Author Topic: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)  (Read 3766 times)

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Offline Emy_105_

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2008, 02:23:59 PM »
How crazy! I just picked Foundation and Empire up, and it's still in my hand even as i type. Wonderful, makes me wish Asimov was still alive so i could send him weird shit in the mail.

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2008, 07:24:47 PM »

I just finished Isaac Asimov’s Forward the Foundation. The book was published in 1993 posthumously.
An excellent book.
I like to get more from a book, particularly fiction, than is contained in the actual book. I try to understand what the author was thinking at the time the book was written.

He was born 1920Apr06 (or as early as 1919Oct04) and died 1992Jan02.
Asimov was born in the Soviet Union. His family moved to the US when he was 3.
He taught in a university

Isaac was born in and lived long enough to see the collapse of the Soviet Empire. He also lived in the American Empire. So, what was the inspiration for the Empire that was in decline? Maybe both. The last 100 pages of Forward seem to refer to the American Empire.

I think that Psychohistory was a blend of ideas that were swirling around Asimov. There was an idea called Long waves or Kondratiev waves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave
which first surfaced in 1925, a few years after Asimov was born.
Chaos theory, more correctly called deterministic chaos theory, had also been around for some time
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

Ray Bradbury had a short story published in 1952 which mentioned chaos theory to prevent a paradox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder

Chaos theory was popularized in 1987 by James Glick in Chaos: Making a New Science. That is where I became familiar with it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos:_Making_a_New_Science

Foundation, the first of the original series was published in 1951.
Forward the Foundation was 1993, I imagine that it was written mostly before he died in 1992. I did find some story out of sequence p. 337 occurred before 316; I think it was an editing error. Overall, it was still pretty good editing. I would imagine that his longtime collaborator Janet Asimov, did the final edit, but I don’t know.
Foundation and Chaos by Greg Bear was published in 1998.

It is fairly clear to me that Asimov was talking about a deterministic chaos in the Foundation series.
Forward the Foundation references to chaos p.24, 25, 54, 81 etc.
References to Robots p.85 etc.
References to Computers p. 7, 13, many references. He got it, finally.
Based on my own reading, it probably includes some long wave ideas, though I saw no direct references. Or maybe Chaos included Long Waves?

Hari Seldon was unaware that his companion of 25 or 30 years, Dors Venabili was a robot, p.302. The woman who was called the “Tiger Woman” for her speed and strength was apparently just a regular girl to Hari Seldon. Also, she didn’t seem to age, except that her hair changed color. Well Duh!

Offline seanahan

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2008, 10:59:34 PM »
Asimov said numerous times that the idea of an empire in decline was inspired by Edward Gibbon's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire
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Offline spiney

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »
Foundation was born when John Campbell sugggested Asimov write a decline and fall of galactic empire! However, the stories read more like Tacitus.

The "telepathic" 2nd foundation reflected Campbell's obsession with J B Rhine's esp "research", otherwise Asimov probably wouldn't have put that in. It gets in the way,makes the whole thing much less convincing.

The original stories (books trilogy) are fast moving and good, the much later ones are more like extended single ideas, with a particular sexual emphasis !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus

Note that, The Psychohistorians - which begins Foundation - was only written for the novel ! As I say, that stuff got added on later.

http://homepage.mac.com/jhjenkins/Asimov/Books/Book004.html
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 05:52:55 PM by spiney »

Offline DoctorOHM

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2008, 07:02:31 PM »
Not actually having read trough all the replys in this tread, i would like to say that i really love the entire series (What is it now? fourteen books, 1 450 000 words(as Asimov writes in the forword to Prelude to foundation, 1997)), and i've read Greg Bears' foundation and chaos of the second foundation trilogy and i like that too, Greg might not be as great a writer as Asimov but still... great.

I'm not shure where i'm going with this.. it's friday night and i've had a few, so have patience with me.

Gotta love the foundation!
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Offline spiney

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2008, 11:48:50 AM »
Note that, Foundation "trilogy" - condensed from the original shorter stories - wasn't planned, and doesn't fit together too well!

Although psychohistory was always there, The Mule - with telepathic powers - doesn't appear till halfway through book 2, and although Ebling mis guesses the function of 2nd foundation towards end book 2, they are not revelaed as also telepaths until halway through book 3 (read start of book 3 carefully).

This slow plot change was result of Campbell's esp obsession, and the quality deteriorates towards end book 3! Nevertheless, still a great read.

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2008, 11:52:26 AM »
Not actually having read trough all the replys in this tread, i would like to say that i really love the entire series (What is it now? fourteen books, 1 450 000 words(as Asimov writes in the forword to Prelude to foundation, 1997)), and i've read Greg Bears' foundation and chaos of the second foundation trilogy and i like that too, Greg might not be as great a writer as Asimov but still... great.

I'm not shure where i'm going with this.. it's friday night and i've had a few, so have patience with me.

Gotta love the foundation!

Asimov died in 1992. Forward the Foundation was published posthumously.

 

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