Having decided to read all the Hugo Award winning novels I decided that I would reread anything on the list as well as those I had not read before. The first is The Mule a book I have read, but have never read alone. This is part of the foundation series. One of the best series of all time.
Reading this book by itself I was once again impressed. Issac Asimov is a brilliant writer and this, along with Nightfall is the peak of his writing. Even knowing the end and not having read the first half of this book in drew me in. And the idea of the mule was one which was brilliant.
The foundation as a series is on a tight wire. The assumption that you could predict the future because there are a lot of people is an interesting one, but there are a few dangers. The first is that story can lose any sense of danger. After all if you know that history will work out then the only question is that of each individual. The second difficulty is the assumption that individual do not really effect things. This story is able to fix both of those with the character of The Mule and explains that there really is danger that things will not work out.
The major weakness of this story as the first Hugo is that it is not a stand alone story. If you pick this up without having read any of the Foundation stories you are going to be lost. This is only a problem if you are going to read it because of the Hugo award though because you really should read The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, or at least the three main books in this series.
This is one of my favorite science fiction stories and returning to it was a real pleasure, so even if you have read the Foundation books in the past pick them up again. There is a lot here.
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