Friday, February 3, 2017

Foundation Book Review

Title: Foundation
Author: Isaac Asimov
Pages: 559
Genre: Fiction, Science-Fiction, Adventure

Awards:  It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966 and more
Rating: 5/5 stars

Image result for foundation by asimov pages

This book is a mixture of science fiction and adventure. Foundation fits into the genre of science fiction because there is space travel between stars and atomic power used to make weapons and force-fields and other fascinating machines. The action of this book takes place on two planets: Terminus and Anacreon. Terminus is a tiny planet with little natural resources but one important thing: atomic power. Anacreon is a big planet with a powerful army. The story is set in the future. The setting affects the story because Terminus is a smaller world and Anacreon wants the atomic power that Terminus has, so naturally they want to attack Terminus using their bigger army. It also makes traveling more difficult because the characters must fly through space to reach other planets. The protagonist of the story is Salvor Hardin: the mayor of Terminus. He has two main conflicts: Anacreon and the Action Party. Anacreon is after the Foundation’s atomic power and they are threatening attack on Terminus, while the Action Party is calling for Hardin’s impeachment because he seems to be doing nothing about the conflict with Anacreon. Another important character is “High Priest Verisof”, who is Hardin’s ambassador to Anacreon.
The story starts off with the Action Party, an opposing political party, led by a man named Sermak, trying to convince Hardin to take action against Anacreon immediately before Anacreon attacks Terminus first. Verisof comes after the meeting with the Action Party and informs Hardin that King Lepold of Anacreon’s uncle, Prince Regent Wienis, is threatening to attack the Terminus unless it repairs a ship that is equivalent to half of Anacreon’s existing army. Wienis also convinces Lepold that attacking Terminus would mean a straight line to the throne for future generations. Meanwhile, the Action Party believes that Hardin is being paid by Anacreon to do nothing, and when Hardin leaves for Anacreon, they believe that he is receiving his payment. In reality, Hardin goes to Anacreon to set a counter for the Anacreon attack. After taking Hardin to his room and telling him that he has already sent an attack to Terminus, Wienis is caught off-guard when Hardin tells him of a counterstroke. Enraged, Wienis makes an attempt on Hardin’s life, and when even that fails, he commits suicide.
The theme of this story is that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. One example is that Hardin never made a violent move in winning the wear; he only used his cunning and trickery. Another example is that Prince Regent Wienis, the person that engineered all this violence, ends up committing suicide, showing that violence will only lead to a hard path. (H) I thoroughly enjoyed the double crossing and the many ulterior motives of the book. Whenever Hardin was seemingly cornered by his opponents, he must’ve been laughing internally as he explains his counter to them. Something that I didn’t like about the story was that whatever Hardin did; it resulted in his success and never his failure. I think it would make it more interesting if he failed and was caught once.
Anybody that enjoys science fiction, futuristic writing, and cunningness and trickery would enjoy reading this book. It is very futuristic and may take you a while to realize what is actually happening. Overall, this is a really great book and I would really recommend it to anyone.

Contributed by Jeremy Ouyang