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Foundation (Foundation, #1) - Isaac Asimov Foundation is one of the seminal science fiction novels of the golden age. Rather than a novel proper it is, to my understanding, a series of novellas and short stories. This becomes apparent as you read. The book is eminently readable and a fairly quick read.

The problems I had with Foundation centered around the characters. Hari Seldon, Salvor Hardin and Hober Mallow, the three protagonists, are essentially the same person. There is very little development of any of them. There were also great leaps forward in time between some chapters that completely changed everything and stopped the narrative flow in its tracks. I assume this is due to the nature of the novel as cobbled together stories rather than a single, well plotted story.

These problems, while they detracted from my enjoyment of the novel, were overcome by the truly interesting stories which were told. Asimov's short stories are nearly always excellent. Psychohistory is a very interesting idea, a bit like magic, but plausibly explained. A combination of math, psychology, history and sociology all mixed together to have some fairly astounding predictive abilities. A bit too astounding, to be sure, but not so much that it took me out of the story.

I did like Foundation very much. It is a very good collection of shorts stories and novellas that is, I think, ill served as a novel. Still, it should be read by anyone who wants a full knowledge of historical SF.