Review: Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov (1951, 1952, 1953)

img_0712I liked the first book of the Foundation trilogy enough to push on through the remaining two, and I’m glad I did (Foundation review).  Although they retain some of the faults of the initial novel both Foundation and Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953) retain the intellectually stimulating plot, broad scope, and good pace of the first, with the bonus of directly addressing, and developing the plot around one of my main complaints about the first book – the predictive sociology of the Seldon Plan. Continue reading “Review: Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov (1951, 1952, 1953)”

Review: Foundation, Isaac Asimov (1951)

img_0711 Foundation is the first of a now famous trilogy of sci-fi novels. It’s a compilation of five short stories, four of which had already been published separately, developing the initial story of the ‘Foundation’; a scientific institute founded on the edge of the inhabited galactic empire to preserve scientific knowledge and capability in the predicted event of imperial decline and collapse.
Let me first say that I really enjoyed this novel and intend to read at least the other two in the trilogy. (Asimov later expanded to a series including another four books).  The series has aged, and I enjoyed the classic feel of the novel, with a Galactic Empire and renegade planets, a focus on atomic power, and so on.   One of the early plot elements is the development of an Encyclopedia Galactica by a small team of specialists, which immediately brings one back in time to pre-Hitchhiker’s Guide sci-fi (let alone a pre-Wikipedia world). Continue reading “Review: Foundation, Isaac Asimov (1951)”

Review: The Word for World is Forest, Ursula K Le Guin (1976)

img_0465I picked up a 1976 paperback edition of this novel from the wonderful Ubu Books in Brighton’s Open Market.  Brighton used to be full of great second-hand bookshops: I have very fond memories of many of them from a period on the dole twenty years or so ago, when I’d spend afternoons wandering around town meandering through them, before taking my purchases to the Great Eastern pub and ensconcing myself in the corner there to read.  The great joy was the unplanned nature of the browsing, and the accidental discoveries it allowed.  Sadly, these biblio-havens are thinning out – but Ubu remains.  I recommend you visit if you are ever in that part of Brighton.
In my youth I read a fair few of Le Guin’s books, hooked by the A Wizard of Earthsea trilogy.  This was one I missed. Reading it now both took me back, through its recognisable style, and encouraged me to revisit more of her work. A happy accidental rediscovery. Continue reading “Review: The Word for World is Forest, Ursula K Le Guin (1976)”