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Foundation (Foundation, #1)Foundation by Isaac Asimov

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I once read that tbe only genre that can get away with not having rounded characters is science fiction. This book tries that philosophy, but doesn’t get away with it, in my opinion. Hari Seldon could be called the main character, as his presence is felt throughout the book, and he’s the only one who lasts more than a few pages, but even he’s gone early on in the book, as this covers hundreds of years of history with a short story covering every crisis. The premise is that Hari can tell the future analyzing the flows of the greater population, although not individuals, and foresees that the galactic empire is going to fall and descend into barbarianism. If a group of people follow his plans and build a research center at the far end of the galaxy, that fall would take 1000 years instead of 30000. He then records himself for every crisis that will happen, to give future generations the answer they need to survive. Interesting idea, but as each generation goes by, I find myself caring less about the new characters that keep popping up and don’t bother keeping track of them. Plus, there were some strange ideas about the technology. For example, these supposed ‘barbarians’ still have faster than light travel (FTL), but they lose nuclear power. It seems like FTL is more advanced than nuclear power, since, well, we have access to the latter now and not the former. Aside from all of these issues, everytime I read the Galactic Empire, Emperor Palpatine came to mind. The good ideas deal with combining economics, politics, and religion into science fiction, instead of relying so much on gadgets. I know many people like this series, but I could never get into it much.

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