In PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION, what happed in the many centuries before the events made famous in Asimov's other Foundation novels - hitherto only hinted at - is now revealed. The Key to the Future It is the year 12,020 G.E. and the last Galactic Emperor of the Autun dynasty, Cleon I, sits uneasily on the throne. These are troubled times and Cleon is ...
In PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION, what happed in the many centuries before the events made famous in Asimov's other Foundation novels - hitherto only hinted at - is now revealed. The Key to the Future It is the year 12,020 G.E. and the last Galactic Emperor of the Autun dynasty, Cleon I, sits uneasily on the throne. These are troubled times and Cleon is desperate to find a way to calm them. When young Outworld mathematician Hari Seldon arrives on Trantor to present a paper on psychohistory, his astounding theory of prediction, the emperor believes that his future security may rest on Seldon's prophetic powers. But Hari Seldon becomes the most wanted man in the Empire as he struggles desperately to keep his remarkable theory from falling into the wrong hands. At the same time he must he must forge the key to the future - a power to be known as the Foundation.
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This book provides detail on Hari Seldon himself, his hopes and ambitions, fears and triumphs. It's a very human tale with extraordinary implications.
A superb treat for "Foundation" fans.
Compared to the original trilogy, this work is slow moving and ponderous in style. The plot is OK but one misses the fast pace of the original trilogy. But then, perhaps it reflects Asimov's more mature style towards the end of his life and commercial need for a longer novel.
The usual Asimov twists are there.
Take your time, read slowly and enjoy.
Jun 22, 2009
Worst Foundation Novel - Downplays the Originals
As bad as Earth was, Prelude is worse. It adds little to the series, and in fact, it takes something away. I don't like what Asimov's done to Seldon. Originally, Seldon was depicted as an erudite mathematecian and historian who devised his psychohistory and famous plan out of his own magnanimity. Here, he's a naive mathematician with no common sense and no knowledge of history. He keeps insisting that psychohistory isn't practical, and has to be forced into developing it. Moreover, he didn't, as it says in the original trilogy, discover that the Empire was collapsing - he was told that it was collapsing. And there was already a plan in place to cushion the fall. Seldon's gone from being an intelligent, foresighted man and galactic hero - despite uncertainty as to the desirability of his form of government - to the largely ignorant man whom Daneel picked to be his in-case-plan-A-goes-to-hell guy. It downplays the importance of the original trilogy, and I really don't appreciate that.
Also, why did Asimov use a slight variation on the same plot twist for most of the Foundation novels? It came as a surprise the first couple times, but now it's just getting old.
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