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Isaac Asimov and Dewey

Dewey Decimal Challenge

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1fundevogel
Edited: May 20, 2010, 2:27am Top

Isaac Asimov holds the enviable title of being the only author to have written at least one book for each dewey class. I figured if anybody might be impressed by that it would be you guys. I'm not going to go out of my way to read Asimov books for the challenge (I've got my own thing going seeing how many different dewey sections I can fill with Russell) but I'd like to read him for at least one section since he went to the trouble of writing so many books.

And so I salute Isaac for writing a ridiculous number of books (of which this is just a fraction):

001 Unidentified Flying Objects
081 The Roving Mind
081 Opus
081 Past, Present and Future

150 The Human Brain: Its Capacities and Functions

213 In the Beginning: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis
220 Asimov's Guide to the Bible
222 Words from the Exodus

304 Earth, Our Crowded Spaceship
363 Space garbage

422 Words From History
422 Words From the Myths

500 Asimov on science: a 30-year retrospective
500 Dangers of Intelligence and Other Science Essays
501 Words of Science
508 Of Time and Space and Other Things
508 Fact and Fancy
509 Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
510 An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule
512 Asimov on Numbers
512 Realm of Algebra
513 Realm of Numbers
520 The Relativity of Wrong
520 Asimov On Astronomy
520 Ancient astronomy (Isaac Asimov's library of the universe)
520 Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space
522 Eyes on the universe: A history of the telescope
523 Universe from Flat Earth to Quasar
525 Earth: Our Home Base
529 Clock We Live on
530 Asimov on Physics
539 Inside the atom
540 A Short History of Chemistry
540 Asimov on Chemistry
546 Building Blocks of the Universe
546 The search for the elements
547 World of Carbon
547 The world of nitrogen
550 The Ends of the Earth: The Polar Regions of the World
567 Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs?
574 Extraterrestrial Civilizations
574 Is There Life on Other Planets?
575 The Genetic Code
577 Beginnings: The Story of Origins

612 The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation
612 Life and Energy
612 Bloodstream: River of Life
629 ROCKETS, PROBES AND SATELLITES

782 Asimov's Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan

811 Lecherous Limericks
811 Limericks: Too Gross
814 The Tyrannosaurus Prescription
818 The Sensuous Dirty Old Man
822 Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare

900 The Dark Ages
902 Asimov's Chronology of the World
919 Colonizing the planets and stars
932 The Egyptians
937 The Roman Republic
938 The Greeks; A Great Adventure
942 The Shaping of England
944 The shaping of France
949 Constantinople: The Forgotten Empire
956 The Near East; 10,000 years of history
970 The Shaping of North America from Earliest Times to 1763
973 The Birth of the United States1763 1816

2carlym
May 20, 2010, 11:33am Top

That is pretty awesome!

3varielle
May 20, 2010, 11:45am Top

I don't suppose he had some sort of OCD obsession which caused him to try and tackle Mr. Dewey did he? Is there any other author who can compare with this scope?

4Nickelini
May 20, 2010, 11:55am Top

Wow. And I'm equally impressed that you got all the touchstones working. Well done.

5_Zoe_
May 20, 2010, 11:57am Top

I'm definitely impressed!

6fundevogel
May 20, 2010, 1:18pm Top

I don't know how he came to fill every class. I'm guessing it just happened with writing a metric ton of books, a decent percentage of which are non fiction. It seems like a lot of his books were compiled later from essays he wrote for magazines (probably with a lot of overlap) and I suspect there are a fair number of children's books in his repertoire. The thing is there are still well over 1000 books on his Library Thing page. It's hard to imagine one person writing so much, even when you account for collections and childrens books. It makes me wonder if he had a lot of assistance.

7lorax
May 20, 2010, 1:22pm Top

fundevogel, Asimov's LT page includes a huge number of short stories, including some uncombined translations; a number of anthologies he edited; lots of overlapping anthologies; and probably some individually-listed non-fiction essays, as well. Prolific, but not as much so as you'd think if you naively assumed all the entries to be distinct book-length works.

8fundevogel
May 20, 2010, 1:27pm Top

I remember the short works, I just forgot to mention them. It's still a staggering number of books though. One I still suspect would be very high for any author.

9scout13fox11A
Jun 24, 2013, 2:24pm Top

He only covered 9 areas.

The Human Brain doesn't go in the Philosophy section.

10NielsenGW
Jun 24, 2013, 2:59pm Top

It's true -- The Human Brain needs to move to DDC 612.

The closest Asimov ever came to a book in the 100s was a book entitled Psychology Today by Jay Braun and Darwyn Linder. Poor ol' Isaac was relegated to writing all the chapter introductions and didn't merit full co-author status. He also wrote a foreword for In Pursuit of Truth, a philosophy festschrift.

11mkboylan
Jun 25, 2013, 11:38pm Top

This is such fun!

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