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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?

The current Asimov topic was chosen on the suggestion of AyushBhatt, quite haphazardly at the last minute. I thought Asimov would be an easy "in" for people to get into topic challenges with, and he's arguably underappreciated on SFF.SE with "only" 144 non-ID questions. Future topic challenges will be chosen by community votes, so come over and propose or vote on suggestions at:

Propose future topics for SFF topic challenges!

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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:

And two new answers, both by DavidW, to an old unanswered Asimov-related story-ID question on which I placed a bounty:


The highest-voted of these is When was the origin of the "Nightfall" quotation found?, with a score of 29 at the end of January.

The most viewed is What did Asimov find embarrassing about "Marooned Off Vesta”?, with approximately 5000 views during January.

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