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Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
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Second Foundation (1953)

by Isaac Asimov

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8,93986336 (4.01)1 / 140
Recently added byJamski, private library, Alibrafa, dmmjlllt, max_peck, howzzit, maxptyson, NUScholars, groovygrl3
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English (72)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Slovak (1)  All (85)
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This is the final novel of Asimov's original Foundation trilogy, and the individual novellas of which were first published at the end of the 1940s and in book form in the 1950s - where the series ended until the author returned to it in the early 1980s. Like Foundation and Empire, it is a book of two parts, with the first third concerning the Mule's unsuccessful attempt to locate the Second Foundation. As one of the most interesting and memorable characters in the saga, it is a pity we see no more of him after this. The bulk of the book concerns the attempts by scientists of the first Foundation on Terminus to locate their counterpart, set up by Seldon "at the other end of the Galaxy" hundreds of years before. This also features only the second proper female character in the trilogy, Arkady Darrell, a precociously intelligent 14 year old and the granddaughter of Bayta Darrell, who defeated the Mule at the end of the second book. But I don't think the narrative drive of this section works as well as in that book, so overall this novel is not quite as enjoyable as its predecessors. ( )
  john257hopper | May 27, 2018 |
Started well but got a bit snarled up in the 'found the 2nd Foundation game'. It's interesting how it has dated - referencing TV and videos - but most of all the transcriber, voice recorded straight to writing on paper and you have to start again if you make a mistake! What jarred the most was the casual import and export of wood and potatoes around the galaxy. Published 1953 and hugely influential, and still readable. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
The completion of the original Foundation trilogy sees the masterplan of Hari Sheldon righted by his secret safety valve. Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov sees first the Mule and then the First Foundation itself looking for Sheldon’s second institution because they felt it was a threat, while the Second Foundation attempts to keep the plan going forward.

The book is divided between two novellas, the first and shortest concerns the Mule’s search for the Second Foundation so he can destroy it and rule the Galaxy. He sends two men, one “Converted” and one “Unconverted”, to find his enemies and then follows them to the knowledge of both. Yet the Second Foundation had planned a trap for the Mule, who had deduced that his “unconverted” man was a spy which was planned. The Second Foundation psychologically changes the Mule’s mind from conquest into plan rule so he can die naturally. The second story takes up two-thirds of the book and set 55 years after the first with the First Foundation in knowledge of the Second, which endangers Sheldon’s plan. A group of anti-Second Foundation group meets on Terminus with a young lady eavesdropping to figure out how do destroy their rivals, through the actions of this young lady their conspiracy advances and a war between the Foundation and Kalgan is ignited by happenstance. The young lady is helped to Trantor and later sends a message to her father, who is able to apparently destroy the Second Foundation on Terminus and Kalgan. Only for the leader of the Second Foundation to explain to an apprentice the plan for them to disappear from knowledge so they can keep Sheldon’s plan safe.

Unlike the previous book in the trilogy, this book was written comparably well including both plot and characters. With a telepathic element in both stories, this helped the overall narrative and its myriad of “plots within and upon plots” in both. The point-of-view characters while not the roundest of characters were still better than most in Foundation and Empire, though the second novella “Search by the Foundation” is as long as “The Mule” in the aforementioned previous installment Asimov’s writing was noticeably better in handling the length. Though there was a little tediousness to the second novella, it was mild compared to the previous book and frankly the story moved quickly.

Reading Second Foundation reminded me of reading Foundation and why this trilogy is considered a classic of science fiction. Though Isaac Asimov isn’t a perfect writer, his ideas are engaging and this series shows that perfectly especially in this final book of the trilogy. ( )
1 vote mattries37315 | Mar 29, 2018 |
This series did not improve as it went developed. It became repetitious instead of innovative. ( )
  Michael_Lilly | Mar 12, 2018 |
This is the end of what I consider to be the "classic" Foundation series. I last read it decades ago. Keeping in mind its age, I enjoyed the stories (the novel is really two distinct stories).

As the title suggests, this is where we find out so much more about the Second Foundation. It is an interesting look at the idea that societies may be guided along paths -- an idea that has a certain timelessness about it.

The trappings around this theme are certainly a product of when the novel was written. While his female characters were decidedly stronger than some in that time, this is where the novel shows its age the most, aside from technological advances that have leapfrogged over what was imagined.

Some day I'll read Foundation's Edge, but I don't feel any urgency to do so. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Sep 4, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Billon, Pierresecondary 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
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Marcia, John, and Stan
To the memory of John W. Campbell, Jr.
(1910-1971)
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The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years.
Headnote:
THE MULE It was after the fall of the First Foundation that the constructive aspects of the Mule's regime took shape.
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There is much more that the Encyclopedia has to say on the subject of the Mule and his Empire but almost all of it is not germane to the issue at immediate hand, and most of it is considerably too dry for our purposes in any case.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553293362, Paperback)

Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long.

After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins—destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule. But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism. The Mule failed to find it the first time—but now he is certain he knows where it lies.

The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only fourteen years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed…before it destroys them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

So far the Foundation was safe. But there was a hidden Second Foundation to protect the first. The Mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. The men of the Foundation sought it, too, to escape from Mule's mind control. Only Arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she ...?… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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