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Second Foundation (Foundation Novels) (original 1953; edition 1991)

by Isaac Asimov

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8,42577368 (4.02)1 / 136
Member:jayverh
Title:Second Foundation (Foundation Novels)
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Spectra (1991), Paperback, 279 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1953)

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English (65)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Slovak (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  English (76)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
One must be a real sci-fi fan to slog through an Asimov book. I know that his ideas are revolutionary and others use words like "classic," "sci-fi template" and "brilliant." To me, his characters are rather flat, his plots bog down in ideas and are rather short on action. It's a little bit like a new food that your mother serves--you have to want to go there. I just couldn't finish this one, my third, and finally gave up on them all. I'd rather spend my time listening to something that intrigues me. Maybe, after a year or two I'll come back to Asimov, but not this year. ( )
  buffalogr | Sep 23, 2016 |
So many plot twists and turns. Each time I thought I'd figured it out, there was a twist and it turns out I was wrong and amazed that i hadn't seen the truth. Very well written book and fun to read. ( )
  thanbini | Jun 19, 2016 |
  MisaBookworm | Feb 2, 2016 |
The Foundation series (there are seven books in all though the three originals - _Foundation_, _Foundation and Empire_, and _Second Foundation_ - are the best of the series) is classic sci-fi and some of Asimov’s best. His characters are rather flat, his plots bog down in ideas and are rather short on action. That being said, these books can still thrill you if you’ve never read them and if you’re a sci-fi fan, you will probably love them. Asimov reminds us that history repeats itself and this a _Decline and Fall_ set in the future. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
“Was his controlled mind so concerned with obedience as to lose initiative? He felt a thickening despondency drive him down into a strange lassitude.”Poor Captain Han Pritcher. Mind control is a common sci-fi trope but the feelings or thoughts of the person under control are rarely explored. This is what makes Part 1 of Second Foundation so special. As I mentioned in my review of Foundation and Empire The Mule is a terrific villain, clever and ruthless but no exactly evil and a little pitiful. This part of the book is entirely concerned with The Mule’s battle of wits against the eponymous Second Foundation. Where the First Foundation that we have come to know from the previous two books is made up of scientists the eponymous Second Foundation is made up of psychohistorians (or psychologists-cum-mathematicians). Their study and development of psychology over hundreds of years make the best of them the equals of the Mule in term of mental power. The showdown between a Second Foundation leader (“first Speaker”) and the Mule consist of moves and counter-moves almost entirely through dialog. This being Asimov the kickass climax does not actually involve feet coming into contact with posteriors; be that as it may the scene is very tautly written and has stayed with me for decades since I first read it.

Part 2 of Second Foundation is mainly concerned with the First Foundation’s search for the Second with the intent of destroying it. This turn of event surprises me a bit, suddenly the Second Foundation is cast in the role of antagonists (“ubiquitous menace”) in spite of having saved the First’s bacon in the preceding part. This makes the First Foundation seems like terrible ingrates. On the other hand nobody likes to have their minds tampered with so their hostility is somewhat understandable. Mixed into the main story arc of the search for the Second Foundation is a subplot concerning the First Foundation’s war with Kalgan. I personally find this warfare section a little dull compared to the much more interesting major plot; I am not at all surprised that I remember nothing of this aspect of the book from my previous reading.

The world building in this third volume is the best of in the trilogy, I particularly enjoy Asimov’s description of the Second Foundation’s culture. They do not communicate by telepathy but conduct whole conversations in micro-gestures (actually much more interesting this way). The denouement at the end of the book is particularly ingenious. Asimov does seem to enjoy pulling the rug from under the readers’ feet, and his enjoyment is infectious.

So that’s it, the entire legendary trilogy read in just one week due to the total page count being under 700 pages. My main reason for the reread is to go on to [b:Foundation's Edge|76683|Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/76683.jpg|1725527] and subsequent Foundation novels, published around 30 years after the original trilogy which I have never read before. Really looking forward to that! ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall 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 artist?secondary 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.
Text:
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)

The Second Foundation meets the threat of a perilous mutant, only to face the challenge of the corrupt First Foundation for control of the galatic empire.

(summary from another edition)

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