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The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
It's all very orchestrated, but then that's the plot. It goes that way because it must go that way.

Foundation: Women are part of the painted backdrop and barely even that until he needs someone to be entranced by a bauble.

Foundation and Empire: Women actually have a role. Well, woman. Someone needs to be caring without limit to the point of possible foolishness, so a woman can do that.

Second Foundation: Now we can have something like a strong and smart female character! And the comments that go on? Said to her father, should she find a husband, the best thing to do for him would be to kill him. That's right, would be better to be murdered than to be married to a smart woman. Say what? ( )
  valhikes | Feb 23, 2019 |
Hey, this is FOUNDATION. It's a classic for a reason. If you like sci-fi and are curious about the staples of the genre, you should probably read it. Some say the series hasn't aged well, and they're not exactly wrong; the text does feel dated at times. Nonetheless, there are enough interesting sci-fi ideas that it should keep you engaged all the way through. Actually, I would say the sci-fi elements are really top-notch; it's Asimov's characterizations that fall a little flat. Plus, the novels are short and sweet.

The copy I picked up was a magnificent leather-bound hardcover edition found at Barnes & Noble's. It looks very nice on the bookshelf. Definitely a good buy. ( )
  rcb1291 | Aug 6, 2018 |
First, I think it should be noted that this review is for a QUARTET of books: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, and Foundation's Edge. I just couldn't bear writing four separate reviews, so please, forgive me for this all-too-brief synopsis of a truly epic experience.

Now, I first read the Foundation series when I was 12 or 13, and while I didn't "get" the gist of the book, I still found it hugely entertaining, enough so that I plowed through all three of them and when I happened upon a boxed set at a local used book store at a reasonable price, I had to have them, and they had to go to the top of my reading list. Of course now it's 40 years later and Isaac is long since passed on to the next plane of existence, but before he left, he wrote four additional books to go along with the original three.

I'll leave Asimov's own intros to explain the genesis of the novels (it's fascinating and makes great reading all by itself!) but suffice to say, this is not Star Wars or Star Trek. It's not space opera. It's very talky, a lot of dialog between a lot of characters who seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear without warning, especially in the first book. Take Hari Seldon, probably THE central character...he's mentioned throughout the series... and he's actually only alive for the first thirty or forty pages of the first book!

Weirdly, it all works if you stick with it. It's fascinating, and you can't keep from pushing on and on to see what's going to happen next. That's the mark of a truly great story, and when it lasts well into the thousands of pages...hey, few could've pulled this off but the great Asimov. There's a reason it has long been noted as the "Best Science Fiction Series of All Time". If you haven't read it, and you're a sci-fi devotee, you're depriving yourself of a treat. And if you have read the first trilogy but not the later additions to the series, I bet you'll enjoy at least the fourth book, which is a very worthy successor. I am now in the process of hunting down the "prequels", which I hope to read before I finally get the last book of Asimov's own Foundation books.

And then there's the additional books written by other luminaries that expand the series...but, that's another story, for another day... ( )
  Jamski | Jul 18, 2018 |
Come scrivono Fruttero&Lucentini nell'introduzione, questo è un libro di fantascienza sui generis: contrariamente alle aspettative (alle mie, se non altro), Asimoov ha in questo caso lasciato che la fantasia si scatenasse sull'intreccio e non sulle possibili invenzioni e innovazioni tecnologiche. Come se fosse un libro di storia scritto tra milioni di anni che ripercorre le vicende di un'ipotetica umanità nell'arco di qualche secolo. Un bel libro, anche se i protagonisti si succedono di pagina in pagina senza lasciare il tempo di conoscerli né, tantomento, di affezionarsi. Un bel libro, che si legge come un bignami di storia arricchito di qualche vicenda umana. Un bel libro, che mostra come dagli anni '50 in fondo in fondo, tecnologia dello stato solido a parte, sia cambiato ben poco. ( )
  Eva_Filoramo | May 3, 2018 |
(review originally written for Bookslut)

I have always been a fan of science fiction. Let's face it, when you have a father who reads Dune and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to you as bedtime stories, what other choice do you have? Given that, I really don't read that much of it anymore. Let's face it, there is a lot of crappy science fiction out there, and unless I really devote myself to the genre, it's hard to just go into the book store and pick up something that isn't going to be terribly lame. You can weed out all the books with large-chested women who are falling out of their uniforms on the cover (unless it's written by Heinlein), but that can still leave you with entire rooms full of books to wade through. The science fiction section at my favorite used book store is bigger than the entire fiction and literature section. The fact that most of it is not classified as fiction or literature should tell you something. Let's just say that I have been burned by quite a few terrible science fiction purchases. And this was back in high school, when I was still devouring Harlequin serial romance novels without blinking.

Despite all that, the well-respected name of Isaac Asimov should immediately put all fears to rest. If that isn't enough for you, there is always that the Foundation series is the winner of the Hugo Award for best all time science fiction series. Of course what really sold it for me was the fact that my sister is the one who nominated the series for the 100 books list, and she's even more skeptical of science fiction than I am.

Although there are now several Foundation novels, the original trilogy, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, was written thirty years before pressure from fans and his publisher forced Asimov to return to the series. When the Hugo Award was given, only these first three books existed. By the time I learned all this, I was eager to find out what all the fuss was about.

The first book, Foundation, is more a collection of short stories than a novel. Despite the fact that women are virtually non-existent in this book (except for one wife whose only purpose in the plot is to be fascinated by some new-fangled jewelry), it is by far my favorite. The fact that many science fiction authors, who can conceive of wholly alien cultures and technologies no one has even dreamed of before often cannot conceive of a purpose besides boobs, is a source of constant irritation for me. But that's a rant for another place and time, as Asimov redeems himself with the fabulous female characters in the other two books. Foundation is a collection of near misses. It tells the story of a civilization on the fringes of the universe, strong in science but weak in resources in ships. What sets it apart from the bulk of science fiction stories, and what makes it so refreshing, is the way the Foundation men use their wits to outsmart each warlord and government that threatens them, often without a single shot being fired. At the beginning of the book they are possibly the most vulnerable planet in the galaxy. By the end, they are the ruling planet of a flourishing empire.

The second book, Foundation and Empire, is really two novellas. In the first novella, the empire of the Foundation collides with what is left of The Empire, which once ruled the entire galaxy, but is now crumbling. This may be the least satisfying out of all the Foundation stories, as its resolution depends not at all on the genius or cunning of any one person. In the second story, the Foundation is menaced by a mutant, the Mule, something unforeseeable by the Seldon plan, which predicts that the Foundation will eventually rule over the entire galaxy. Although I was a trifle disappointed by how easy it was to guess the secret identity of the Mule, the way in which one woman discovers his identity and single handedly thwarts his effort to destroy all that the Foundation has worked for makes the story well worth it.

The final book, Second Foundation is also really two novellas. This book holds its mysteries closer to its chest. The only frustrating thing about it is that the end does not bring us to the promised age of the Foundation's rule over the entire galaxy. It is for this reason that so much pressure was put on Asimov to add to the Foundation series.

So if you're going to read science fiction, read the Foundation series. Or at least the trilogy. Or at least Foundation. Because this is good stuff, folks. This is what science fiction should be. Not just cool gadgetry and neat-looking aliens, but an inquiry into human behavior and civilization, the forces that hold it together and eventually tear it apart. And this series is a lot more entertaining than The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, trust me. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gunn, JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hundertmarck, RosemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krugman, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonian, PhillipCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Punchatz, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiemeyer, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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FOUNDATION: Headnote: Hari Seldon -- . . . born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era; died 12,069.
FOUNDATION: Text: His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.
FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE: The Galactic Empire Was Falling.
SECOND FOUNDATION: The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This omnibus edition includes: Foundation; Foundation and Empire; and Second Foundation. Please do not combine it with any individual work, or with any other combination of titles. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0739444050, Hardcover)

Author: Isaac Asimov Hardcover: 609 pages Publisher: Science Fiction Book Club Publication Date: 2004 ISBN: 0739444050 Package Length: 8.3 inches Package Width: 5.9 inches Package Height: 1.5 inches Package Weight: 1.55 pounds Average Customer Rating: ***** based on 7 reviews Most Helpful Customer Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The Foundation, established after the Old Empire gives way to barbarism, fights against a mutant strain called the Mule and tries to get rid of the Second Foundation after learning it will inherit a future Empire.

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