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Author Topic: Asimov - Foundation Series  (Read 506 times)
Melooon
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« on: August 01, 2023 @790.95 »

After binge watching the new Foundation TV series and I,Robot already being one of my favourite movies; I decided It was time to take the plunge into the book series which is very long and a bit intimidating - but so far Im enjoying it so I thought Id log it here!

Firstly; apologies if I get major facts wrong here; but from what I gather, the Asimov universe is a chaotic group of short stories and histories of the universe written between the 1940s-1990s. The story starts around 1996 (as it was imagined in 1950) and ends sometime around 48000. It covers the philosophical evolution of humanity and robots and mathematics, and charts the rise and fall of several interplanetary empires and societies and ultimately ends up focusing on a project known as the "Foundation" who's aim is to prevent a galactic dark age (I assume inspired by the dark ages experienced after the fall of the Roman empire.)

Im following the books in this order that was recommended by Asimov himself!

  • The Complete Robot (1982) and/or I, Robot (1950)
  • Caves of Steel (1954)
  • The Naked Sun (1957)
  • The Robots of Dawn (1983)
  • Robots and Empire (1985)
  • The Currents of Space (1952)
  • The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
  • Pebble in the Sky (1950)
  • Prelude to Foundation (1988)
  • Note: Forward the Foundation (1993) was then unpublished, but would have followed Prelude.
  • Foundation (1951)
  • Foundation and Empire (1952)
  • Second Foundation (1953)
  • Foundation's Edge (1982)
  • Foundation and Earth (1986)

So far Im still on book 1 (Im listening to audiobooks because Im a slow reader), but its great (admittedly I enjoy the slow bureaucratic pace of 1950s scifi books)

Have you read the series? Did you enjoy it?  :ha:
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Melooon
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2023 @653.69 »

Iv finished the first two books on the list  :grin: They are very enjoyable, although maybe a little cliched (but I think that more to do with the fact they were written 70 years ago and the ideas in them have become very common place in sci-fi).

The first book seems to be set around 2090 and is a series of short stories about robots in society starting in 1990s.
Spoiler
The stories overall aim seems to be about the establishment of a world economy designed and run by AI that can bring about world peace by ensuring steady economic stability for everyone without human prejudice.
[close]

The next book takes place in the year 4700 and more or less looks at the society that has evolved as a result of the actions that started in the first book; although it also takes the form of a fairly typical noir murder mystery story.
Spoiler
It deals with the idea that humanity needs to be able to dream; and without dreams people will turn inward and go backwards - the global economy setup by the AI is perfect, but that perfection leads to discontent - the story is about finding a way to turn dreams outward again and embrace risk and new frontiers as a social need.

There are some funny things; people still smoke, eat meat and the Bible is still the major holy book - Im not sure I'm convinced that will be the case in 2000 years (or even 100), but thats beside the point!
[close]

I will report back when I have read more!
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2023 @727.60 »

Hi.
Listened to the first two books of the Foundation Series last year and will continue soonish (atm I'm listening to the Daodejing according to Ursula K. Le Guin, also good stuff).
I'm always listening to audiobooks when going to bed, since I always slept away on my books ;).

Found it to be among the most enjoyable Sci-Fi I had so far, even though at some points you might notice the age of the stories.
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2023 @747.22 »

Personally never read anything of the Robots, but Foundation through Foundation and Earth were lovely reads. The last book veered very far into "fantasy-like" settings moreso than the first 4 - but that leads into a fruitless discussion on where fantasy ends and science fiction begins...
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Melooon
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2023 @43.37 »

If anyone wants to listen to these on audiobook; I found ALL of them for download on the internet archive!  :ozwomp:  https://archive.org/details/IsaacAsimovAudioBookCollection
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