Isaac Asimov Facts
Robert Silverberg

Isaac Asimov

Alternative Titles Essay Collections Essay Series Fantasy Stories Last Works Norby Novels Robot Stories Silverberg Novelizations Time Travel Stories Unfinished Stories Variations

Alternative Titles

Several novels (and one collection) had working titles that got changed before the publication, others were actually published under more than one title. The following list provides an overview. Non-fiction books and short stories are not included.
Year Main Title Alternative Title Comment
1950 Pebble in the Sky Grow Old with Me working title, changed before publication
1950 Pebble in the Sky Grow Old Along with Me working title, changed before publication
1950 I, Robot Mind and Iron original title, rejected by the publisher
1951 The Stars, Like Dust The Rebellious Stars paperback title (1954)
1951 The Stars, Like Dust Tyrann serialization title (1951)
1951 Foundation The 1,000 Year Plan paperback title (1955, 1962)
1952 Foundation and Empire The Man Who Upset the Universe paperback title (1963)
1953 Second Foundation 2nd Foundation: Galactic Empire paperback title (1958)
1958 A Whiff of Death Sit with Death working title, changed before publication
1958 A Whiff of Death The Death Dealers paperback title (1958)
1976 Murder at the ABA Authorised Murder UK title
1982 Foundation’s Edge Lightning Rod original title, rejected by the publisher
1982 Foundation’s Edge Foundations at Bay working title, changed before publication
1983 The Robots of Dawn The World of Dawn original title, rejected by the publisher
1992 The Ugly Little Boy Child of Time UK title

Essay Collections

The following table lists all of Asimov’s essay collections and shows how many essays of which series they contain. This overview is based on information from the Isaac Asimov Home Page, ISFDB, and my own research.
No. Title Year F & SF The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction IASFM Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine AW American Way Magazine SQ SciQuest LAT Los Angeles Times Other Total
024 Only a Trillion 1957 10 10
045 Fact and Fancy 1962 16 1 17
053 View from a Height 1963 17 17
058 Adding a Dimension 1964 17 17
064 Of Time and Space and Other Things 1965 17 17
078 From Earth to Heaven 1966 17 17
083 Is Anyone There? 1967 37 37
088 Science, Numbers and I 1968 17 17
103 The Solar System and Back 1970 18 18
109 The Stars in Their Courses 1971 17 17
119 The Left Hand of the Electron 1972 17 17
138 Today and Tomorrow and– 1973 32 32
144 The Tragedy of the Moon 1973 17 17
148 Asimov on Astronomy 1974 17 17
157 Asimov on Chemistry 1974 17 17
159 Of Matters Great and Small 1975 16 1 17
163 Science Past – Science Future 1975 42 42
171 Asimov on Physics 1976 17 17
175 The Planet That Wasn’t 1976 17 17
183 Asimov on Numbers 1977 17 17
187 The Beginning and the End 1977 23 23
193 Quasar, Quasar, Burning Bright 1978 17 17
198 Life and Time 1978 26 26
206 The Road to Infinity 1979 17 17
227 Asimov on Science Fiction 1981 22 33 55
238 The Sun Shines Bright 1981 17 17
238 Change! 1983 70 1 71
266 Counting the Eons 1983 17 17
272 The Roving Mind 1983 1 2 59 62
290 ‘X’ Stands for Unknown 1984 17 17
326 The Subatomic Monster 1985 17 17
341 The Dangers of Intelligence 1986 72 72
354 Far As Human Eye Could See 1987 17 17
357 Past, Present, and Future 1987 1 65 66
378 The Relativity of Wrong 1988 17 17
408 Asimov’s Galaxy 1989 66 66
426 The Tyrannosaurus Prescription 1989 3 19 79 101
427 Asimov on Science 1989 32 32
448 Frontiers 1990 122 122
450 Out of the Everywhere 1990 17 17
463 The Secret of the Universe 1991 17 17
505 Frontiers II 1993 124 124
508 Gold 1995 32 6 38
511 Magic 1995 4 9 7 20
Total 477 131 145 21 246 422 1442
Thereof unique 374 103 144 21 246 418 1306

Essay Series

Asimov wrote regular essays for several magazines and the LA Times. The following table provides an overview of the particular series. It also shows that a considerable number of these essays are still uncollected to this day. I created this table by evaluating the listings on the Isaac Asimov Home Page.
Series From To Collected Uncollected Total
The Magazine of F & SF 1958 1994 374 26 400
American Way 1974 1988 144 56 200
Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 1977 1992 103 82 185
SciQuest 1979 1982 21 7 28
The Los Angeles Times 1986 ca. 1992 246 12 258

Fantasy Stories

The Isaac Asimov Home Page provides a listing of Asimov’s Azazel stories, but groups his other fantasy short stories together with the science-fiction stories. I thought it would be handy though to have a listing of Asimov’s fantasy stories:
Title Written Published
Life Before Birth1 unpublished and lost 1939
The Oak1 unpublished and lost 1940
The Little Man on the Subway2 with Frederik Pohl 1941 1950
Masks1 unpublished and lost 1941
Legal Rites2 with Frederik Pohl 1941 1950
Author! Author! 1943 1964
What If— 1950 1952
Flies 1951 1953
Belief 1953 1953
Kid Stuff 1953 1953
The Last Trump 1954 1955
Gimmicks Three ca. 1956 1956
Spell My Name with an S 1957 1958
The Up-to-Date Sorcerer 1957 1958
Unto the Fourth Generation 1958 1959
The Last Answer 1979 1980
The Fable of the Three Princes n/a 1987
Prince Delightful and the Flameless Dragon n/a 1991
1: unpublished and lost
2: with Frederik Pohl
It is worth noting that in addition to these and the Azazel stories, there is one more fantasy piece by Asimov: In his youth he began writing a fantasy novel. However, it remained unfinished and is considered lost.

Last Works

After Asimov got sick, he wrote several more major books. This is described in I. Asimov, but to me it was not immediately clear in which order he worked on these books, especially since the information in I. Asimov is not strictly chronological, not complete and sometimes inconsistent. Therefore I created this graph.
The dark blue bars represent the writing periods, while the light blue bars represent the publication dates. The exact dates can be seen when hovering over the bars. In some cases the dates are estimated (marked by “ca.”), because Asimov did not always state when he started or finished a book. If the graph is not displayed correctly, then you have Javascript disabled or are using an outdated browser.
This graph only lists major works. In his last years, Asimov also wrote several minor books (e.g. for the How Did We Find Out About …? series), cooperated with Robert Silverberg on Nightfall, prepared essay collections (e.g. The Secret of the Universe), wrote essays for his regular columns and penned several more short stories.

Norby Novels

The Norby novels are credited to Janet and Isaac Asimov. The following quotes document to which extent Isaac Asimov was involved in these collaborations:
Walker & Company asked Janet to do a science fiction story for youngsters. For years, she had been revolving in her head a possible story about a conceited, lovable little robot. She now had a chance to write Norby, the Mixed-up Robot. My name was wanted on the book (for the betterment of sales, I suppose), so I went over the manuscript and polished it a bit. Again, though, it was Janet who did 90 percent of the work.
The Walkers liked the book very much and wanted more. Janet obliged and, as of this writing, she has published no fewer than nine Norby books, all published by Walker.
Isaac Asimov in I. Asimov (1994), chapter 116
I have written a considerable number of books intended for the teenage market. In fiction, there were, for instance, the Lucky Starr series, which I did as ‘Paul French,’ and the Norby series, which I do with Janet (though she does most of the work by far).
Isaac Asimov in I. Asimov (1994), chapter 158
I wrote them and Isaac read them for errors, especially scientific ones.
Janet Asimov in Notes for a Memoir (2006), chapter 9
Even the books we supposedly coauthored were written first by me. The only fiction with both our names on it was the Norby series—I showed Isaac the first drafts only after I’d completely finished them.
Janet Asimov in Notes for a Memoir (2006), chapter 15

Robot Stories

Asimov wrote 32 robot short stories. Only one of them, “Segregationist,” features neither US Robots nor the Three Laws nor the term “positronic.”
26 of these stories where collected in The Complete Robot. The remaining six stories can be found in the collections Robot Dreams (one story), Robot Visions (three stories) and Gold (two stories).
Robot References
Title Year Designation Name / Nickname Positronic Three Laws1a checkmark means that at least one of the laws was mentioned or implied US Robots
Robbie 1940 Robbie 2implicitly in the original version, explicitly in the revised version 3only in the revised version
Reason 1941 QT-1 Cutie 2implicitly in the original version, explicitly in the revised version 3only in the revised version
Liar! 1941 RB-34 Herbie
Robot AL-76 Goes Astray 1942 AL-76 Al
Runaround 1942 SPD 13 Speedy
Victory Unintentional 1942 ZZ One/Two/Three One/Two/Three 4implicitly
Catch That Rabbit 1944 DV-5 Dave
Escape! 1945 Brain
Evidence 1946 Stephen Byerley
Little Lost Robot 1947 NS-2 Nestor
Satisfaction Guaranteed 1951 TN-3 Tony
Sally 1953 Sally
Risk 1955 (unnamed)
First Law 1956 MA-2 Emma
Let’s Get Together 1957 Ralph G. Breckenridge
Galley Slave 1957 EZ-27 Easy
Lenny 1958 LNE-Prototype Lenny
Segregationist 1967 (surgeon)
Feminine Intuition 1969 JN-5 Jane
Mirror Image 1972 R. Daneel Olivaw, R. Preston, R. Idda
Light Verse 1973 Max
… That Thou Art Mindful of Him 1974 JG-9, JG-10 George Nine, George Ten
Stranger in Paradise 1974 (unnamed)
A Boy’s Best Friend 1975 Robutt
The Bicentennial Man 1976 NDR-? Andrew Martin
The Tercentenary Incident 1976 Hugo Allen Winkler
Robot Dreams 1986 LVX-1 Elvex
Christmas Without Rodney 1988 Rodney, Rambo
Too Bad! 1989 MIK-27 Mike
Robot Visions 1990 RG-32 Archie
Kid Brother 1990 Kid
Cal 1991 CL-123X Cal
1: a checkmark means that at least one of the laws was mentioned or implied
2: implicitly in the original version, explicitly in the revised version
3: only in the revised version
4: implicitly
There are several stories which I am not counting as robot stories. While “The Evitable Conflict” is clearly set in the US Robots universe, it deals with “the Machines,” which are computers, not robots. “Someday,” “Point of View,” “True Love” and “Think!” are also computer stories rather than robot stories. And finally, while robots are mentioned in “Death Sentence,” “Mother Earth,” “In a Good Cause—,” “Insert Knob A in Hole B” and “The Life and Times of Multivac,” they play only a minor role in these stories.

Silverberg Novelizations

Robert Silverberg novelized three of Asimov’s short stories. The following quotes document to which extent Asimov was involved in these collaborations.
Essentially I wrote all three books […] In all three books I made an extra effort to mimic Isaac’s style and narrative approach.
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg” (Yahoo Group), October 6, 2000

Nightfall

I said, ‘Bob, if you do this, you will have to agree to remain Asimovian. No vulgar language. No steamy sex. No excessive violence.’ Silverberg agreed readily […]
Silverberg kept to the agreement. He sent me his outline, his first draft, his final copy. I went over everything meticulously and made some changes (very few, in fact). He wrote so carefully in my style and remained so true to the concept of the story that I was ravished with pleasure. It was as though I had written it myself – only better.
Isaac Asimov in the essay Nightfall, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, September 1991
I received the extended ‘Nightfall’ manuscript from Bob. […] Bob did a wonderful job and I could almost believe I had written the whole thing myself. He remained absolutely faithful to the original story and I had very little to argue with.
Isaac Asimov in I. Asimov (1994), chapter 161
[…] with NIGHTFALL Isaac provided a lot of astronomical input, and made a few tiny textual changes […]
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” June 10, 2000

The Ugly Little Boy

Bob has already outlined his version of “The Ugly Little Boy.” I have seen that outline and approve it heartily.
Isaac Asimov in I. Asimov (1994), chapter 161
Basically I did the writing; Isaac and I conferred by phone about how to handle the new sections of the story, especially the ones that took place in the remote Neanderthal past. But he was too ill by then to take a very active role in the writing.
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” November 19, 1999
[…] on UGLY LITTLE BOY, I discussed in great detail with him the ideas I had for expanding it to novel length, and then wrote the book with very little further input from him (he was extremely pleased with the draft I showed him and made no changes) […] I wanted to call UGLY LITTLE BOY, a title I hated, CHILD OF TIME, but Isaac loved his title and insisted on it. (I changed it for the foreign editions.)
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” June 10, 2000
I wrote most of it. Isaac’s original novella is embedded within the novel just about in complete form, so if you want to figure out who wrote what, go through the book and highlight everything that comes from the original story. The rest is mine. Isaac read and approved it, but he was too ill at that point to do any of the writing himself.
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” August 24, 2004

The Positronic Man

By the time I got to the next book, THE POSITRONIC MAN, he was really sick and I doubt that he ever saw the manuscript at all. I had some queasy moments while writing it, since the book is about dying, and that’s what he was doing at the time …
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” November 19, 1999
[…] by the time I got to BICENTENNIAL MAN, which I renamed POSITRONIC to distinguish it form the underlying story, Isaac was in his final illness and the book was completely a solo effort by me.
Robert Silverberg in “The Worlds of Robert Silverberg,” June 10, 2000

Time Travel Stories

Asimov wrote the following stories dealing with time travel (including related concepts like viewing the past):
Title Year Type
The Red Queen’s Race 1949 short story
Day of the Hunters 1950 short story
Button, Button 1953 short story
The Immortal Bard 1954 short story
The End of Eternity 1955 novel
The Message 1956 short story
The Dead Past 1956 short story
Blank! 1957 short story
A Loint of Paw 1957 short story
The Ugly Little Boy 1958 short story
A Statue for Father 1959 short story
Obituary 1959 short story
Big Game 1974 short story
Birth of a Notion 1976 short story
Fair Exchange? 1978 short story
The Winds of Change 1982 short story
The Turning Point 1988 short story
The Instability 1989 short story
Robot Visions 1990 short story
I have not included “Norby and the Queen’s Necklace,” since it is practically a work by Janet Asimov. I also don’t consider “What If—” to be eligible, although it was included in the 2014 anthology The Time Traveler’s Almanac. However it is clearly an alternative universe story, not a time travel story.

Unfinished Stories

There are several novels (and at least one short story) which Asimov did not complete. In his autobiographies, he mentioned the following instances:
This information and the quotes are from In Memory Yet Green, In Joy Still Felt, I. Asimov and his essay The Story Behind the Robot Novels.

Variations

For several Asimov stories, two published versions exist. In these cases Asimov revised a story, and both the original and the revised version were eventually published. Sometimes the revisions changed the story completely, while in other cases the impact on the plot was less severe. There are also revisions where the plot was changed only insignificantly – or not at all. Here’s an overview of these stories, probably incomplete. Included are only stories where both versions were published and the revision was done by Asimov himself. The years in parentheses refer to the publication dates of the two versions.

Major Revisions

Moderate Revisions

Minor Revisions