The Evolution of Science Fiction discussion

Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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1940-1959: The Golden Age of SF > Asimov's Foundation Series & others that tie-in

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4281 comments Mod
A topic to discuss Foundation & the rest of the series. The later books tie-in to his other series, so don't feel too constrained.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) The early Asimov or, Eleven Years of Trying has several stories in which some of the ideas & themes are initially explored.


John | 77 comments I just picked this book up today at my local thrift shop; Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury. Which is an expansion of his "Historical Crisis", in Far Futures, December 1995.

It isn't recognized by the Asimov estate so it isn't officially apart of the Foundation universe like The Second Foundation Trilogy, Volumes 1 and 2.

Gregory Benford has a blurb on the dust jacket:

"He takes on the central problems of a science fiction masterwork, Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, envisioning it anew for our time. The agenda of control in Asimov's psychohistory, here only lightly disguised, Kingsbury sees as a challenge to free will and to the practical uses of prediction itself. Forecasts can be immensely useful, especially if we can make sure they do not come true."


message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4281 comments Mod
Sounds interesting. Let us know how it is.


message 5: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter Tillman | 614 comments OK, here's an online copy of Asimov's first novel, "Pebble in the Sky": https://archive.org/details/galaxy_no...
And my comments on same:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Cheryl  (cherylllr) Thanks!


Paul (paullev) | 44 comments a podcast episode with my thoughts on Apple TV+ bringing Asimov's Foundation series to the screen https://paullev.libsyn.com/thinking-a...


Allan Phillips | 67 comments I'm re-reading the original trilogy to prep for the TV series, and enjoying the hell out of it. It was my entry to SF when I was a teenager (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth) so I've long had an affection for it.

I read Foundation's Edge as well, but I've never read the others in the series. So I'm going to try to get to those, as well as the two books I haven't read in the Empire series.


Paul (paullev) | 44 comments I would say that other books in the Foundation series are excellent, but not quite as wonderful as Foundation's Edge, which in turn is not quite as superb as the original trilogy.


message 10: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim  Davis | 230 comments Allan wrote: "I'm re-reading the original trilogy to prep for the TV series, and enjoying the hell out of it. It was my entry to SF when I was a teenager (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth) so I've long had an affe..."


This was a response I wrote on Quora regarding the trailer for the Foundation TV series.
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I watched the trailer and unfortunately I don’t see any resemblance to the novels I read. Back in July 2019 I wrote the following answer to another question concerning a Foundation series. This is what I wrote:

Do you think that a TV series of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series will be a success?

Because of the age of the original trilogy I would recommend starting with the 1988 prequel Prelude to Foundation. Hari Seldon may be the central figure but not the kind of character who will generate much audience appeal. On the other hand I think Dors Venebili can be the more exciting character. She is sent to protect Hari by R. Daneel Olivaw, a central figure from the Robot series. This is also where Asimov starts to bring the two series together which in turn opens up those stories to be part of the mini-series. Dors becomes friend, helper and eventually the wife of Hari even though he discovers she is a robot while the romance is developing. The growing romance should play well on TV. She is also a formidable fighter as part of her original purpose of protecting Hari. Her use of those skills could be expanded in the TV series to provide more action than is usually found in the books without changing the story. The identification of R. Daneel Olivaw at the end would allow for some flashbacks from the 1985 novel Robots and Empire.

I would then move on to the second prequel, Forward the Foundation. This takes place on the galactic capital planet Trantor and involves a lot of palace intrigue. This novel has a rebellion against the empire that should provide for some spectacular effects. The novel ends with the death of Dors, a tragic event for Hari and a lot of other setbacks for Hari’s research into psychohistory. This is offset by the discovery that one of Hari’s assistants is a “mentalic” who can read minds and actually influence people. Wanda and other “mentalics” set up a second foundation to address the mental issues involved in psychohistory.

Now if we continue chronologically we have to go back to the original trilogy from the 40’s and 50’s and this will probably be the most difficult to film. The technology, events and social interactions would appear dated to a modern audience. The setting shifts to the planet Terminus, the location of the original foundation. Seldon is dead but occasionally appears as a hologram at critical moments to provide information that helps the current crisis. The problems usually center around the bad intentions of some neighboring worlds who have their eyes on Terminus. But the problems are generally solved through political manipulations, helped by hints given by Hari in his hologram appearances, but with little action. I don’t want to get on the wrong side of some fans but I think the events from the original foundation novel should not be dealt with to any great length.

Next comes the events of Foundation and Empire and the best character of the series, the Mule. Even though it was written in 1952 the Mule brings such unique concepts to the story that it should result in good audience appeal. Here is a bad guy taking over the galactic empire who has been compared to historical figures from Charlemagne to Hitler.

And we still have three more novels to deal with along with some flashbacks from the Robot series as the two series come together in the last two Foundation novels. I think we have enough plot lines to carry a series for at least a couple of seasons.

Since Apple never asked me for my opinion it probably won’t go this way and I have a feeling I will be disappointed. I checked the list of characters at 'Foundation' Apple TV+ release date, trailer, cast for the Asimov show and I only recognized Hari Seldon’s name. No Dors, no Wanda, no Daneel, no Mule, no Golan Trevize, no Preem Palver, no Raych Seldon, no Salvor Hardin unless the names were changed to protect the innocent. Instead I see characters in the Apple series like Brother Dawn, Brother Dusk, Brother Day, Master Shadow Obrecht, Mystery Boy, Young Dawn, Bomber One and Thorin senior laundry worker.

There have been a lot of space elevators in SF novels but not in the Foundation series. Jared Harris doesn’t fit the picture I had of Hari Seldon reading the novels. I was thinking more along the lines of Eddie Redmayne or Paul Bettany. I can’t find any details about the series itself and which novels and characters it’s based on.


message 11: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments Here are some details: the series will consist of eight seasons, ten episodes each. The trailer is only about the first season. Therefore it's not surprising that there's no indication of The Mule, Golan Trevize, etc -- they were not present at the beginning of The Foundation saga, when Hari Seldon was still alive.


message 12: by Jim (last edited Jul 25, 2021 08:36AM) (new) - added it

Jim  Davis | 230 comments As i said above, as much as I loved the original trilogy, I don't see how they can make a series acceptable to modern audiences without a lot of changes. The later novels written decades later would actually need less updating. While the Mule, etc., weren't in the original trilogy neither were Brother Dawn, Brother Dusk, Brother Day, Master Shadow Obrecht, Mystery Boy, Young Dawn and, Bomber One. The first novel of the original trilogy had characters like Gaal Dornick, Dr. Lewis Pirenne, Yohan Lee, Salvor Hardin, Sef Sermak, Prince Regent Wienis, King Lepold I, Theo Aporat, Admiral Prince Lefkin, Master Trader Eskel Gorov, Trader Linmar Ponyets, Councilor Pherl, Foreign Secretary Publis Manlio, Mayoral Secretary Jorane Sutt and many more. I don't see those names in the Apple series.


Allan Phillips | 67 comments It will be interesting to see what they do, but no matter what, someone will be disappointed and there will be no shortage of trolls. If the initial episodes deal with the first few crises in quick fashion, they'll get to the Mule quicker, which will provide some action. However, they run the risk of having boring first impressions for less knowledgeable watchers. They have to deal with the core events of the central trilogy somehow though. Gawd, let's hope they don't put some horrible romance into it.


message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments Jim wrote: "While the Mule, etc., weren't in the original trilogy...."

The Mule was abundantly in the trilogy -- the whole second half of Foundation and Empire (the second book in the trilogy) was devoted to the Mule (and that second half is entitled "The Mule"), and the whole first half of Second Foundation (the third book in the trilogy) was devoted to the Mule (and that first half is entitled "Search by the Mule").


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Jim  Davis | 230 comments Paul wrote: "Jim wrote: "While the Mule, etc., weren't in the original trilogy...."

The Mule was abundantly in the trilogy -- the whole second half of Foundation and Empire (the second book in the trilogy) was..."


Sorry, I meant that the Mule wasn't in the first novel, Foundation. I was responding to Paul's comment: "The trailer is only about the first season. Therefore it's not surprising that there's no indication of The Mule, Golan Trevize, etc -- they were not present at the beginning of The Foundation saga, when Hari Seldon was still alive." I was indicating that none of the characters from the Foundation mashup novel were mentioned in the Apple character list while the names Apple did list weren't in the first novel.

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message 16: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments I watched the first two episodes of the Foundation series on Apple TV+ last night. Here's my audio podcast review https://paullev.libsyn.com/review-of-... and my blog post written review https://paullevinson.blogspot.com/202...


message 17: by Jim (last edited Oct 05, 2021 06:04AM) (new) - added it

Jim  Davis | 230 comments I still don't have access to Apple TV but maybe I'll sign up for a month later on when there are enough episodes to binge watch.


message 18: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments Here's my review of the third episode: audio podcast https://paullev.libsyn.com/review-of-... and written https://paullevinson.blogspot.com/202... (As I say in my review, I thought the clones were the best part of third episode.) JIM: You should edit your post and block out what you say about Raych -- pretty major spoiler. (I never have spoilers in my reviews.)


message 19: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim  Davis | 230 comments Sorry about that but you had linked your blogspot above on 9/24 and it is where I found the info about Raych. It's also been 9 days now since episode 2 was broadcast and there has been a lot of speculation about the Raych/Hari situation on the internet ever since. Also this isn't a review, it's a discussion. Based on that I don't consider my post a spoiler.


message 20: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments I made a point of NOT specifically mentioning that in any of my blog posts or audio podcasts about Foundation.


message 21: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter Tillman | 614 comments John wrote: "I just picked this book up today at my local thrift shop; Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury. Which is an expansion of his "Historical Crisis", in Far Future..."

I liked it 4-stars worth (no review), & have it marked to Reread sometime. Snazzy cover art -- which was recycled for one of the Dozois Year's Bests of that era, If memory serves. Better-written than the Asimovs.


message 22: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (paullev) | 44 comments Here's a detailed discussion of the first season of Foundation with Cora Buhlert, Joel McKinnon, and me https://youtu.be/3zZNZa_VbYg


message 23: by Scott (last edited Jan 21, 2022 07:32AM) (new)

Scott Nunn (kintil) | 1 comments I love science fiction. During this period, many writers produced wonderful books. I remember that when I first read Isaac Asimov, I was in my last year of university. I didn't really like science back then and used https://ca.edubirdie.com/science-help every time I needed science help. And I was very surprised when I began to find many interesting facts, phenomena and stories in such literature. After a while, science fiction became my favourite book genre.


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