Monday, February 20, 2017

The mysteries of Isaac Asimov.

My essay "'I Write Christie': The Mysteries of Isaac Asimov" has been published in Salem Press's Critical Insights: Isaac Asimov edited by M. Keith Booker (U-Arkansas). It assesses Asimov's mystery fiction, as there is little critical work on this area of Asimov's oeuvre (aside from his science fiction mysteries with detective Elijah Baley and robot R. Daneel Olivaw). The essay looks at Asimov's vastly underrated debut mystery novel, The Death Dealers (aka A Whiff of Death, rooted in his graduate school experiences at Columbia); Murder at the ABA (with a protagonist based on sci-fi author Harlan Ellison); Black Widowers mystery short stories (with characters modeled on other sci-fi writers); Union Club short stories (with an Asimov alter ego); the Baley-Daneel series; children's mysteries; and assorted other stories. Asimov was a Golden Age mystery fan, and his puzzle mysteries reflect this tradition.

Check out the table of contents.

2 comments:

sharan newman said...

I'm glad that his mysteries are getting some critical attention. Much of his science fiction also had a mystery element.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

His mysteries are too often dismissed as gimmicky when there is a lot of substance to his work (e.g., the extensive commentary on racism in the sci-fi mysteries). Read "Obituary," which deals with spousal abuse.