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Psychohistorical Crisis


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Admirers of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, possibly the greatest SF series ever, will be drawn to this oddly titled sequel from the author of the Hugo-nominated Courtship Rite (1982), but they shouldn't get their hopes too high. No one, including Asimov himself in his belated efforts to further milk his cash cow, has succeeded in capturing the breadth, excitement and imaginative scope of the original. Canadian Kingsbury, too, falls short. Nearly as long as the entire Asimov trilogy, this continuation suffers from long-windedness and a surfeit of italics. The author, though, does create a convincing and fresh simulacrum of the world of the 761st century. For a crime he can't remember, Eron Osa, a 30-year-old psychohistorian, must give up his fam, that is, his personal familiar, a device plugged into his brain that immeasurably enhances all aspects of his life, particularly his power to absorb and resolve problems. Members of the Second Galactic Empire populate the Milky Way galaxy of a million worlds, in which the only "aliens" are genetically engineered talking dogs. Some people, not much different from today's humans, behave admirably, while others are addicted to power and war. Women play only peripheral roles in a male-dominated universe. For all its ambitions, this work lacks the great storytelling qualities of Asimov's trilogy and captures only some of its ambience. (Nov. 13) FYI: This novel is the expansion of "Historical Crisis," a short story that appeared in Asimov's SF magazine. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

As a punishment for an unspecified crime, psychohistorian Eron Osa finds himself sentenced to the removal of his "fam" an electronic familiar that enhances mental abilities and allows him to pursue his career. Possessed of greatly reduced intelligence, Osa attempts to recover his memories and create a life for himself while uncovering the real reason for his penalty. Kingsbury (Courtship Rite) bases his latest novel on an article by the late Isaac Asimov expounding on the basis of his Foundation stories, producing a complex and credible tribute to Asimov's classic series. For most sf collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"A complex and credible tribute to Asimov's classic series." - "Library Journal"

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