The Foundation is originally a collection of science fiction short stories first published in 1942. It is the first book in a trilogy, which Asimov later added
two sequels and then two prequels. The Foundation is made up of 5 different parts, all following different characters in different time periods.
I do enjoy that this first novel is made up of short stories. These different parts made the novel fast paced so I was never bored. Because each part follows different characters, you don’t see any character development in actual characters, but you do see it in the world and galaxy that the story takes place in.
Politics is NOT my strong point, but Asimov wrote this novel easy to understand but not completely dumbed down. The story didn’t feel completely formulaic but it did feel like Asimov made the resolutions a little too easy of a reach for his characters.
The whole basis of The Foundation is that a 1,000 year plan concocted by great psychologist wil establish a certain planet as the next Empire capitol. But it just isn’t possible that this character could predict that far into the future. At least, it wasn’t written very believable.
There are two main reasons that I rated this classic so low.
The first is that there is only ONE female character that has a name in the entire 250 pages, and she is only talked about for collectively a page, at most. She is of zero importance to the story except that she is a wife, only valued because of her father’s power. One female mentioned in an entire galaxy? OKAY.
I’m really not trying to push a feminist agenda anywhere or on anyone. I do recognize that these short stories were written in the 40’s. But seriously, only one female. And she isn’t even important.
The next reason is that there was really no conclusion. I definitely see the plot for the entire series, but there wasn’t a cohesive plot between each part in this novel. Whenever I read the last page of the last part of this book, it felt like Asimov just forgot to add more to his story. It kind of forces you to read his next novel (Foundation and Empire).
Even though I rated this book low, I would still recommend it to sci-fi lovers. I think it does have some original ideas, just needs a LOT of tweaking before I would consider it a great novel. That being said, I probably won’t read the rest of the trilogy.