Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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Monthly Book Reads > Foundation - February 2014

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
'Foundation' by Isaac Asimov won the vote for the Science Fiction and Fantasy category for February. Please share your thoughts on this book with the group.

Do bear in mind the advice on spoilers

Leslie | 825 comments This is a wonderful book - the one that turned me from a person who "hated science fiction" to a sci fi fan! I don't know if I will have time to reread it this month, but hope to join in the discussion anyway.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Leslie, your comment has made me even more eager to read this! Some time ago I went through a spell of reading Asimov short stories, so I do know his work but pretty sure I haven't read this one. I look forward to hearing more on how the book impressed you (and to reading it of course!

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Have just started this, it is years since I read any Asimov and I'm remembering how much I enjoyed his short stories. The writing isn't flawless, for example the dialogue doesn't read true at times, but the futuristic world is believable and the plot is such a fun read that these minor points do not effect the reading.

Iona This is my first time reading anything Asimov (it's technically also my first time reading sci-fi too) and it's unlike anything I've ever read before. I'm enjoying it so far - I'm on part 3 - and I love the futuristic setting, but (view spoiler)

Clare (cpeyton) | 10 comments I have read some Asimov before and always liked his work but had neglected reading anything from him in quite a while. However, I found the premise of his Foundation series so enticing I just had to go get this first book. (view spoiler)

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
I was quite enjoying this until (view spoiler) Think it's partly the problem of reading on the computer, I will soon by borrowing/buying books again so maybe I will belatedly finish this one!

Part of the fun of reading science fiction written in the past is seeing if any assumptions have come true. I do hope (view spoiler)

Something he mentions which I don't think will happen is (view spoiler)

Leslie | 825 comments Regarding your last spoiler, I think (view spoiler)

message 9: by Phil (last edited Mar 11, 2014 10:48AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil (lanark) | 446 comments I'm 3/4 of the way through and I'm enjoying this book a lot. There are problems with it: it was written as five separate short stories, published months, if not years, apart and very little attempt (if any) has been made to take into account that you've just read the previous story mere minutes ago. This means there is an AWFUL lot of repetition.

Apart from that, my biggest problem is that apparently there isn't a single woman in the future. Not one (unless a troupe of intergalactic Amazonians swan up in the last chapter).

message 10: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil (lanark) | 446 comments Oops - my mistake, of COURSE there are women in the future, we've just had a slave girl and a nagging wife in quick succession.

Dennis Fischman (dfischman) | 143 comments Asimov could imagine the far future, but he couldn't imagine the feminist movement! Susan Calvin is a sympathetic character in the Robot series, however.

message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Phil, thank you for this point, I am glad you commented on the absence of women (the inclusion of classic stereotypes making it worse!) but I hesitated about saying something due to knowing, as Dennis says, about the strong female character of Asimov's Susan Calvin - not only in one of his books, but a central person in a whole series.

Although it was wrong, I do have slight sympathy for writers of earlier times, even female writers would put women into traditional roles and have them respond in cliched ways. It is when women are absent in a book by a more modern writer that I really begin to seethe!

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