Psychohistorical Crisis

Title: Psychohistorical Crisis
Author: Donald Kingsbury
Genre: SF
Series: Foundation
Ranking: Good
LibraryThing: Title:Psychohistorical Crisis ISBN:0-765-34195-6 (Add Book)
Type: Owned
Read: 2008-01-26

Eron Osa had faced the ultimate penalty: the removal of his "fam". Without the augmentation of his brain by his electronic familiar, he can barely function amidst the bewildering complexities of everyday life on Splendid Wisdom. What was worse, he had lost many of his memories and skills. He was being punished for a crime he could no longer remember committing.


This is a continuation of Asimov's "Foundation" series, set in the period of the Second Empire, an Empire run by the manipulations of the psychohistorians. But if manipulations depend on secrecy, then is that not a fundamental flaw in the art of psychohistory?

This is a thick and slow-paced book, so I shall have to try to keep my impatience at bay.

I did get drawn into it, though sometimes I was impatient. This is an excellent piece of fan-fiction, well-researched, faithful to the original (apart from a few retcons which could be handwaved away as loss of historical data), exploring the implications of that universe. One of the continuous themes of this is that predicting the future is like extrapolating the past -- for no-one can know the past with certainty, because data gets lost and garbled. And this is reinforced in the world-building by a number of delightful examples of garbled history, that only we, the reader, know to be garbled.