As I rarely discard a book, it should thus come as no surprise that I have overflowing shelves of novels I’ve once read, enjoyed, savoured and then swore up-and-down-back-and-forth that I was going to re-read someday. Alas, it is someday. I’m spending whole of 2016 revisiting my book collection, digging back into books I read once, but that I haven’t read (or listened to) in at least four years. So, we’re about to find out what was worth reading… twice.
My plan to read this full Asimov Foundation trilogy seemed like a great idea at the time, but the second book got a lot more sloggy than I remembered. It was still good, full of political twists and turns, but where the first book was a series of a half-dozen shorter stories building across a broader tale, Foundation and Empire was a much more plodding story with just two longer arc stories to tell. This left a lot more time for a slow reveal and often meant much more detailed narratives than in the first novel.
Where the first of the novels dealt mostly with the logical unfolding of a carefully plotted course through history, revealing with planned and predicted accuracy by the reason thin balance of science and logic against human nature, the second book spun a story around emotion. Both halves of the continuing tale of the far future collapse of society told of how emotion and the control of emotion by things slightly beyond the understanding of logic and science can shape the course of events.
I don’t remember the theme of the third book of the trilogy, but I’m getting set to find out.