Originally Posted by grumbles
"I found Foundation quite boring too, although the dated technology was kind of charming. At least he had computers with visual displays. I also read Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky earlier this year, where they still use slide-rules."
What do you mean, still using? When that was written, that was all that was available. If you were really lucky you might have an adding machine. A large organization may have a few mechanical calculators that could actually do multiplication and division. They were big, they were noisy and they were expensive. Cheap four function calculators first appeared in the mid seventies. I still remember the first pocket scientific calculator, the HP-35, and it was over $300 at the time.
Foundation pre-dates Farmer in the Sky, and in Foundation they use calculating machines with (monochrome) displays, whereas in Farmer they use slide rules.
Of course, Farmer in the Sky is set in the near future (maybe even past, now, I forget), after we colonised Ganymede in the 1980s, and Foundation is set in what is presumably the far future, of galactic empires, although I'm not sure it's related to Earth's timeline at all.
I don't hold the moving goalposts against either of them, or any of the other thousands of SF books that have been overtaken by history. I find the past views of the future quite interesting, in fact.
That doesn't make Asimov's books any more appealing. I still have to read Second Foundation and Foundation's Edge as part of my Hugo read-through, and I can't say I'm especially looking forward to them.
When I was growing up, the Big Three were Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein, and I have never really liked any of them. Asimov and Clarke tend to be very flat and dry, and while Heinlein can tell a good tale, he does tend to beat you around the head with some objectionable views while he's at it. They've all written at least one book I like, I just don't consider myself a fan of any of them.