Isaac Asimov: Sex Offender?

Asimov was a noted ass-grabber.
If he were alive today, would you attend conventions at which he was going to be present? Would you support, even participate in, his being outed as a predator? If he were still writing, would you buy his new books? Would you buy new copies of older works?

I met Asimov back in the ‘80s at an Xmas party, and I’m not surprised to learn this. He seemed like a lecherous old fuck.

I prefer Ray Bradbury’s work, even though when I met HIM I found out he had turned into a Reagan Republican in his dotage.

I’d still read either of them. You know me, I enjoy listening to Wagner, and respect his genius while admitting he was an awful human being. And John Lennon beat his first wife, but I’m not throwing away my Beatles records.

It would depend on how he responded, IMO. If he gave an honest account, explained why he was wrong, apologized, and didn’t repeat the behavior, then perhaps. If not, then I probably would try to avoid buying anything that would give him royalties.

He died in 1992 so unlikely.

He kept this part of him so secret that he published a book called “The Sensuous Dirty Old Man.” I also saw him spend his time on a panel about whether Isaac Asimov should write more science fiction telling a (not very good) story about trying to seduce Judy Lynn Benjamin (still when this happened) and failing.
I suspect today he’d own what he did and be repentant.

A family member worked in publishing back in the day and was forcibly kissed and groped by Asimov. He was gross.

I always preferred Bradbury, too.

NSFW, proceed at your own risk.

And then there was Arthur C. Clarke. (The account from Peter Troyer is about him.)

If I witnessed this, I’d pass on any conventions or whatnot, and not buy any new material. I think stuff like this should be outed now, and wish it was outed then.

Seriously, where do guys learn this? It would never occur to me to forcibly kiss strangers. What the point? It’s not like the kiss “counts”. She’s not kissing you back.

Well, shit. I had no idea. Here’s another article on the topic.

Clarke, meet MZB in the category of “authors too loathsome to ever recommend again.”

For people who don’t remember, the name on the book was Dr. “A.” at a time when Asimov’s name was quite well known. The book was published in January 1971. For anybody who still didn’t get it, an official announcement from the publisher arrived in June. It was a parody of The Sensuous Woman by “J.” who turned out to be Joan Garrity.

Speculation on Asimov is nearly impossible. He wouldn’t be the Asimov of 50 years ago, even if you postulated that he was still a fifty-year-old. People would have had time, maybe decades, to consider his behavior in the new light of the 21st century. And you also have to ask which Asimov you’re talking about. My understanding is that the worst of his behavior took place after he separated from his first wife and got toned down after he married Janet Jeppson in 1973. But all that is thirdhand gossip.

It’s been my public position here that every famous person has feet of clay. Go through the biographies of anybody and everybody and you’ll find something unacceptable or even repellent. I’m not ready to write off the entire past and all the art that ever been created. As a flawed human I make my decisions case by case based on feelings rather than standards.

If Asimov were in his full fanny-pinching and fondling personality today I wouldn’t need to out him - everyone would. How he handled the aftermath would determine what my feelings were. It’s hard enough to judge current news; hypotheticals aren’t in my pay grade.

For some people the part of the brain that deals with “Look at what you’re doing from the other person’s point of view.” is partially or completely lacking. This is especially true if they don’t view certain categories of other people as … people. So women, minorities, etc. get hit with this even more so.

Lots of tales from people running cons, speaking events and such about Asimov’s standoffish and sometimes downright mean behavior towards them. He was just looking for a check.

His own autobiographical works indicate he did inappropriate things while not realizing at all how inappropriate it was. Very creepy.

His family hid that he died from AIDS for a while and then claimed he got HIV from a transfusion. Doubts about that abound.

I’ve never encountered that bit of gossip about doubts. Can you cite some sources online?

As for his family hiding that he had AIDS, Janet Asimov offers a different take.

Well, THAT was great! Dr. A would have been so jealous!

Also, as you might have guessed, Robert Heinlein was really, really into spanking women. Consensually, one hopes.

Jesus Christ. Please, people, at least tell me there was nothing wrong with Terry Pratchett.

Pratchett used to pay amputees in heavy bondage to watch him do auto-erotic asphyxiation while wearing a Sailor Moon uniform.

Yeah, but I meant something that wasn’t widely known.

Then why did you bother to respond?

Really? I’d heard it was newborn kittens and a Nazi Field Marshall uniform, but who can say?