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Subject: Isaac Asimov FAQ, Part 4/4
This article was archived around: Fri, 09 Feb 2001 06:46:52 GMT
Last-modified: 9 February 2001
Copyright: (c) 1994-2001 Edward J. Seiler and John H. Jenkins
Maintainer: Ed Seiler <firstname.lastname@example.org> and John H. Jenkins
6. More Than Books...
6.1 What records, audio tapes, videotapes, and software are available?
RECORDS AND AUDIO TAPES:
_Asimov_-_Science Fiction_, read by Isaac Asimov, Caedmon, New York,
1983, 33 1/3 rpm., stereo, 12 in., 1 disc, 51 mins.
_Asimov_-_Science_Fiction_, read by Isaac Asimov, Listening Library,
1985, 2 cassettes (117 mins.)
Unabridged readings of "I Just Make Them Up, See?", "Someday", "The
Feeling of Power", "Satisfaction Guaranteed", and "Living Space".
_Asimov's_Guide_to_Earth_&_Space, read by Michael Jackson, Dove Audio,
_Asimov's_Mysteries_, read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8 cassettes (480
_The_Best_of_Isaac_Asimov_, read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8
cassettes (720 mins.).
_Best_of_Science_Fiction_and_Fantasy_, Dove Audio, 1991, 4 cassettes
Unabridged reading of "Someday" plus 10 short stories by other authors.
_The_Complete_Robot_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, 17
cassettes (1530 mins.).
_The_Complete_Robot_, Random Audiobooks, 2 cassettes, 1988.
_Forward_the_Foundation_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio, (360
mins.). ISBN 0-553-47007-8
_Forward_the_Foundation_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, (1180 mins.).
_Foundation_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, 6 cassettes (360 mins.).
_Foundation_, read by Isaac Asimov, Bantam Audio, New York, 1988, 2
cassettes (180 mins.), Dolby processed. ISBN 0-553-45114-6
Abridged reading of _Foundation_.
_Foundation:_the_psychohistorians_, read by William Shatner, Caedmon,
New York, 1976, 33 1/3 rpm., stereo, 12 in., 1 disc (59 mins.).
_Foundation:_the_psychohistorians_, read by William Shatner, Caedmon
Audio Cassettes, 1984. 1 cassette. ISBN 0-898-45210-4
_Foundation:_the_psychohistorians_, read by William Shatner,
HarperAudio, 1 cassette.
_Foundation_and_Earth_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio, (180 mins.).
_Foundation_and Earth_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, (1170 mins.).
_Foundation_and_Empire:_Mule_, read by Isaac Asimov, HarperAudio, 1 cassette.
_Foundation_and_Empire_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio, 1991, 2
cassettes (180 mins.). ISBN 0-553-45261-4
_Foundation_and_Empire_, read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8 cassettes
_Foundation's_Edge_, read by Isaac Asimov, Caedmon, New York, 1982, 33
1/3 rpm., stereo, 12 in., 1 disc (62 mins.).
_Foundation's_Edge_, read by Isaac Asimov, HarperAudio, 1994, 1
cassette. ISBN 1-559-94934-1.
_Foundation's_Edge_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, 9 cassettes
_Foundation's_Edge_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio, New York, 1992,
1 cassette. ISBN 0-553-47072-8
_Favorite_Robot_Stories_From_His_Private_Library_, Dercum Press, 1991, 4
cassettes. ISBN 1-556-56120-2, 1-556-56121-0
_Here Today, Gone Tomorrow_, Dercum Press, 1991, 4 cassettes. ISBN
In_Memory_Yet_Green_, read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 20 cassettes
_Inside_Star_Trek_, Columbia, New York, 1976, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo, 12
in., 1 disc.
Includes the track "Asimov's world of science fiction".
_Isaac_Asimov_Audio_Collection_, read by Isaac Asimov and William
Shatner, Caedmon, 1994, 3 cassettes (240 mins.). ISBN 1-55994-747-0.
Unabridged reading of "Foundation: The Psychohistorians", excerpts from
"Foundation's Edge", abridged reading of "Foundation: The Mayors".
_The_Isaac_Asimov_Cassette_Library_, Random Audiobooks, 6 cassettes.
_Isaac_Asimov_Conversations_With_Writers_, Tapes Readers, 1980, 1
cassette. ISBN 9-997-01632-7.
_Isaac_Asimov_Himself_, read by Isaac Asimov, Audio Partners Publishing,
Auburn Ca., 1975, 2 cassettes (180 mins.).
Unabridged readings of "The Immortal Bard", "The Last Question",
"Someday", "The Jokester", and "The Ugly Little Boy", with anecdotes and
_Isaac_Asimov_talks:_an_interview_, Writer's Voice, Cincinnati, 1974, 1
Asimov discusses writing and his career as an author with Lois Rosenthal.
_Isaac_Asimov's_Guide_to_Earth_and_Space_, read by Michael Jackson, Dove
Audio, 1991, 4 cassettes. ISBN 1-558-00452-1
_Isaac_Asimov's_Science_Fiction_Magazine_, read by Peter Marinker and Ed
Bishop, Listen For Pleasure, Ontario Canada, 1986, 2 cassettes (120
mins.), Dolby processed.
Unabridged readings of "Strikebreaker" and "It's Such a Beautiful Day",
plus Frederik Pohl's "Soaking Up the Rays".
_Issac_[sic]_Asimov_, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, Minn., 1972, 2
cassettes (120 mins.).
Recorded Oct. 15, 1972, at the New England Conservatory of Music in
Boston. Asimov talks about his belief that the goals of the women's
movement will be achieved not through persistent attacks on
discrimination, but by social necessity demanding the rationing of
motherhood in the face of massive overpopulation.
_The_Mayors_, read by Isaac Asimov, Caedmon, New York, 1977, 33 1/3
rpm., stereo, 12 in., 1 disc (71 mins.).
_The_Mayors_, read by Isaac Asimov, HarperAudio, 1 cassette.
_The_Mule_, read by Isaac Asimov, Caedmon, New York, 1981, 33 1/3 rpm.,
stereo, 12 in., 1 disc (59 mins.).
_Murder_at_the_ABA_, read by Daniel Grace, Books on Tape, 8 cassettes
_Nightfall_, read by various performers, Conde Nast, 1976, 33 1/3 rpm.,
12 in., 1 disc.
_Nightfall_ (novel), Bookcassette Sales, 1991, 8 cassettes. ISBN 1-561-00065-5
_Nightfall_ (novel), >read by Bill Weidman, Brilliance Corp., 1991, 4
cassettes. ISBN 0-930-43571-0
_Norby_the_Mixed-Up_Robot_, read by Mark Hamill, HarperAudio, 1 cassette
_Prelude_to_Foundation_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio Publishing,
1989, 2 cassettes (180 mins.). ISBN 0-553-45162-6.
_Prelude_to_Foundation_, read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, 12
cassettes (1080 mins.).
_The_Robots_of_Dawn_, read by Isaac Asimov, HarperAudio, 1 cassette.
_The_Robots_of_Dawn_, read by Isaac Asimov, Caedmon, New York, 1983, 33
1/3 rpm., stereo, 12 in., 1 disc (51 mins.).
_Sci_Fi_Private_Eye_, Dercum Press, 1993, 4 cassettes.
_Science_Fiction_Favorites_of_Isaac Asimov_, read by Isaac Asimov,
Listening Library, 1975, 6 cassettes (288 mins.). ISBN 0-807-22928-8
Unabridged reading of "I Just Make Them Up, See"; "Someday"; "The
Feeling of Power"; "Satisfaction Guaranteed"; "Living Space"; "The Last
Question"; "Jokester"; "The Immortal Bard"; "Spell My Name With an 'S'";
"The Ugly Little Boy", with introduction.
_Second_Foundation_, read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8 cassettes (480
_Second Foundation_, read by David Dukes, Bantam Audio, 1991, 2
cassettes (180 mins.). ISBN 0-553-47015-9.
_Stories_from_The_Complete_Robot_, read by Lloyd Battista with an
introduction by Asimov, Warner Audio Pub., New York, 1985, 2 cassettes
(120 mins.), Dolby processed.
Unabridged readings of "Mirror image", "Segregationist", and "Evidence".
_Time Bride_, Durkin Hayes Pub Audio, 1980.
_Analog_Presents:_Isaac_Asimov_Visions_of_the_Future_, Quality Video,
Minneapolis, Minn., 1992 (45 mins.).
Asimov's last major interview, in which he talks about robots and
robotics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, deep space travel,
terraforming planets, artificial intelligence, and the origins of the
_Isaac_Asimov's_Robots_VCR_Mystery_Game, Eastman Kodak Company, 1988 (40
A game based on the worlds of _The_Caves_of_Steel_ and _The_Naked_Sun_,
the players watch the tape and uncover each of the six photo clue cards at
selected points in the story. At the end of the tape, each player makes
an accusation based on the clues provided. Each clue card has two sides
with different clues on each side, providing 32 possible outcomes to the
game. Clue cards are provided for four levels of difficulty; suggested
for 1 to 12 players, ages 10 and up.
_Voyage_to_the_Outer_Planets_and_Beyond_, Today Home Entertainment, 1987
A simulated video voyage through the Solar System, combining NASA and
JPL images from the Voyager space probe with a digitized recording of
Holst's "The Planets", with Isaac Asimov as host and narrator. Includes a
full color NASA brochure about the planets, and a space almanac listing
solar and lunar eclipses, occultations, and periodic comets.
_The_Complete_Stories_Volume_1, a Voyager Expanded Book, The Voyager
Company, Santa Monica, Ca., 1992, one 1.4 MB high density floppy.
Available for Macintosh and Windows. Macintosh version requires at least
system 6.0.7 and hard drive with 2.2 MB available.
The entire text of the book, including features allowing the reader to
search for every occurrence of any word, add margin comments and end
notes, highlight text, mark pages and leave bookmarks.
_The_Complete_Stories_Volume_2, A Voyager Expanded Book, The Voyager
Company, Santa Monica, Ca., 1992.
Same description as volume 1, except only available for the Macintosh.
_Isaac_Asimov_Science_Adventure_II_, Knowledge Adventure. Available for
A virtual science museum with over 150 rooms, with over 1000
illustrated, interactive, and interlinked articles by Isaac Asimov,
adapted from _Isaac_Asimov's_Chronology_of_Science_and_Discovery_.
_Isaac_Asimov's_Kayleth_, (only released in the U.K.). Available for the
A graphic adventure with a robot storyline which is not in the least
integrated into the universe of the novels.
_Isaac_Asimov's_The_Ultimate_Robot, Byron Preiss Multimedia, Microsoft
Home, CD-ROM. Available for Macintosh, requires Mac II or better, 13 in.
color monitor, System 7.0 or later, 5 MB memory, CD-ROM drive. Available
for Multimedia PC, requires a Multimedia PC or compatible, with 386SX or
higher microprocessor, 4 MB of RAM, 1-3 MB of available hard disk space,
CD-ROM drive, MPC-1 Compatible sound card, and VGA+ graphics (640x480x256
colors), MS-DOS 3.1 or later, MS Windows 3.1 or later.
Contains the text of all of Asimov's major stories and essays about
robots; illustrations of Asimov's robots by Ralph McQuarrie (production
designer of Star Wars); an interactive robot toolkit for building animated
robots; photos of many Asimov book covers; a collection of photos of
Asimov in various settings; Quicktime movies of Asimov interviews and some
of his television appearances, Quicktime clips from several motion
pictures featuring robots, including _Star_Wars_, _2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_,
and _Forbidden_Planet_; videos of real robots used in space, undersea,
offices, and labs; an animated handbook on robot movement; and a timeline
of robotic history.
_The_Robots_of_Dawn_, Epyx. Available for the Commodore 64.
A text adventure released in 1986 which is well integrated into the
world of the novels.
_Ask_Isaac_Asimov_About_Space_, Enteractive, CD-ROM. Available for
Macintosh and Windows. Macintosh version requires Macintosh LCIII or
better, 640x480 color monitor, System 7.1 or later, 8 MB RAM, 3MB hard
disk space, double-speed CD-ROM drive.
A science education CD-ROM based on the "Ask Isaac Asimov" series
published by Gareth Stevens Inc. It features Asimov (actually, an actor
portraying Asimov) appearing as a "holographic guide" in the Imperial
Library on Trantor, guiding the visitor to five different Experimental
Worlds, where Asimov engages in conversations with some of the great
astronomers of history. A "hands-on learning adventure", each
Experimental World includes an interactive experiment that teaches a
principle of science. Includes glossaries, indexes, and the complete text
from five books of the Gareth Stevens "Ask Isaac Asimov" series:
Why Do We Have Different Seasons?
What Is a Shooting Star?
Why Does the Moon Change Shape?
What Is an Eclipse?
Why Do Stars Twinkle?
_Isaac_Asimov's_Library_of_the_Universe_, Zane Publishing, 7 CD-ROM set.
Compatible with both Macintosh and Windows. Macintosh requires 68030 or
better, color monitor, system 7.0 or later, 8 MB memory, CD-ROM drive.
Windows requires 386/33 or higher microprocessor, VGA or better color
monitor, MS Windows 3.1 or later, 4 MB memory, CD_ROM drive; mouse and
sound card recommended. Based on the Gareth Stevens series "Isaac
Asimov's Library of the Universe", and contains more than 2,400 images,
255 minutes of feature presentations, questions and answers, interactive
quizzes, customized glossaries, free Webster's New World Dictionary, and
free American Concise Encyclopedia.
Consists of 7 CD-ROMS, corresponding to Gareth Stevens titles as follows:
The Solar System
Our Solar System
Comets and Meteors
The Inner Planets
Mercury: The Quick Planet
Venus: A Shrouded Mystery
Earth: Our Home Base
The Earth's Moon
Mars: Our Mysterious Neighbor
The Outer Planets
Jupiter: The Spotted Giant
Saturn: The Ringed Beauty
Uranus: The Sideways Planet
Neptune: The Farthest Giant
Pluto: A Double Planet?
How Was the Universe Born?
Our Milky Way and Other Galaxies
The Birth and Death of Stars
Quasars, Pulsars, and Black Holes
Mythology and the Universe
The Space Spotter's Guide
Rockets, Probes, and Satellites
Piloted Space Flights
Colonizing the Planets and Stars
Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs?
Science Fiction, Science Fact
Is Their Life on Other Planets?
Unidentified Flying Objects
_Robot_City_, Byron Preiss Multimedia, CD-ROM. Available for Macintosh
An adventure game based on Isaac Asimov's Robot City, in which the
player is the prime suspect when a human robotics expert has been murdered
once a secret experiment has gone wrong. The player must elude hunter
robots in a chase through a 3-D environment.
_Isaac_Asimov_Presents_Star_Traders_, Steve Jackson games.
A game of stellar cargo transportation with little relation to Asimov.
A trivia game based on Ken Fisher's Superquiz books. Cards contain 5760
general knowledge questions with answers, in three levels of difficulty,
and six categories: sports, history, science, geography, words, and
movies. A pad of score sheets is included.
*6.2 Have any of Asimov's books or stories been made into a radio production,
movie, or television series?
The Caves of Steel:
BBC Radio Play, June 1989, faithfully adapted by Bert Coules, with Ed
Bishop (UFO's Commander Straker) in the role of Elijah Baley.
Broadcast on the radio program Exploring Tomorrow, Mutual Broadcasting
System, sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, with an introduction
and narration by John W. Campbell.
The Foundation Trilogy:
BBC Radio 4, in eight one-hour installments, May 6, 1973 - June 24, 1973
X Minus One, NBC radio, December 12, 1956
X Minus One, NBC radio, September 8, 1956
Dimension X, NBC radio, September 29, 1951
Pebble in the Sky:
Dimension X, NBC radio, June 17, 1951
The movie was based on Asimov's short story "The Bicentennial Man" and
Robert Silverberg's novelization _The Positronic Man_, and was released in
the U.S. on December 17, 1999. The Touchstone Pictures production starred
Robin Williams as Andrew Martin, and was directed by Chris Columbus.
The rights to a _Foundation_ movie were purchased in 1994, but as the
_I, Robot_ experience illustrates, it remains to be seen if a film will
ever be produced and released.
A movie named _Nightfall_ was made after a group in Hollywood bought the
rights from Doubleday in the late 1980's. The movie plot had practically
no relation to the story, and by all accounts is truly and thoroughly
awful. Asimov was never consulted in the making of it, and completely
disowned any responsibility for it.
_Nightfall_ was released in 1988, starring David Birney and Sarah
Douglas; directed by Paul Mayersberg; running time 83 minutes. If you
should happen to have a chance to view it, run, don't walk, the other way.
Another version of _Nightfall_ was made and released directly to DVD in
2000, starring David Carradine and Robert Stevens, directed by Gwyneth
Libby, with a running time 85 minutes. By all accounts, it too is
An animated science fiction film from France, for which Asimov took the
original, poorly done translation to English, and reworked the translation
into good English. He did not have any part in writing the script or
story, concerning a warrior that begins an adventure into the future in a
search to discover the unseen evil force that is destroying his world.
_Light_Years_ was released in 1988; directed by Rene Laloux, running
time 79 minutes.
Asimov's work on Woody Allen's 1973 science fiction spoof was very
minor. In 1972, Asimov was asked, as an expert in science and science
fiction, to read over the script and identify any mistakes that Allen, who
knew relatively little about those subjects, might have made. Asimov, who
was a fan of Allen's, read the script and loved it, and stated flatly that
it was perfect and needed no changes. Asimov was offered the position of
technical director for the movie, but refused, since that would require a
lot of travel. Instead he recommended Ben Bova, who took the job "and did
The Ugly Little Boy:
This short story was made into a film by Encyclopedia Brittanica in the 1970s.
Star Trek - The Motion Picture:
At the request of Gene Roddenberry, Asimov provided advice for this
picture, and was listed at the very end of the credits as the Science
In August 1967, John Mantley, the producer of the television show
"Gunsmoke" expressed interest in Asimov's robot stories, and paid for
option rights. The option was renewed every year for the next twelve
years until finally the rights to produce a movie were bought. After
Asimov refused to do the screen adaptation, Harlan Ellison was hired, and
though he wrote a screenplay in that Asimov was greatly pleased with, the
movie was never made. Ellison tells the story of his battle with
Hollywood in the introduction to _I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay_,
published in December 1994.
Rather than an Asimov story made into a movie, FV is a movie for which
Asimov wrote a novelization of the screenplay. Initially he considered
such a project as beneath his dignity, but then warmed to the idea once he
realized that he could include a lot of anatomy and physiology. In his
book he tried to correct some of the most glaring flaws in the screenplay,
but nevertheless felt uncomfortable about the whole idea of
miniaturization. (His dissatisfaction eventually led him to write
_Fantastic_Voyage_II_.) Asimov wrote so much faster than the movie was
produced that the book came out half a year before the movie was released,
giving the mistaken impression that the movie was based on the book. He
is not listed in the credits of the movie because he had no part in its
_Fantastic_Voyage_ was released in 1966, starring Raquel Welch, Edmond
O'Brien, and Donald Pleasance; directed by Richard Fleischer; running time
In September of 1946, Asimov sold the movie, radio, and television
rights to the short story "Evidence" for $250 to Hollywood director Orson
Welles. Welles never made a movie from the story.
The Android Affair:
This is a made-for-cable movie first broadcast by the USA cable channel
in April 1995, and advertised as being "based on a story by Isaac
Asimov". In fact, Asimov's involvement was slight -- the actual
screenplay was based on a shorter film, and Asimov was given co-credit for
the story of the shorter work. In particular, the plot is not based on
any of Asimov's published work and involves some very non-Asimovian
androids, who are not positronic and gleefully lack the First Law.
Asimov was credited as adviser and co-creator of this television series,
which lasted for a 2-hour pilot and six 1-hour episodes on ABC in 1988
before a writer's strike came along and ended the series. It starred
Parker Stevenson as brilliant young scientist Austin James, who owned his
own high-tech think tank consulting firm, and used his scientific
expertise to solve baffling crimes as a sort of modern day Sherlock
A science fiction television series starring Andy Griffith which aired
on ABC in 1979, for which Asimov served as a science adviser. Griffith
played Harry Broderick, a scrap and salvage man who undertook such
adventures as building a rocket that took him to the moon to collect
abandoned space hardware, moving an iceberg from the North Pole to provide
water for a drought-stricken island, and pumping oil from dried-out wells.
Out of the Unknown:
Six of Asimov's stories were used for episodes of this British TV
anthology series, which ran on the BBC in the U.K. for 25 episodes from
1965 to 1966, and for a third season of 13 episodes in 1969. "The Dead
Past" and "Sucker Bait" appeared in the first season in 1965;
"Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Reason" (retitled "The Prophet") in the
second season (1966); and both "Liar!" and "The Naked Sun" ran during the
third season in 1969.
Many of these episodes no longer exist in the BBC's film archives. The
only complete episodes remaining are "The Dead Past" and "Sucker Bait". A
few clips from "Liar!" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed" have also survived,
and turn up from time to time in documentaries about Asimovs work.
Asimov presented an episode titled "Robot", about developments in
robotics, in December 1967 as part of the BBC documentary series "Towards
Tomorrow". This is thought to be the original source of surviving clips
from the Out of the Unknown teleplay "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and the BBC
teleplay of "Caves of Steel".
In the UK, a BBC documentary series hosted by Gillian Anderson titled
"Future Fantastic" was broadcast in 1997. One particular edition was
titled "I, Robot", and focused a great deal on Asimov's work. It also
contained some of the rare clips from "Liar!" and "The Caves of Steel".
The Caves of Steel
BBC 2 did a production of _The Caves of Steel_ that was broadcast as
part of "Story Parade" on June 5, 1964 and repeated on August 28, 1964.
The teleplay was by Terry Nation (who invented "Blake's 7" and the Daleks
in Dr. Who), and Elijah Baley was played by the late Peter Cushing. It
also starred John Carson and Kenneth J. Warren. The master tapes of the
program were erased, however a few clips from the production have turned
up in various documentaries about Asimov's work.
Little Lost Robot
The story "Little Lost Robot" was made as an episode of the British
anthology series "Out of This World", produced by ABC television in 1962.
This series is commonly confused with the later BBC series "Out of the
Unknown". "Out of This World" ran for thirteen episodes, and like the
later BBC series, it presented adaptations of famous SF works as well as
original teleplays. (It was script-edited by Irene Shubik, who also
script-edited the 1964 BBC version of "The Caves of Steel", and both
produced and script-edited "Out of the Unknown"). The adaptation of
"Little Lost Robot" is the only known surviving example of the Out of This
World series, the other episodes having been erased by ABC many years ago.