Tuesday, 24 February 2004

A while ago I finished Foundation, Isaac Asimov's classic, and renegged on my East-of-Eden promise of reviewing what I read. Anyway, it was really good. Asimov's broad grasp of science is matched by its judicious application, and he makes wonderful use of breaks to establish long-running trends in the story. Its interesting that, despite the claims of psychohistory to be largely independent of the actions of individuals, the key parts of the story discuss the contributions of individuals to resolve the various "Seldon crises". Of course, this is put in the context of a sort of "cometh the hour, cometh the man" concept, which is apparent in the sense of psychohistory and in the reading of the book. The scale of the book, for something presented in less than 300 pages, is awesome - establishing characters, but also discussing larger issues like the use of technology, religion and trade in imperialism and government. I've now started (more accurately, almost finished) "Revelation Space", by Alistair Reynolds, but the various sequels to Foundation are at the top of my list of coming attractions.

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