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Archive for September 2012

Name : Foundation and Empire
 
Author:  Isaac Asimov
 
Genre : Science fiction novel
 
Pages : 247
 
Language: English
 
Publication Year: 1952
 
Is Review Spoiler: No
 
Awards :  Hugo Award for Best Novel
 
Rating: 5/5

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Isaac Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series, his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” in 1966.

The Foundation is highly recommended to anyone who admit that they have a keen interest in sic-fi. The foundation series is considered as greatest science-fiction novels ever written, these novels are not recommended for those who are only mildly interested in sicience-fiction. If you are new to sci-fi genre, start with something lighter and once you are comfortable with the genre then you can start with this series.

The foundation and empire start exactly after the event of the foundation. In the foundation, Hari Seldon the great mathematician has forseen the end of galactic empire by using the mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mas action – psychohistory can predict the future but only on a large-scale. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillion of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future. So he establish two foundations each at different end of galaxy to minimize the barbaric period expected to follow the demise of empire from 30,000 years to 1,000 years and to establish the second empire.

After the 200 years since it’s establishment, the first foundation has conquered the most of the surrounding planets using it’s economic rule, going as per Seldon’s plan. This book is divided into two parts namely ‘The General’ & ‘The Mule’ and is more focused on the developmental of plot than first book which was divided  on 5 loosely related chapters. In first part named ‘The General’ – the first foundation faces the new and much more serious threats from dying Empire. The general Beo Riose – the last strong General of the Galactic Empire – after investigating the so-called ‘magicians’ from the foundation, finds out about Hari Seldon’s plan of second empire – and concludes that the foundation is the real threat to galactic empire.

The second part – The Mule – is mainly focused on individual who named himself ‘The Mule’ and is conquering the planets one by one without a fight. So little is known about the ‘The Mule’ and about his past,only few knows how he looks and that he has super powers which can be the biggest threat to Seldon’s plan – sensing this The Foundation citizens Toran and Bayta Darell along with psychologist Ebling Mis – travel to different worlds of the Foundation, and finally to the Great Library of Trantor to discover more about the ‘Mule’ and most importantly to find ‘the second foundation’ [no one knows about it’s location or whether it’s exist or not] and to warn them about the growing threat of  ‘The Mule’.

“The Mule” was first published in the November and December 1945 issues of Astounding Science Fiction. The first part of the book – The General – is quite straight forward in which foundation faces the empire and as per Seldon’s plan they execute their strategy against galactic empire.

The second story is quite interesting and ingenious, in which the flaws in Seldon’s plan are bought into light. This story told in terms of suspense built around the mule, of whom very little is know in entire galaxy. The notable thing about the second part is mystery Asimov built around the mule which will keep reader glued to the book till the end. Asimov has written it so well that by the time you finish second book you will be thinking ‘wow it’s awesome’ – desperate for more –  you will start reading third book in series.

Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets…?

If you are a science fiction fan and haven’t read foundation series by Asimov then your missing something amazing, I will recommend this for all sci-fi fans.

Name : The Hobbit

Author:  J. R. R. Tolkien

Genre : Children’s literature,Fantasy novel

Pages : 310

Language: English

Publication Year: 21 September 1937

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Rating: 5/5

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The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein is an Epic fantasy literature. This epic saga of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins will take you to the unforgettable journey from Shire through Misty mountains till Lonely mountains in search of legendary treasure of dwarves. The writing style is just amazing, depictions of all surrounding environment of Middle Earth, character & story is so amazingly depicted that many authors are still trying to parallel J.R.R Tolkien’s style of writing. This book will appeal all fans of fantasy genre of all ages.

This book has everything – emotions, love, friendship, greed, suspense and adventure. the story is narrated from the perspective of Bilbo and divided into different chapters. Each chapter introduces readers to new creature of middle earth or put some more light on previously introduced characters.

This is a story of Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, who unintentionally dragged into a treasure hunt adventure of dwarves by Gandalf the grey. Bilbo Baggins is like all other hobbits of shire who likes to sit by the fire-place beer in hand with stomach full of good meals and a pipe to smoke, that’s all he needs. One fine morning while he is having a tea, suddenly appears Gandalf the grey “looking for someone to share the adventure” and Baggins was not at all happy to share any kind of adventure, he just want to sit by his fire-place and with tea in one hand & pipe in another. Very next day out of blue appears thirteen dwarves at his hobbit hole looking for burglar to share their adventure.

The dwarves wants to reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug and thus begins the most unexpected journey of Bilbo Baggins which will eventually change the history of middle earth. On the way to Lonely mountains they meet giant spiders, trolls, goblins, huge wolf, huge eagles and Gollum. One day while wandering in cave, Bilbo Baggins finds golden ring and without a second thought puts it into his pocket without knowing that this is the ring which will eventually change his life forever and will starts the events of lord of the rings.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s own description for the original edition: “If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) — if you do not already know all about these things — much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.”


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