Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov (Book Review)

One particular thing about this title that I didn’t realise Asimov did was space adventure. Although it is not like any normal sci-fi novel that I have encountered. I was excited to have found it in the farm library, and thought that it would be something more of an essay.

To my surprise, it was a space adventure. A very algorithmic stellar trip. It was a book that inspired visions of spectacular vessels run on perfectly built scientific computers and motherboards. Harnessing absolutes and whisking passangers to interstellar destinations.

In this novel, it was mostly a guessing game to say the least. Every main character was obsessed with finding the second foundation by means of extensive analysis, expert cross references, or plain madness.

The book did well to not get mundane in the sense that when I picked it up, I only did so about a handful of times before I was finished with it. I, too, was curious to know the location of the master minds of the universe. Those who tread carefully, and wanted only to fulfill a plan made by their founder, Seldon.

Seldon was a mathematical genius and figured out that the universe was based on a set of completely predictible sets of equations. However, it could not account for certain variables such as the antagonist, “The Mule”, who was a mutant if sorts with the ability to alter the brain chemistry of any average man. Having them do his bidding in complete subservience.

The Mule eventually gained partial control of the galaxy and built an empire which would later crumble. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here)

In his legacy, another rose to power threatening the safety of the galaxy, but the second foundation was well equipped to deal with someone lesser than The Mule. Someone who didn’t have his mental powers.

With his wanting to take over the galaxy much like his predecessor, he tries and fails.

A group of men, wanting to unfold the mysteries of the second foundation, have this whole time plotted and schemed to uncover the location so as to rid the galaxy of them once and for all. But, most of the company involved where “handled” by way of changes to their brain’s chemical makeup. Each one was a little different in their own way, which caused them to fall apart. But not the most cunning of them all. The one whome started the group in the first place.

Most of the story involves following a 14 year old girl who was witty and a fast thinker. Her mind was always running and always a step ahead of others. She was the key to most of the findings that occured in this wondefully written book.

As I have stated, I did not expect Asimov to write something such as this. But with the undertones of mathematics, I suppose that was expected. It was a wonderful short novel that can be enjoyed on a long bus or train ride.

Thank you, Dear Reader for your time. I have currently picked up “Timeline” written by Michael Crichton which is, so far, about quantum mechanics. More details after I read it. It’s always nice to have friends that gift you books that they loved to read.

Until next time. Cheers!

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