Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Foundation Series By Isaac Asimov


So i managed to read three of these book for more or less 5 weeks given time. Usually, I wouldnt consider the sci-fi genre at the top of my reading list but i was supposed to read it nevertheless (thank you professor!). Overall these three books are short by my standards since im used to bigger books, but the complexity, depth and time period sequencing in these books is not for your average reader! I myself had to go through the pages numerous times in order to understand what is actually going on! So in this entry im going to talk about these three books a little bit which i spend a significant ammount of time on.
The plot of the story revolves around The Galactic Emipire which territory stretches to the far reaches of the galaxy promoting order and stability and a prophet like charachter called Hari Seldon which predicted its downfall and decline while its remnants will eventually fall into barbarism. Hari Seldon prediction is considered treason by the empire's commision of public safety and eventually led him to be labeled as a traitor which ultimately led to his exile along with other people supporting his ideas as well as their families to a remote and desolete planet called Terminus on the edges of the emipre's borders. Here, Hari Seldon among with various exiled scientists tried to build a scientific haven preserving the emipires civilization by compiling a big book of knowledge called the Encyclopedia Galactica if the empire were to fall with the hopes of receeding the period of barbarism to come after the empire's downfall.
The story's depths revolves around the the complicated plot on how the foundation in Terminus survived and became a dominant power in the galaxy by promoting technogical know-how to various planets within its periphery, and by doing so subduing would be agressors which ensured its safety while the empire steadily decline. The character although numerous as the story progresses, also contributed to the story's overall depth by shaping the events that came into play and how those character's interacation resonated with the overall plot as events unfold. While there are too many characters to name overall which i found fascinating about these series is how each and every foundation leader contributed greatly in ensuring the foundation's survival either by detering hostiles or peacefull anaxation of other planets. For me two characters come to mind: Salvador Hardin and Hobber Marrow.
There is also a deep political aspect in this book which im quite fammiliar with which relates to the fields of international relations given my current major. It describes the aspects of hard power and soft power possesed by the foundation in which ensures its survival. Firstly by soft power i mean on how other planets depended on the foundation's technology for survival and by hard power would be the foundation's possesion of atomic energy which other planet feared as being atomic weapons. Ultimately this led to the foundation being an hegemonic power in the corner of the galaxy. Another political aspect which i found while reading these books is the politicians which shaped the foundations policy in relating with external threat where some people beleived the foundation should strengthen its military while others beleive that the foundation should subdue its enemies without any violonce. This corelates with true events we see happening on our world and judging by the overall political spect of this, Isaac Asimov must be inspired by the events happening during the cold war.
The story's overall suspense for me at least lies in the events unfolding when the foundation faces would be agressors and then later on detering them "peacefully". Overall this book has an overall plot where many readers will find overwhelming with information, too fast paced and a lack of significant characters. My guess would be that the characters the author made for this book only compliments the overall plot, and generally speaking it is likely that the plot itself is the story given the less ammount off  time the author gave in describing and developing some of the numerous characters in the book. My final conclussion for this book is clever plot, fast paced and unmemorable characters with my personal grade of 3/5 stars.

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