Max Anadon's Reviews > Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov
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's review
Oct 15, 09

really liked it
Read in October, 2009 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I've only read limited science fiction, and although I'd bought most of the Foundation series a few years ago, I had avoided reading it because I was intimidated by 'I-Robot' author, Asimov. I thought it would be unreadable in the way Focault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco, was for me (I'll take another stab at that sometime).

Not only did I find it readable, but it was quite enjoyable. It moved at a good pace, following the young mathematician, Hari Seldon, around the 800 domed world planet Trandor (he only visited 4 or so). He has written a paper provide that predicting the future is possible (Hari calls it Psychohistory)...although obtaining a functioning model would probably taken dozens of generations if at all. Regardless, the Emperor and his enemies want Hari to give them a working model, so he flees.

Timely aided by his new friend Chetter Hummin, and accompanied/protected by Dors Vernabili (a history professor), Hari starts an investigation of history to see if he can simplify a model for Psychohistory. Legends of a single world (Earth or Aurora) are heard, and even stories of robots, as Hari begins to formulate potential possibilities...

A fun point was that each chapter starts with an excerpt from the Galactic Encylopedia, written many years (hundreds?) in the future, so we get the view of how things actually happened. I enjoyed the character developments and the subtle sexual tension between Hari and Dors. Dors' 'Hand-on-thigh' story certainly applies today, as well as many things in the story. Asimov's blending of the worlds he creates with our own was fascinating for me.

I let myself get wrapped up in the story, so the ending was pleasantly surprising, but was also clean and fair (very important to me). I have started the second book...
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