For the last month or so I have been reading the entire Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, from “Foundation” all through “Foundation and Earth”. No wonder it has been awarded the Hugo award for the best science fiction series of all time.
Yet it’s not what anyone would expect when told that it’s a science fiction story. It approaches the fall of an empire and rise of a new and improved one, but from a somehow political point of view embedded in a science fiction environment.
That’s right, the way I felt it, science fiction is not the real focus of the series. Even though it has a detailed description of this futuristic empire in which the story is set, it thoroughly describes the political relationship between planets, sectors and all kinds of organizations. It’s all about the many stages of development of a rising empire, going through all of it’s economics developments, major shifts in the empire’s system and much more.
And what I loved the most, Psychohistory. Asimov was smart enough, to come up with a new branch of science that can predict future when applied to a large amount of humans based on probabilities and psychology. And this somehow makes sense in my head, after all today we study history as a way to learn from past trends and learn from them to avoid the same mistakes over and over again (Although the trend in my country is to make the same mistakes over and over again).
Overall the Foundation Series is highly recommendable. All five books of it (I haven’t yet read “Prelude to Foundation” and “Forward the Foundation”) are thrilling and engaging. Definitely something enjoyable and not only by nerds or alikes.