Isaac Asimov
Foundation Cover



I picked this up in a charity shop, thinking it was a classic I should be familiar with. Only later did I realise I've already read it and completely forgotten it. Re-reading it, I realise why it left such a limited impression.

This may be a classic, but I did nor care for it. The central idea that "psychhistorian" Hari Seldon has foreseen the collapse of the Galactic Empire and all the key events of the following thousand years is silly, but is treated very seriously. (The idea also has more than a whiff of behaviourism about it.)

We see Seldon's plan to minimise the length of this interregnum play out over hundreds of years as various boring men have long, stilted conversations in which they deliver exposition.

The novel's treatment of its female characters is particularly dated. There are only two I can recall, one of whom says nothing, but is impressed by some jewellery and the other does nothing but nag her husband.

I could probably tolerate this if any of the male characters had more than two dimensions or acted in a way which wasn't just irritating.