Monday, August 14, 2006

The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

I read Asimov for the first time only maybe 5 years ago. I haven't read much else of his and I tend not to read the classics of sci-fi. I've read mostly Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Greg Bear, Bruce Sterling, and a little Orson Scott Card. I enjoy the Gibson/Dick wing of things the most usually. I am most interested in scenarios about how humanity would/could behave in futuristic settings. I am not very interested in robots. I am not very interested in aliens. I am interested how technology can change the structure of society for good or ill. And that leads me to the Foundation Series by Gospodin Asimov.

The premise of the Foundation series is based upon the concept of psychohistory. Psychohistory is a socio-mathematical model of historical movements and its application as a predictor of the future. Psychohistory is discovered in the midst of a gigantic galactic empire that appears to be in its waning centuries. The series has many interesting observations about humanity peppered throughout the political intrigue surrounding a scientific oracle of sorts.

I'm re-reading "Prelude to Foundation" and it's fun. The writing is somewhat spartan characterization and a little more concerned with the plot. It isn't badly written, but the plots and concepts are definitely the stars of the show. I've forgotten all the twists and turns but it is very interesting. I may have to check out some of his other stuff, but for now I'm digging my Foundation.

Give it a read in ye old library if it sounds interesting.

Peace, love, and chicken grease.

Nicholas J Fingaz

4 comments:

Budd said...

I have only read Nemesis. I think it is an after foundations novel.

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Yahzi said...

Have you read Stanislaw Lem?

He has two modes - serious and funny. I like them both. I recommend "The Cyberiad" for funny and "Solaris" for serious.