"Foundation's Edge" by Isaac Asimov

Review by Borodutch

I'm slowly inching toward the end of the Foundation saga. The fourth book is a nice-to-have addition and a continuation of the previous three books. However, would the saga be complete without the fourth book? Something tells me that after I read the fifth part, I could forward readers to the "plot" section of the Wikipedia page on "Foundation's Edge," and they won't miss much.

It's our beloved Asimov again: fantastic characters that act like humans, a couple of plot twists, a massive reveal in the end, and sprinkles of events setting up the next book. It almost feels "marvel-ish," if you know what I mean. I think by the time Isaac wrote this book, he had already figured out a simple formula for writing best-sellers.

For some reason, this book (even though it is probably the longest one) feels very derivative. The author uses all the same tools he exploited in the first three books. By now, I could accurately predict "who's the murderer."

Unfortunately, sci-fi-wise, Asimov did not expand his universe beyond the central plot point of the book. The tech is all the same. No surprises there; we've all seen it. However, it also seems like reading "Foundation's Edge" is like reading Lovecraft in 2022. The main ideas have been propagated into pop culture so much as the originals now feel derivative. After all, even Rick and Morty did an episode on the central concept of this book!

It was nice to come back in time to experience the all-so-familiar concepts for one of the first times they appeared in writing. Beyond that, if you finished the trilogy, I wouldn't recommend the fourth book unless you're an avid fan of Asimov. It's like the latest Dr. Strange movie — you won't get it unless you know the reference material. And unless you care enough to appreciate it.