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How much was Isaac Asimov involved in Asimov's Magazine?

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Sheila Williams has been editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine since 2004 — but she's been involved with the magazine for 31 years, since she came on board as an editorial assistant. Talking to Locus Magazine, she reminisces about working with Isaac Asimov himself at the magazine that bore his name.

Says Williams:

I ended up becoming very close to Isaac. It was a wonderful part of my life. He'd come in on Tuesday mornings to drop off an editorial or a letters column, or he'd just sit and chat. He would stay about 20 minutes, half an hour at the most. He'd also make the rounds to Doubleday that same morning. He was a joy – so much fun. Usually he was in a great mood and was very funny. Sometimes he'd be down, but he always enjoyed coming in to see us. He'd perk up when he talked with us.

Isaac never wanted to be editorial director. He was clear that editors would be hired who knew their jobs, and he did not want to be involved in the process of purchasing material. On rare occasions, Shawna would give him some stories to read that she thought were way over the edge. He would almost always say, 'I think we should go ahead.' I think once or twice he said, 'This might really be questionable.' And she wouldn't buy them. She did not have to do that. He was a wonderful sounding board, but he wasn't making final decisions.


There's tons more fascinating stuff at the link, and even more in the print magazine. [Locus]