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Foundation by Isaac Asimov
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14,634243222 (4)2 / 412
  1. 275
    Dune by Frank Herbert (Patangel, JonTheTerrible, philAbrams)
    JonTheTerrible: The pace of these books are similar as well as the topics they cover: society and government. The science plays only a small role in both books but is present enough to successfully build the worlds in which the characters inhabit.
  2. 111
    The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov (karnoefel)
    karnoefel: de eerste drie foundation boeken in een robuuste hardcoverband. Dit boek was een van de eerste sf boeken die ik las in de jaren 70 in de bibliotheek van Tegelen
  3. 112
    The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (Cecrow)
  4. 72
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (br77rino)
  5. 30
    Pebble in the sky by Isaac Asimov (br77rino)
    br77rino: Pebble in the Sky is the first book Asimov wrote regarding the Galactic Empire, a subject he used in his later masterpiece trilogy, Foundation.
  6. 31
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (nar_)
    nar_: Space travelling and interminable, huge lands and space... so huge !
  7. 42
    Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford (Patangel)
  8. 53
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (yokai)
  9. 10
    Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov (philAbrams)
  10. 21
    Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury (goodiegoodie)
  11. 00
    The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu (gtfernandezm)
  12. 11
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (br77rino)
  13. 11
    Shadow of Heaven by Bob Shaw (Polenth)
  14. 01
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (Anonymous user)
  15. 01
    The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (missmaddie)
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English (221)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Slovak (2)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (241)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
If I remember rightly, Asimov's robots do indeed find a cunning way around the three laws - they invent a Zero-th Law which states that "no robot can injure humanity or through inaction allow humanity to come to harm" which doesn't directly contradict the First Law, so their brains will accept it, but has the interesting effect in moral philosophical terms of turning them from Kantians to utilitarians. So rather than being guided by an absolute "thou shalt not kill" imperative they become able to kill or harm humans if and only if they have calculated it's for the greater good. Rather than becoming brutal overlords because of this (as the other laws still apply) they end up guiding the development of humanity quietly from the shadows, taking on a role not a billion kilometers from Ian M. Banks's AIs.

Part of the beauty of the novel for me was making the connections between the lines of characters in between chapters. They're not always there but the learning process regarding Asimovian lore while reading the book is great. If you really want to be sold on the brilliance of Asimov, I have to recommend one of his moderately short stories, "Nightfall." It was my first read of his and has since made me a longtime fan.

It means that everything we do is balanced on a knife edge between social and selfish impulses. The societies we create mean that people fill niches in that social structure in such a way that although individuals have flexibility of thought and predictive intelligence to work out eventual harmful consequences of collective actions, there is no flexibility in the structure to allow fundamental change in the direction we are heading together. That's why we have the rise and fall of empires through the ages and a seeming lack of ability to avoid the effects of climate change, despite knowing about it. I wonder sometimes if Asimov had it right. He seemed to suggest that human social structures are subject to the same chaos theories as weather patterns. If you could predict the consequences of small changes could it fundamentally alter the outcome of human existence at a later date and avoid catastrophic population collapse. However, I also wonder if the societal niche theory means that societies are self-healing. For example, if you went back in time and stopped Hitler's birth would that small change result in a fundamental shift in our history or would someone else simply have moved into that available space and carried out the same role. How predetermined is our fate?

I think a lot of our issues have arisen because we are a semi-social species. We are neither so altruistic as an ant nor as sociopathic as a solitary predatory species. However, perhaps it's only a semi-social species that can evolve predictive intelligence to the same capacity as ourselves. I think I may have just found my question for the "science" of Pychohistory.

Is there a possibly a mathematical model to predict the fate of the human race? It's possible that's the sort of question you should only ask a mathematician after you've taken them to the pub and fed them a couple of pints of beer.

NB: I've read these stories also as an adult and seen a subtext I missed, that the entire galaxy is a thinly-disguised Manhattan and Brooklyn. Once you've visited the city it adds a different perspective. Reading it in the sequence the stories were originally released also makes a poignant tinge as the kid gets disenchanted with Marxism and the possibilities of treating Sociology as a predictive science. It's no more literature than Dickens was. ( )
  antao | Aug 19, 2018 |
Some of the stories I really enjoyed and others were just ok but I think the reason this book got 3 stars from me instead of 4 was merely my dislike of short stories. I like to get to know characters and short stories just aren't long enough for that. I just start to like or dislike a character and then boom the story is over. I much more enjoy book-length stories. It was still enjoyable though. ( )
  Catsysta | Aug 5, 2018 |
Just re-read this one over Christmas and I still really like this book. I'm working my way through the series again. ( )
  dandantheman | Jul 21, 2018 |
I love the Foundation universe. I really do. However, you are 232 pages into this book before a female character appears. And she just models jewelry ... ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jul 16, 2018 |
Really great stuff, although I still prefer the Robots series to the first foundation book. Some amazing stuff here - Seldon, Hardon and Mallow were all all amazing characters, full of deception and foresight. I enjoyed the first half of the book immensely, 5 stars easily. The second half dragged down a bit, I sort of felt like there wasn't going to be a direct ending - and there isn't, obviously, there's six more books in the series. However, all the great Asimov stuff is here - use of religion to control the masses, fear and power surrounding technology, sociological, history and the like. Eagerly starting Foundation and Empire soon! ( )
  hskey | Jun 19, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fruttero, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giralt, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucentini, FrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scaglia, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
Post-1973 reissues:
To the memory of my mother
(1895–1973)
1951 issue:
To my Mother

Of whose Authentic Gray Hairs
Not a few were caused by myself.
First words
HARI SELDON ... born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era: died 12,069.

ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.
Quotations
It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Violence is the last refuge of the competent.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
First issued as Ace Double D-110 (with Poul Anderson's "No World of Their Own"); shortly thereafter, reissued as a stand-alone with the same publisher's number (D-110); reissued again a few years later as D-538. One of the stories that make up the 'fix-up' novel "Foundation".
www.amazon.com- Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy. Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. But this project will take generations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him? The first Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) won a Hugo Award in 1965 for "Best All-Time Series." It's science fiction on the grand scale; one of the classics of the field
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553293354, Mass Market Paperback)

Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy. Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. But this project will take generations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him? The first Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) won a Hugo Award in 1965 for "Best All-Time Series." It's science fiction on the grand scale; one of the classics of the field. --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:11 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A band of pscyhologists plant a colony to encourage art, science, and technology in the declining Galactic Empire.

» see all 13 descriptions

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