I’ve finished reading Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” and I’m left with a buzz in my ears that sounds suspiciously like WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?!
I mean, the storyline made sense, the premise was great, I absolutely agree that our ever increasing need for technologies to make our lives easier, is somewhat limping us some more, and the idea that someday, when it all crashes down, our society will be left with a void of knowledge so great, it will send our civilization back into the primitive first attempts at understanding the world around us, falls into place within Asimov’s universe, and although my approach might not be as drastic as the one in the book, I can understand why it would have to be so, in order to create the plot.
What I don’t get is how such a good and original base idea got shut to hell when political and economical issues piped in. I get the feeling that the writer meant to face this topics and their developing was supposed to take a major part in the story, but at the end, all the hopping forward into the future made a lot of things go unsolved, and all that was left was this sense of incompleteness, that I just can’t bring myself to sympathize with. I can only assume that the reason why it was made this way was to create a background to the real action, the story that he really wanted to tell, is just that if he was gonna do that, wouldn’t have been better if he got it better explained? Or better yet, if he went explaining it as the real story progressed? I don’t think all that was necessary since it only made it harder for me to get it and that’s no way to treat a reader!
So all in all, I give him points for what he tried to do, the original idea behind all the jumping, but the jumping itself? Completely unnecessary.
It gave me the idea that the author got so wrapped up in the fact that he was writing science fiction, that he forgot what a tool that was! This is using the gender as an ending and not just as a mean, it lost the chance to study human behavior, and how people will react just the same despite the situation. ::shakes head::
Something else that bugged the hell outta me? The whole Scientology deal. If you’re going to use religion as a mean to control people politically, then try something smarter than technology, or perhaps it has to do with the base idea and its all pointing to the inevitable circles history moves in… hmmm, there’s a thought.
Maybe I just got the whole thing wrong, or, as I get the feeling, didn’t get it at all. My mind keeps zoning back to times when the Bene Gesserit had their planes, and explained them to the reader because it fitted the plot, it helped it. And the religion was based in a real god-like being with mental abilities developed through not-so-natural selection and expansive training. In Dune, science fiction was a mere tool that, granted, allowed certain situations to happen so the plot would dance to that tune, but THAT didn’t make the plot. The real story was told by the characters and not their toys (as cool as they were), Dune made possible the description of a political world where religion was a way to control masses, because said masses believed in something believable, they were not fooled by techies wearing robes. It dealt with Sacrifice, and choices, even ecology somehow skillfully thrown into the mix. Many details that were not left without explanation because they made sense in that universe, a sense I did not get with “Foundation” and is really sad, because this book is supposed to be a very big thing and I didn’t get it. I mean SCIENTOLOGY people!!!! That’s a real life religion and I just can’t get pass the feeling its all about people willingly accepting a lie because its just that much more comfortable, its easier to accept than metaphysical philosophies and intangible promises, it requires minimum effort, and really it fits our times, but STILL!
Or perhaps I expected too much from this book since I’d previously read “I, Robot” and that one was good, it dealt with ethics and SciFi goodies were left as background and nothing more. “Foundation” didn’t tell me anything, other than that capitalist economy will survive freakin’ apocalypse itself.
I think I’ll let this brew for a while and go back to the book, maybe the thing is so well written that you need a second time in order to grasp some of it… one can only hope.
Its actually a series so maybe the following volumes will explain something and that would allow me to see this first one under a new light, I don’t know.
So if anyone cares to help me here. I’m sorely disappointed, but I refuse to let go of hope, basically ‘cause I already used my time with it. I’d really like to make it count.
And I cannot, will not let slip the raging machismo in this book! The only woman mentioned in the ENTIRE length of it was a mere bridge, some kind of go-between for a feudalist dude and the established empire, or something like that, point is, she was an adornment and a spoiled one at that!! Jesus. Fucking. Christ! What is it with men not knowing how to write a female character; again, comparison cannot be helped, Frank Herbert was a genius, Dune was fundamentally a female world, ruled by men, but said men were more or less, ruled by women (in one way or another, i.e.: The Bene Gesserit, Lady Jessica, Alia, Ghanima, Chani), and so there was a balance of sorts that resembled reality in a more believable way. Seriously my feminism’s been beaten black and blue.
That out of my system, I can go elsewhere and do something else, with absolute peace of mind :D
And yeah, coffee continues to rock loudly!!!!