paperback, 296 pages
Back Excerpt:For twelve thousand years the Galatic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator the revoluntary science of psychohistory, can see into the furuture - a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thrity thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire - both scientists and scholars - and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy if corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind's last best hope is faced with agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves - or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.
A cornerstone in the world of science fiction, Asimov's legendary Foundation series is one of the masterpieces of sciene-fiction. I will concede that I see why it's one of the greats and why it's considered a keystone to the genre, it's not one of my favourites. To be 100% honest, it took me four separate tries to finish this book, over the span of about three years. And always, I stopped in roughly the same place, right at about the centre of the book, Chapter 5 of Part 2 in the political struggle of Hardin. It's not that the book is dry, in fact it's quite the opposite, The Foundation is constantly changing with new characters, new plots, new details and that is one of the reasons I wasn't particularly fond it. You spend so little time with the characters and their own plots, as compared with a traditionally written novel with about five characters and one plot line, that I never really felt that compelled to continue reading and see them through their plots and schemes. That right there is a tribute to just how amazing a writer Asimov was, to be able to coherantly and consistently write that many characters and that many plot lines, that all ultimately tie back into the main plot line, is incredible. However it's just not the book for me. All in all, if I found the rest of the series at a used bookstore, I would likely pick it up, but I'm not going to run out searching for the rest of the story. 3/5Title:
A Canticle for LeibowitzAuthor:
Walter M. Miller Jr.Genre:
Science-Fiction - DystopianBook #:
paperback, 338 pages
Back Excerpt:In the depths of the Utah desert, long after the Flame Deluge has scoured the earth clean, a monk of he Order of Saint Leibowitz as made a miraculous discovery: holy relics from the life of the great saint himself, including the blessed blueprint, the sacred shopping list, and the hallowed shrine of the Fallout Shelter.
In a terrifying age of darkness and decay, these artifacts could be the keys to mankind's salvation. But as the mystery at the core of this groundbreaking novel unfoldings, it is the search itself - for meaning, for truth, for love - that offers hope for humanitiy's rebirth from the ashes.
Instantly catapolted into one of my favourite books, A Canticle for Leibowitz
is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Despite the fact that I disliked The Foundation, Miller does the same thing... the book is split into three separate parts with span nearly a millenium, each part following a different lead character witht their own sub-set of supporting characters. However the difference here is that there is one main plot flowing forward through time. All three parts tie into each other, and you will see little details crop up every so often as you skip forward through history. Miller does a wonderful job in getting into the characters' mind's, and considering religion is a main theme in this novel and later life Miller left writing to join the church (if I remember that right), this makes sense and the reader can sense Miller's struggle with religion and science. The reoccuring deep philsophical questions force you to think and consider the ramifications of our human actions both now and in the future, while the undertone of sarcasm throughout the book will make you laugh despite the seriousness of the final message and ending chapters.
I do feel the need to note this though, at a certain point in the novel the reader is introduced to scholars. As one would with a judge, in English you refer to them as Your Honour, or similar to a clergymen, you would refer to them as Reverend, Father, etc. (sorry, best examples I could think of at the moment), the scholars are refered to as Thon. Thon is French for tuna, so the entire time I'm reading, if say the character Thon Taddeo was being spoken about, my internal voice is replacing it with tuna. Consequently, I still refer to the characters as fish sometimes. All in all, still an excellent read. 5/5
"He could think only of the girl and the child. He was certain she had been ready to change her mind, had needed only the command,
I, a priest of God, adjure thee, and the grace to hear it - if only they had not forced him to stop where she could witness "God's priest" summarily over-ruled by "Caesar's traffic cop.