Review: Foundation

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Foundation Book Cover
Foundation Foundation, Book 1 Science Fiction HarperCollins Audiobook 8h 56m Audible

Winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series.

The Foundation series is Isaac Asimov’s iconic masterpiece. Unfolding against the backdrop of a crumbling Galactic Empire, the story of Hari Seldon’s two Foundations is a lasting testament to an extraordinary imagination, one whose unprecedented scale shaped science fiction as we know it today. The Galactic Empire has prospered for 12,000 years. Nobody suspects that the heart of the thriving Empire is rotten until psychohistorian Hari Seldon uses his new science to foresee its terrible fate. Exiled to the desolate planet Terminus, Seldon establishes a colony of the greatest minds in the Empire, a Foundation which holds the key to changing the fate of the galaxy. However, the death throes of the Empire breed hostile new enemies and the young Foundation’s fate will be threatened first.


Superb.

Foundation is essentially a chronology of interlinked shorter stories which span a period of time from the birth of the Foundation through to its third key crisis (about 200 years). Each story links with the previous, and the narration of this audiobook is excellent. The writing is tight and interesting with political machinations, intrigue and layers within layers. The science of the fiction is not ‘hard’ and this is more a setting in which the human and civilisational stories play out.

I was enthralled and listened to it over 3 days and have now queued up book 2 in the series to see how Foundation and Empire plays out.

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By Edward

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    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!