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Foundation (1951)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Foundation (3), Foundation Expanded Universe (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,264288215 (4)2 / 470
One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon. For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare--that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves, or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.… (more)
  1. 295
    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. 121
    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. 42
    Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford (Patangel)
  7. 31
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (nar_)
    nar_: Space travelling and interminable, huge lands and space... so huge !
  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 Liu Cixin (aulandez)
  12. 11
    Shadow of Heaven by Bob Shaw (Polenth)
  13. 01
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (Anonymous user)
  14. 01
    The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (missmaddie)
  15. 02
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (br77rino)
1950s (66)
Read (60)
My TBR (1)
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English (265)  Italian (4)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (2)  Slovak (2)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (286)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Some interesting ideas, but it was a painful read. The story is episodic, which succeeds in giving a sense of vast time scale, but means that at no point do we spend enough time with the characters to connect with them, which is a shame as there are some who might be engaging if we were allowed more time with them. I suppose this reinforces the theme that it is the vast forces of history which shape this story, and not the people, but it still renders many individuals simply mouthpieces for the plot, and that, I'm afraid, leads to an unpleasant reading experience.
I'm glad I stuck with this as there were really fantastic bits, but by Seldon am I glad I've finished it! ( )
  Jaykess | Aug 14, 2020 |
00010086
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
I can honestly say that Asimov's Foundation Series is what single-handedly started my lifelong addiction to SF. ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
Based on FOUNDATION, I think that Asimov is grotesquely overrated. Not only did he have a history of sexual harassment at conventions and general sexism in his books (they women have no autonomy, and that's the nicest way I can put it), but the book is just... boring. Really, really, really boring. If FOUNDATION were published today, it wouldn't get any attention.

The writing style is dry and condescending. The characters are flat, the plot goes nowhere. While some of the intellectual concepts early on were interesting, the ideas were so played out by the start of the next section that I no longer cared. The way Asimov wrote this in 85% dialogue serves better for a short story format, but even then, FOUNDATION just felt like a few loosely tied together essays which followed the same format of explaining why the reader and the audience within the novel was wrong and the speaker is the smartest person in the room.

It was exhausting. It was just exhausting.

For more thoughts on FOUNDATION, other reviews, and bookish content, please visit The Literary Phoenix. ( )
  Morteana | Aug 4, 2020 |
I first read the Foundation series in the early 70's and have reread it and built a complete collection of all 13 books in the extended series. As many times as i have read these books, i still forget how good the original Foundation Trilogy is. This is my first time listening to the audiobook, which is narrated by Scott Brick, one of the very best narrators and he did a great job. This book first written in 1951 is till a great read. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary 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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Epigraph
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.
He had brought down his first Nyak when scarcely thirteen; had brought down his tenth the week after his accession to the throne; and was returning now from his forty-sixth.

‘Fifty before I come of age,’ he had exulted. ‘Who’ll take the wager?’

But courtiers don’t take wagers against the king’s skill. There is the deadly danger of winning.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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
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