February 14, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Can you point me toward any negative reviews of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy?

I've been looking for any reviews which are critical of this series, and am coming up totally dry. (I'm more looking for something published or in a topical blog, as opposed to, say, Amazon reviews.) Everything I find is mostly high praise, with possibly a sentence or two that is critical. I find it hard to believe, though, that no one has ever given it a largely negative review or critique. Can anyone point me towards anything like this?
posted by showbiz_liz to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This essay, "Foundation and Patriarchy", criticizes the series for being so wholly male-centric. Although I think it may still be more positive than what you're looking for.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:23 PM on February 14, 2014

Another, harsher essay which is more generally critical of Asimov as a writer, including the paragraph:
“Big idea” science fiction requires strong protagonists to comment on the shift of the planets, whose eyes can see and whose hearts can feel the changes, but the formality of Asimov’s prose makes the procession of characters distant and cold, spouting dialogue at times almost a parody of the genre, with “Great galloping galaxies!” actually spoken at one point.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:29 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought you might have an easier time finding critical reviews not of the trilogy but of the later sequels Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, just because there was widespread interest in the series and a probably a much larger number of periodicals publishing reviews when they came out. I only found one example with cursory googling though: SF writer Thomas M. Disch's "The Doldrums of Space."
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:41 PM on February 14, 2014

Oh, if you have access to a library to look up the actual reviews (or the time to see if they've been put online), ISFDB will tell you a bunch to scan for critical content--just do an advanced search for title=foundation and type=review.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:44 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is not exactly on the mark for what you're asking for but looking at this question stirred my memory, and uncovered something pretty amusing. One day, years ago, somebody posted an AskMe question about getting a literary-fiction reader to try some SF. We went back and forth a bit, and then languagehat had this to say about Asimov.
posted by furiousthought at 10:07 PM on February 14, 2014

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