_Tomorrow



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Jack Bohn
2020-01-10 20:21:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
D B Davis wrote:

[The cover that shows not-Buck Rogers and his flying belt.]
A cropped closeup, which contains most of the head, outstretched arm, 
and waist, appears on the cover of _Wings Over Tommorrow_ (Nowlan) [1]. 
Why is the sky yellow? 
Because yellow is an eye-catching color for a cover, I'd guess.
--
-Jack
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-05 22:17:23 UTC
Reply
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Post by Jack Bohn
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by l***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Well, gosh, when? Before _Star Trek_, there was
_Captain Video_, and before that _The Time Machine_
whose adventures basically occur in the future,
and before that the Book of Revelation.
Not to mention the weather forecast.
I protest the use of _The Time Machine_ there. It took place in the present, that the protagonist traveled to the future to bring us back the tale is the whole point of inventing the time machine. (OMG! Did Wells regret inventing the time machine? As, sending his traveler to essentially an arbitrary date in the future, he didn't need the precision and control implied by Victorian machinery. Would he have preferred the legacy of the novel be variations on what the proletariat and the bourgeoisie evolve into and their various conflicts rather than changing histories and logical conundrums?)
I'm slightly interested in the question of when it became accepted that a story could take place wholly in the future. I'm a lazy scholar, depending on other's compiled lists of futurian fiction, reading them as they get entered to Project Gutenberg. I'd have to categorize the relationship with the future: there-and-back-again, dream/daydream/prophesy, (Shelly's _The Last Man_ is not *set* in the future after a plague, it is the transcribed tale of an oracle,) or today-through-tomorrow, (Wells' _The Shape of Things to Come_ or others that start the story in the present and extrapolate into the future,) all as opposed to "here we are, it is the future" of things like Orwell's _1984_ with the clocks striking 13. An interesting case is _Looking Backward: 2000-1887_ which begins with a man going to sleep in the latter year and waking up in the former, but, before the beginning, has a preface in which a 2000s scholar admits to using such a device to fictionalize his points.
I haven't actually read, from 1885, the novel(s)
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jefferies#After_London>
but this article describes no mechanism* for
this history document of the future to exist in
the present. It merely does. *Well, literally
the mechanism is that it's made up, it's fiction,
and not an actual future document at all...
not yet.
Post by Jack Bohn
I wonder if the comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" is an early mass experience with "set in the future." It begins as "today through tomorrow" with a current-day man sleeping into the future, but the extremely long middle section means new readers may have come upon it without knowing that connection. (We also don't have the end, so we don't know if he came back in time to give us this tale, making it a "there and back again" type.
But how else? :-) (see above...)
D B Davis
2020-01-04 15:12:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by l***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun
They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when
we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May
17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes
place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Not to mention that since the 1990s or so, it's become impossible to read
the story in the same way. (Not that most parents would really want their
kids home schooled in that particular manner; neither of Margie's parents
is her "teacher," after all.)
______________________________________________
They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny
to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed
to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before,
it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.
"Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just
throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books
on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw IT away."
________________________________________________
In other words, kids of the future aren't even expected - or allowed - to
read any page or book more than once! (Though it's not clear whether this
has more to do with kids' impatience or parents' impatience.)
https://lewebpedagogique.com/anglais/wp-content/blogs.dir/16/files/the-fun-they-had.pdf
For better or worse, Matt Drudge offers insight into the behavior of a
large percentage of people. Drudge watches a given silver screen movie
only once. OTOH, anecdotal evidence suggests that many SF fans, myself
included, watch the same movie more than once.
The story's home school element seems a shade too Libertarian for
Asimov. Presumably he sees his way to include a smidgen of freedom as
long as it remains under centralized control via an authorized repairman.
Two things about your story in regards to Asimov's story are
remarkable. First, that your school exposed you to Asimov at the young
age of eight. And second, that you remember your struggle to comprehend
the storied future.
Korzybski refers to the latter process as "time-binding." At the
beginning of their careers both Heinlein and Van Vogt followed
Korzybski's lead in time-binding.



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
J. Clarke
2020-01-04 15:39:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by l***@yahoo.com
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
_____________________________________________
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
____________________________________________
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Not to mention that since the 1990s or so, it's become impossible to read the story in the same way. (Not that most parents would really want their kids homeschooled in that particular manner; neither of Margie's parents is her "teacher," after all.)
______________________________________________
They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.
"Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw IT away."
________________________________________________
In other words, kids of the future aren't even expected - or allowed - to read any page or book more than once! (Though it's not clear whether this has more to do with kids' impatience or parents' impatience.)
https://lewebpedagogique.com/anglais/wp-content/blogs.dir/16/files/the-fun-they-had.pdf
And yet the kid keeps a diary, to which there is not much point if the
content disappears, and tests and homework are written on paper. Isaac
wasn't thinking it through.
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