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[ Books ] Foundation, by Isaac Asimov - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
[ Books ] Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
Just finished reading, maybe for the third time in my life, 'Foundation' by Isaac Asimov. , which is the set reading for the next meeting of bibliogoth How times change (even though admittedly they need to change a lot more). Apart from the rather quaint galaxy the story takes place in, where everything is 'atomic' (but of course he was writing this at the end of the 1940's so nuclear energy was a promise rather than a threat), the first thing that strikes me is the fact that all the characters of any consequence are men and the only woman that has a voice at all in the book, although fierce, is still just somebody's wife and somebody's daughter.

The book is also an hymn to unbridled capitalism, which Asimov clearly believes to be a force for good...well, what we're dealing with in the world, with the consequences of greed on the part of corporations and banks may have put paid to any such beliefs.

Having said all this, though, I enjoyed the book enormously again. It cannot help being a product of its time and has all the corresponding flaws but it's a very good story and a good example of what I feel science-fiction should be, entertaining and thought provoking, a mirror held at us from a distance.

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flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: October 23rd, 2014 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Asimov realised that the lack of female characters was a flaw and tried to correct that in Prelude to Foundation, where by far the most interesting character is Dors Venabili. The only problem with this is that Venabili wasn't really a woman but a robot....
kruku From: kruku Date: October 26th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read Foundation when I was very young and as much as I enjoyed the vision of human cultures out amongst the stars I did find it a little two dimensional. Which pretty much stems from the observations you make about women & capitalism in Foundation.
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