zondag 27 september 2015

Isaac Asimov: Foundation


This is my review of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. This book is made up as a cycle of five interrelated short stories. And these are part of the series called the Foundation Series.
my book has 296 pages and I got it from The Book Depository.

“For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future -- to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire -- both scientists and scholars -- and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun -- or fight them and be destroyed.”

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had read the two novels before this one. Some readers and critics see Foundation as the first novel in the series; others think this is the third novel.
So I’ll order Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation and see how I’ll like it then before going on with it.

This is a very enjoyable, easy and entertaining read.
It seems full of action and adventure, but it all happens out of view and that makes it rather boring at times. But not overly dull because it stays entertaining throughout.
It’s very well written with understandable prose and an easy to follow structure.
Very political in its setup but those are some of the more interesting parts.

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." This can be seen as the major theme throughout every story. And by means of manipulation and lies each protagonist succeeds in getting what he (always a man) wants.

The characters aren’t that well drawn out. I would have loved to get to know them better. But that’s partly due to the original setup of the separate short stories I think.
A writer has to show the story instead of telling it. In this case, Asimov relies too much on dialogue and instead of showing us what happens he glosses over it.
And the whole world is too much ‘today’ even though it is set in the far future. It’s in space, but other than that there aren’t that many differences between our world, here and now and these future worlds. And I find that a bit hard to believe.

In my opinion this is a very enjoyable read, but it does have its flaws.
I definitely feel like I would need to reread this after the two preludes if I want to continue the series.

Happy reading.

Time to enjoy these two!