isaac asimov - psychohistory

Phantom Cheese

I work for Dick Jones
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I'm reading the main trilogy first. I guess you could say I'm reading them in order of publication.
Yeah that's good to read it that way. The 2 prequel books ruin way too many awesome moments. Or waters down very important moments. The prequels especially ruin a lot for Foundation and Earth
 
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drtoboggan

Eat Rotten Fruit From a Shitty Tree.
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Yeah that's good to read it that way. The 2 prequel books ruin way too many awesome moments. Or waters down very important moments. The prequels especially ruin a lot for Foundation and Earth
I heard Foundation has retcons to fold the Robot trilogy into it so they're the same universe.
 
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Lemmingwise

Welcome home
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Yeah I was wondering if his books were interconnected
In a similar way Steven kings books are
They weren't at first, but he wrote them together in his later years.

People also forget just how fricking many books Asimov has written and published. People tend to think of Stephen King as a prolific author. He published about 65 books.

Asimov wrote 515 in his life, if you include all the educational ones and the collections (where he didn't write all stories in the collections). Without the collections it's somewhere in the 400. It's mind boggling.
 

Phantom Cheese

I work for Dick Jones
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I heard Foundation has retcons to fold the Robot trilogy into it so they're the same universe.
That is correct. The robots novels are actually my favourite to be honest. Naked Sun being the best in my opinion. Elijah Baley was great. I wasn't planned to be part of the same universe. But Asimov managed to do it quite well and tie it all together nicely
 
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AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
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Asimov could've been truly great if only his writing wasn't so goddamned DRY.
Even the worst RAH is more enjoyable than slogging through most of Asimov's textbooks "novels".
His short stories were better than his novels and his nonfiction was better than his fiction.

He also did some really great annotations of classic literature like Milton's Paradise Lost and Shakespeare, which he gets practically no credit for because "hurr durr science fiction writer."

And his book on algebra did more to teach me algebra than all of high school algebra.
 

Clop

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Weird how you mentioned me without it showing in your post.

Also.

It didn't show because originally I quoted you, but since I wasn't referring to "That's an odd way to spell cosmic AC." I erased that bit and in response it didn't show quoting you at all. So I just edited the post to tag you, which doesn't notify anyone. I just wanted to post what I personally prefer as my philosophy to the eternal search for immortality.

Anything truly eternal or infinite loses its meaning and beauty, and I'm all for that beauty.
 

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
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There's not a ton I can add to here other than to say that Galaxia and the Foundation probably don't belong in the same universe. Especially the choice between them at the end of Foundation and Earth feels almost like Asimov admitting he wrote himself into a corner and now he has no idea where the hell to go with the setting. Which, it literally was because he later stated he wrote the prequels because he was out of ideas for what to do next. I don't outright hate the idea of portraying a hivemind as potentially benevolent or at least an entity you can have friendly relations with, but it doesn't gel with the Foundation mythos.

Its kind of that original problem with SF where the premise is way more interesting than the execution. Foundation is very close to my heart since it got me into Classic SF, but the build-up to the decline of the Empire and its slow disintegration is far more interesting to read than what comes later. Also as much as he tried Asimov just couldn't create a character with as much charisma as Salvor Hardin had at the start, though The Mule made a heroic effort. His works are also quite dry and even cold at times. This certainly was a strength when he was writing about robots or borderline sociopaths with extreme self-confidence in their presumption that everything would work out in the end, but not so much for the rest of his characters.
 

Lemmingwise

Welcome home
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There's not a ton I can add to here other than to say that Galaxia and the Foundation probably don't belong in the same universe. Especially the choice between them at the end of Foundation and Earth feels almost like Asimov admitting he wrote himself into a corner and now he has no idea where the hell to go with the setting. Which, it literally was because he later stated he wrote the prequels because he was out of ideas for what to do next. I don't outright hate the idea of portraying a hivemind as potentially benevolent or at least an entity you can have friendly relations with, but it doesn't gel with the Foundation mythos.

Its kind of that original problem with SF where the premise is way more interesting than the execution. Foundation is very close to my heart since it got me into Classic SF, but the build-up to the decline of the Empire and its slow disintegration is far more interesting to read than what comes later. Also as much as he tried Asimov just couldn't create a character with as much charisma as Salvor Hardin had at the start, though The Mule made a heroic effort. His works are also quite dry and even cold at times. This certainly was a strength when he was writing about robots or borderline sociopaths with extreme self-confidence in their presumption that everything would work out in the end, but not so much for the rest of his characters.
I thought it was really interesting reading foundation books that he wrote in his youth and those that he wrote with one foot in the grave. The latter being polished and stylisticly practised and the former being more a tour de force of ideas. I read them when I was young and I think it was the first I realised that easy to read is not always prefferable to worth reading.
 

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
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I thought it was really interesting reading foundation books that he wrote in his youth and those that he wrote with one foot in the grave. The latter being polished and stylisticly practised and the former being more a tour de force of ideas. I read them when I was young and I think it was the first I realised that easy to read is not always prefferable to worth reading.
I've noticed Classic SF gets this treatment a lot more as time goes on. I dunno if its a combination of hype or just modern expectations, but its really a genre that has its origins in highly educated people of mathematical or historical backgrounds positing what the future may look like. Its kind of watching one of those raw unedited tapes of one of the later moon landings. Its pretty boring for 90% of it. When I was younger and could sit still without needing a drink I used to have a lot more patience for the genre, but as time has gone on I've found it harder and harder to get into the classics. H Beam Piper's works are kind of my last bastion, but you could tell that man wanted to write Space Opera.
 
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Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
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I think it's just one of the perks of getting older. The wonder goes out of your eyes and instead of being enchanted by it you say "this is some obvious bullshit".
Eh, there's more to it than that for me. I don't mind obvious contrivance in fiction since, well, its fiction. Its obviously going to be contrived. These days stuff just needs a little more meat to it. Revisiting stuff I liked as a kid and parsing out what held up was an interesting experience. I expected to hate most of it, but only ended up hating about half of it.

Getting back on topic with Asimov, I can certainly see the dryness in his writing that people are complaining about. That said, one of his books I happened to not read when I was younger was Nemesis. Which Asimov once claimed was one of his favorites because it featured "aliens, sex, and alien sex", themes he always avoided in his other works for various reasons. Supposedly its a classic, but I've always been a little afraid to open it and find Asimov's stash of alien furry porn. Can anyone here confirm if it was any good?
 
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Lemmingwise

Welcome home
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Eh, there's more to it than that for me. I don't mind obvious contrivance in fiction since, well, its fiction. Its obviously going to be contrived. These days stuff just needs a little more meat to it. Revisiting stuff I liked as a kid and parsing out what held up was an interesting experience. I expected to hate most of it, but only ended up hating about half of it.

Getting back on topic with Asimov, I can certainly see the dryness in his writing that people are complaining about. That said, one of his books I happened to not read when I was younger was Nemesis. Which Asimov once claimed was one of his favorites because it featured "aliens, sex, and alien sex", themes he always avoided in his other works for various reasons. Supposedly its a classic, but I've always been a little afraid to open it and find Asimov's stash of alien furry porn. Can anyone here confirm if it was any good?
I don't remember reading it. I started out writing a long reply, but then realised I was thinking about "The Gods Themselves", which still remains the most interesting alien sex I've read, with an alien race of three different sexes and for a third of the novel you kinda follow three adolescents trying to figure out all parts of their reproduction, which was written like a good mystery thinking back to it.

Sorry, can't help you.
 

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
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I don't remember reading it. I started out writing a long reply, but then realised I was thinking about "The Gods Themselves", which still remains the most interesting alien sex I've read, with an alien race of three different sexes and for a third of the novel you kinda follow three adolescents trying to figure out all parts of their reproduction, which was written like a good mystery thinking back to it.

Sorry, can't help you.
Its actually possible I got them confused. The Gods Themselves has been sitting on my shelf for years anyway, so that's still useful info.
 

nonvir_1984

Never amount to anything! And they were right.
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They weren't at first, but he wrote them together in his later years.

People also forget just how fricking many books Asimov has written and published. People tend to think of Stephen King as a prolific author. He published about 65 books.

Asimov wrote 515 in his life, if you include all the educational ones and the collections (where he didn't write all stories in the collections). Without the collections it's somewhere in the 400. It's mind boggling.
Another hyper lexic was Georges Simenon a Belgian writer. He published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works and is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret. From 1921 to 1934 he used a total of 17 pen names while writing 358 novels and short stories.
He did all this while moving between Europe and the US and back again and being something of a mad rooter.
 
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