The Foundation series is Isaac Asimov’s iconic masterpiece. Unfolding against the backdrop of a crumbling Galactic Empire, the story of Hari Seldon’s two Foundations is a lasting testament to an extraordinary imagination, one whose unprecedented scale shaped science fiction as we know it today.
The Galactic Empire has prospered for twelve thousand years. Nobody suspects that the heart of the thriving Empire is rotten, until psychohistorian Hari Seldon uses his new science to foresee its terrible fate.
Exiled to the desolate planet Terminus, Seldon establishes a colony of the greatest minds in the Empire, a Foundation which holds the key to changing the fate of the galaxy.
However, the death throes of the Empire breed hostile new enemies, and the young Foundation’s fate will be threatened first.
Review: (Video review)
Reading Foundation I felt it took me a while to get into the character of Seldon and his hesitation on arriving at the planet Terminus. Hari Seldon finds a mentor in Salvor Hardin and from then on learns the mathematical calculation for probability of outcomes. What intrigued me most with this book was the literacy, which was indeed a magnificent masterpiece of traditional English blended in with a wide vocabulary and plenty of good teachable quotes. The battles between the empires were more of a distant forewarning rather than action experienced there and then, hence it made the wait tedious. With my favourite part in any book being the tension between a forbidden love story I was much disappointed to learn that Foundation featured no romantic relationships what so ever. The main focus was on keeping the planet at peace, but the drama and terror that I would associated with war was far off. I suppose the resolve of the intergalactic war will be settled in the sequels.
Message & Moral
The message from this book was one of trying to keep peace between planets, by regarding the possibilities both from historic events and by mathematical probability. The dystopian government ruling on Terminus is trying to keep Salvor Hardin at bay by shutting him up as he preaches, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
Creatures & Environment
The characters, containing only men, were described as what I would say to be stereotypical old english gentleman with not much more to them. The planet had its technological advancements, which I suppose were more impressive when the book was first published, but had limited imagination for a story in modern time Sci-Fi.
Captivation and Continuity
As there was no romance and the war lurked only as a warning, I found it hard to stay captivated and didn’t launch in to read the sequel as soon as I finished the first instalment. I did find that the story had intriguing elements with how the author described moral decisions throughout the book, but it was more like poetry than action in my opinion.
Language & Flow
The language was gorgeous with a wide use of English vocabulary. Not only were educational words used but they were also used in a mysterious manner that would make me stop and think about their message. At times I even had to look the words’s meanings up in a dictionary.
T.M. Caruana’s Grimoire Award