Re: Asimov

Subject: Re: Asimov
From: Kathy Moore <kkm -at- IRIS132 -dot- BIOSYM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 10:14:28 -0800

"David Blyth @second" <dsb -at- ALSYS -dot- COM> wrote:

<<I was quite surprised when several writers recommended Asimov.
Perhaps his style improved with age, as I'm more familiar with
his earlier works.

<<IMHO, I thought Asimov was verbose, forced, and far too Cute (but
usually informative, which is why I struggled through it anyway).
[much deleted]>>

To which I reply:

I know what you mean about Asmiov's ego being prominent--
read some autobiographical material of his, and it is
positively unavoidable. I must admit, however, that while
I found it noticeable with some frequency, I only occasionally
found it objectionable. I think in part this is because I read
him, at an early age, as a fiction author first, then as a
columnist, and later as more of a purely expository writer. In
the columnist mode, especially, I prefer a more conversational
tone, which wouldn't be particularly appropriate in my manuals.
Beyond his tone or attitude, however, I was always so thoroughly
impressed by his clarity of technical presentation that other
concerns were secondary.

Perhaps he would be good fodder for a tech writing exercise in a
class-- can you write something with as much clarity and
entertainment, without injecting an objectionable amount of
personality or ego...

I respect your objections to his style, but I still admire him, and
aspire to match his clarity.

Kathy Kearney Moore kkm -at- biosym -dot- com
Technical Writer Phone: 619-458-9990
Biosym Technologies Fax: 619-458-0136

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