- Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (May 30 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061056383
- ISBN-13: 978-0061056383
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 3.2 x 16.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #259,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Foundation's Fear Mass Market Paperback – May 30 2000
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"[Benford] brings out the complexities of a galactic empire that Asimov never filled out..the first book stands well on its own.""-- Denver Post "[Benford] took on the huge task of answering questions [raised in the original], and difficult as it may sound, he pulled it off with style...Rest assured, Asimov's work is in good hands." -- Craig E. Engler Editor and Publisher of "Science Fiction Weekly "A richly rewarding delight.Benford writes up to his usual high standard and excels in bringing Asimovian concepts.to vivid, visually compelling life.""-- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Intriguing and engrossing.[a] curious blend of reinventions and retrospective criticism." -- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
Gregory Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and was Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. and in 1995 received the Lord Prize for contributions to sciences. His research encompasses both theory and experiments in the fields of astrophysics and plasma physics. His fiction has won many awards, including the Nebula Award for his novel Timescape. Dr. Benford makes his home in Laguna Beach, California.
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However, this book was mainly just a vehicle to show a bunch of different, sometimes-related ideas and concepts around what is a pretty minimal story for the most part. Having said that, however, I did enjoy the book overall as a continuation of the Foundation saga and the idea that it does fill in some gaps from the original series of novels. The most important thing to realize (which is obvious but sometimes only in retrospect) is that Benford's idea is to tell a story within the Foundation universe but not in the same manner that you might be used to if you have read all the other Foundation novels. I can honestly say this: everything does start making more sense at the end.
Also for those who feel this is a continuation of "Foundation and Earth," you should realize that it is not. Personally I would almost like to see some stories that continue the series where Asimov left off, with the potential race of super aliens among us. Perhaps the next time around.
I gave three stars simply because while I love the Foundation series, the writing style in this one was just not to my liking and there was a little too much divergence early on (even though it made sense later).
I got new stories, but hardly about the Hari & Co. I'm used to.
This book is really 3 stories. First is the story of Hari trying not to get killed. Yay.
Later (and I list these out of order) is the story of Hari (predictably) trying not to get killed while he's a primitive monkey-man. The "immersion" concept is a cool one, but Benford jumps between thought-provoking and unbelievable way too often.
Last and least is the "sim story" of synthetic personalities constructed from historical knowledge of Voltaire and Joan of Arc. (They know who Voltaire is, but don't remember were Earth went....riiiiight) This story (along with later interaction with the Foggy Memes) is interesting enough to read like a madman near the end of the book only to get the payoff. Nothing satisfying.
Basically, this book is hard to get into, is eventually engrossing, and then leaves you wanting more for your 7 bucks. It's as if Benford had a few stories lying around and he stuck them together. I don't have a problem with seemingly unrelated stories that converge at the end, but this never converges. After reading the Afterword, I figured that the loose ends that I hung from would be tied in the next volume. However, I'm 50 pages into the next book in the trilogy, and there are no sims, memes, pans, and it's starting to feel like a Foundation book again.
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