Forward the Foundation

Isaac Asimov
Forward the Foundation Cover

Forward the Foundation


When I was young, Isaac Asimov was my favorite author. I read a lot of his books, science fiction and science fact, novels and short stories. I had decided that his short stories were better than his novels, that his novels were written like long short stories. I have forgotten most of what I had read of his books and in recent years I've been rereading.

Forward the Foundation was written after my youthful fanship. It does sort of confirm my early opinion. Asimov is not great at dialog. It is stiff, sometimes stodgy, and weak on inflection and nuance. In the audio book that I just heard, I think this was made to seem even more so by the narrator, Larry McKeever. R Daneel Olivaw made an appearance in Forward the Foundation, as he does an several of Asimov's late works. I think Asmiov's dialog style suits Daneel, being a robot.

Hari Seldon, the developer of psycho-history, the basis of the Foundation series, is pretty much the same character as Elijah Baley, in the Robot series, and Golan Trevize in the Foundation sequels, and probably most of Asimov's leading characters in other novels.

So, having denigrated the object of my early SF literary admiration, let me say that I haven't read anything of Asimov's that isn't pretty good. (Which I can't say of his contemporaries I also admire, Philip K Dick and Robert A Heinlein, both of whom have writen a couple of dogs.) Forward the Foundation is good old fashioned Sci-Fi and well worth the read, especially in the context of the Foundation Trilogy.