Monday, November 15, 2010

Lost Asimov: "The Weapon", "Paths of Destiny", "Knossos in its Glory"

John Campbell was not the first editor to buy an Asimov story, that was Fred Pohl of Astonishing Stories with "The Callistan Menace." However, Raymond Palmer of Amazing, was the first to publish an Asimov story, "Marooned Off Vesta." He received $64 for it.

"Marooned off Vesta" appeared in the March 1939 issue of Amazing Stories, "The Callistan Menace" appeared in the April 1940 Astonishing Stories.

Asimov's third published story was "Ring around the Sun," published in Future Fiction in March, 1940.

In August 1938, Asimov was finishing his third year of college, and was trying, without success, to get into medical school. He was 17.

"The next three stories took not one month, as had the previous three, but three months. And all were clearly well below the limits of salability even in the most permissive market. They were "The Weapon," "Paths of Destiny" and "Knossos in its Glory." Campbell rejected each one in short order....

All three stories are now gone forever. I remember nothing at all two of them, but "Knossos in its Glory" was an ambitious attempt to retell the Theseus myth in science fiction terms. The minotaur was an extraterrestrial who had landed in ancient Crete with only the kindliest of intentions, and I remember writing terribly stilted prose in an attempt to make my Cretans sound as I imagined characters in Homer ought to sound." [Asimov describes the story this way in The Early Asimov, and uses the exact same paragraph to describe it in In Memory Yet Green.



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