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May 20th, 2001, 09:59 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2001
- Illinois, USA
A question about the Asimov novels
I've heard and seen a lot about the scince fiction books written by the lengendary author Isaac Asimov and continued by others such as Greg Bear, but I've never read them before so I don't know really what they are about. All I know about them is that androids are in them. Could someone please tell me what Asimov's Foundation novels are about?
May 20th, 2001, 12:02 PM #2
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- Feb 2001
Well, I read them a long time ago, but I'll try. Asimov created 2 distinct series, the Foundation and the Robots. the main character in FOUNDATION is a scholar named Harry Seldon which "invented" a new science called psichohistory, which, if I remember correctly, has something to do with predicting the future. the ROBOTS series is basically about the relationships between Robots (androids) and men, ingrained in the famous laws of robotics. they are all wonderful, inteligent, pure science fiction literature. (Asimov hated the term sci-fi).
Isaac Asimov is one of the great grandmasters of science fiction, and like every true fantasy fan has to read Tolkien,
the same "rule" applies with Asimov.
BTW, I think this topic belongs in the sf board, where genre fans are more likely to reply to it.
May 20th, 2001, 03:48 PM #3CadfaelGuest
Lior is right about Foundation henry Seldon correctly predicts the fall of the interplanetary civilization in which the books are based, thus The Foundation is formed to preserve knowledge, and to be ready to step in to herald a new age of enlightenment.
I have not read the Robot books, but was not one of these the basis for Blade Runner? I think the book was called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Maybe I am totally of beem here, I think it was Asimov who wrote that book.
May 20th, 2001, 05:18 PM #4
Sorry, Dennizm, Philip K Dick wrote "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the story which Bladerunner was taken from.
May 20th, 2001, 07:13 PM #5CadfaelGuest
Thanks Erebus, I sorta had the feeling I was wrong...
I feel such a doofus... shut up FitzFlagg (before you say it)
May 21st, 2001, 02:39 AM #6
Asimov's series are really great, The Robots Series, The Foundation Series and The Empire Novels that come in between, not to mention the many short stories he wrote.
But if you like sci fi action with lots of space battles and laser guns and space monsters this is probably the wrong place to look.
If you like intelligent sci fi that debates tech philosophy and the history of the future, this is the place.
May 21st, 2001, 10:07 AM #7
Be aware that the following has been posted by someone who is a HUGE Asimov fan and is totally biased about him. Just thought I'd point that out after all the Tolkien and Eddings wars...
Isaac Asimov is one of the greatest, arguably THE greatest SF writer of all time (Yes, Asimov as all the other greats, hated the term sci-fi). His famous Robots and Foundation series, though initially two separate series were later on merged in the epic "Forward the Foundation" completed weeks before his death.
What are they about? The robots series includes "I, Robot" and "The Rest of the Robots" as well as "The Caves of Steel", "The Naked Sun", "Robots of Dawn" and "Robots and Empire". It deals mainly with human-robot relationships. Asimov created the Three Laws of Robotics and in fact crafted the term robotics... and then used these laws for a framework of extraordinary stories and novels about the impact that robots could have on a society and how their pseudo-personality can be moulded by these laws. In the process he created the famous duo of Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw, the roboticist Susan Calvin and a number of memorable robots.
The Foundation series takes place at a time when the long-standing Galactic Empire is crumbling. Hari Seldon has created a science called "Psychohistory" which can predict the possibilities of certain events happening in the future. Based on that he created an "Encycolpedia Foundation" ostensibly to preserve human knowledge but with an additional agenda to shape events so as to limit the interregnum of barbarism. No summary will do the scope of this series justice, so I won't even try.
Also highly recommended are his novel "The Gods Themselves" which I consider his finest ever, and his short stories, particularly "Nightfall", "The Winds of Change", "The Ugly Little Boy", "All the Problems of the World", "The Machine that Won the War", and my personal favourite, "The Last Question".
End totally biased opinion.
May 21st, 2001, 11:00 AM #8
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- Feb 2001
Shehzad, you don't have to apologize for being a huge Asimov fan, I don't think that's being biased, it's not like you get paid for writing favourable comments, you like him solely for his storytelling, don't you?
Anyway, thanks for a great post which reminded me of the characters names in the ROBOTS books.
Asimov's short stories are great, even the ones that aren't sf.(he had a few of those.)
BTW, Asimov wrote the story introductions in many Hugo winners books, and sometimes the introduction was better than the story
[This message has been edited by lior (edited May 21, 2001).]