Monday, July 13, 2009

Foundation And Empire by Isaac Asimov (finished)

I just finished Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov.

I was impressed by the first book, Foundation, so I was compelled to continue the series.  I am not reading it in the order that is recommended by the publishers (in chronology of the story).  I am reading it in order of when Asimov wrote the stories: Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation.  I don't plan to read further than the third book.

The book is a continuation of "What if the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire is set in space".  This book is divided into two separate stories; the first is about 100 pages long and the second is about 185 pages long.

The second story introduces the character of the Mule.  The Mule is a memorable character.  Unfortunately, I can't mention more about the Mule without spoiling the story.  Asimov handles the introduction and the development of the Mule very well.

I didn't notice this so much in the first book but I thought this a number of time in this second book.  The execution of Asimov's story telling is not very good.  It suffices to move the story forward but there were a number of confusing sentences and jarring transitions.

Regardless, Asimov's story and ideas (regardless of execution) are outstanding.  It seems to me that modern science fiction writers like to borrow from Asimov a lot (to put it kindly).  And it is no surprise because Asimov's vision of the future is original and compelling.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.  The writing is a little weak but sufficient.  The story (especially about the Mule) is outstanding.  Enjoy the book if you choose to read it.  Good times. :)

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