I just finished reading Isaac Asimov’s original Foundation trilogy for the second time — the last time I read it I was in my teens. My dad had given me a box filled with old sci-fi paperbacks, and those were the first ones I pulled out.
If you’re not familiar with Foundation, it’s a science fiction classic set in the far future and concerns the fall of a galactic empire, and a scientist’s attempt to establish “foundations” that will shorten how long the chaos will last before a second empire is able to arise. Heady stuff.
Because Asimov wrote the original three novels in the 40s and early 50s, there are a few anachronisms. For example, it’s set some 11,000 years after the founding of a human galactic empire — but people still read newspapers and smoke cigarettes. The books were published long before the advent of personal computers, the Internet and smartphones. TV was still relatively new and not everybody had one.
A few years ago a studio bought the rights to make a movie out of it and the director was one of those “blow things up real good” types – Roland Emmerich… I hope they’ve moved on from him, because Foundation is not space battles and Star Wars… it’s a sci-fi retelling of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. It’s about culture, the interactions of societies, and the debate between free will and determinism.
But they’ll probably throw tons of 3D CGI battles on it and add lots of alien bar fight scenes. Feh. You kids get off my lawn.