Book Review: Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Second Foundation

By Isaac Asimov 1953


Like many of the Sci-fi Godfathers, Asimov writes grand, breathtaking stories with delightful simplicity. For the whole trilogy, I’d give it 4 stars. The part that confuses me though, is for the second time in the trilogy, I can’t give this individual book more than 3.

There are considerable spans of times between the books. This leaves the only consistent character to be the myth, Hari Seldon, whom you’ve never met. The characters we do meet and know, though enjoyable, are not very relatable or complex. They’re all small parts in the grand picture that Asimov is building. That picture that hooked me.

Where history concerns mainly personalities, the drawings become either black or white according to the interests of the writer.

There are two fundamental parts to his exploration. The first is the power of the will and the purpose of human agency within the massive ebbs and flows of humanity. The second is the exploration of the role and power of religion. When there is something that seems so big, so inescapable, what power do you have to escape it? To stop it? Is it the mere belief that you are on the side of some bigger truth that tips the balance from defeat to victory? Does that belief make it real?

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