A classic in Science-Fiction, Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ is a book I have wanted to read for a while. The long journey home from university provided me with that chance. In this book, Foundation, the society set up by Hari Seldon, is the protagonist, the setting and a constant presence throughout the pages. There are essentially three main stories, following three principle figures in Foundation’s history and creation: Hari Seldon, Salvor Hardin and Hober Mallow. Each story revolves around a crisis that will ultimately determine the history of the world and how each character deals with the crisis.
Ultimately though, it represents a utopia being built out of the ruins of an empire. A utopia built on science and innovation that had all but disappeared. ‘Foundation’ explores the effect of religion and trade on society, and demonstrates the evolution of a new empire. Each story is gripping, with the main characters being very different but interesting nonetheless. There are moments where it does feel like the same formula is being repeated, but the variety of characters and circumstances involved helps remedy that. As it is only the first book in the saga, I can’t be sure where the rest of it is headed, but I look forward to finding out.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.