Isaac Asimov’s Comforting Technocratic Fable

(Pixabay)
The sci-fi great’s Foundation novels are an unrealistic depiction of free will, civilization, and crisis management.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A s leaders and those they govern struggle to confront the global challenges of COVID-19, wouldn’t it be nice if a hologram from the past spontaneously appeared with a pre-recorded message telling us exactly what to do? In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, that’s exactly what happens. First serialized as novellas in the sci-fi magazine Astounding Stories between 1942 and 1950 and published as proper novels in the early ’50s, the first three books in the Foundation series provide a superficially comforting tale of technocratic triumph. But they suffer from a failure in their central conceit that both renders the works fundamentally

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