Friday, May 22, 2015
Revisiting a classic
It was a lot of fun to re-read, after many years, Isaac Asimov's Foundation, the first book of the classic Foundation trilogy (prequels and sequels to the trilogy, some already reviewed on this site, were added in subsequent years). Once again, it was cool to read about a planet of scientists secretly working to alter events around the galaxy to avert, or at least substantially reduce, the 30,000 years of universal barbarism that their "psychohistorical" equations have predicted will occur if nothing is done.
What's also fun about the book is that we soon see that the scientists really aren't up to the task, so it falls to the Foundation planet's politicians and traders- with their earthier political skills- to interpret and implement the scientific data and act accordingly. The bulk of the book then consists of a series of episodes where moves, counter moves, and Machiavellian undercurrents all work together to minimize galactic warfare and chaos, and to keep the generally defenseless Foundation planet safe and independent so its work can continue.
More than half a century old, Foundation remains thoughtful, smart, and entertaining, making it not surprising that HBO is currently developing a weekly drama based on the books.
"Foundation" is available in print, Kindle, and audio editions.