First published in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction (February 1958 issue) by Isaac Asimov. This Narrative Poem comes from the way people would ask where Dr Asimov got his ideas for writing, and his response is given in the title of the work.
The first and second stanzas have a fan calling out to Dr Asimov to gain his attention so that they can ask him to share his inspiration for writing.
Each successive stanza has the fan suggest a different mind-altering substance, making it clear that the fan assumes writing like Dr Asimov does requires some sort of indigestion or marijuana to provide the required inspiration.
While the end of the poem implies that "Dr. A." just walks away, ignoring as the fan calls out to him, the question is answered in the title.
"I Just Make Them Up, See!" was republished three times; Nine Tomorrows (1959), The Best Science Fiction Of Isaac Asimov (1986), and The Complete Stories, Volume 1 (1990).
"I Just Make Them Up, See!" provides examples of:
- Acid Reflux Nightmare: One of the assumed answers to the question of where Dr Asimov derives inspiration for his work is that indigestion is causing him nightmares that he turns into stories.
- Affectionate Nickname: This poem refers to Isaac Asimov as "Dr. A.", which helps to characterize the fan as someone familiar with his published work. Isaac Asimov would later use this nickname as a Pen Name.
- Book Ends: This poem starts and ends with the fan whose dialogue forms the story trying to gain Dr Asimov's attention.Oh, Dr. A. -
Oh, Dr. A. -
There is something (don't go 'way)
Now, Dr. A., Don't go away-
Oh, Dr. A. -
Oh, Dr. A. -
- Central Theme: Where does creativity come from?
- Character Narrator: A random fan obsessing over Dr Asimov provides a running monologue for this story. The answer that the fan appears to be ignoring is in the title.
- Driving Question: An unnamed fan is asking Dr Asimov "What sort of drugs do you use to inspire your storytelling (and where can I get some)?"
- Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue: None of Isaac Asimov, the fan, nor the setting are described because none of it is relevant to asking the Driving Question; "How on earth [does Dr Asimov] give birth to those crazy and impossible ideas?"
- Excited Show Title!
- Funetik Aksent: This poem is written with a few of the words spelled the way they would sound if you read them aloud rather than using proper English, such as "feel o'" rather than "feeling of" or "go 'way" instead of "go away". The accent is included to help the reader know how to follow the rhythm and rhyme.
- Have a Gay Old Time: The unnamed fan refers to Dr Asimov as "fey, and quite outré". In modern reading, that could imply that he is a flashy homosexual, but here it means that his writing is fun to read and isn't cliched.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: A fan asks Dr Asimov to share what "drugs" he uses for storytelling inspiration. Several possibilities are named, such as indigestion, alcohol, and marijuana. Others are left unnamed, simply being described as a potion or mixture.
- Inspiration for the Work: [In-Universe] An unnamed fan asks Dr Asimov where he gets his writing inspiration, expecting anything from bad food to illegal drugs to be the common denominator. The title denies that any such stimulation is required.
- Long Speech Tea Time: This poem comes from a random fan meeting with Dr Asimov; they ask where Dr Asimov finds his inspiration to write, but keep offering suggestions to their own question. The trailing call of "Oh, Dr. A. - Oh, Dr. A. -" as well as the spacing of the lines, imply that Isaac Asimov just walked off while the fan wanted to keep asking what inspires his stories?
- Minimalist Cast: It's common for Poetry to use only one character, or even less. Narrative Poems tend to have more characters, but in this poem, it's limited to an unnamed fan and Dr A.
- No Name Given: The fan whose excessive talking forms the basis of this poem is never named (they don't introduce themselves to Isaac Asimov).
- Questioning Title?: This work is an inversion because the poem is asking Dr Asimov a question, and he gives the answer in the title.
- Science Cocktail: This poem guesses at some sort of insane bubbling potion that inspires Dr Asimov's storytelling.