Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Foundation is the story of the 1000 year period between the fall of a great world empire and the arise of the new "civilization". The setting is now obviously the 1950s, set way in the future. "Atomics" are the key to power source and control. Tobacco use is still common place and important. Scientists are able to "predict the future" using complex mathematical models. But in the end, it just seems a lot like the fall of Rome. The periphery "falls" first, but the Foundation maintains scientific progress by induing science with religion, making nuclear technician into priests. The original scientist that predicted aspects of their life is also portrayed as a deity.

The book reads like a collection of short stories. The different stories follow chronologically through different periods of the "advancement" of the foundation. The main characters always seem to do exactly what needs to be done at the exact right time. This is a similar savant believability problem that Card has used in his Ender books. Similarly, in the foundation books, it always seems to be a "young buck" going against society that does exactly what is needed to continue the inevitable path outlined by the predictions.

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