Author: Isaac Asimov // First published: 1951 // Genre: Science Fiction
This edition: 612 pages, published in November 2010 by Everyman’s Library // Get it @TheBookDepository
Read in April 2016
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Isaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation trilogy—one of the cornerstones of modern speculative fiction—in a single hardcover volume.
It is the saga of the Galactic Empire, crumbling after twelve thousand years of rule. And it is the particular story of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, the only man who can see the horrors the future has in store—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and violence that will last for thirty thousand years. Gathering a band of courageous men and women, Seldon leads them to a hidden location at the edge of the galaxy, where he hopes they can preserve human knowledge and wisdom through the age of darkness.
In 1966, the Foundation trilogy received a Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series, and it remains the only fiction series to have been so honored. More than fifty years after their original publication, the three Foundation novels stand as classics of thrilling, provocative, and inspired world-building.
Right, so basically, when you are interested in science fiction, you need to read Asimov and his Foundation series. At least that’s my understanding of the situation. And if you just read the synopsis above, you can see that there is a slight amount of pressure, as this is supposed to be a pillar of science fiction literature.
Well… I didn’t like it. Most of it actually.
The edition I have is a bind-up of the original trilogy (later Asimov added more books to the series, but originally, it was only these three), so Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation.
When I started Foundation, I was pumped! I loved the first chapter and I thought to myself: “This is gonna be great!”. Then I started chapter two, and it all went down the drain. Basically, in the first book, in each chapter you get a different set of characters. And I don’t know about you, but if I am to get involved in a story, I need to connect at least to some characters. In chapter one we meet two very interesting characters, that we never get to see again (we hear about them here and there, but that’s it, because the books take place over the course of 2000 years or something, so by chapter two they’re already dead *spoiler alert*). It makes sense if you think about it, but all the same it took me by surprise and I was rather disappointed by it.
Unfortunately, the same thing happens in book two, Foundation and Empire. There are a little bit more recurring characters, but it is still pretty all over the place, and once again, I wasn’t able to connect with anything, and as a result, I have no idea what actually happened in this one.
Thankfully, book three, Second Foundation, had a structure that spoke to me a bit more. The whole book mainly focuses on 2 sets of characters, which made everything a lot easier to follow.
So, yeah… I wasn’t a fan.
Most of it felt really dry and just not compelling to me. I’m a little sad about it because it’s such a staple of SF literature, that I really wanted to like it and see what all the fuss was all about.
I originally planned to read this bind-up as a single book (meaning I wouldn’t not take breaks in between books), but after finishing Foundation, I picked something else that I thought I would enjoy more because I couldn’t commit to read 600 pages of this with no breaks. I’m also a little distraught because I had originally planned on reading the fourth book, Foundation’s Edge, as it has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and I’m kind of planning on reading the Best Novel winners of the Hugo.
Anyways… I read the Foundation trilogy, I’ve accomplished my SF reader duty, and I don’t plan on reading it again.