SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
49 views
What Else Are You Reading? > Thoughts on the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov?

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew A friend of mine had come across the second book in the Foundation series, while in recovery at a hospital. Once out, he then recommended it to me and I was quite intrigued. I just finished the first book "Prelude to Foundation" and was wondering what does everyone think or feel about the series? Please no spoilers for any of those who'd like to get involved in this fantastic series as well!


message 2: by Trike (new)

Trike I enjoyed them until he started in on the prequels, of which Prelude to Foundation was one. It wasn’t that they were bad, akin to the Star Wars prequels, but the fact that he was tying in all of his robots stories to the Foundation universe to make it all one big story was too much for me. Also, the later books were stylistically different from the originals.

I think the original trilogy appealed to me because, like Hari Seldon, I also have the gift/curse of seeing patterns in behavior. (Currently I’m seeing all the same warning signs of an impending economic crash on the scale of 1893/1929/2007. So much so that about 2 months ago I moved all my money to safer instruments.)

I read the books when they were rereleased by Del Rey in paperback with those gorgeous Michael Whelan covers, which was around 1982 or so, which means I was about 17 when I encountered them. I feel like that’s an ideal age for them.

I know the first two books, Foundation and Foundation and Empire, are each what’s termed a fix-up novel, which means a book that was originally a series of related short stories later connected as a novel, but I think the third one was actually written as a novel. (I don’t think those kinds of fix-up novels are even a thing any more, since the collapse of the short story market.)

You can see the seams between the stories in those first two books, as they make huge leaps in time in different sections, bringing in a whole new cast of characters every 40 pages or so. I doubt they would have been written that way had they been conceived as novels, but it’s an aspect of them that I really like, because it makes them feel more epic.

That’s one reason why I’m not as crazy about the books written decades later; they lose that epic sweep by telling smaller stories.

Being exposed to those books in my late teens has actually allowed me to endure otherwise trying times, because they reinforced the notion that in the grand scheme of history everything is temporary. It was especially helpful then, because the era I grew up in was filled with tension due to all the political, social, and economic unrest. (Not unlike today.) But learning about history and reading books like Asimov’s Foundation series made me realize that the saying “This too shall pass” was really true.

I think was also the first time I encountered the idea of using a created religion as a means to control the populace. As I was in Catholic school at the time yet had already become annoyed by the shallowness of it all, it led me down a path of comparative theology. I could see where Asimov got his template from, simply by going to various other worship services and contrasting them with how the Catholic Church did things.

This was also the period when Dianetics started to go mainstream, with those ubiquitous TV ads, and Scientology took over Hollywood. Coming at a time when I was actively visiting other religions after having read about Asimov’s invented religion, it allowed me to see the cynical artifice behind it, as it was coinciding with the rise of the evangelical megachurches, as well as Ronald Reagan’s clear derangement when it came to spiritualism. (People forget now just how loony the Reagans were when it came to religion. They totally would have been Scientologists had it been around during their formative years.) All of it cured me of ever taking religion seriously, and I credit Asimov with the booster shot that inoculated me against it.

tl;dr - Yeah, I like them.


message 3: by Dawn F (new)

Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments As Trike said, Prelude to Foundation is not the first published book, the first one is simply called Foundation, and it's followed by two sequels, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. I'm going to be reading this trilogy soon, after I finish a couple more books :)


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike I do recall one aggravatingly hilarious “Who’s on first?” type of conversation with me trying to explain to someone that Second Foundation is the third book while the other person was incapable of grasping that concept.


message 5: by Dawn F (new)

Dawn F (psychedk) | 1219 comments Trike wrote: "I do recall one aggravatingly hilarious “Who’s on first?” type of conversation with me trying to explain to someone that Second Foundation is the third book while the other person was incapable of ..."

LOL I would have been confused too if I hadn't looked it up on Wiki when I was recommended I read the Foundation trilogy XD


message 6: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Dawn wrote: "As Trike said, Prelude to Foundation is not the first published book, the first one is simply called Foundation, and it's followed by two sequels,

Yeah I just purchased the second book in the trilogy and Foundation itself. I'm not so siked for the second book, but for the OG Foundation itself I cannot wait to get to it!



back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.