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Uncertain, Fugitive, Half-fabulous

Stories about people. People who must ponder the implications of their laser gun swords.

Currently reading

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond
Bill Campbell, Edward Austin Hall
Deathstalker War (Owen Deathstalker, Vol. 3)
Simon R. Green
Jews Without Money
Michael Gold

Second Foundation (Foundation, #3)

Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) - Isaac Asimov
It had been solidified heartbreak. It had been blasphemy.
p. 196

In the great tradition of First Lensman (the second Lensman book), Second Foundation has a title that wouldn't tell anyone that it is, in fact, the third in a trilogy. It refers to the actual Second Foundation, heretofore only hinted at as another, shadowy organization somewhere at the other end of the galaxy, far from our Foundation, who are of course preserving technology and re-civilizing parts of the galaxy nearer to them.

The Second Foundation's mission is a lot murkier and, due to the book's structure, a lot harder to discuss without massive spoilers. In short, they're physical technology is pretty weak, but their understanding of psychology, psycho-history, and all that that entails in Asimov's stories (i.e. mind-powers, of a sort) is unprecedented. Much of this serves to make the morality of the story a lot less clear: Second Foundation gets all the way to where the previous books were creeping: a history of the galaxy that, while being pulpy and adventurous, doesn't really have good guys anymore, per se. Protagonists, sure, but there's no clearly right side in the bulk of this book.

First, though, we get a shorter story that continues the story of the Mule...

[The whole review is on my blog. You should read it. I thought it was pretty good, anyway.]