Winner or Rec? Recs.
Started reading: July 18th, 2014
Finished reading: July 23rd, 2014
Epic Reading Project books #2, 3, 4
Okay, I’m going to be honest here. Brace yourselves. I hated these books. I hate Asimov. I know, I know, so influential on the genre, one of the fathers of modern scifi, blah blah blah — I don’t care. He drives me up the fucking wall.
For one thing, he doesn’t think much of women. He only includes women when they’re someone’s wife or daughter, and even then he doesn’t do much with them. There are no women in the background, no women supporting characters. It’s a neckbeard utopia as far as the eye can see.
One of the parts of the trilogy I remember most vividly is a scene of explicit misogyny. I’m going to tell you about it, but it’s not really a spoiler, since the characters only appear once: The commodore of a planet is negotiating with a merchant from the Foundation, who is offering to supply him with loads of wonderful new technology that the commodore and his people don’t have. The commodore isn’t particularly interested, but the merchant gives him a few tech baubles as a negotiation present and suggests the commodore give them to his wife.
Now, Asimov doesn’t actually use the exact words “frigid bitch”, but that is absolutely the assumption we’re supposed to make about her, given his descriptions. She’s awful, and a nag, and makes the commodore’s life a living hell, and she’s always insulting him, etc… So he goes to her with the present, and she harangues him about everything, and he tells her to keep her wagging tongue still. “At your orders?” she says. So he gives her the bauble, tells her again to keep still, and turns it on for her. And she gasps in awe… and shuts up.
Because if you have a nagging wife, just throw some pretty things at her and she’ll shut up and leave you alone, amirite? 😀 #theworldaccordingtoAsimov
This could have been such a neat book — it’s about the rise and fall of the Foundation, basically the Roman Empire IN SPAAAAAAAAACE. But Asimov has truly offensive attitudes towards women, and he doesn’t really understand human emotion. Your mileage may vary. I know people who like these books a lot, but goddamn, I don’t see the appeal at all.
If you’re a straight white man who isn’t interested in expanding his worldview at all or seeing diversity, you’ll probably like this book. If you’re anyone else… best of luck with it? And please let me know your thoughts. Feel free to tell me I’m Wrong On The Internet in the comments.