03 November 2007

Archival Review: Foundation and Chaos by Greg Bear

Foundation and Chaos
by Greg Bear

I read all of the books in The Second Foundation Trilogy as they came out, but in 2002, I loaned many of my supplementary Asimov books to a "friend" and never got any of them back, aside from Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear. (I wish I had loaned him William F. Wu's Robots in Time books.) So I've been searching out these gaps in my collection, and I got this one for Christmas 2006.  But acquiring a book means you read it in my worldview, and so this one went on the reading list for another go.  It's an all right book-- like the others in the trilogy, its real success is in sketching out the millieu of Asimov's Robots/Empire/Foundation series more, tying the books together and providing a lot of detail on the politics and organization of the Galactic Empire.  This one also goes through some effort to retcon out some of the stupider bits of Foundation's Fear, like the galactic wormhole network.  But the plot ranges from nonexistent to uninteresting, as everyone is swept up in either psychohistorical forces or R. Daneel Olivaw's machinations.  Which is really par for the course for an Asimov book, isn't it?

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