Last month I wrote about re-reading Isaac Asimov's book, The Foundation. The first time I read it was when I was about 15 years old and I had remembered more of the ideas than the actual plot.
Now I've finally finished it (it can take me a while) and overall I was pleasantly surprised. The book is a classic of the genre for a reason. It's more about history and politics than it is about whizzy spaceships and aliens. The biggest shock was that, as a 51 year old reader, I couldn't help but notice there was something missing. Women.
You have to wait until page 185 until a female character appears. She says nothing but just wears an ornament. BY page 188 you get a female character who speaks. She is unsympathetic and is soon 'put in her place' by one of the male characters. That seems to be all the female content there is.
Does this spoil the book. Well, yes, a bit. It is a product of the nineteen fifties but still, I expected better of Asimov. It goes to show how those who decry 'political correctness' seem to have missed the point. Without awareness of what we were doing (or not doing in this case) we're in danger of making the same mistakes. The Trumps and Farages of this world would seem to think that's OK, by I don't.
Oh, and everyone smokes in the book, almost constantly.
Funny how a book about history has now become an artefact of another age.