Science fiction fans around the world celebrate January 2 as Science Fiction Day. It celebrates science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's official birthday.
The day was widely celebrated for the first time in 2012 and is usually known as National Science Fiction Day in the United States.
Set in the Future
The holiday focuses on a genre of literature that explores the effect of imaginary change through technological innovations, scientific discoveries, natural events and disasters and evolution on people and their relationships. Usually, works of science fiction (sci-fi) are set in the near or distant future, and unlike fantasy, sci-fi tends to stay away from the supernatural and the magical.
Part of Popular Culture
Many scholars of the genre believe that the first piece of recorded fiction - the Epic of Gilgamesh - was also the first work of science fiction. Others believe that sci-fi became a legitimate genre of fiction during the late 16th and 17th century with the emergence of modern science. Today, science fiction is a well-read genre of literature and a huge part of popular culture also in movies and TV-series.
Father of Modern-Day Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov is considered to be one of the fathers of modern-day science fiction. A prolific writer, he is thought to have edited and written about 500 books and hundreds of short stories. Considered to be one of the most influential science fiction writers of all times, Asimov is credited with coining the word robotics and for introducing the Three Laws of Robotics. While he grew up in the United States, Asimov was born in Russia sometime between October and January 1920. He officially celebrated his birthday on January 2.
How to Celebrate?
Read your favorite science fiction authors, watch science fiction movies and hold science fiction themed parties.
Attend a short story and book reading that bookstores and libraries hold to showcase the works of classic and new science fiction authors.
Encourage young readers in your life to pick up a science fiction book or short story to read.
Did You Know…
…that Asimov had a fear of flying? According to some sources, he flew on an airplane only twice in his life. In addition to being aviophobic, he was a claustrophiliac - he loved to be in enclosed places.