July 14, 2014

Foundation by Isaac Asimov - Book Review

I am fascinated by old(er) Science Fiction. I am aware that some of it can be extremely dated. There are some aspects and terminology, that we now know is simply non-sensical. But I still find these books to be quite interesting.

I am drawn to books by authors that have almost defined the genre. Names that get tossed around by the best of the new authors as one who inspired them. Isaac Asimov is one of those names and The Foundation Series belongs to those books that could be considered classics in their area.

In the front leaf of the first book of The Foundation Series, we can read:
Three great classics from the annals of science fiction - Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation - describe the events which transpire over a period of more than a thousand years, resulting in the erection of an ideal universal ruling corporation.  
In Foundation, Isaac Asimov draws a compelling portrait of the Foundation's embryonic development and rise to peripheral power - domination of kingdoms on the outskirts of the Galaxy.
Unlike most books that I have encountered, there is no real attempt to stick with one or two main characters throughout the series. In fact, even in the first book, there are several smaller stories that deal with different "crises" in the timeline of the Foundation... the Foundation being the establishment of a small colony at the far edges of the Milky Way Galaxy, planted there by a scientist attempting to shorten the "dark ages" between Galaxy-Wide Empires.

The book is very grand in it's scale, and I can already see in it inspirations that may have impacted others in the broader scope of popular SciFi movies and television. I can also tell that Asimov has drawn from Earth's own history in the ideas of the rise and fall of empires and the ages that span between these conglomerations of people and technological advances.

Even though the book is broken into smaller stories with different characters, I didn't feel disconnected from the flow of events. Quite often when a book is broken up, if there isn't at least one main character to hold my devotion, I can tend to walk away from the book. With Asimov, he introduces you to the new characters quickly enough to draw you in. I also began to feel like the foundation itself and the "history" of this galaxy became the central characters.

If you are into SciFi and you also have an appreciation for things that were once new, then I would like to encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and give it a read. With the links provided in this blog post, you can get to an Amazon Kindle copy that is only around $4.99 with links to New and Used Foundation Paperbacks for even cheaper.