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Reader's Thoughts: The Foundation Series
- With the novel Foundation and its sequals, the master of the Space Operatic genre presents the epic story of the attempt by the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon and his successors to ameliorate the fall of galactic civilization and lay the seeds for a new era. Asimov's style is immensely readable, even if his characters frequently have about as much depth as a cardboard cutout. The women especially, when they are in the narrative at all, being like housewives from 1950s suburbia but with atomic-powered washing machines, and his explanation of religion is laughable.
Still, for all its datedness, this is intelligent science fiction, and the reliance more on ideas and diplomacy then on battlefleets, aliens, and ray guns, fits in quite neatly to the Orion's Arm perspective. Especially the Foundation's strategy of subversion and persuasion though out-thinking one's rivals is very like the memetic engineering of the AIs, corporations, and polities of our setting. Oh yes, and Asimov was the guy who first coined the term Encyclopedia Galactica
M Alan Kazlev BACK