Review: Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation is another book/series that I had never read but had heard great things about from people way back in the 90's. It consists of 5 short stories beginning with that of Hari Seldon who "has seen things" through his science called psychohistory which incorporates science, math, and psychology to predict the future.

I know this is a new TV show (on Apple TV I think), but I can't for the life of me figure out how they could make it into one. If they follow just one short story per season, then they would have to add a ton of filler. Likewise, you would have to change all of the actors to cover the next short story that takes place further into the future. It's either that or just mangle it for TV... Not sure which, since I have not seen it.

Before reading it, I didn't know it was a series of short stories loosely held together by the the Foundational thread and that threw me for a loop. As a complete book, the jumping around never lets the reader get established into a story thread for very long. The short stories work well enough alone but it's that jump from one to the next that is jarring.

The use of Nuclear (Nucleics) for everything down to a kitchen knife is now pretty much outdated but I can see how it was a product of its time when it was originally written in the 1940's. There are other ideas introduced that you might want to explore more of, but they are out on the periphery, and only tantalize as ideas to flesh out in your own mind.

There's a lot of politics and political talk, not much action. This is "show don't tell" in all of its glory right here. Mostly in dialogue. "Look man, that's just how it is." I love how so many old books use that exact line at some point in time. Bones from Star Trek would be proud. The dialogue is good though, so that says a lot about the writing.

The next book in the series, Foundation and Empire, I believe is comprised of only two stories so it should be more focused and structured. I may or may not add that into my current rotation of books, though I haven't quite decided yet.

2021 Book Completion Count: 8 (and 1 Novella/ Short Story)


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