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Welcome to 2021, a new year with new possibilities for SFF.SE. As the site approaches its tenth birthday this month, I'm happy to announce the first of a brand-new series of topic challenges, encouraging the site's community to take part together in asking and answering questions on a particular topic each month. The first topic challenge is going to be devoted to one of the most famous sci-fi authors of them all, whose 101st birthday is also this month:

the works of Isaac Asimov.



What's a topic challenge and how do I take part?

See Announcing a Topic Challenge program for SFF.SE, and also this main meta post. In short, during January 2021 we should all try to: either read some works of Asimov and ask interesting questions about them, or ask questions about Asimov stories we've read before, or help out by answering other people's Asimov questions.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. We'll keep a list of all Asimov questions asked during January 2021 in an answer to this meta post. At the end of the month, I'll collate some data like highest-scoring question, most-viewed question, highest-scoring answer, etc. There won't be any real-world rewards like in the old days when Stack Exchange was smaller and more generous. There might be bounties though ...

Useful Asimov-related resources include:

  • Asimov Online, "a comprehensive collection of resources pertaining to Isaac Asimov".
  • Free SF Online, an (incomplete?) list of Asimov stories freely and legally available online.
  • feel free to edit this meta post and add more stuff here

What's next?

I'm going to create another meta post soon to call for proposals for future topic challenges. There, you'll be able to suggest more topics (to be chosen in future months according to votes) and vote on existing suggestions. (The current Asimov topic was chosen on the suggestion of AyushBhatt, quite haphazardly at the last minute. In general, topic challenges should promote underappreciated topics for this site, but I thought Asimov would be an easy "in" for people to get into topic challenges with, and he's arguably underappreciated with "only" 144 non-ID questions.) Watch this space! Coming very soon to a meta near you.

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List of all questions posted as part of this topic challenge

Plus ID questions which don't mention Asimov but whose answers turned out to be Asimov stories:


The highest-voted of these is [question URL], with a score of TBD at the end of January.

The most viewed is [question URL], with approximately TBD views during January.

  • Approximately TBD views? – Valorum Jan 9 at 22:22
  • @Valorum Yes, we can fill in the figures at the end of the month. – Rand al'Thor Jan 9 at 22:46
  • I was wondering why it would be approximate – Valorum Jan 9 at 23:51
  • @Valorum Because we probably won't do it at exactly 00:00 UTC on 31 Jan / 1 Feb. If a question has 483 views on the morning of 1 Feb, we might say "approximately 480 views", avoiding false precision. – Rand al'Thor Jan 10 at 8:54

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