Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Book Talk
Reload this Page >

Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Old 08-06-01, 07:05 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,804
Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Ok. It's been years.

I read Asimov - Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation back when "that's all there was"...

Now there is a plethora of other stories, both by Asimov and others.

If I wanted to "get back into the series" - what should I read now?

Also, now that he has been dead for years - what came up since the mid 1970s that I should grab onto (his final anthology - Gold, looks interesting)

------------------

Similarly, I read the Well of Souls by Jack Chalker when there were only 5 books... now there seem to be 10.... any help here?
Seeker is offline  
Old 08-07-01, 09:04 PM
  #2  
Super Moderator
 
RandyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: shine on you crazy diamond
Posts: 26,038
Just wanted to post that I am in the exact same situation.

My thought is to re-read the trilogy first.
RandyC is offline  
Old 08-07-01, 09:58 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,804
I agree on re-reading the trilogy, but after that it gets confusing, at least to me.
Seeker is offline  
Old 08-08-01, 09:18 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,804
Either it's confusing to everyone, or no one who knows wants to post...
Seeker is offline  
Old 08-09-01, 05:00 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: sunny San Diego!
Posts: 1,096
The Foundation series continued (past the first three that you read) with Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth. Then Asimov wrote Prelude to Foundation, which is a prequel, as the title suggests, and Forward the Foundation, which is a sequel to Prelude. That means that the in-story chronology puts Prelude and Forward before the first three novels, but they were written last. I'd suggest first reading them in publication order, and then if you want, re-read them in chronological order. I enjoyed all of these, though Forward seemed somewhat unpolished (not surprising, since it was his last novel and he may not have entirely finished it when he died).

The "Second Foundation" trilogy is three books by Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin (one book each, in that order, though I can't recall the titles), which is set roughly after Forward the Foundation (I think). They were OK, but not up to Asimov's real work.

Of Asimov's other work... it's all good I would recommend looking for the Robots books: The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, and Robots and Empire. I enjoyed these.

That's not mentioning his other series or stand-alone books... have fun!
Holly E. Ordway is offline  
Old 08-10-01, 01:04 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,804
Great Info. Thanks! I appreciate it.

Now, anyone up on Chalker and/or his WellWorld series?
Seeker is offline  
Old 09-09-01, 05:00 AM
  #7  
Mod Emeritus
 
benedict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
More than a decade ago a Chalker series landed in my lap. It concerned a trek across a world made up of discrete segments where the environment and hazards varied in each. There were superficial similarities with Farmer's Riverworld series and perhaps an element of Dungeons & Dragons © thrown in the mix.

I have to say that although I remember very little of it, I found the series very disappointing. I forget the publication date so cannot tell if it was written for another era or for anotehr agegroup (adolescents) but when I flung down the final volume I felt cheated. Rarely do I dispose of books but.... I sentthese to a penpal in Moscow who was always after used Science-fiction! I remember apologising in advance for the poor quality story but seem to recall that my penfriend didn't mind! Perhaps it was a case of "beggars can't be choosers".
benedict is offline  
Old 09-18-18, 10:50 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bronkster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: AnaheimLand, SoCal
Posts: 15,529
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Well, this is quite the bump! Given that I now have more time on my hands, I've started reading again! It's nice to take a little bit of the day for a good book. I'm creating a small list of things I want to get to, and the Foundation series is one I've forever wanted to experience! In looking for hardback copies, I found a lot more books than I was aware of! I came here to ask about the order I should approach these, and found a suitable answer above.

But since I have a few books to go before I get to Foundation, I thought I'd readdress the OP's (and my) question to see if there might be other views (in the 17 years since).
Bronkster is offline  
Old 09-19-18, 03:43 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 18,998
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

I absolutely love The Foundation trilogy, but for Asimov my favorites will always remain his Robot stories (I Robot, Robot Dreams Robot Visions, Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Robots of Dawn, etc.) To me they were his best work.

Avoid the Foundation prequel novels from the 90s (not by Asimov). They were, in my opinion, the epitome of terrible.
Hokeyboy is offline  
Old 09-19-18, 06:05 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,360
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Asimov wrote about ideas, and he avoided writing about feelings and personal interaction. I've re-read several of his books in the last few years, and I can see why he's always been popular among the socially stunted among the science fiction readers. He published his first drafts, so don't expect great wordsmithing.

When his ideas were great, the stories are great. But there isn't any backup if the idea isn't great.

I stopped reading with peak Asimov. I figure that life's too short to read his back catalog. I liked best Nine Tomorrows, the first two anthologies of robot stories, The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and the original Foundation trilogy.

As for Jack Chalker, in the last couple of years I've read "And the Devil will Drag You Under" and "The Identity Matrix." I liked them. I read a bunch of his series books in the 1980s, and got tired of them. He had a sadistic streak and he mistreated his characters. But those two books were a lot of fun.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 09-19-18 at 06:49 AM.
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 09-19-18, 02:22 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 18,998
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Could there be anything more erotic than Asimov-written sex scenes? Ohhh the vapors...
Hokeyboy is offline  
Old 09-19-18, 03:42 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bronkster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: AnaheimLand, SoCal
Posts: 15,529
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

I found a little used book store (thank you, Google) and went today, hoping to possibly find the Foundation trilogy. No Asimov at all. Looks like Ebay will have to do.

I remember reading I, Robot decades ago (40+ years, probably) and wasn't overly impressed. Granted I'm going off old memories, but it struck me as a bit contrived in that Asimov sets up the 3 rules of robotics, then writes a bunch of short stories that try to subvert those rules somehow. Perhaps I'll give it another shot after I catch up on other books. I also recall reading his The Tragedy of the Moon and being very impressed. At the time, I concluded I liked his essays over his fiction.
Bronkster is offline  
Old 10-07-18, 04:27 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,013
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Could there be anything more erotic than Asimov-written sex scenes? Ohhh the vapors...
There are some sex scenes in one his later Foundation novels, either Edge or Earth.

Reading an Asimov sex scene is kind of having your grandfather show you old 8mm stag films on the ancient family projector. Awkward and uncomfortable. A lot of the golden age science fiction writers — Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and probably a few others that escape me — seemed to go through a “dirty old man” phase in their latter years.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 10-07-18, 04:42 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,013
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Bronkster View Post
Well, this is quite the bump! Given that I now have more time on my hands, I've started reading again! It's nice to take a little bit of the day for a good book. I'm creating a small list of things I want to get to, and the Foundation series is one I've forever wanted to experience! In looking for hardback copies, I found a lot more books than I was aware of! I came here to ask about the order I should approach these, and found a suitable answer above.

But since I have a few books to go before I get to Foundation, I thought I'd readdress the OP's (and my) question to see if there might be other views (in the 17 years since).
Asimov attempted to tie his novels together into a sort of shared continuity in the 80s.

The chronological reading order is:

I, Robot (1950)
Caves of Steel (1954)
Naked Sun (1957)
Robots of Dawn (1983)
Robots and Empire (1985)
The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
The Currents of Space (1952)
Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Prelude to Foundation (1988)
Forward the Foundation (1993)
Foundation (1951)
Foundation & Empire (1952)
Second Foundation (1953)
Foundation’s Edge (1982)
Foundation & Earth (1986)
The End of Eternity (1955) (This book loosely ties into the greater continuity)

At minimum, you should read I, Robot, Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Foundation, Foundation & Empire, and Second Foundation. When he revisited these stories in the 80s and attempted to weave them together in a coherent narrative, the results were mixed. If you want to tackle the whole enchilada, at least Asimov is a fairly quick read.

It should also be noted that it might be a good idea to read all of these books in publication order and not internal chronological order since some of thr prequel books will spoil things in the original books.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 10-15-18, 09:36 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Waterford, MI
Posts: 1,178
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
There are some sex scenes in one his later Foundation novels, either Edge or Earth.

Reading an Asimov sex scene is kind of having your grandfather show you old 8mm stag films on the ancient family projector. Awkward and uncomfortable. A lot of the golden age science fiction writers — Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and probably a few others that escape me — seemed to go through a “dirty old man” phase in their latter years.
You are quite correct - I was growing up as a teen around the time some of these books first came out. Just really getting my feet wet in all the greats of golden age SF...and the sex scenes were tremendously off putting in SF - for me completely unexpected and unwelcome as that isn't the style I'd grown accustomed to.

You forgot Frank Herbert too...I remember one or two scenes in Chapterhouse Dune if I recall that was pretty bad.

But the worst offender of all to me...and I just can't find it in my heart to forgive....is Clarke teaming up with Gentry Lee. I seem to recall Cradle had some of the absolute worst sex scenes of all those authors - not to mention just being putrid all over.

For some reason, I don't remember the same level of horribleness to Heinlein although so many people have said it. Maybe it was so bad, I drowned it out as I just don't remember much of what happened in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls or Time Enough For Love.
fiver is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 02:03 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bronkster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: AnaheimLand, SoCal
Posts: 15,529
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Asimov attempted to tie his novels together into a sort of shared continuity in the 80s.

The chronological reading order is:

I, Robot (1950)
Caves of Steel (1954)
Naked Sun (1957)
Robots of Dawn (1983)
Robots and Empire (1985)
The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
The Currents of Space (1952)
Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Prelude to Foundation (1988)
Forward the Foundation (1993)
Foundation (1951)
Foundation & Empire (1952)
Second Foundation (1953)
Foundation’s Edge (1982)
Foundation & Earth (1986)
The End of Eternity (1955) (This book loosely ties into the greater continuity)

At minimum, you should read I, Robot, Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Foundation, Foundation & Empire, and Second Foundation. When he revisited these stories in the 80s and attempted to weave them together in a coherent narrative, the results were mixed. If you want to tackle the whole enchilada, at least Asimov is a fairly quick read.

It should also be noted that it might be a good idea to read all of these books in publication order and not internal chronological order since some of thr prequel books will spoil things in the original books.
Thanks for all that info! I now have the Foundation trilogy and will be getting to it after a few other books (still slowly making my way through Moby Dick. And a book on dog training, heh).
Bronkster is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 04:05 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,360
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
There are some sex scenes in one his later Foundation novels, either Edge or Earth.

Reading an Asimov sex scene is kind of having your grandfather show you old 8mm stag films on the ancient family projector. Awkward and uncomfortable. A lot of the golden age science fiction writers — Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and probably a few others that escape me — seemed to go through a “dirty old man” phase in their latter years.
I never read a sex scene by Heinlein, but I read some of his later books where an awful lot of it happened offstage. I decided that Heinlein was probably messing with people when his characters had sex with their mothers, or with their grandchildren.

When I learned that Heinlein had once been a liberal and a nudist, I figured that it wouldn't surprise me if he'd tried being promiscuous.
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 10-24-18, 01:49 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,757
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

When I was really young and first read foundation, I had some silly fantasies about what it would be like to be Hari Seldon.

As I got older, I came to the realization that type of theories in Foundation were largely a fool's errand.


The nobel laureate economist and nytimes columnist Paul Krugman had similar youthful fascinations with asimov's books.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...imov-economics
morriscroy is offline  
Old 11-20-18, 07:19 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
AGuyNamedMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: (formerly known as Inglenook Hampendick) Fairbanks, Alaska!
Posts: 15,226
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
...seemed to go through a “dirty old man” phase in their latter years.
I remember a cow-orker of mine who used to go to cons back in the 70s. She recalled him an arrogant-yet-charming flirt, the smartest guy in the room, and a man not above a casual boob-grab while lining up for a group photo.
AGuyNamedMike is offline  
Old 11-25-18, 09:43 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,360
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike View Post
Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
A lot of the golden age science fiction writers — Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and probably a few others that escape me — seemed to go through a “dirty old man” phase in their latter years.
I remember a co-worker of mine who used to go to cons back in the 70s. She recalled him an arrogant-yet-charming flirt, the smartest guy in the room, and a man not above a casual boob-grab while lining up for a group photo.
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 11-25-18, 11:14 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,013
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Asimov was notorious for groping and fondling women without their consent.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/dont-look-aw...ifi-1785704207
https://the-orbit.net/almostdiamonds...-that-anymore/
https://adiashburner.wordpress.com/2...r-just-a-lech/
http://www.factfiend.com/isaac-asimov-kind-douchebag/

That “Mad Men” for nerds stuff wouldn’t fly in the current #MeToo environment, but there was also some much darker stuff going on the sci-fi community back then. Some of it is so horrific that I won’t even post it here; someone google “breendoggle” if they’re interested.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 01-09-19, 10:20 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bronkster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: AnaheimLand, SoCal
Posts: 15,529
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

Well. I sat down to start Foundation today only to get to the second page and discover the book has misprinted the page order! A bit of flipping revealed that the page I read was actually the first page of Foundation and Empire, with the page of the correct chapter printed on its back. So, it's more than just a page being out of order; the printing was screwed up. I have no idea how much more of the book is like this, and don't see it as an enjoyable task to find out. Gonna look for another copy, I guess. Poop.
Bronkster is offline  
Old 05-21-19, 01:45 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,804
Re: Help on returning to sci-fi series from long ago (Asimov/Chalker)

While many of the series are odd, and each author has backstory, Asimov, Chalker and Heinlein built their worlds and ran with them.

At the moment, two Heinlein books come to mind, "The Past Through Tomorrow" and "Farnham's Freehold".

Almost can't believe I started this thread near 18 years ago.
Seeker is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.