What Was the Hardest Book for Isaac Asimov to Write?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 12, 2009 in Pulp Fiction, Tech |

Isaac Asimov

Talking to my old friend Marc Thorner I got an interesting insight on legendary author Isaac Asimov: It seems that as a younger fanboy he was professing his admiration to Asimov for one of his lesser known treasures An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule which was written in 1965. Asimov then confided to my friend that it was the hardest book that he ever wrote. This is somewhat shocking given the sheer range of subject matter that Asimov tackled — every subject from Lecherous Limericks to a complete guide to the works of Shakespeare! Asimov’s reason for the difficulty? It seems that the book was very graphics intense and required a great deal of input into the illustrations. Here are two covers from this classic:

An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule by Isaac Asimov from 1965

An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule by Isaac Asimov from 1965

Here’s the publishers blurb on the book:

A computer in your pocket… In this book, Professor Asimov, noted scientist, teacher, and author, introduces the reader tothe delights of the slide rule. “A slide rule,” he says, “doesn’t seem as impressive as a giant electronic computer, but it has many advantages. It is small enough to put in your pocket, it need not cost more than a couple of dollars, it can’t go out of order, and, best of all, it can solve almost any numerical problem that you meet up with under ordinary circumstances. To add to all that, it is simple to operate. If you know grade-school arithmetic, you can use a slide rule, even though you may not quite see how it works!”

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