Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Confession And An Observation

First, the confession: I have never, until tonight, read the original Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov.

I know. I know. It hurts my geek cred to admit that. I always intended to get around to it, but there was always something else that seemed more accessible, more modern. And the Foundation series is pretty damned big, all told, so I was leery of getting into the thing. But I resolved to at least read the original trilogy, and if I couldn't get into them, I'd stop there. I read the Empire trilogy a few months ago, thinking they'd be a good way to get started, but boy oh boy, were those a slow read. So it kind of put me off of ol' Hari Seldon's grand schemes for a while.

But they shouldn't have, of course. The Foundation series is a little dated in language, but not in composition or style. These books really stand the test of time, I think. Which all good books should, of course. I could have done with a few less references to the glories of nuclear power, but considering how shiny and new it was, I can't blame Asimov for throwing the word in every chance he got. I'd have probably been excited by the gee-whiz factor myself at the time. I just wish his visions were advancing apace. We could use a few more decent nuclear reactors. They're a hell of lot better for the environment, all told, than what we're doing now.

Now for the observation: I never realized just how much George Lucas RIPPED ASIMOV OFF!

I mean, goddamn! In Foundation, there's a planet of ne'er-do-wells called Korellia! By the time of the Foundation novels, the capital of the Galactic Empire (Trantor) is a planet-sized city! Throw in the fisking anthropomorphic droids and mazel tov! It's Asimov! (to steal from a poem who's name which I can no longer remember). Honestly, it makes me really angry to think of this. I know that creative people build upon what has come before, but jebus! This just about puts the last nail in the coffin of my opinion of George Lucas. I've always been a huge Star Wars fan, and I doubt thats going to change much, but stealing a damned name right out of the book is just wrong.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu