Thursday, April 06, 2017

Thinking of the master

Today is the anniversary of the death of Isaac Asimov in 1992. I met him in 1984 when I was out on a date in Greenwich Village. The Village Light Opera Company was performing "The Yeoman of the Guard". I did not know he was a big Gilbert and Sullivan fan.

I was sitting in my seat during the performance when I commented to my date, "This guy in front of me looks a lot like Isaac Asimov." Then I took another look and realized it WAS Isaac Asimov.

During the intermission myself as well as some other fans chatted with him in the lobby. A woman walked up and took a photo of us together. Asimov asked "A friend of yours?" I told him I had no idea who she was. Years later the incident gestated into the short story "Won't You Come Home, Bill Buckley?"

In the summer of 1992 I was living in Texas and heard of somewhere that Asimov had died some months earlier. I was surprised I had missed the news initially, but I took a guess as to the reason why, and I was right.

His death came a month before the local spring election date, which is always the first Saturday in May. I was engrossed in a hot and hectic school board election, and wasn't paying attention to outside news at the time.

I won the election, by the way.

Eleven years later I attended my first s-f convention, and 13 years later I had my story "A Rocket for the Republic" published in his namesake publication.

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