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Foundation/Foundation and Empire/Second…

Foundation/Foundation and Empire/Second Foundation (Everyman's Library… (original 1951; edition 2010)

by Isaac Asimov, Michael Dirda (Introduction)

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

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5,474691,458 (4.26)101
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:Foundation/Foundation and Empire/Second Foundation (Everyman's Library (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.))
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Other authors:Michael Dirda (Introduction)
Info:Everyman's Library (2010), Hardcover, 605 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov (1951)


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» See also 101 mentions

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SF has to involve some kind of imagining of a different world (even if the difference is so small, that it it is superficially indistinguishable from our world at first glance), and this difference has to be rooted in, or have implications for, science or technology. The last part is essential: it's why Frankenstein is SF, but Dracula isn't, for example. It's not just down to the environment it's set in. I think that it's more that SF is often an "active" narrative, "Action" in film parlance while "classic literature" is much more passive. It doesn't have to be this way, but a big part of the SF audience historically has been the teenage male - and they are attracted to the action style of narrative.

“Foundation” is modelled on the fall of the Roman Empire. But it's narrated by what men (and it's almost always all men) are doing. You can imagine the English teacher with their red pen "but describe what the antagonists are feeling". One (at least I) intuits their feelings from their actions.

“1984” is much more closely related to the classic novel. Obviously the cast "does things" but that is a vehicle to narrate their feelings. Right down to the last chapter where the message is the welcoming of the bullet, not the shooting of the bullet.

(the 1st volume of the pack)

Imagine “Foundation” rewritten in the classic style, the broken trustees admitting to Hardin that they were wrong and he was right. It could have emotion and pathos but, to paraphrase, it gets "I won, you lost, get over it" treatment (I can’t wait to see the TV Show when it premieres). Or Hardin's trip to Anacreon. As I this I've already forgetten the name of his assistant left behind on the Foundation to hold the fort (I'm an old geezer like Hari Seldon himself...). He is tortured, he doesn't understand why Hardin is doing what he's doing, he possibly even thinks Hardin is doing the wrong thing. All Hardin needs from him is for him to keep things ticking over, delay, delay, delay, but he barely gets a mention. In a "classic novel" he would be the focus and Hardin's trip to Anacreon would be a side note - possibly even the solution would be described before Hardin left and the suspense would be whether the assistant can hold strong and stick to the guidance that Hardin gave him or whether he will set his own path and, inevitably, ruin everything.

The opposite view however might be that SF appeals to some contemporary SF authors who can’t be bothered to do the research into the "real stuff". They’d sooner just make shit up than have to do the hard yards (Yoon Ha Lee's “Ninefox Gambit” comes to mind).

Asimov’s “Foundation trilogy” still a solid 4 stars in 2021.

SF = Speculative Fiction. ( )
  antao | Sep 24, 2021 |
I am not going to be able to add anything new to what so many others have said about this series. I think it is brilliant and I so enjoyed how Asimov wove in his other series (robots and galactic empire) into this overarching future history. It really is brilliant. I have every book in this future history that includes this original Foundation Trilogy except for the three that were written by Gregory Benford, Greg Bear and David Brin. I need to read this entire series over again starting with I, Robot including those by these three authors.

I like this rating system by ashleytylerjohn of LibraryThing (https://www.librarything.com/profile/ashleytylerjohn) that I have also adopted:
(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = quite good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful.) ( )
  Neil_Luvs_Books | Mar 21, 2021 |
I really enjoyed the first section of this book, was indifferent to the middle, and didn't care for the final section. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation
  melodien | Oct 4, 2020 |
The Foundation Trilogy is an epic science fiction series written over a span of forty-four years by Isaac Asimov. It consists of seven volumes that are closely linked to each other, although they can be read separately. The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept devised by Asimov and his editor John W. Campbell. Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy). ( )
  Gmomaj | Oct 4, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.)
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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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