***Group Read: Asimov's Foundation Series
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Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Foundation and Earth
This is my first time to read any Asimov! We are officially starting with Prelude to Foundation next weekend, January 28.
Please join us!
#3> Please feel free to jump in with any comments. (I don't retain things either!)
I am about 1/3 of the way through the book. I started early because I knew I had this big project for work (which is finished!!! And in the mail!!!).
So far, this is quite a fun read. I thought that Asimov would be difficult, but he is a great storyteller.
He has 3 groupings of books which can be read as a future history, the Robot books, the Empire books, and the Foundation books. They weren't really written to be one single series but you can read them like that. I think Asimov recommends reading the Robot series first, then the Empire, and then the Foundation.
I think I've read most of them but a long time ago in my teens and twenties.
Anything that you become curious about as far as the Robot stories go, it is pretty easy to find a synopsis on Wikipedia of the mentioned books to get some basic information about the wars between man and his robot creations (pre-Empire). That's about all you will need to know to grok the discrimination against robots in such a far-flung future. Also, Asimov's Three Laws is an interesting read.
I was thinking about the 'spoiler' aspect of reading the Prelude books first. (Yes, Forward the F. is a sequel to the prequel.) It really isn't a spoiler per se, but the surprise ending is simply turned around backwards, if that makes any sense. I'm starting Prelude as soon as I'm done getting caught up with my Early Western Civ reading notes. Stupid Assyrians!
Also, according to the Encyclopedia Galactica, this period in Seldon's life is known as the 'Flight'. Does this work as a translation of Hejira? Seldon = Mohammad?
I wonder how much Asimov's ideas of psychohistory owe to Toynbee?
(And now I see I won another book from Early Reviewers, a biography of Carl Hubbell. There's just not enough hours in the day...)
I particularly liked how Hari thought a girl was 'rather pretty', even though he couldn't see her face as she was leaning over a computer monitor in the park. That referenced me to his books of dirty limericks!! (Right before he meets Hummin and the lackeys in the park)
I did see the movie I, Robot which is supposed to be based on the robot stories.
Interesting info on the home planet Earth or Aurora.
January was a tough month for work, but I think that February will be better.
I am not sure what I think of the psychohistory, but I gather this is really important to the series.
I hope to read a bit more each day than I have so far.
We are reading them in chronological order of the story rather than the publication order. See message No. 1 above for the chronological order and message No. 6 for the publication order.
That aside, even though this book is a prequel to a series it still hints at a lot of interesting back-story. I'm curious about Earth and the planet Aurora and will have to look for other Asimov stories about those in the future.
"What's that, Professor?"
"My library. It's indexed by subject matter and origin and I've gotten it all into ONE wafer. If you think this ship is a marvel, how about this wafer? A whole library! Everything I have collected! Wonderful! Wonderful!"
Interesting discussion of taxes in section 3.
I am on the last section of Forward the Foundation. As always the closer I get to the end the more I want to get there. There were some surprises for me in this book.
I've finished both prelude volumes myself, somehow. I'm busy at school at the moment and will post more at home later...
I finished Forward the Foundation today. It was kind of like four mini-novels which are connected. The more I read it, the more I liked it. This is definitely a book to appeal to readers. I am starting Foundation at last, which I have thought about reading for years without ever doing it! I have the old trilogy in a three-in-one volume from B&N. Interestingly, it has the same font.
Lots happened in those 435 pages! I wonder if the other books will be like that?
A few things that I'd like to mention: I consider The End of Eternity to be an unofficial Foundation novel, sort of a Foundation-at-work story, without using the name itself (Hint-I refer to it as The End of Eternity and the Beginning of Infinity)
There's also a reference to Asimov's Nemesis as a fairy-tale story, which I've somehow never gotten to. Forward the F., Wanda Seldon chapter 5
Lastly, about the Aurora/Earth controversy. The key is to remember where the mythic stories came from. Aurora from Mycogen, and Earth from Dahl, and the attitude towards robots in each.
Have any of you read the Second Foundation Trilogy by Bear, Benford and Brin? I finally broke down and bought the one I had been missing for years online.
Thanks for the tips on The End of Eternity and the Second Foundation Trilogy. I wasn't familiar with them.
On to Foundation and Empire. :)
I haven't had a chance to get started on it yet, what with a major book review for a history class and writing papers on some luminaries of early geology.
The big thing missing with a series of novellas/short stories is the lack of world building which longer scifi novels have. I have to admit that sometimes there is too much attention to detail with that and I can lose interest there. So the prequels take care of that world building detail which is lacking here. But they are not too long, either. (And those books also had a short story/novella quality about them, too.) A lot of times, prequels are not that effective, but I think Asimov really did a great job with his.
I was thinking from talking with my daughter that the Robot books are also really short stories. I haven't read any of those yet. But I will after enjoying these books so much.
Sorry that I am so slow with the group read. But I am enjoying it quite a bit! :)
And by the way, they will after all publish that much-lauded encyclopedia! So maybe it was important after all.
#48> My brother had told me about these books in the 70s, but I just wasn't interested at that time. I am glad to have them to read now. :) Good luck with all those papers! I am sure you will do a great job.
I am still at the beginning of Foundation's Edge. I have been a little under the weather, but I hope to get back to it soon.
I just finished Foundation's Edge, and it is another great book by Asimov! This one seemed more like a tradtional novel to me. I found myself cheering on each party as the narrative switched to that party. Funny, huh? So, I am guessing the title is about what is on the edge of the Foundation rather than the advantage of the Foundation, but when reading I did wonder about the title some.
Now I am beginning to think that I will have to read all the fiction of Asimov. And I am eager to start the last Foundation book. Sorry that I have been so slow reading all of this.