FORT WORTH, Texas -- Isaac Asimov, one of the world's foremost science fiction writers, has signed his first commercial endorsement contract and will promote the high technology products of Radio Shack, a subsidiary of Tandy Corp., the writer said Thursday.
The Tandy contract follows the pattern set by other electronics companies which have sought endorsements this year from celebrities, including Bill Cosby for Texas Instruments, George Plimpton for Mattel and Dick Cavett for Apple Corp.
'But I'm not here to make myself into commercial enterprise,' the Russian-born Asimov told United Press International by telephone from his New York home. 'If the company hadn't asked me, I wouldn't have gone through with it.
'But they did ask me,' he said. 'This is my first commercial endorsement. The contract is open-ended. They can stop it or I can stop it. Or it might go on until I die or Radio Shack goes out of business.'
Asimov said he made the decision, in part, because of the similarities between a Radio Shack computer and a device described in his popular 'Foundation' trilogy published 30 years ago.
Asimov, 61, winner of numerous science and writing awards, is a professor of biochemistry at Boston College's School of Medicine.
His 244 books include the science fiction trilogy, a two-part autobiography and non-fiction guides to science, technology, the Bible and Shakespeare.
Officials at the Fort Worth-based electronics giant said Asimov's face will appear in newspaper and magazine ads and in company fliers promoting computers and stereo equipment.