Isaac Asimov as orientalist

Just thought I share with you sci-fi heads a stimulating observation I just came across on a Scandinavian blog concerning Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

Haven't read them in forever, so I have no idea whether this charge holds true against the s-f polymath (who's written on just about everything, though I've heard the claim that his encyclopedic knowledge of everything was marred by a conventional interpretative approach; being a pedestrian polymath is a problem this prematurely senile man would like to have). Given my fondness of critiquing Victorian intellectual holdovers in contemporary culture, Im half tempted to re-read just to confirm/disprove Stærk's snarky contention.

Agree whole heartedly about Babylon 5's strengths and innovation, but haven't seen the other stuff.

Where it not so uneven at times, I think "The X-Files" might warrant a spot in this list. It had a lot of really classic one-off speculative stories and the intergalactic conspiracy stuff was really interesting when it didn't get overly campy and needlessly cryptic. At times, TXFs had a timeless "Twilight Zone", updated for a multicultural, postmodern world.

I doubt this is likely, but anyone mentioning a certain pig tailed vampire hunter will be banned from my presence in this life as well as the next.

Bjørn Stærk on "Galactic Heroes and Bureaucrat Spies"

If your only experience with history in science fiction is the 13-year-old's understanding of Edward Gibbon that went into Asimov's Foundation novels and the Star Wars prequels, you owe it to yourself to see the subject dealt with by real writers.

  • http://blog.bearstrong.net Bjørn Stærk

    Thanks for the comment – actually I kind of like the Foundation novels, but the history stuff is pretty silly. I think the way to appreciate them is as Sherlock Holmes on a galactic scale.


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