May 15th, 2012 18:31 EST
Asimov's Luck: Talented Authors Who Go Unnoticed
Isaac Asimov attributed his fame and notoriety to luck, as much as talent. He was in the right places at the right times, and happened to know the right people.
Sure, indisputably, he had talent, he was a brilliant writer. Indeed, he is known as one of the greatest sci-fi authors in history.
But without luck or synchronicity, Asimov would not have been acknowledged as a Great science fiction author-- along with Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury.
In many cases, all you need is that kind of luck; no talent required. Merely someone in a place of influence to like what you wrote and get it published, distributed, publicized.
And what about all the talented authors who are not so lucky? In the eyes of the world, they do not exist; they are not `real` writers, are not successful. We only know of people like Asimov because they got attention, got noticed.
When I see voting lists and polls for awards given to authors, I cringe-- because I know the list is incomplete, biased, and therefore invalid. Worthy candidates have been omitted, the unlucky one not even considered. Just like movie and music awards.
The person who gets credit is only the one to get credit, not necessarily the one who did it first or best, or even actually did it. This is true throughout history, in every field of endeavor and enterprise.
There are many authors as deserving of attention-- if not more so, than the ones publically recognized, whom we do not hear about. In the shadows, behind the scenes, there are talented authors who will never receive any kind of fame, any kind of wide public awareness-- if any awareness. Some, because luck eludes them, others because they do not desire such attention.
Ultimately, Asimov`s luck is the key to any author`s not success, but official and public recognition.
Being noticed by the right people at the right time. Not only the right place and time in their own lives, but within history.