Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It never ceases to amaze me how interesting this tale is. Hi-tech galactic empire meets the History of the Fall of the Roman Empire meets a mutant.
Where's Professor X!?
But the best part is just how brainy it is. Classic for the win.
Split into two stories instead of many like the first book, this one feels a lot more streamlined and the Foundation has met two of its greatest foes.
One of which was expected, and one that wasn't.
The path back to stable galactic civilization is a tortuous one. The foundation always knew that it would one day have to face the Empire, and it did, and that story was very interesting.
But the Mule?
Well, he's just fascinating. And iconic. And perhaps a bit overdone ever since then, because, let's face it, we love mutants with mighty mental powers, don't we? Grasp the date. 1951. This isn't a comic book, either. Yes, sure, there's the Lensman and others, but what we've got here is the grand social tide set against the powers of a single individual. The very thing that Hari Seldon's math couldn't account for. And now, ashes.
What an awesome reversal! One that's both chilling and affirming at the same time, playing to our prejudices that we as individuals matter, while also showing the grand destruction that comes with it.
I'm revising the novel upwards. It was great fun and still a part of the grand trilogy. I don't know why I thought it was anything less than fantastic. :)
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