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Title: Foundation, by Isaac Asimov

Motivation: Widespread renown.

Completed: June 17, 2012 (#41)

RecommendationDisappointing.

No doubt there is a large and powerful Internet constituency for Isaac Asimov’s famous Foundation series, so this review will be brief. A Superfluous Man does not understand the fuss about Mr. Asimov’s most famous novel. At risk of rushing in where geeks fear to tread, I far preferred the similarly themed Anathem by Neal Stephenson of more recent vintage.

For those unfamiliar, the eponymous Foundation is a sort of galactic Brookings Institution run by a futuristic New Dealer “psychohistorian” named Dr. Hari Seldon. The Foundation is dedicated to applying statistical techniques to avert some sort of millenarian apocalypse. (Oddly enough, one of the side effects of this great catastrophe is that mankind reverts to using fossil fuels, no longer having the technological expertise to split atoms.) The technocrats inherit the earth, and there is a 75.6% chance of your skimming the second half of the book.

There is a 0% chance that A Superfluous Man will discover what transpires in the following six installments in the Foundation saga.

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