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The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

The Foundation Trilogy (original 1951; edition 2011)

by Isaac Asimov (Author)

Series: Foundation Expanded Universe (11-13), Foundation (Omnibus 3-5)

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5,848741,427 (4.27)1 / 102
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.
Title:The Foundation Trilogy
Authors:Isaac Asimov (Author)
Info:Barnes & Noble (2011), Edition: 1st, 798 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov (Author) (1951)

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Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
  laplantelibrary | Apr 6, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 6, 2022 |
I fell in love with Asimov's brilliant mysteries. This is trilogy is the first SciFi of his (which he is most famous for) that I have read. And it was so tough for me to rate. I finally settled on three stars for one reason: it took me several months to finish because I kept putting it down. I didn't care about a single character; the structure of the novel precludes that. I kept reading because the ideas were so grand and ahead of our times, even 75 years after Asimov came up with them, that I wanted to see them unravel.

Hari Seldon developed psycho-history: a mathematical analysis that has refined probability to the point of predicting the behavior of masses of people. The science of mobs. He predicted the First Galactic Empire would fall. (The current Emperor was none too pleased). To mitigate the ensuing barbarism, he creates a Foundation that would evolve over one thousand years into a Second Empire. Then he dies and our story jumps forward fifty years. The first of many such jumps.

Each jump has a new protagonist/hero that will lead Foundation through a crisis and expand its influence. Salvor Hardin dominated using Foundation's advanced atomic science as religion to control their hostile neighbors. In the next jump, Hober Mallow has established Foundation power in trade when religion no longer holds sway. The first two heroes are so clever and charismatic, I found myself rooting for them. But then they were gone. You don't stay with any character long enough to get to know them or form a connection. The first book abruptly ends with Mallow and the First Foundation after 200 years.

Foundation and Empire, or rather the fall of both. Seldon's predictions are based upon mob mentality: what happens when one person influences everything? The secretive Mule that no one has seen and everyone fears, brings down the Foundation with one blow because he is a "mutant". But again, there's no real development. The Mule is a boogeyman filtered through our protagonists. He's a card board stand in to present ideas through. That psychohistory can be thwarted by individuals. This book is mostly a big chase disguising info dumps as our heroes flee from one location to another. And it literally ends with the villain telling us how he did it! The main purpose is to introduce the concept of a Second Foundation that everyone wants to find.

Second Foyndation is a clever and satisfying ending to the trilogy that arises from the very nature of the two Foundations. First Foundation thrives upon mastery of physical sciences; Second Foundation via mental sciences (mastery of self). Which is the true Foundation that will birth a new Empire? Of the trilogy, this is the strongest because it stays with the same people and time throughout with no time jumps. The grand ideas come to fruition, but not a new Empire. There are still six hundred years out of a thousand left to go.

These were written in the fifties, when the spectre of atomic annihilation was fresh and social mores somewhat antiquated. But, the greater ideas easily survive that (instead of "atomics" why not fusion, or even arc reactors). I found this worth reading, just not as entertaining as hype led me to expect. It does make me eager to see the tv show and how they tackle the story structure. ( )
  jshillingford | Feb 22, 2022 |
I only read Foundation. I plan on reading the others at a later date. This is the first book by Asimov that I've ever read. It was a bit touch and go there. Interesting political dialogue. The time jumps are obviously annoying to a first time reader, but necessary. Three stars to Foundation. ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gunn, JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heidkamp, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary 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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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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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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