Pierre's Reviews > Psychohistorical Crisis

Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury
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M_50x66
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Aug 05, 08


This book is in my top three and is by far the best science fiction book I've ever read. It's an homage to Asimov galactic empire series and is, as far as I'm concerned, far better than anything Asimov ever did. It is set well after the establishment of the second galactic empire and the universe is ruled by the mathematics of "psychohistory." Of course, since this is "only" an homage to Asimov the book isn't actually set in the Asimov universe - there are differences, especially with the later books of Asimov's series (which were all rather cheesy and silly in my opinion anyway.)

There is just something about the prose that I loved, it was both humorous and concise. For example, some of the names have changed, The Mule becomes the much more colorful Clown the Stubborn. Likewise Trantor becomes Splendid Wisdom. One has to look out for these alterations and not be to upset by them. There are a wide rage of human societies, all part of the second galactic empire, that are described, and each society had its own (amusing and enjoyable) quarks. Also, mathematics played a central role in the book and a few parts got rather involved, which is probably one of the main reasons this book doesn't usually get better reviews. Of course, I'm a mathematician (as is the author) and the role mathematics plays is a major reason I love the book. But the really mathy parts are only a couple dozen pages in a very long book so shouldn't frighten anyone away!
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David C. Mueller What a wonderful review of a science fiction novel we both find near the top of our lists. Nice to find another Donald Kingsbury fan on GoodReads!


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