Amph Foundations of SciFi: Isaac Asimov

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by JediTrilobite, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4

    Who says it isn't? For all we know, we may be part of some big psychohistory experiment right now [face_mischief]
  2. thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 4
    Who says it isn't? For all we know, we may be part of some big psychohistory experiment right now

    Oh no... please, anything but that! *has images of The Matrix*
  3. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
  4. Raja_Io Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    Foundation > Matrix [face_peace]

    The project itself was bigger and more sophisticated, in my opinion.

    However, I also liked The end of eternity and Nemesis. I especially liked the idea of "collective" mind.
  5. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    As I see it, the movie I, Robot took the basic premise of That Thou Art Mindful of Him and translated it into a decent Hollywood action film. There's the First Law violation by the "good" robot (whose name I can't recall at the moment), but . . . well, that's Hollywood for you. :p

    - lazy
  6. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I read my first Asimov short story when I was 12 years old, and have been hooked ever since.
  7. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I was looking the series up last week. What's the style of writing? Prose was significantly different that long ago . . .
  8. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    Well, I'm the first to admit that Asimov didn't describe his characters in any detail, but that's not to say he wrote only about technology. I like the way he wrote about the way technological changes affect societies.

    My favorite Asimov short stories are Nightfall and The Last Question.

    We shouldn't forget that Asimov was also a brilliant non-fiction writer.
  9. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    I haven't read Robots or Foundation series yet. For some reason, I like to read the obscure stuff. Also, I'd really like to read them now, but I hate being in the middle of already out series and not having all the book immediately available. SO maybe I'll start collecting them from used book stores, and start when i have the majority of them.
  10. DarthPhelps Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    Read them and you won't regret it! The Robot novels are great page-turners in my opinion. I keep telling myself that I need to revisit the Robot & Foundation series, but it seems that there's always something else on my reading to-do list.
  11. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Robots is an amazing read, but I agree, a lot of his obscure stuff is also really good to read.
  12. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    In your unbiased opinion, do you think the prose was stiffer and less variegated than "today's" reading, if today's can even be considered good, that is.

    Why is Asimov so famous, anyway? He's quoted in every second review the way Tolkien is quited in every fantasy review. Was there no sci fi in that era? I know the term SF was made in 1940.
  13. Alcareru Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    The Foundation series hands down. I even enjoyed the later "prequel" books.
  14. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    I've read a fair amount of his Foundation books, and found them extremely interesting. I was quite desperate for them to be returned to the library on time back in high school :)

    Much later I read 'Prelude to Foundation', though I found it a bit heavier going (mainly because I'd forgotten so much I think. Plus the links to the Robot series went over my head, having never read those).

    Anybody played the Robot City computer game? Based on Asimov's works and quite intriguing, though extremely obscure.
  15. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Sometime I should go back and re-read the Foundation series. Maybe this time I should go in story chronological order...
  16. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I've only read Foundation, although I have all three. I'm a little afraid that 2 and 3 won't live up to the first one.
  17. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    The first time, when I was like 15, I lost steam halfway through book 3. Then when I was like 20 I went through and read the whole thing.
  18. Coruscant Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 7
    I picked up Foundation recently. It's very good. So far, the Mayors section is my favorite- go Salvor Hardin! :)

    Will post more thoughts when I finish...
  19. Arkady Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2004
    star 1
    Wow, an Asimov thread, how very cool! I just today picked up Robot Dreams and Robot Visions. I absolutly loved the Foundation series, but just couldn't get into the Second Fundation books, but I didn't try very hard. Are they worth the effort?

    Arkady
  20. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    Hardin is my favorite, too. Funnily enough, since his name is Hardin I always picture him being played by Jerry Hardin.
  21. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    Asimov's writing is rather formal by today's standards.

    Asimov is famous because he wrote almost incessantly from 1938 (got his first story published in 1939 when he was just 19) to his death in 1992. That's a lot of stories. He, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were the first to really popularize science-fiction. When they started writing, there were no such things as SF anthologies, never mind novels published. All they had were pulp magazines. The three writers mentioned were among the first to get their works published in book form, and helped make SF as popular as it is today.
  22. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I think their writing would be stale . . . but I need to do some in-store peeking to know for certain. Like that overhyped LOTR, I think readers are dazzled by its progenitoring of the genre than that it really is. Amazon's preview of Foundation seems to show this. The voice is storytelling to you. Hmmm . . . [face_thinking]
  23. emilsson Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    I loved the Foundations series as a teenager and read all of them, plus most of the Robot novels. But I never got the chance to read the Empire books. Now I am seriously considering rereading it all, just to see if he managed to tie it together as the later books that bridge the different series became my particular favourites.

    On that note, I have a Swedish edition of Forward the foundation and it mentions that End of eternity might be part of it too. I wonder if anyone knows anything about this.
  24. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Been re-reading some Asimov lately (reading the Foundation series to my bf, starting with Prelude to Foundation), and the thing is, it may have brilliant ideas and a good plot, but I have to admit even the later stuff (after he'd been doing exclusively non-fiction for a long time) isn't well written up to the standards you'd like to see. (Now, note, I'm a sf buff and aspiring writer myself, and I *love* Asimov works dearly...). For example, every time someone speaks, he has to put '**** said...' even if you know exactly who's speaking, or could use some other trick to tell you without being so intrusive. That slows it down tremendously, and since I'm reading it out loud and pay attention to these things as an aspiring writer myself, I notice it. Now, as an Asimov lover, I've also read a good deal about him, and he worked *fast*. Gave himself little time for editing, you know what I'm saying? And obviously his training was as a pulp writer.

    On the other hand, he was a master of plot and had ideas coming out the wazoo. I *dream* of psychohistory and the Three Laws, you know what I'm saying? Balances out the weakness, IMO, although I of course would rather the weakness wasn't there to begin with.

    And, yeah, to give you an idea of how much of an influence he probably was on me... like I said, I'm an aspiring sf writer and genre buff, but I'm also something of an aspiring chemist, science writer... yeah, like that. And I've seriously thought about psychohistory as something that might be possible at some point.
  25. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    For example, every time someone speaks, he has to put '**** said...' even if you know exactly who's speaking, or could use some other trick to tell you without being so intrusive.

    That absolutely annoys the Darth lords out of me. And you know what? Bucket loads of authors do it even now, today, tomorrow.

    Cavanagh nodded. "Very well," he said.

    Why add the "he said"? Drives me bonkers.
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