Monday, October 24, 2011

Foundation and Earth (SF Book)

Earth. A Search. Galaxia. Isolates. Robots. Transducer-lobes. Zeroeth Law. 

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Earth is the sequel to his Hugo Award winning novel Foundation’s Edge and continues the storyline.

Briefly, in Foundation’s Edge, Trevize was asked to choose the fate of his fellow galactic citizens. He chose the way of Gaia, a group entity. In Foundation and Earth, he questions his decision. He decides that if he can find Earth he will understand his choice, but he can’t find references to Earth in any records. So, he searches for anyone who might know where Earth is located. He also attempts to determine where Earth might be based on how humans expanded into the galaxy. On his journey, he is accompanied by the historian Pelorat and by Bliss, who is both an individual woman and part of the entity Gaia. Later on in their journey, they adopt the orphan Fallom. Each planet they explore in their quest has some danger. Ultimately, their combined talents help them find out the truth about Earth.

Foundation and Earth is a nice story. It is not a book that I would rave about, and I have mixed feelings about the ending. What I did find interesting was the contrast of Bliss to Trevize. They are often at odds in the novel. Bliss is reluctant to kill anyone, even when the little group is in danger, much to Trevize’s consternation. In decision-making, Bliss chooses options based on her perspective of being part of a larger entity. Trevize thinks from the perspective of an isolated individual. At times the discussion felt spiritual to me. I am reminded of the belief that many people have that all people are a part of the Divine and interconnected with one another. This is interesting given the fact that Asimov was a professed atheist.

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