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  1. #16
    Elder Member Libaax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Interesting article by Tom Holland in the Guardian from a few weeks ago, The fall of the Roman empire and the rise of Islam mentions both Asimov's Foundation and Frank Herbert's Dune. I haven't read any of Holland's books yet, but think I might have a look something now, as I liked this piece.
    Really interesting article. Easy to compare Foundation with Roman Empire history but i thought he overdid that Asimov made Mule like the prophet. Dune and the Paul the dune messiah is much closer to the holy prophet. A leader that comes from nowhere in desert land to start a religon,people that conquered alot of the world.

    I know Holland by reputation, his historical books is acclaimed. I will read him now that i enjoyed his essay.
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  2. #17
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Asimov talked at some length about the inspirations for the Mule and for Foundation, including in his bio In Memory Yet Green. Foundation was explicitly based on the Roman Empire and The Mule was a compilation of historical conquerors, including Attila and Tamurlaine. I really don't see The Prophet there at all.

  3. #18
    Elder Member Libaax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    Asimov talked at some length about the inspirations for the Mule and for Foundation, including in his bio In Memory Yet Green. Foundation was explicitly based on the Roman Empire and The Mule was a compilation of historical conquerors, including Attila and Tamurlaine. I really don't see The Prophet there at all.
    Yeah i havent read his bio but i saw what he did, where the inspirations for Mule,Foundation came from. The historical scope is really why i enjoyed it. Roman Empire, their enemy conquerers like Attila. The Prophet angle i think Holland used with Foundation because Fall of Roman Empire was clearly inspiration for Foundation. Holland's narrative was to connect the fall of roman empire with the rise of Islam.
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  4. #19
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    The original trilogy is by far the best. I actually did enjoy Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, though not nearly as much as the original books.

    Prelude and Forward...I had to force myself to read though them, just boring as hell and not needed.
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  5. #20
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    Asimov talked at some length about the inspirations for the Mule and for Foundation, including in his bio In Memory Yet Green. Foundation was explicitly based on the Roman Empire and The Mule was a compilation of historical conquerors, including Attila and Tamurlaine. I really don't see The Prophet there at all.
    I think it's worth mentioning that Asimov's biography/memoirs are extremely entertaining. They also reveal a lot more about the man than he might have intended!
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  6. #21
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    I think it's worth mentioning that Asimov's biography/memoirs are extremely entertaining. They also reveal a lot more about the man than he might have intended!
    Absolutely agreed. All three are great reads and you never feel he's holding back from the reader.

  7. #22
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    Absolutely agreed. All three are great reads and you never feel he's holding back from the reader.
    One aspect I find fascinating is how he says almost nothing about his son. You can tell that he was extremely proud of his daughter, but... what little he says of his boy suggests he was disappointed in him. It's like a dark corner of what otherwise sounds like a pretty successful and happy life (including the divorce).
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  8. #23
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    Will look out for the bio. I was just skimming through the Asimov wiki entry and saw this little tidbit:
    Paul Krugman, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, has stated that it was Asimov's concept of psychohistory that inspired him to become an economist.
    Looking at his bibliography, I realize I haven't read as much Asimov as I would have guessed. The Foundation trilogy, "I, Robot", The Gods Themselves, a few of the short stories, but that's about it. What are everyone's top Asimov picks, apart from the aforementioned and the memoirs? Anyone read the Galactic Empire books, for example?

  9. #24
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    I've got a soft spot for his robot/detective novels, Caves of Steel and Naked Sun. The former more than the latter, but they're both satisfying whodunits in addition to great science fiction novels.

    Avoid Robots of Dawn, though. It falls victim to the same late-period continuity obsession that plagues the later Foundation books.
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  10. #25
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Will look out for the bio. I was just skimming through the Asimov wiki entry and saw this little tidbit:

    Looking at his bibliography, I realize I haven't read as much Asimov as I would have guessed. The Foundation trilogy, "I, Robot", The Gods Themselves, a few of the short stories, but that's about it. What are everyone's top Asimov picks, apart from the aforementioned and the memoirs? Anyone read the Galactic Empire books, for example?
    I'm also a fan of The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun. A few of his short stories are absolutely essential...The Bicentenniel Man and Nightfall at the very top of the list.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    I'm also a fan of The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun. A few of his short stories are absolutely essential...The Bicentenniel Man and Nightfall at the very top of the list.
    IIRC, we actually read Nightfall in our high School English class, along with another Asimov story the title of which I forget, but it was about a future where mankind had lost the technique of performing calculations without the aid of calculators or computers until someone re-introduces it with unforeseen consequences. Will look out for Bicentenniel Man.

  12. #27
    Elder Member Libaax's Avatar
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    I have not read any Asimov outside Foundation yet. I have I,Robot collection. I became lost in other SF authors i discovered after Asimov. Vance i have read 25 books, Heinlein 10+, Philip K Dick 9 novels+ 2 collections.

    Asimov and Heinlein is similar type golden age SF authors and i became more interested in Heinlein great juvies than Asimov Robot series.

    The God Themselves is coming out in SF Masterworks series which im ordering and im reading next I,Robot collection and Caves of Steel.
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  13. #28
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    I found his annotated guide to the bible pretty informative and amusing, and the short book beginnings is also a good choice. Asimov's non-fiction is often light-hearted, but it never fails to teach us stuff as well.

    In fiction, I agree with Nightfall (the novel version is, as I recall, an expansion on the Asimov's short story. It was written by Robert Silverberg) as a must-read.
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  14. #29
    Senior Member Dr Will Hatch's Avatar
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    I got into classic science fiction late. I first read "I, Robot" shortly after the movie came out in 2004, then I moved on to the Foundation series. Really great stuff, and it's a classic for good reason. Even though it probably didn't deserve to beat Lord Of The Rings for "Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy series of all time" at the Hugos, it's awfully close in quality.

  15. #30
    Elder Member Winslow's Avatar
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    I can appreciate the genius behind Foundation. It is well written, intelligent, and well developed, so it deserves it's "classic" status.

    I found it to be slightly boring and dry and not worth a reread. Since it was a compilation of self-contained short stories, I found myself not connecting with the characters as much.

    My daughter told me I really need to read "I Robot."

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