There was something so utterly special about Robin Williams, the legendary actor who managed to captivate audiences repeatedly with his wildly impressive on-screen performances. From Dead Poets Society to Good Will Hunting to his real-life acts of kindness, Williams was simply one of a kind and truly deserves his revered status within the film world.
Williams’ narratives contain within them an almost mythological wonder of their own, so it may come as no surprise to learn of his admiration for genres and mediums like science fiction and video games, of which he went on record several times throughout his life to express his love for, proving his fascination with the limits of human understanding and whatever may lie beyond it.
When it comes to Williams’ favourite book of all time, he once named one of the most significant works of the science fiction genre as his top choice. With an apparent affinity for sci-fi that was as bright and insistent as the stars themselves, Williams’ most cherished literary treasure was Foundation by the iconic writer Isaac Asimov.
Foundation, published in 1951, tells the galactic story of an empire’s initial ascent and subsequent plunging into a cosmic abyss. Set in a far-distant interstellar future, Asimov introduces readers to the genius mathematician Hari Seldon, whose new academic discipline, “psychohistory”, can predict the inevitable events of human history from their present domicile far into the cosmic future.
With impending galactic doom on the horizon, Seldon establishes a collective of knowledge and power of the most brilliant minds in the galaxy and names it the “Foundation”. The Foundation is tasked with helping humanity traverse its way through the undoubtedly difficult times that lie ahead with catastrophe just around the corner.
Williams once said of the novel and its sequels, “Oh my god, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. It’s one of the greatest books of all time, and the greatest character is the Mule.” As a wildly intelligent man, Williams’ admiration for Asimov’s novel went far beyond mere enjoyment and into the realms of intellectual understanding.
As with all the best science fiction works, Foundation managed to get at the heartbeat of what it is that makes human beings such uniquely emotional and intellectual beings, and with a curiosity within him that never seemed to be sated, the actor found endless philosophical and scientific ruminations in which to lose himself for hours upon end.
Williams was known for breathing life into each of his characters, something which Asimov was able to do through his complex works, so he will have undoubtedly admired Foundation, as proven by his exalting comments, and the exploration of the extraordinary beyond may have just for once appeased his wandering, wondering mind.