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Foundation by Isaac Asimov
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Foundation (original 1951; edition 2004)

by Isaac Asimov

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16,928294216 (4)2 / 477
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)
Member:kpwerker
Title:Foundation
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:New York: Bantam Books, 2004.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:scifi, sci-fi, classic, fiction

Work details

Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1951)

  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)
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English (272)  Italian (4)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (2)  Slovak (2)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
An interesting story on how history pivots on the actions of several great and ambitious men. From encyclopedia, to world, to system, to empire. ( )
  Firons2 | Jan 31, 2021 |
The book introduces an interesting premise and I like the rakish cleverness of some of the characters, but it's ultimately probably not compelling enough to me aesthetically to make me want to read more. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
In a story set thousands of years yet to come, psychohistorian Hari Seldon, sees a dark future filled with ignorance and conflict lasting some thirty thousand years. In hopes of lowering the number of dark years and saving mankind through the preservation of knowledge, he brings together scientists and scholars from throughout the Empire and gathers them at his sanctuary, the Foundation.

But saving mankind in the wake of the receding Empire that has ruled for some twelve thousand years is no easy feat. The Foundation, soon at the mercy of corrupt leaders, finds itself with only two choices: surrender to the savages or fight . . . and face destruction.

Isaac Asimov’s creative and complex world-building here is one of the highlights of “Foundation.” The main characters, mainly scientists or politicians, appear over five separate points in time. Psychohistorians, Encyclopedists, Mayors, Traders, and Merchant Princes each take center stage as the story unfolds, each in a different time over the span of three generations. Although the people generally believe the society can survive by applying more technology, eventually, they allow the knowledge of how the technology works to slip away.

Interesting characters come and go throughout the narrative and, in the telling of this tale, almost all of them are men. However, with the exception of Hari Seldon, the importance of an individual character seems to lie in the part played in the story of the creation of the new galactic empire that lies at the heart of this absorbing tale.

The story, a sweeping saga, is huge: the navigation through multiple crises and the resulting socio-political [and individual] changes that slowly shift civilization and the systematic transformations that ultimately lead to the establishment of a new galactic civilization. The result is a grand epic of science fiction.

Highly recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | Jan 2, 2021 |
Just a classic. The politics of scientific humanism vs. bullies and fear-mongering. Young Asimov understood humanity and thought he had the cures. ( )
1 vote aeceyton | Dec 26, 2020 |
I've read it again, and it was still good... ( )
  rendier | Dec 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fruttero, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giralt, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucentini, FrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, JeanTraductionsecondary 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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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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".
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