Since Hari was a mathematician without a background in history, his female companion Dors, used her expertise in the past to help Hari override the problems of 10,000 years of history being virtually useless due to poor record-keeping, and loss of records entirely. Working together, they undertake a journey in search of useful information to allow him to make psychohistory a reality.
As the story ends, you know that there is a future for the main characters and gives you an urge to find out what happens next. And that is where the next book “Foundation” starts.
If this series wasn’t set in the 121st Century, it could take place maybe 100 years from now due to technologies humans now have.
The story was a good beginning to the Foundation Series and it told where Hari Seldon, a major factor in the series, originally came from. The story flowed smoothly and it felt as though you were there with Hari due to very well described settings and character descriptions.
Presented ‘Mini-Worlds’ on Trantor, were given distinct personalities and cultures not unlike you would find in New York, Chicago, Detroit or Los Angeles. Mexican Town, China Town and Greek Town are examples of small worlds in a larger world of Detroit.
It was very interesting how Hari’s desire for knowledge kept putting him in conflict with established rules and practices of different regions.
In an exciting twist, you find ties to another of the author’s major science fiction series, the Robot Series.
This book was difficult to put down and I found it to be a satisfying read. Having read the other five books in the series first, I was not disappointed in the least by knowing the, well, future (pun intended).
The Character development and backgrounds made them believable and allowed me to visualize them easily. The same attention to detail with the surroundings of the characters gave the impression that you could see where they were in your mind.
The main theme, developing ‘Psychohistory’ remained true and consistent throughout the entire book. The background plot, a romantic interest between the primary characters, was well executed with passing comments and instances of them being relaxed socially around each other.
The story was in depth enough to pull in the reader and pushes the reader to want to look beyond the ending for what happens next to the characters.
In several instances, women were portrayed as submissive to males, even though the secondary main character was not.
Many sci-fi fans will have already read the original ‘Foundation’ novels, and unfortunately it would have been better to read this one before reading the subsequent novels in the series.