Recommendations from our site
“It’s a very beautifully written book imagining that humans were so broadly successful in the universe that they’re in multiple galaxies and working at an interplanetary scale. The protagonist in the book is something called a psychohistorian. He has studied history so well that he can try and predict what will happen next.” Read more...
Space Travel and Science Fiction Books
Christopher Mason, Scientist
“This is a very unusual set of novels from Isaac Asimov, but a classic…The story is about these people, psychohistorians, who are mathematical social scientists and have a theory about how society works. The theory tells them that the galactic empire is failing, and they then use that knowledge to save civilisation. It’s a great image. I was probably 16 when I read it and I thought, ‘I want to be one of those guys!’ Unfortunately we don’t have anything like that and economics is the closest I could get.” Read more...
Books that Inspired a Liberal Economist
Paul Krugman, Economist
“Isaac Asimov wrote many good books, but this is the one that stands as his finest, and the one that most rewards periodic rereading.” Read more...
The best books on Science Fiction
Orson Scott Card, Novelist
Like Dune, these books by Isaac Asimov consider the workings of a vast intergalactic empire—although Asimov sets out to portray the collapse of this ancient civilisation, and the efforts taken to preserve its scientific knowledge and culture so as to ultimately enable the founding of a new empire. Asimov was reportedly inspired by Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as well as Arnold Toynbee‘s theories on the cycle of history. The original Foundation trilogy was published in the 1950s and are considered masterworks of science fiction; other authors have written books set in the extended universe with the permission of the Asimov estate. If you’ve never read them, the Foundation books are your perfect next step: it’s a series with enormous scope and ambition.
From our article Books like Dune