Issac Asimov's Foundations

My little brother is doing a research paper on Issac Asimov’s foundations. It is supposed to be a critical analysis on the book but he is coming up with no resources of people critiquing this peice. If anyone can come up with any critiques or reviews it would be greatly appreciated.

Look in Nichols and Clute’s “Scence Fiction Encyclopedia”. I’m sure they have a ittle bit o it. I’m not sure about other books, but you might try:

Damon Knight’s “In Search of Wonder”

Samuel Moscowitz’ books (“eXPLORERS OF TH iNFINITE”?)

Alexei and Cory Panshin’s “The World Beyond the Hill” certainly has some information on it.

thank you CalMeacham.

I was looking for mostly web resources too…

Why doesn’t he critique it himself?

Hey, tube – I’m guessing you were just posting what your brother said, but one of you, at least, ought to be aware that there are six or seven “Foundation” books by Asimov.

Only the first one is titled Foundation. It’s not a long book and it’s a pretty good read. If that’s what he’s supposed to be critiquing it shouldn’t be hard to read it and critique it. It’s not exactly rocket science. Umm–oh wait, maybe it is.

If he’s supposed to do the whole series (and there are three or four follow-ons by other authors as well) then he’s got a BIG job ahead of him.

You probably aren’t going to find much in-depth critical analysis of the Foundation series online, and if you don’t you won’t have much assurance of its quality.

(Note: I am not saying it isn’t there, just that isn’t likely)

I’m sure you can find plenty of reviews and overviews if that is what you want, but literary criticism and analysis is something else. It doesn’t help that the Foundation series lost most of its shine (outside of SciFi circles) well before the dawning of the web age.

It may just be the librarian in me talking, but my advice to your brother is: “Get thee to a library - preferably an academic one.”

If, however, his assignment is due tomorrow and he just doesn’t time to actually read and think, then all I can say is that is the price of inefficient procrastination.

There is a slight critique of the series at:

You might also find some info in the faq for rec.arts.sf.written at:

Here’s a site with a list of a lot of books about Asimov
I can recommend the Patrouch (I used that one when I wrote a paper on the dude) and the Gunn books in particular. The web site that has this list also has a bunch of web-articles including this one about psychohistory.


The missing url is this

If I’m not mistaken, in Foundation (1951) Asimov was the first to predict the pocket electronic calculator. Kudos to him! The numbers were entered by turning little knurled wheels along the edge of it. Whoops, so much for the “digital” age. But then, after all, Asimov wrote for Analog. :wink:

This anecdote may or may not help in your research. Asimov told how at one SF con, they made a little presentation in honor of him. Two young men and a young woman appeared on stage in black cloaks. At the same moment they threw off their cloaks to reveal that the young men were wearing nothing but girdles. The lovely young lady wore a girdle and a bra.

He grasped at once what they represented: the two guys were Foundation and Second Foundation. And the woman: Foundation and Empire.:slight_smile:

Jomo Mojo:

I don’t now if he was the first to predict the pocket calculator, but it is in there, under that name. When I heard him lecture on this in 1976 he bragged: “I even got the color right!” He was talking about the fact that the calculator had red glowing numbers. In 1976 all calculators DID have red glowing numbers – they used power-hungry red LEDs for the numbers. But within a few years all calculators were using liquid crystal dislays (LCDs), with gray figures on a colored background. So his “correct” prediction was only good for a couple of years.

IIRC the Asimov story with the calculator was a short story called “That Feeling of Power”. In it, calculators have been in use for so long that everyone has forgotten how to do math. Someone rediscovers how to do math in their head with a pencil and paper (which somehow lets them win an interstellar war).


Asimov may have referred to a calculator in the story you name, but Mojo and I were referring to the one Hari “Raven” Selden uses in “Foundation”.

NYTimes reviews of the late sequel Foundation’s Edge: