Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.
What is a book you admire for something specific: world building, characters, dialogue, setting, plot twists, etc.
I’m a huge fan of world-building in speculative fiction. Whatever the genre, Sci-fi, Steampunk or Fantasy. As far as I’m concerned, if the author can create a world, fill it with things and make it all seem authentic, I can put up with a lot of the other elements not reaching the same standard.
The same goes for plotting, which I consider to be another part of world-building, largely because very often the two are inextricably linked.
What I mean by linked is that (for example), you wouldn’t have all the plotting in Dune without the world-building of Arrakis creating the conditions for it.
I have to say that, for sheer audacity, given that it was mostly written in the 1940s, I’m a huge fan of the original Foundation trilogy, by Isaac Asimov.
These are the covers of the books that I bought at age 14. How could a picture like that not inspire you?
I get that it’s allegedly inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire but that’s just the starting point. To conceive a Galactic Empire, with millions of inhabited worlds in the far future and to assemble all the things needed to make it function in such a believable manner, took some imagination.
The stories have faster-than-light travel and instant communication between worlds. There’s political intrigue, a plethora of beautifully described planets and spaceships, battles and strategy, there’s even a bit of teen angst. Not to mention a plot that spans centuries. And it’s all explained logically.
Everything that exists in the world Asimov has created makes sense. Every scientific fact is possible, given progressive developments in technology, starting from a point that we are all familiar with.
Sure, there are a few problems with characters and dialogue (which I think are largely due to it being a product of its times), but there’s a killer twist at the end of Second Foundation, to round it all off nicely.
When you think about it, the trilogy has a lot to commend it. It inspired so much of what followed in Sci-fi writing and can be forgiven for its faults in some areas.
It certainly inspired me in my writing, a reviewer of my space opera, Myra, said.
“I enjoyed this book. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard and he mentioned that one of his big influences was Isaac Asimov. That comes through very strongly in this sci-fi yarn.”
How about you? What’s your favourite, and why? Please comment below, then head on over to see what the other contributors to this bloghop have to say on the subject.
Until next time.
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