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Literature / The Foundation of S.F. Success

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First published in The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction (October 1954 issue), this poem by Isaac Asimov is a humorous take on his success in Science Fiction.

Presented in AABB rhyming structure, the poem is also a Homage to Sir William Schwenck Gilbert's poetic style. It borrows heavily from "If you're anxious for to shine", written for Patience. In this work, Dr Asimov presents advice on writing Science Fiction. The advice reflects on his success with the Foundation Series, claiming it comes mostly from using nonsense scientific terms, stealing ideas from other places, and clever male characters.

Another poem written by Isaac Asimov with a similar theme was "How To Succeed At Science Fiction Without Really Trying".

This poem has been reprinted several times; The Best From Fantasy And Science Fiction: Fourth Series (1955), Earth is Room Enough (1957), The Far Ends Of Time And Earth (1979), The Eureka Years (1982), The Best Science Fiction Of Isaac Asimov (1986), The Complete Stories, Volume 1 (1990), and Asimov Laughs Again (1992).

Examples of tropes within this work: