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To Shoot or Not to Shoot

I shoot arrows, mess around in the garden, feed the birds and walk the hills.

Currently reading

By Myself and Then Some
Lauren Bacall
A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War
Ursula Buchan
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
Elizabeth Smart

Foundation and Empire

Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov This book was first published 1952 so I think it has survived pretty well. Perhaps it helps that you could (and people probably did) build a master's thesis in politics/sociology around the Foundation Trilogy. I'm not going to critique it here but it is telling that there is so much richness in the books structure to support that kind of critique, despite superficially being thin in plot and characterisation. It is classic science fiction in that it uses the science to tell us most about our own society and really very little about science.
I read it first as a teenager and reading it again it comes to life again - oddly one of the few things to feel really dated is the way so many characters smoke, and that the author uses being a non-smoker to signal bad character traits!
I much prefer modern writers like Iain M Banks but I think I will have to acknowledge that I am opting for escapism and that with Asimov I cannot avoid uncomfortable questions about the tension between what I will go along with in his imaginary world and what I am prepared to support in the real world. Perhaps this is due to the distance at which the book was written and when I re-read Iain M Banks in 30-40 years (if I survive)a similar tension will arise. Or maybe Iain M Banks is simply of my own generation while Asimov is of an earlier one.