Summer Reading Giveaway: The Wonderfully Epic Foundation

Jabberwocky Audio Theater is joining other writers and artists for a Summer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Bundle Giveaway now through July 12th.

I’m also taking the opportunity to talk about science fiction and fantasy books that have influenced me through the years, including a few that aren’t in the bundle. Several of the ones I pitched are in… and several that I’d love to read myself are in. One of the former is the beginning of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

Asimov was considered to be one of the most influential science fiction writers of his lifetime and his impact remains today, I think in great part due to his strength in worldbuilding. The Foundation series, which he started in 1951 and then expanded on for more than 30 years, is a wonderful example of it.

At the fall of the Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon devises the science of Psychohistory, an amalgam of history, sociology, and statistics that essentially can predict the future. The notion of this amazingly accurate methodology seemed abstract and almost magical l when I first read the series 20 years ago. Now, in the face of the big data mined by the Google, Facebook, and related tech overlords, it seems all too possible: like Person of Interest on a galactic scale.

In any case, part of the joy in reading the series, especially the first novel, was that it almost was, in many ways, an anthology of related stories set in the same universe, and all written to illustrate a grand sweep of history and human motivation.

Thinking of how he wrote empires rising and falling and power ebbing and flowing absolutely played into the fictitious chronology I created for the setting of Rogue Tyger and the Imperium, which is relatively young, only in its fifth century. There are no psychohistorians in this empire however (though something similar will make an appearance in season four) and I found a way to pay tribute to Foundation in the last serial of season two currently running.

In the meantime, Foundation is part of the aforementioned book bundle, so you’re interested, go ahead and enter before the giveaway ends of Friday, July 12th.

~Bjorn Munson, Jabberwocky Audio Theater

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