Reading is as much a part of writing as the creative thoughts that create writing. Exposing your mind to the thoughts of others, exploring the world and imagination through someone else’s eyes is an amazing thing, because you are stirring up your mind, making way for new thoughts to form.
This is why I’m about to share with you one of my favourite novels ever. The ‘Foundation’ series by Isaac Asimov.
Not many people know of this series, but it’s one of the best sci-fi novels there is. It was recommended to me by Henry Reich of Minute Physics.
The series consists of 7 books and deals with Hari Seldon, a scientist who has developed psychohistory, a science which can predict the future of large masses of population using algorithms. He predicts that the Empire, which rules over the enitre Milky Way galaxy is about to collapse and will lead to 30,000 years of chaos and ruin. Only then would a new empire take shape.
However, he also calculates that this period of chaos could be reduced to 1000 years if proper precuations are taken. He sets up two foundations on either sides of the galaxy, to serve as a protector of all the knowledge, arts and culture of the galaxy. The whole series deals with how these two foundations overcome challenges and grow to be the harbingers of the new Empire.
The part I really love about the novels are the way Asimov develops his characters. The characters are well-defined and you get subtle clues here and there as to their true nature. It is simple enough to understand, but also deep and mysterious. Character development is the strong suit of the novels. Be it Gaal Dormick, who is doubtful at first, but is later convinced of the destruction, or Salvor Hardin, who is extremely manipulative and plays people off one another, everyone is multidimensional.
Another strong suit are the unexpected plot-twists. I can guarantee edge of the seat action while reading this series, but you will find the way the story twists over amazing. The characters take unexpected actions, say things they really shouldn’t, but it is revealed in the end that everything they did was with a goal in mind. That always kind of blows me away.
If you haven’t done it already, I recommend you to read the series. I’ve read the first book ‘Foundation’, am awaiting the delivery of the second-in-series ‘Foundation and Empire’ and am currently reading ‘Second Foundation’, the third book in the series.
I’m sure you will not regret choosing to read this book. It has been called “the greatest achievement in modern SF” by The Times and was what inspired and got Elon Musk interested in space exploration.
As of writing this post, I was informed of a major news event. My long-lasting sorrow over the lack of media adaptation of Foundation was finally addressed.
So what are your book recommendations? Have you read Foundation before, or are you planning to read it now? Let’s discuss.