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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:41 pm 
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GKC wrote:
I've never read PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION, but I thought I might like to.

It's basically Hari Seldon's "origin story"

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:47 pm 
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GKC wrote:
For me, the Trilogy, the Robots, most short stories, are the essential Asimov.

You left out the "Galactic Empire" yarns -- The Currents of Space, The Stars, Like Dust, and Pebble in the Sky.

The Stars, Like Dust under its original publication name of "Tyrann" is actually available on-line:
https://archive.org/stream/galaxymagazi ... 5/mode/2up

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
For me, the Trilogy, the Robots, most short stories, are the essential Asimov.

You left out the "Galactic Empire" yarns -- The Currents of Space, The Stars, Like Dust, and Pebble in the Sky.

The Stars, Like Dust under its original publication name of "Tyrann" is actually available on-line:
https://archive.org/stream/galaxymagazi ... 5/mode/2up



Sort of on purpose. I didn't like them much.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:51 am 
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GKC wrote:
Sort of on purpose. I didn't like them much.

Sad!

But they are essential Asimov whether one likes them or not.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:17 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
Sort of on purpose. I didn't like them much.

Sad!

But they are essential Asimov whether one likes them or not.



Note that my words were "For me...". Which means what I liked, what I can recommend, and what is thus essential...for me.

Under Campbell's prodding, Asimov bolted together a form of Heinlein's Future History, chronologically slotting his work together, fitting in new things, filling gaps, making connections. It might be essential to understanding the structure to know and read all.

Heinlein's I liked (to a point). Asimov's I liked...the essential work. Might have a look at PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION, but I wouldn't go in search of it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:20 am 
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When I read Asimov as a 6th grader, I was ensnared. I thought that he was the height of storytelling and writing. I attended a lecture he presented and was ensnared again -- he was brilliant.

So, as an adult, I decided to reread him. I got through about 30 pages and quit. He was a horrible writer. He hadn't changed, but, clearly, I had.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:36 am 
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I reread the original three Foundation works recently and found them enjoyable.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:41 am 
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Highlander wrote:
When I read Asimov as a 6th grader, I was ensnared. I thought that he was the height of storytelling and writing. I attended a lecture he presented and was ensnared again -- he was brilliant.

So, as an adult, I decided to reread him. I got through about 30 pages and quit. He was a horrible writer. He hadn't changed, but, clearly, I had.



And I appreciate your attendance.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:41 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I reread the original three Foundation works recently and found them enjoyable.



I expect I would, too. But I got too much stuff ahead of me still.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:00 am 
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I actually found the Foundation series rather difficult to read because of the way he jumps around in the timeline, jumping ahead 50 years or 100 years, with no clear indication that he has done so. It would be one thing if he explicitly said 'and then 100 years later....' but he doesn't clearly state the timeline, you simply have to infer that the timeline has changed from the context.

It is difficult to get into the story because you are reading along in one chapter, with one set of characters, and then suddenly and abruptly in the next chapter it is 100 years later and there is a brand new set of characters.

The way that you constantly have to adjust to having a new set of characters makes it difficult to get into the story, you're constantly being introduced to new characters.

One thing that confused me is the time shift in Foundation and Empire. At the end of one chapter, it clearly says that the Foundation won the war against the empire, and then literally in the very next chapter, it is 100 years later, and the Foundation is defeated by the Mule.

I was completely confused by the way that the book says in one chapter that the Foundation won the war, and then in the next chapter says that they lost, with no clear indication that we have moved ahead in the timeline by several decades.

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:23 pm 
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The reason you see that is that the books of the Foundation series aren't really "novels" with "chapters," even if they're marketed that way. They are really collections of his "Foundation" stories/novellas, which were serialized in SF magazines in the 1940s. The one exception is the first story, which was written for the first book as a way of introducing* the other stories. So Foundation is made up of five stories, Foundation and Empire of two, and Second Foundation of two. Nowadays such a book would probably not be published without some "fix-up" text in between each of the stories.

*The original introduction (! - which I had never read until today) is here: http://www.pannis.com/SFDG/TheFoundatio ... ation.html

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 Post subject: Re: The Foundation Series
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:45 pm 
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The story would be a lot easier to follow if it was clear that it is a collection of short stories with no central narrative.

Ray Bradbury's 'The Martian Chronicles' is also a collection of short stories shoehorned into a novel, but it contains a preface where Bradbury explains the origins and that each 'chapter' was originally written as a separate story and that, at the suggestion of the publisher, he developed a vague continuity and wrote a few connecting chapters to make it seem like a 'novel.'

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