Fantasy & Science Fiction

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Author  Story Title  Issue Date  Type  Comments
Asimov, Isaac  Science: Slave of the Lamp, The  1988 SEP  sces  fuels & fire, Part 2 of 3; liquid fuels, from melted fat or lard, to whale oil, oil, petroleum & kerosene; Part 1 in 1988 AUG(#5876), Part 3 in 1988 OCT(#5903)
   Science: Horse Under the Hood, The  1988 OCT  sces  fuels & fire, Part 3 of 3; gasoline & automobiles; the development of the automobile from the horse-pulled & the steam-driven carriages, to the gas guzzler; Part 1 in 1988 AUG(#5876), Part 2 in 1988 SEP(#5890)
   Science: Out of the Everywhere  1988 NOV  sces  electromagnetic radiation - cosmic rays, Part 1 of 2; their discovery; how cosmic rays helped physicists learn about subatomic particles, by high speed collisions; Part 2 in 1988 DEC(#5931)
   Science: Into the Here  1988 DEC  sces  electromagnetic radiation - cosmic rays, Part 2 of 2; what are cosmic rays made of?; how the study of them has led to a better understanding of the universe; Part 1 in 1988 NOV(#5916); has nf book Asimov's Chronolgy of Science and Discovery(1989)
   Science: Unforgiving Minute, The  1989 JAN  sces  time units, the minute & the second; the history of clocks, & how & why man developed & needed better ways to tell time; has nf book The Tyrannosaurus Prescription, and One Hundred Other Science Essays(1989)
   Science: Cosmic Lens, The  1989 FEB  sces  gravitational & galactic lenses; the "Einstein ring"; offers a microscope into astronomical objects & a better understanding of the universe; has nf books Asimov on Science: A 30 Year Retrospective, 1959-1989(1989)
   Science: Secret of the Universe, The  1989 MAR  sces  paradoxes, mathematical & logical; convergent & divergent series, fractional dimensions or fractals; the secret of the universe(& science) is that there are an infinite number of questions, like the paradoxes, to be answered & solved
   Science: Moon's Twin, The  1989 APR  sces  satellite Io, of Jupiter; the similarities & differences between Io and the Earth's Moon; what we have learned by spacecraft flybys; the tidal effects on satellites by their 'home' planet
   Science: Changing Distance, The  1989 MAY  sces  planet Mars; how its surface was mapped, from 'close approach' telescope views to the Martian probes; how distances change between Earth & the Moon, Sun, & Mars; perihelions & aphelions
   Science: Change of Air, A  1989 JUN  sces  planet Venus; what we have learned about it over the last 30 years; its atmosphere, surface, rate of rotation, & lack of a magnetic field; see Asimov websites at, &
   Science: Importance of Pitch, The  1989 JUL  sces  red-shift & the doppler effects, Part 1 of 2; how the pitch (of sound waves, light waves), was used to determine the size & age of the universe; the special problem of the receding galaxies; Part 2 in 1989 AUG(#6035)
   Science: Long Ago and Far Away  1989 AUG  sces  red-shift & the doppler effect, Part 2 of 2; how they were used to determine the existence of a Big Bang, the age of the Universe, to discover quasars & primeval galaxies; Part 1 in 1989 JUL(#6021)
   Science: True Rulers, The  1989 SEP  sces  bacteria; the eubacteria & archaebacteria are the true rulers of Earth; how they may have evolved to us eukaryotes; sequel to essays on microbiology in 1973 FEB-APR(#3311, 3324, 3336), but from a different angle
   Science: Nearest Star, The  1989 OCT  sces  Sun; Part 1 of 3; how our Sun was viewed, by the public & by philosophers & scientists, from ancient days to Giovanni Cassini(1671); from geocentric to heliocentric views; answers the question, "How far is the Sun?"; Part 2 & 3 in 1989 NOV & DEC
   Science: Massing the Sun  1989 NOV  sces  Sun; Part 2 of 3; answers question, "How heavy is the Sun?"; how the mass of the Sun was eventually determined; see similar essay, "The Man Who Massed the Earth" in 1969 SEP(#2823); Part 1 in 1989 OCT(#6068), Part 3 in 1989 DEC(#6099)
   Science: What Are Little Stars Made Of?  1989 DEC  sces  Sun; Part 3 of 3; answers the question, "What is the Sun made of?"; from the discovery of the spectrum & the study of light to the invention of the spectroscope; Part 1 in 1989 OCT(#6068), Part 2 in 1989 NOV(#6084)
   Science: Hot, Cold, and Con Fusion  1990 JAN  sces  cold fusion, scientific errors, honest ones; the 'discovery' of cold fusion by B. Stanley Pons & Martin Fleischmann, as announced on March 23, 1989; other errors, N-rays, polywater, Martian canals; see "The Radiation That Wasn't" in F&SF 1988 MAR(#5804)
   Science: Business As Usual  1990 FEB  sces  humanity; bartering & trade as the sign of humanity, how it developed from the earliest hominids to the use of credit & "smart" cards; has 21st coll. of F&SF science essays, Out of the Everywhere(1990)
   Science: Smashing the Sky  1990 MAR  sces  sky, & how it was viewed from ancient times to today; the sky was first viewed as a firmament, a solid sphere around the Earth; similar to, but from a different perspective, essay "Dead Center" in 1983 APR(#4966)
   Science: Worlds in Order  1990 APR  sces  solar system, in order of size from the Sun to the asteroid Ceres; has nf book Frontiers: New Discoveries About Man and His Planet, Outer Space and the Universe(1990)
   Science: Just Say "No"?  1990 MAY  sces  drugs in the U.S.; root causes of drug addiction in the U.S. & the only way for a drug-free society in the U.S. - "change society so the rich aren't as rich & the poor aren't so poor"; editor's note: responses to this essay welcome - see 1990 AUG
   Science: Salt Producers, The  1990 JUN  sces  elements, the halogens; Greek for words meaning 'salt-producers,' the halogen elements are fluorine, bromine, chlorine, astatine, & iodine; how they were discovered & their uses
   Science: At the Edge  1990 JUL  sces  solar system's edge; the possibilities of a tenth planet, the discoveries of the outer planets; recommends book Mark Littman: Planets Beyond: Discover the Outer Solar System(1988)
   Science: Greatest Conquest, The  1990 AUG  sces  evolution & life on land; how life on land began & evolved, from plants through invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, & mammals; Asimov created Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Mag. 1977 SPR-1992 OCT, Asimov's Science Fiction 1992 NOV-present (or ASI)
   Science: Target: Earth  1990 SEP  sces  meteors & meteorites; meteoric craters on Earth, the Tunguska River, Siberia, impact explosion; see essay "The Rocks of Damocles" on Earth-grazing asteroids & meteorite craters on Earth in 1966 MAR(#2324)
   Science: Out of the Typewriter, Endlessly Writing  1990 OCT  sces  personal reminiscence; how & why he is such a prolific writer, his work habits, & how his prolific writing has affected his family life; after Asimov's death, his magazine created the Isaac Asimov Award, for the best sf/f story by an undergraduate
   Science: Invention of the Devil, The  1990 NOV  sces  photography, Part 1 of 4; how photography was invented & came about, from representative cave art to camera obscura, daguerrotypes & wet plate process to George Eastman's celluloid acetate films; Parts 2, 3, & 4 in 1990-91 DEC-FEB
   Science: Trapping the Rainbow  1990 DEC  sces  photography, Part 2 of 4; the evolution of photography from black & white images to color pictures; Part 1 in 1990 NOV(#6251), Part 3 in 1991 JAN(#6279), Part 4 in 1991 FEB(#6296)
   Science: Illusion of Motion, The  1991 JAN  sces  photography, Part 3 of 4; persistence of vision & the development of moving pictures, or cinemas or movies; Part 1 in 1990 NOV, Part 2 in 1990 DEC, Part 4 in 1991 FEB; Michael A. Burstein has story "Cosmic Corkscrew" in ANA 1998 JUN in homage of Asimov
   Science: Down the Electron Stream  1991 FEB  sces  photography, Part 4 of 4; the electronic production of images - the development of the television came by way of the radio; Part 1, 2 & 3 in 1990 NOV, DEC, & 1991 JAN; see article "The First Galactic Empire, in Brooklyn," in The New Yorker, 1999 MAY 17
   Science: All Four Stanzas  1991 MAR  sces  Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem; all four stanzas, incl. the lost, or dropped, 'gloating' third stanza; has 22nd & last coll. of his F&SF science essays, The Secret of the Universe(1991); has nf book with Frederik Pohl, Our Angry Earth(1991)
   Science: Skimming the Nearest  1991 APR  sces  planet Mercury; its physical characteristics; how it compares with the inner planets & the larger satellites; what was learned from Mariner X(1973-75); see essays on Mercury, "The Seventh Planet" & "The Dance of the Sun" in 1968 MAR & APR
   Science: This Pitiless Storm  1991 MAY  sces  planet Jupiter's Great Red Spot; how it has been viewed thru history, its physical dimensions & other details; analyzing the behavior of the Spot; mysteries about the Spot; how it compares with what's been found on the other gas giants
   Science: Royal Gamma  1991 JUN  sces  electromagnetic radiation - gamma rays, the most energetic of the known photons, with high particle properties; from its discovery on Earth to its discovery in other parts of the universe, incl. the recently found 'bursters'
   Science: Legacy of Wine, The  1991 JUL  sces  enzymes, Part 1 of 2; the ferments & fermentation in history thru Louis Pasteur(1822-1895) & Edward Buchner(1860-1917); Part 2 in 1991 AUG(#6391); has colls. Gold(1995), & Magic: The Final Fantasy Collection(1995)
   Science: March of the Amino Acids, The  1991 AUG  sces  enzymes, Part 2 of 2; enzymes, the peptide chain, & amino acids; the history of the discoveries concerning amino acids & how they work; Part 1 in 1991 SEP(#6371); see iv in Science Fiction Review 1991 DEC, reprinted in AMZ 1992 OCT
   Science: Something for Nothing  1991 SEP  sces  conservation of momentum & energy, Part 1 of 2; the laws of conservation of momentum, angular momentum - how they came about historically; theories of heat; Part 2 in 1991 OCT/NOV(#6428); see obit in ANA 1992 OCT, & ASI 1992 NOV
   Science: Unchanging Amount, The  1991 OCT/NOV  sces  conservation of momentum & energy, Part 2 of 2; the conservation of energy - also known as the First Law of Thermodynamics - and entropy; the heat death of the Universe, & the Second Law of Thermodynamics; Part 1 in 1991 SEP(#6408)
   Science: Beyond Light  1991 DEC  sces  electromagnetic radiation; radio waves, infra-red waves, X-rays, ultraviolet rays, gamma rays, cosmic rays, neutrinos & gravitons - how they have been used thru history to study the universe; has nf book Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery(1994)
   Science: Star Bright  1992 JAN  sces  stars; classifying stars according to magnitude in brightness, absolute magnitude, & spectral lines; SETI chances; has autobiographies, I. Asimov: A Memoir(1994; W-1995 HUG, LOC), written mostly from his hospital bed, & It's Been a Good Life(2002)
   Science: Of Human Folly  1992 FEB  sces  superstitions, fads, follies; beliefs in Hell, Heaven, the Devil & God, ghosts, zombies, leprechauns, etc, & the "people who believe in all that nonsense"; has nf book Frontiers II: More Recent Discoveries About Life, Earth, Space, and the Universe(1993)
   Farewell—Farewell —  1992 AUG  misc  Isaac Asimov says farewell to his family, editors & publishers, & to the Gentle Readers—"they have kept me alive to the wonders of science & made it possible for me to write my essays"; please see "Isaac Asimov Remembered" in ANA 2002 JUL/AUG
   Science: Yours, Isaac Asimov  1996 JAN  ar  excerpts from the book by Isaac's younger brother, Stanley Asimov(ed): Yours, Isaac Asimov: A Lifetime of Letters, by Isaac Asimov(1995; N-1996 HUG); Isaac died April 6, 1992; his brother Stanley lived from 1929-1995, his obit is in LOC 1995 SEP(#416)
Asimov, Janet  Science: Crazy for Trees  1995 DEC  ar  trees; the evolution of trees thru geologic eras, beginning with the Paleozoic; how trees aided primate development, & now how man is destroying trees & his habitat at an astonishing rate
   Science: Language: The Most Powerful Drug  1996 FEB  ar  language, spoken & signed; its development & use by human infants, higher primates, our hominid ancestors; American Sign Language(ASL); how the brain learns languages; "words are the most powerful drug used by sentient beings"
   Science: Sounding Off  1996 MAY  ar  sound, music & noise; how the ears of mammals work; how the cerebral cortex processes signals from the auditory receptors in time; how the brain responds to & processes music; music geniuses with perfect pitch; noise pollution & noise research results
   Science: Warm and Dangerous Time, A  1996 JUL  ar  Earth's geological eras; the animals, fauna & geology of the Mesozoic Era, which incl. the Cretaceous, Jurassic & Triassic Periods; the dinosaurs & their brooding behaviors; were dinosaurs warm-blooded?; T. rex; evidence of comet or meteor impacts
   Science: Survival Technique  1996 SEP  ar  survival technique of cooperative behavior; betw. members of a species(altruism), betw. members of different species(symbiosis); from bacteria & eukaryotic cells to tunicates to voles to chimps to man; "each plant or animal cell is a study in cooperation"
   Science: Being Warm-Blooded  1997 JAN  ar  warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded, comparisons; terms used for both; how each system works, & their history on Earth; how internal temperature is maintained in w-b, & the problems of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, frostbite; hibernation, temporary heterothermy
Asimov, Janet & Isaac  Science: Essay 400—A Way of Thinking  1994 DEC  sces  science is "more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking"(Carl Sagan); excerpts from Isaac's & Janet's discussions & letters, & from his recently pub. autobiography, recording Isaac's views of what science is & what scientists are & should be

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