I just finished reading Volume 1 of the Complete Stories of Isaac Asimov on Saturday. 600 pages of Asimov's shorts stories, and it's not even all of them. There's a second volume somewhere I need to pick up. Mind-blowing how much there is, but not surprising considering he was one of the most prolific authors ever. I've read a few of his novels before: Caves of Steel and Nemesis. I greatly enjoyed the first, while the latter had some high points and low points. I would have said I enjoyed his work, but he wasn't one of my top authors. I admired him, certainly. He's one of the only authors to have published books in every dewey decimal, if not the only one. Science fiction and, really, modern technology are the way they are today because of him. I deeply admired him, yes, but I wouldn't have said he was one of my favorites.
What a change one book can make. While the two I read before were enjoyable, they didn't even begin to scratch the surface of the complete brilliance of Asimov, and I suddenly understand WHY he's so highly spoken of. I thought I had an active muse, that I had a lot of ideas. I realize now I have nothing on him. Asimov asked "what if..." at every little thing, and he made it work. He took the simplest of ideas and made a story around it. I keep trying to come up with other words to describe it, but I just keep sticking on "brilliant" because that's what it is. Pure brilliance.
So now I'm at that place. You know, when you find a new favorite author and all you want to do is find everything they've written and read it. I at least need to get through some more of his robot stories: I, Robot and the like. And knowing how much Asmiov's written, I know I've got a long path ahead of me. I'm looking forward to it.