by Isaac Asimov, is not the stereotypical brand of Sci-Fi. It
is not difficult to imagine a world that is so like your own,
yet with technological advances here and there, as presented in
Foundation. The novel, written in 1951, has no consistent group
of characters; instead it switches between different groups of
people at several intervals in which important events occur over
the span of one thousand years. The lives of these peoples of
the future are dictated by the Seldon plan. This plan was developed
by Hari Seldon, Galaxy renowned Mathematician, using the radical
science of Psychohistory, a form of arithmetic that predicts the
broad economical and social trends of the future. Seldon discovers
that the Galactic Empire, which has stood for over twelve thousand
years, is about to collapse. He sends the greatest minds of all
twenty-five million worlds in the empire to and obscure planet
called Terminus at the edge of the galaxy. This Foundation is
made to preserve knowledge, and make an Encyclopedia Galactic.
Seldon also makes a second Foundation, at the other end of the
galaxy that is rarely discussed. The Foundation will ensure that
barbarism will not take hold of the galaxy, and that knowledge
will not be lost. But only Hari Seldon himself knows the purpose
of the Foundation. It is destined to be seed of the second galactic
empire, and ruled over the galaxy with a more democratic framework,
unlike the first empire with is corrupt and tyrannical rulers.
present us with several prominent characters, such as Hardin and
Mallow, two influential mayors who are critical figures in the
Foundation's history. And, of course, Hari Seldon himself, though
he is never fully developed as a character, and only spoken of
as a thing of legend. The book also chronicles the traders and
merchants who spread the economical influence over the surrounding
worlds. The mayors, and other leaders of the foundation are by
no means bold or heroic; they must follow the Seldon Plan, which
tells them what to do at certain crises in the Foundation's history.
in the 1950's, this book set a new standard for science fiction
novels, though non-science fiction fans may not be drawn to it.
However historical fiction readers may be intrigued by it also,
because it follows the history of this Foundation, and details
the different factors that bring about events. It reads much like
a historical novel documenting a period in the past, though in
this case, it takes place in the future.
personally found this book to be very interesting in that while
is a science fiction novel, it's conflicts and characters are
appealing and ones to which we can relate. This genre of science
fiction, in my opinion, is the best kind, because it deals with
realistic problems, and not voyaging through space to battle green
Martians and wielding ray guns.