prelude to foundation

title: Prelude to Foundation

author: Isaac Asimov

genre: Fiction, futuristic, science, psychohistory

suggested by: Will F.

dates read: November 13th – November 18th

review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

summary: Hari Seldon is a humble and brilliant mathematician from Helicon who is visiting Trantor, The capital of the Galactic Empire. He’s there to present his theory of psychohistory, the ability to predict the future. Emperor Cleon sees the potential of this theory and brings Hari to question him about it. Hari explains that right now it is just a theory and has no practical value and eventually the emperor reluctantly lets him leave.   Waiting for the ship that will take him home to Helicon, Hari meets Chetter Hummin, who warns him that the emperor might have let him go, but he’ll be closely watched to see that his ideas don’t fall into the wrong hands. Chetter convinces Hari to go into hiding, setting Hari off on an adventure and flight for his life around Trantor.

personal thoughts: I loved “I, Robot” and knew that this would be an interesting ride. Though it was, it wasn’t as full of mind bending ideas as “I, Robot.” I loved the twist at the end, though I had suspected it for a while. I thought Hari was a likeable guy and enjoyed the different cultures he came in contact with in his travels. This is the first in a long series of books and I would love to return to it and see where the story leads.

favorite quotes:
“’I have promised to try,’ said Seldon and thought to himself that it was about like promising to try to make a rope out of sand.” p. 71

“’How harmful overspecialization is. It cuts knowledge at a million points and leaves it bleeding.’” p. 89

“’Oddity is in the mind of the receiver.’” p. 188

“the Emperor had had to remember to avoid making commitments of substances, while freely applying the lotion of words without substance.” p. 317

“’If we are always to draw back from change with the thought that the change may be for the worse, then there is no hope at all of every escaping injustice.’” p. 392

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