The lost essay of Isaac Asimov

Wednesday , 22, October 2014 13 Comments

A 1959 essay by Isaac Asimov, on creativity, is rediscovered and published at Technology Review:

The history of human thought would make it seem that there is difficulty in thinking of an idea even when all the facts are on the table. Making the cross-connection requires a certain daring. It must, for any cross-connection that does not require daring is performed at once by many and develops not as a “new idea,” but as a mere “corollary of an old idea.”

It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable. To begin with, it usually seems unreasonable. It seems the height of unreason to suppose the earth was round instead of flat, or that it moved instead of the sun, or that objects required a force to stop them when in motion, instead of a force to keep them moving, and so on.

A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others.

Consequently, the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits.

At Castalia House, we seek authors who are willing to fly in the face of the current status quo. We seek genuine creativity, not the parody of it so often unconvincingly presented as the real thing in science fiction and fantasy today.

  • Andy says:

    Please add me to new release mailing list

  • Are you willing to publish short story anthologies submitted by new authors?

  • Daniel says:

    A certain daring… or a certain obliviousness. I’ve seen genius “strike” someone and he apologized for not realizing at all that it was an unusual idea.

  • Mark says:

    I am so happy to see a company that is publishing authors who think, instead of repeat what they have been told.

  • Tom Rhodes says:

    Please add me to new release mailing list

  • Robert says:

    This is an excellent idea for a blog and I am looking forward to reading more stories in the future.

  • AJ says:

    I’m just subscribing

  • Fred says:

    Asimov had a gift for explaining things.

  • Clint says:

    I love every post on this blog. Really. I also am subscribing to the mailing list, though I was pretty darn sure I was already on it…

  • Eric says:

    Please add me to the mailing list.

  • Charlie says:

    Subscribing. Great blog, great books.

  • Don says:

    Just discovered Castalia House, though I’m already familiar with some of your authors. I’m looking forward to seeing new releases. Add me to the list.

  • Jonathan Buller says:

    Thanks, Castalia House, for your blog and the great books you publish!

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