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Old 09-20-2021, 07:17 PM   #16
Dr. Drib
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:17 PM   #17
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They were taken down from Amazon back circa 2013/2014. My understanding is that The Azimov estate said that no financial gain could be derived from the works, but had no problems with the works if they were free, which is why any donations are limited to that trivial amount of a couple of dollars.




These final Foundation books are very well written, and quite complex which required me to take notes as there were a number of characters that the story followed. So all those Caliban, Prospero, No-law robots, modified law robots, original law robots are all covered in the novels, as well as Harry Seldon, Wanda, and the usual characters from the stories.

I never ended up reading Psychohistorical Crisis as I only discovered its existence when I had almost completed reading the Universe, and I did not feel like going back and reading more...

I definitely agree, Asimov wrote a lot and a lot of it was not great. I would not recommend anyone to read the entire opus the way I did. I find it highly frustrating at times and it came to a point where I couldn't wait to be finished. But I persisted.

My main thoughts are...
1. Most of the Robot stories are childish. It is not hard to imagine 12 year old boys, well after bedtime, hiding under their sheets with torch in hand marvelling at the talk of robots and space battles. Where quick-witted protagonists win the day with simple (and quite childish) arguments of logic, where enemies mutually respect each others efforts and graciously accept defeat and punishment. Where women are simply a petty hindrance (or entertainment) that have no capacity to understand the "workings of a mans world" and become hysterical or faint at the slightest provocation. Men are arrogantly proud and burst into anger at the minutest perceived disagreement or insult. These stories are simply 1950's society placed in a "futuristic" setting.

2. There is such an imbalance and mismatch of the level of technology in all of Asimov’s stories. How is it that scientists could invent the fabled Positronic Brain, with the billions of required nano based circuitry but computers are still at the punch-card level using vacuum tubes? This is the equivalent of inventing the combustion engine but not yet discovering the wheel.

I like the concept of Foundation, but not its delivery.

I do also like Arthur C. Clarke, and adore his (and supporting authors) Rama series.



The author told me he was hoping that a publisher would pick him up and sort out the Asimov Estate issues and they would, among other things, update the covers.

I contacted the author via his website to ask his progress on the final book. He stated it takes about 5 years to write so not to expect anything until circa 2013. We have corresponded a number of times since and he is a really nice and approachable person.
Reading the entire ops of an author would not be my choice. I like zukini, but I would not eat it for three months straight. I agree some of Asimovs ideas were rapidly outdated . I have often thought that atomic in Foundation should be replaced with some other word. I disagree with comments regarding the robot stories. Asimovs continues to influence the field. Did you read A Beautiful Day. I read it recently. It shows I think that Asimov wrote about people.

I would not advise you to read Clarke's entire opus. Much of his stuff is not that great. He was at his best as a short story writer. IMO he wrote only 3 truly great books. But what books! Rama is a great book (though JS Wolf Will be along to differ), but the sequels are almost unanimously derided as dross. I tried rereading the second book. The writing is an embarrassment. Perhaps the others are better.
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:25 PM   #18
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^

An influence upon the field, yes; and, unfortunately, an infamous one in dealing with issues relating to alleged claims of sexual harassment.

https://lithub.com/what-to-make-of-i...dirty-old-man/

I loved his robot stories and the first three Foundation books, although Heinlein is the Sci-Fi writer I favored during my beginning years after having 'graduated' from the Sword & Sorcery niche of Fantasy fiction.

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Old 09-21-2021, 01:59 PM   #19
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The original (and best) Robot stories are actually mostly detective stories where the 3 laws and the "robots" are kind of maguffins to setup the mystery or paradox to be solved. He went on to write good detective / mystery short stories (Black Widow series?) and I think had little intention of doing more SF. The Publisher badgered him.
"Asimov was interested in history. Starting in the 1960s, he wrote 14 popular history books."
I think he wrote little SF between about 1958 and 1981. 1982 Foundation' Edge was the result of Publisher pressure.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:57 PM   #20
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I would not advise you to read Clarke's entire opus... IMO he wrote only 3 truly great books. But what books!
What are your 3 great books?
  1. Rendezvous with Rama
  2. ?
  3. ?

I'm guessing 2001 and Childhood's End?

I'm interested in Imperial Earth, The Fountains of Paradise and The Songs of Distant Earth.

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Rama is a great book, but the sequels are almost unanimously derided as dross...
I haven't read any of the Rama sequels. My only experience with Clarke and Gentry Lee was Cradle which sounds GREAT. But I remember being very disappointed when I read it.

Clarke and Stephen Baxter make a good pair though and I recommend their Light of Other Days if you haven't read it.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:29 PM   #21
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@ZodWallop
Agree. Cradle was not that great. Only 2 stars from me.

Didn't like Childhood's End either, but absolutely loved the movie, which I watched one rainy day, and when it finished, watched it again. (also the source of my username)

The Light of Other Days I have a large paperback edition which I read early 2008, and don't really remember. Its on the "read again" list though, so back then I thought it was good.

A Time Odyssey co-written with Stephen Baxter was also very good.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/49788-a-time-odyssey


@Pajamaman
No, I did not read A Beautiful Day. Just looking it up, I don't have any of those books it was reprinted in.


An off-topic question, I notice I do not get pinged for replies in my thread or when quoted. Are pings enabled on this forum?

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Old 09-26-2021, 09:41 PM   #22
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What are your 3 great books?
  1. Rendezvous with Rama
  2. ?
  3. ?

I'm guessing 2001 and Childhood's End?

I'm interested in Imperial Earth, The Fountains of Paradise and The Songs of Distant Earth.
I was not particularly hot on Rama. The City and the Stars, though, is in my all-time top ten list. Childhood's End was somewhere in between. I haven't read his other books, including 2001 (probably because I didn't like the movie, which I saw before I could get my hands on the book).
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:42 PM   #23
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An off-topic question, I notice I do not get pinged for replies in my thread or when quoted. Are pings enabled on this forum?
You'll have to subscribe to the thread to get notifications.
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:16 PM   #24
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FWIW one of my favourites from Clarke is The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell. I'm still waiting for it to appear as an ebook. To my tastes it is one of the few successful collaborations that Clarke did. (I liked the start of The Light of Other Days, with Stephen Baxter, but the last quarter was all downhill - a very steep hill. As for Cradle, with Gentry Lee, it's one of the few books in my paper collection to get a 1/5 = "Waste of Space".)

Rendezvous with Rama appears to have been forgettable (as in: pretty sure I did read it many years ago but don't remember it).

I do enjoy 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it got a downgrade out of my list of favourites the last time I re-read it. The faults stand out to me more than they once did.

Curiously enough, I've never read The City and the Stars. I had really liked Against the Fall of Night and was wary of picking up the rewrite. But I do now own The City and the Stars in ebook, so will probably get to it.

...

But back to the OP. Asimov was one of the favourite authors of my youth, and I still have a soft spot for his work. In general I liked his novels much more than say Clarke's (Clarke's stories often felt like not much more than a framework for a neat idea), and Asimov's non-fiction was excellent. It has not all aged that well, but I still enjoy going through the main opus (Robots/Empire/Foundation) every now and then.
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:35 PM   #25
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@ZodWallop
The Light of Other Days I have a large paperback edition which I read early 2008, and don't really remember. Its on the "read again" list though, so back then I thought it was good.
With The Light of Other Days, I had the advantage of not expecting much. I very much liked the two author's individual books, but the synopsis of theor first collab did not sound interesting to me.

Going in to low expectations can be a real benefit sometimes
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:37 PM   #26
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I haven't read... 2001 (probably because I didn't like the movie, which I saw before I could get my hands on the book).
I read the book before seeing the movie.

I would recommend reading the book. It has a much easier narrative to follow than the movie (though I do love the movie too).
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:40 PM   #27
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FWIW one of my favourites from Clarke is The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell. I'm still waiting for it to appear as an ebook.
The Trigger (Amazon US)
The Trigger (Kobo)

Maybe it's time to put on your travellin' shoes?
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:59 AM   #28
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The Trigger (Amazon US)
The Trigger (Kobo)

Maybe it's time to put on your travellin' shoes?
Maybe (although given that I already have it in paper I probably won't bother unless it shows up really cheap). Interesting to see the ebook was published there in 2012 and has gained only 55 reviews ... I wonder if the lacklustre audience numbers are why they never bothered releasing more widely.

Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2021, 05:39 AM   #29
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Rendezvous with Rama
I've read this and found it very boring. Nothing actually happened. A slug of a book. Just awful. I'd rate it 0 stars.
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Old 09-29-2021, 05:39 AM   #30
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Foundation is now on Apple TV.
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