First Lines: Foundation

When I was making up the list of Forty Books to read before I’m Forty, I realized that I hadn’t read any science fiction. I’ve read some books that have a slight SF-angle, but so far, no hardcore spaceships, laser and warpdrive action. I considered a few science fiction books for the list, but none of them made the list.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation would have made the list, if it hadn’t been a structural part of the (original) Foundation-trilogy. From all I gathered, you can’t really separate this book from it’s sequels, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, and as such, following my ‘only books that stand alone’ rule, it was out. (The second trilogy, written decades later, isn’t said to be that essential.) But that a book is not on some arbitrary list doesn’t mean I can’t read them, right? So when I came across two parts in a local second-hand bookstore, I picked them up.

Foundation is a collection of short stories that deal with the impending demise of the Galactic Empire and the thirty thousand year dark age that inevitably follows its fall. In order to reduce this dark age to a single millennium, the mathematician Hari Sheldon has devised a plan, based on a new branch of mathematics called psychohistory that is able to predict the rough course of the future. These five stories tell more-or-less discrete but interwoven episodes from the first 180 years of the foundation.

As my first serious encounter with science fiction, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part, and I assume Ill deal with the two other parts on my bookshelf sooner rather than later.

Book read
Isaac Asimov — Foundation
First Line
His naam was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.