As the year 1984 approaches, science fiction author Isaac Asimov is invited to take part in a unique project. Thirty-five years earlier, you see, George Orwell’s 1984 had predicted that the ’80s would take place in a dystopian landscape. So now Asimov will actually begin to imagine what the world might be like in 2019 – and some of his visions still ring terrifyingly true.
Born in the Russian region of Smolensk Oblast in 1920, Asimov emigrated to America with his family at the age of three. Then, some three years after they’d arrived, his parents purchased a little candy store. The family would buy and sell at least three more candy stores, too, and it was reportedly the newspapers stocked in these establishments that kickstarted Asimov’s love of writing.
Yet the future writer’s early adventures in studying didn’t officially involve the creative arts. After attending public schools, in fact, Asimov earned a scholarship to Seth Low Junior College, an offshoot of New York’s Columbia University. And there, he began studying zoology – although a gruesome dissection soon inspired him to switch to chemistry. Asimov even completed a Ph.D. in 1948 in the latter subject.