Sunday, November 07, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 85

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

by Isaac Asimov

Foundation (Foundation Novels)Imagine an empire so humongous it stretches across the Milky Way galaxy. Imagine a mathematical formula that can actually prove future events. Then imagine that formula predicts this galactic empire will soon crumble and a new dark ages lasting at least 30,000 years will follow.

If you can imagine all that, you get the gist of Foundation by Isaac Asimov and the beginning of a highly regarded series of books in the science fiction genre.

What happens next is a group of people try to find ways to circumnavigate, though not necessarily halt, the new approaching dark age.

Asimov isn't for everyone, and I can't admit to loving his prose. But his ideas for plots are top notch. This book, and the series of books that follow it, are proof of this.

Asimov's writing is often considered too dense for the casual reader, and there's some truth to this. If you like your science fiction with lots of action and ray guns and alien spaceships flying about, Asimov isn't for you. But if you like hard science fiction based upon hard, indepth science, this Asimov is probably right for you, especially the Foundation series.

I first stumbled upon this series back in the early 1980s. In a bid to expand my reading experiences, it was a selection I ordered from the Science Fiction Book Club. It was my first experience with hard science fiction, and though it wasn't enough to become a major fan of the genre, it was enough to make me realize the genius of author Isaac Asimov and the potential for hard science fiction.

From time to time I'll still read some hard science fiction, but as is the case with me and overly literary fiction, it's something I enjoy from an educational and intellectual viewpoint, but it's not something my mind can digest on a regular basis without some mental strain and outright boredom. So, I space out my readings of such material.

Still, Foundation and the rest of Asimov's books in this series are worth reading for the education alone. These novels can really get you thinking, and can open your mind to much of what science fiction has to offer at its deepest core.

Up next: World's Finest #256

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

the first three in this series were a masterpiece. Much enjoyed them. I read the fourth one but I didn't catch the later ones. Had moved on a bit, I guess.