View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:20 am



Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
The Foundation Trilogy 
Author Message
Heinlein Nexus
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Reply with quote
Post The Foundation Trilogy
(Exercising the "classic" part of this forum's charter...)

I just finished a periodic rereading of the trilogy. (I don't care for Asimov's later additions... at all... and for the additions by other authors even less...)

It's just so delightful, even knowing all the surprises in advance. What struck me this time was the writing style. Asimov was such a consummate expert writer, his vocabulary was amazing for its sheer range and yet he rarely used a word that I don't know. His style is so accessible, the grammar a model of clarity. His characters have distinctive voices without caricatured accents. I was reading this time from the perspective of a writer appreciating the skill of another and it certainly showed.

I never read the trilogy in its original form and it was years before I learned that it had appeared one small story at a time. So I don't know what it would have been like to experience it in that episodic form. But nevertheless, the stories work completely when combined into novels. It's remarkable how Asimov was able to switch the entire cast and set from one chapter to the next and yet maintain the continuity and hold the reader's interest and caring about the future of the Plan throughout all these changes. According to Faulkner, this is supposed to be impossible.

Well, f**k Faulkner.

The few signs of aging are easily forgivable: societies that have lost atomic technology can still run faster-than-light drives? The legend is that the trilogy was based on Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but it transcends that in so many ways, not the least of which is, being, like, readable. But also, Asimov goes way beyond Gibbon with the development of psychohistory, the rogue factor of the Mule, and the extra dimension of the Second Foundation. It deserved the award it got for for best series of all time.


Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:23 pm
Profile WWW
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 198
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy
Also one of my favorites. I do think it dates a little (not nearly as much as Gibbons though!) . Psychohistory is not as far-fetched as he made it sound I believe. The prediction of the behavior of large numbers of people actually is a serious science now, though a lot of it seems to be spent on how to make advertising more effective there are pretty reliable statistics about what percentage of a large group of people is likely to do x, y, or z under given circumstances... economics and other sciences also look at this. In fact some recent studies have made the news regarding how even small peer groups influence the likelihood that a person will smoke or even become overweight.


Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:35 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Wherever the Army sends me
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy

_________________
Logic is a feeble reed, friend.
-- Glory Road


Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:36 pm
Profile WWW
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2402
Location: The Quiet Earth
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:13 am
Profile
Heinlein Nexus
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy
Yep, definitely agree on advertising.

Now I come to think of it, the closest I have read to modern psychohistory is George Friedman's "The Next 100 Years" (q.v. elsewhere in this forum). He certainly appears to have the knack of extrapolating (primarily geopolitical/military) consequences in a thoughtful and logical fashion.


Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:12 pm
Profile WWW
Heinlein Biographer

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:33 pm
Posts: 1024
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy


Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:37 pm
Profile
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 786
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy

_________________
“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” –Abraham Lincoln


Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:01 am
Profile YIM WWW
Heinlein Nexus
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy
How timely that a few days ago on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, author of a new book called The Predictioneer's Game, during which Bruce said, "You must think I'm Hari Seldon." Seems that Bruce has developed predictive models that can tell things like, what Iran is going to do with nuclear weapons, twice as accurately as the CIA can...


Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:06 pm
Profile WWW
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 198
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy
Seems that Bruce has developed predictive models that can tell things like, what Iran is going to do with nuclear weapons, twice as accurately as the CIA can...


course 2 X 0 is still 0.......


Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:07 pm
Profile
Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Foundation Trilogy
Mr. Scott, can you provide a quote for the Faulkner comment, because I don't recognize that sentiment.

And how odd to discover you're a necrophiliac...


Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:54 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.
[ Time : 0.036s | 14 Queries | GZIP : Off ]