The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ But ‘That’s funny…’Isaac Asimov
This week’s book snap features books from the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (1920-1992). One of the most well-known science fiction writers, Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books. Many of them were science fiction or popular science, but he also wrote in the fantasy and mystery genres as well. The first book by Asimov that I read was I, Robot which I read a couple of years ago when I was doing a literature course on speculative fiction. Last year I picked up a few of his books from the Lifeline Bookfest in Toowoomba, including two from his Foundation series.
The Foundation series is probably Asimov’s most famous work of science fiction and initially was a trilogy published during the 1950s.
- Foundation (1951)
- Foundation and Empire (1952)
- Second Foundation (1953)
Thirty years later he started writing additional books, adding two sequels…
- Foundation’s Edge (1982)
- Foundation and Earth (1986)
and two prequels…
- Prelude to Foundation (1988)
- Forward the Foundation (1993)
This makes a total of seven books. But I only had two, so I started looking around for the other books. I have managed to find the two prequels in our town library and a friend has kindly loaned me a hardback of the original trilogy, so now I am just missing one – Foundation’s Edge. The big question is though – in what order should I read them: chronologically in terms of events or in the order they were written?
Usually, I am a bit pedantic when it comes to reading a series. I like to start at the beginning and read them in chronological order of events, but I have discovered there is a bit of debate about this. There are readers who advocate for reading them in the order they were written. I am quite open for recommendations here, so what do you think?
If you are not familiar with the Foundation series here is the general premise…
In the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises. Seldon devises a plan to limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. Seldon creates the Foundations – two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy – to preserve the spirit of science and civilisation, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire.
I enlisted Dan’s help for my book snap this week. I didn’t really have anything kind of “spacey” except for Bec’s Star Wars lego, but luckily Dan had this great puzzle, which we first had to make so I could take the snap. Great excuse for some mother-son time!