Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Dorian al'Janisen, Jul 21, 2012.
I'm finishing up a first time read of Foundation. Anyone read it?
Ah while ago I read the original Foundation trilogy yes. I ended up liking I, Robot better but both suffer form Asimov's terrible prose. Can't say I am a big fan although I will try something he wrote a little later in his career.
I'm not sure what I think of it. I don't think he's much of a writer, honestly. the story is ok... what I do enjoy are the science fiction ideas... like Psychohistory and the role psychology has in Foundation. Also his approach to galactic history... idk.
Maybe I'll try to quantify my thoughts on the book...
Writing I give 3/10
I enjoy reading it because it makes me think a bit.
Re: trying something later in his career, sounds like an idea. I didn't even realize he wrote I, Robot till I started reading Foundation.
I read it a long time ago when I was a teenager and have always wanted to go back and re read it.
To be honest too, I've read some Asimov books, but, ehrm, I cannot even remember which ones. So much for a great write for me, I guess.
Maybe I get to re-reading them after I've read the other 100's of books in the attic... .
Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation are both better, but not by a huge degree. Even with the Mule introduced, the plot still lacks any sort of tension and the utter reliance on just sitting down and having dialogue to do literally everything in all the novels is a serious weakness. It is still, at the very least, an interesting use to put Gibbons to.
Eh, I've always blamed the dry writing on the fact he was a science fiction writer rather than a sci-fi writer. More emphasis on the science than the fiction, but that's just me. The Foundation trilogy is a good series to read. I've reread it several times, but not for several years. The Robot series was quite good also.
The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire.
Telling the story of Elijah Bailey, and the robot R. Daneel Olivaw.
I was given Asimov to read as a child...or at least young teenager...
So given we are talking more than 40 years ago...... it has to be taken in context... the world has moved on in every aspect...Science fiction was a relatively new (though not entirely) concept, Asimov was considered "cutting edge".
Although we are far more sophisticated in our tastes and standards of writing today... I do think he popularized the genre almost single handed...
I think Robert Heinlen might have something to say to that. Arthur C. Clarke too, for that matter. And while we're at it, let's not forget Alfred Bester and Philip K. Dick.
Personally, I think Heinlen was far more important to popularizing sci-fi than Asimov was, not to minimize the latter's value.
Oh yes Heinlen too, and the others... And Aldous Huxley if we are going to really get started!
Asimov was just more universally appealing IMHO
I think the historical context of when the book (Foundation) was written has been on my mind a lot more. It's very interesting, as I read more I'm realizing how much of a time capsule of scientific understanding the book is.
Asimov books were handed to me at a pretty young age too. Certainly amongst some of the first books I ever read.
Started out with the short story collections which are more accessible to a younger audience before moving onto the Robot ones with Elijah and then onto foundation and so on.
Just re-read Caves of Steel the other day, and its still a pretty strong book. I'll look forward to seeing the movie when it comes out.
I've only read Asimov's Foundation series (all of it). The only ones I really liked was the original trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation). I was disappointed that he left this and went on the whole Galaxia tangent later rather than keep going with his empire building along Seldon's lines.
I'm actually currently reading Foundation for the first time. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and I noticed something interesting. The entire book feels like nothing more than a trip through the Glass Columns of Rhuidean, but without the emotion behind it. The major difference is, with Jordan, I never wanted to put the book down. With Asimov I've continually put the book down, then less than 5 minutes later picked it right back up, then another 10 minutes later put it down, then 5 minutes later picked it back up, and so on. I'm very curious how this whole psychohistory plays out in the end, but I'm very intrigued by the idea. The characters don't have any personality whatsoever, and the world-building is suppositional. I think I'm more curious how this universe will continue, and what it truly means to want to continually better the world around one's self after reading this.
I've read the Foundation Trilogy many, many years ago (when I was 13 or so), based on my Dad's recommendation, and didn't like it all that much - I agree with Midian, you cannot get interested in the characters for real (that is, at least, what I remember). Prelude to Foundation I liked somewhat better
Later on, the Elijah novels I actually quite liked, and the short stories - well those are actually great! I loved them. They are filled with emotion (again, as far as I remember), and quite wonderful For me, he needn't have written anything else
I've always really enjoyed it, though the female characters generally seem to be there as decoration, as though he had never actually met a woman to know how to write one.
I completely agree Toral Gaidin. I mean the book was written back in the early 50s, so women didn't have nearly the position they do now, but I'm surprised there's still not even a hint of gender equality so far in the future that they don't know where humans originally came from.
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