The part of the book that intrigued me the most (both times I read it) was the concept of Psychohistory: a fictional branch of science that used elements of mathematics, history and sociology to help predict human behavior over long periods of time. While not quite true prescience, the idea that you could use statistical principles and human psychology to, essentially, look into the future was a fascinating idea. In the novel, the main character Hari Seldon is able to use psychohistory in order to predict the downfall of the current Galactic Empire – as well as a 30,000 year period of barbarism to follow. In order to shorten the time period between the fall of the Empire and the rise of a second empire, Seldon sets out to create a collection of the entirety of human knowledge (the Encyclopedia Galactica) - compiled and protected by an organization known as the Foundation.
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Leckie’s debut novel, Ancillary Justice, won the American author prizes including the Hugo, the Arthur C Clarke and last year’s BSFA. “I’m well aware that it’s not a common thing to win such an award two years in a row, let alone for a book and its sequel. I’m tremendously honoured,” Leckie wrote of her BSFA win on her blog this weekend.
Renowned editor and critic Simon Ings returned to science fiction with his latest novel Wolves, a blistering meditation on grief, mortality and the technology of augmented reality. Science fiction is sometimes criticised for caring more about gadgets than people, Simon Ings is one of the writers changing that.
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