Funky Winkerbean logo

Foundation and Empire

posted on December 9, 2021

In the third book of the original trilogy back before trilogies began to overpopulate like rats in New York City, we find the Mule defeated in his search for the impalpable Second Foundation, and the search is then picked up by dissident members of the Foundation. As he has in the first two volumes, Asimov makes the search interesting and fun by throwing out more red herrings than are in the Red Sea. You find yourself first marveling at and then simply enjoying all of the constant revelations and twists as they lead to a both unexpected and satisfying conclusion.

This final volume (at least at that point) caps one of the cornerstone works in the field of speculative fiction. I mentioned last time my fears for TV Foundation experience based on the trailers I’d seen. Well, folks, it turns out that my fears were not unfounded. After forcing myself to watch four episodes of Foundation, each time hoping things would get better and start to make sense and failing to find anything remotely akin to the core novels, I opened the airlock and abandoned ship. Asimov’s core work would have survived the transition to the screen just find if only the producers/writers had trusted it. The TV experience lacks intelligence and heart and a basic understanding of the work on which it purports to be based. Again, do yourself a favor and read the books.

 

Second Foundation

posted on October 5, 2021

At the end of Foundation, the triumph of Hari Seldon’s Foundation seemed assured. So Asimov decides to throw a wrench into the works with the creation of the misbegotten warlord the Mule. Asimov apparently did this at the insistence of his then editor John Campbell. However it came about, the Mule becomes one of the very best SF characters ever. With his ability to control minds over great distances, he brings the Foundation’s march across the galaxy to a halt (I was going to say screeching halt, but there’s no sound in a vacuum. A fact robustly ignored in SF films. Yes, I’m talking about you, Star Wars) and the book ends with the Mule seemingly in full charge of things. Speaking of cinematic adaptations as I believe I just was, I’ve seen the trailers for the Foundation TV series, and, based on that alone, I’m not seeing much there that I recognize from the books. They appear to have removed everything after the title. I can’t stress enough that if you want to really experience what Asimov intended, you owe it to yourself to read the books.

 

 

Booking It

posted on September 24, 2021

Busy, busy, busy. The Flash Friday will return soon, but at the moment I’m in the middle working on the next Complete Funky Volume. In the meantime, this is your chance to catch up on the other volumes out there.