Friday, March 9, 2012
The End of an Era
There isn't much that I can say about these last two books which conclude Asimov's long, long story. I can't give away anything.
I feel I must remind everyone that he had never intended it to be that way... that over fifty years of writing about the future history of humanity and of science itself, he had never intended it to be a consecutive tale... it's just serendipity that it ended up that way, and in four final novels he 'made it so'.
After reading Foundation's Edge I was positively lathered up into a froth of excitement because I thought that the story was heading towards a conclusion that I had always hoped.
Foundation and Earth did not disappoint me. In so many conclusions of series that I have read over the years, there is sometimes a little sadness because the story is over or disappointment over how it was finished, but I am glad to say that this was not one of those kinds.
Without giving away spoilers I will say this... I had two reactions, or I should say impressions. The first being this... do you remember a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Starfleet is infested with a lifeform similar in appearance to a giant beige earwig, that takes over key officers and is trying take over the Federation? It was quite intense but concluded satisfactorily with Will Riker And Jean Luc Picard 'phasering' the queen bee into goo and all the earwigs exploding. But not before the lifeforms had managed to send out a message far into space and the episode finishes with a picture of space and the sound of a message being transmitted to who knows where meaning who knows what, and you get a little creepy chill because you just don't know what will happen next. Well I got that feeling right at the end, so much so that I had to go back and re-read the last page so that I could make sure of why I felt that way. Shortly afterwards though I had another image, and that is of Dirk Gently standing outside on his front lawn shaking his fist at the night sky and yellling "STOP IT!" (from the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams).