“Foundation” by Isaak Asimov

Foundation trilogy by Isaak Asimov was published in earlier 1950s. It consists of three parts: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. 

The book describes fictitious story, fantasy, about organisation created with a purpose to cope with difficulties during barbarism and chaos times. That is also a story of Empire that collapses and makes a birth again with the help of Foundation. The help is mainly to shorten chaos times – between the first and second Empires – from 30 thousand years to just one. Foundation accumulates human knowledge and establishes new rules, laws and connections between distant worlds. There is no single main character in the book, except perhaps Hari Seldon who creates Foundation and appears episodically throughout the plot. He is the main character rather in terms of importance. There are however multiple key persons that develop the story: Salvor Hardin, Hober Mallow, Mule, Bayta Darell. They appear over a single plot line that binds logically all three parts in a complete coherent story.  

I find Foundation to be exciting, intriguing, and having a bit of scientific basis. It is a fantasy but statistically large masses of humans are tempted to be described with a unified physics law. Even appearance and importance of fluctuations, like a mutant, can be a part of theory. 70 years has been passed since publication but for me it still sounds scientifically attractive. And interesting. I like bluffs, coming one after another, and intrigue persisting until the very end of story. 

I recommend this book as a good example of fantasy genre, and especially for those who see recent adaptation from Apple. Finally, my favourite excerpt:

“Without pretending to predict the actions of individual humans, it formulated definite laws capable of mathematical analysis and extrapolation to govern and predict the mass action of human groups. … You mean that this art of his [Hari Seldon] predicts that I would attack the Foundation and lose such and such a battle for such and such a reason? You are trying to say I am a silly robot following a predetermined course into destruction.”

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