It’s the birthday of the man who brought us Conan the Barbarian, science fiction author Robert E. Howard, who was born in Peaster, Texas on this day in 1906. If you’re from Texas, or just passing through, you can find out more about him at the Crossplains Robert E. Howard Museum. If you can’t make that, you can read more about him at the Wikipedia.
It’s the birthday of one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, Isaac Asimov, who was born in Petrovichi, Russia in 1920. He came with his family to the United States when he was three years old and his parents opened a candy shop in Brooklyn. Issac grew up to become a professor of biochemistry at the Boston University School of medicine and in 1950 he published his first novel Pebble in the Sky.
About the same time Asimov took part in writing a textbook for medical students and he found that he loved explaining complicated things in ordinary language, and so he set out to write about science for the general public, in language they would understand. He said, “Little by little my science writing swallowed up the rest of me.”
Asimov developed a regimen of working ten hours a day, seven days a week, producing between two and five thousand words a day. Asimov’s method was to write a book about any subject that interested him but which he didn’t fully understand. He used writing as a way of teaching himself about everything.
By 1970 Asimov had written more than a hundred books and he began branching out into areas other than science. He wrote about nuclear physics and organic chemistry, history, Greek mythology, astronomy, religion, in addition to his collections of limericks, mystery novels, autobiography and science fiction. By the time of his death in 1992 he had published more than 400 books.