Jan 20, 12
Read in January, 2012
I can't help but be disappointed with what I've read of the Foundation trilogy. Lauded far and wide as an amazing work of Science Fiction, it falls short, for me, as literature. I would call it a very interesting concept and intriguing story, in-artfully written. The central characters all seem to follow the same arc; they progress from a phase in which they strongly suspect a Sheldon Crisis is incoming, despite the doubts of their intellectual inferiors, to one of nearly smug superiority- safe in their understanding of their eventual victory.
The main characters seem to speak with nearly the same voice. Hardin Salvor and Hober Mallow are simply too similar and as each one understands the nature of psychohistory- they move from sounding like Hari Sheldon more and more. How odd it is when Barr or Riose comment on the archaism of another's speach when they speak virtually identical to each other.
More pressing, however, is how unrealistically impressive each Sheldon Crisis hero is. The first thought that came to mind was one often found in reviews of Ayn Rand's books, in that the heroes are impossibly awesome and always correct. Not until the final pages concerning Mallow did we even see a hint of these characters being less that always spot-on. If I had a planet full of these always-awesome always-right ubermen, you wouldn't need a grand science to predict us taking control of the known universe.
The story is very interesting and I feel as if I've delving into a sci-fi legend when I read it. However, after reading stories like The Virgin Suicides it is hard to find Foundation's prose anything but dry and sterile.