Foundation by Isaac Asimov, Group Read-a-Long Part I

Welcome to Part I of the Foundation Groupread, hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings.

Asimov’s “Foundation” is divided into five parts.  This week’s discussion covers up until midway through Part 3.

The answers to some of the question may include spoilers to the book...here is your warning.

For those reading it for the first time, what expectations did you have and has it held up, or not held up, thus far?

I was not really sure what I was expecting from the Foundation in the group read. I am with Grace and that is being an Asimov virgin. I have heard that he is one of the BIG 3  of high Sci-Fi. I saw that Carl was doing a group read. I thought why not join into this event. I know that I am little behind,  I know that will caught up considering that the reading of the second book is in a week or so.

What are your thoughts about the structure of the novel thus far? (I am referring to the brief glimpses of different parts of the history of the Foundation with big time gaps between events in the novel)

The structure of the novel is that not big of deal to me at least. I am listening to the book is it is not that bad. I like the fact that they go back and forth to the Encyclopedia Galactica. I would have like a more vast introduction to the Foundation and there is a lot of jumping around and such so it sometimes gets hard for one to be in a particular characters shoes. I am getting use to the way that  Asimov structured the novel.

The good thing about this book is that it reminds me Star Wars episode 4. A trilogy that I was basically raised on in which I could probably recite with a drop of a hat.

What are your initial thoughts on the field of psychohistory?

The psychohistorians make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people. It is interesting to see Asimov is unfolding how vast the field is throughout the book thus far. To me that field of not a plausible theory, it has loop hole, but there is a reason why it is considered science fiction. 

What, if anything, is holding your interest thus far, what are you enjoying about Foundation?

I am a HUGE fan of Hari Seldon. He is like Obi-Wan Kenobi (yes another Star Wars reference). He is always there to explain what is currently going on. Hari explains to everyone what is going on in the book.
I like the Time Vault as well. It is just interesting to see how everything is going to unfold when the celebration do take place of the 50th year of the Foundation’s existence.
It is hard to pinpoint all of what I am liking in this book, because it is all great so far throughout this masterpiece. 

You may have covered this in answering the other questions, but if not, what are your thoughts/feelings about the Galactic Empire.  Is it a practical thing to have a galaxy spanning government? Can you imagine such a thing and do  you think it would work?

I do imagine that it could work, but could it really work I have my doubts.I am not that sure if the galactic empire would over long periods of time as Asimov has in the Foundation. There are many factors to consider that being so many people and planets. The government would not be able to be fair and consistent government throughout. 

What are your thoughts on Hardin’s creation of a religious system in which to house scientific ideas and technology while keeping the users of that science and technology in the dark?

I thought Hardin’s invention of a religious system was quite interesting. He gave everybody a set of beliefs to abide by, retaining all the knowledge to the Foundation.  In doing so it’s almost like the rest of the system is going backwards and losing the knowledge they once had as they become more and more reliant upon these beliefs. It is different creation that is for sure.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the read a long. I think I will be caught up by mid to late week..:)

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