“Foundation” by Isaac Asimov is what's good.
The story may seem familiar. A great and powerful empire which has existed for an extremely long time is dying. No one recognizes what is about to happen, except for one man: Hari Seldon, the inventor of psychohistory.
Using the science of psychohistory, Seldon foresaw a dark future that will last for thirty thousand years.
Psychohistory is a strange word; why is "history" involved with forecasting the future?
It's based on the idea that while it's impossible to determine predict the actions of individuals, statistics can be applied to large groups of people and predict their actions accordingly.
Asimov likens this prediction model to gas: it's very difficult, almost impossible to predict the movements of an individual gas molecule. But in the aggregate, we have theories that can accurately predict how gas will behave. In this way, psychohistory is almost disturbingly similar to psychometrics, a real-world “science” that was the basis for the Cambridge Analytica social media scandal of the late 2010's.
Using psychohistory, Seldon forecasts the decline of the Galactic Empire, a kingdom which was been ruling the galaxy for 12,000 years.
He sees a shift towards galactic barbarism: a resource-hogging, violent, easily-distracted, unintelligent society that would have spacefaring technology with none of the science to maintain it.
He also foresees a way to minimize the impact of this dark era, which by his calculations would shorten its duration from 30 millennia to just one millennia. Still a super long time, but relatively speaking... way better.
So Hari Seldon forms the Foundation — an organization of scientists who would guard and protect the knowledge of the ages on a galactic timeline. Foundation tells that story.
This is a true, must-read, science fiction classic.
Get a copy of “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov from Amazon, or maybe get this nice, leather-bound copy of the whole trilogy from Barnes and Noble.
Even better, why not go to your local bookseller and get a copy? I picked up the copy in the lead photo from McNally Jackson Williamsburg.
This book is like a fine wine that only gets better with time.
"Foundation" is going to be an Apple TV+ series soon... here's an admittedly epic teaser...
As I always say... "read the book before the movie."