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Foundation's Triumph by David Brin
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
SPOILERS AHEAD; SKIP IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO READ THIS AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW. This is the third book in the new Foundation trilogy, and it's quite an interesting addition. Hari Seldon, now old, isolated from what's left of his family by the exigencies of the Plan, and no longer a major object of suspicion for the Imperial security forces, decides to pursue a minor mystery brought to him by a minor bureaucrat who has been working at the mathematics of psychohistory as a hobby. The mystery concerns "tilling", the fact that nearly every human-inhabited planet was subjected to a major churning and grinding of the soil, making it suitable for agriculture, before humans arrived--in an expanding wave just ahead of the wave of human colonial expansion, in fact. There are exceptions, though, worlds where the process didn't happen, and substantial amounts of life unlike the life on most human worlds still survives. What do these anomalies mean? Why do they appear to track so well with the distribution of "chaos worlds", the worlds that experience a runaway outbreak of advancing science, art, and technology, before collapsing into equally runaway disaster?

Hari quickly discovers he's on the trail of something very important to psycohistory and the Plan, and Daneel, the Calvinian robots, imperial security, and several other forces are in hot pursuit of him. All fairly standard, except for where Brin takes this. Put simply, not only is psychohistory wrong, in the sense of inaccurate and inadequate to the job Hari's trying to do with it, but the goal is wrong. Hari's Plan rests on certain assumptions about human nature and human capacity that are not correct, based on facts which are incomplete and which have been subjected to seriously flawed analysis by Daneel and Giskard, which have never been checked against the wishes and opinions of humans. And Daneel has deliberately deceived Hari Seldon about these facts. He has done it from the best of motives, but he's wrong. He's concerned only with taking the safest path for the human species, not the best path; because of the Three Laws, and the Zeroth Law, he can't really distinguish between the two. Hari's plan is really Daneel's plan, and it's a mistake. At the end, it appears that Daneel's plan is triumphant; the hope for a genuinely human future--and perhaps a future where humans may finally be able to run the risk of meeting intelligent aliens--is that Hari's Foundation will be more robust than Hari or Daneel have believed, and prevent Daneel's rather horrifying, but very safe, Gaia plan from coming to fruition.

Altogether, a rather darker and more interesting book than I expected. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I am a fan of most of David Brin's books but guess this trilogy too deep/profound for me or something -- not a good story. Too much philosophy and not enough story (or even a good job carrying the what-if theme of everything in Asimov's original vision). Take away name of title, places and characters and I would never have suspected this had anything to do with Foundation novels. ( )
  Spurts | Oct 29, 2015 |
And so begins the final quest of Hari Seldon, creator of the science of Psychohistory, as he escapes from exile for a last look at the star-flung Empire whose fate he has plotted with such care, and as he now sees, such futility. Foundation's Triumph, Seldon is about to risk everything for knowledgeand the power it bestows. Effectively imprisoned on the all-steel planet Trantor, Seldon knows that his Second Foundation


Escaping in the company of a bureaucrat, a pirate and a beautiful stowaway, Seldon roams the galaxy by star shunt, a wormhole link, and later, by private spaceship, searching for the answer to what he thinks is the last remaining mystery. But instead he finds a tangle of ambition, doubt, and treachery. Lodovik Trema, no longer bound by the Three Laws, is gathering rebellious robots in an Empire-wide conspiracy. And Daneel Olivaw, who has devoted twenty thousand years to humankind, now has a new master.

The Secret Foundation itself is at risk. Are The Fifty with their awesome mentalic powers enough to assure humankind's future? Or will the Second Foundation succeed the first only to fall to the powers of chaos that have bedeviledand beguiledHari Seldon from the beginning?

Foundation's Triumph is a fitting climax to the most ambitious and successful science fictional enterprise of the century's endan undertaking which Asimov himselflike Hari Seldonset in motion and would surely approve. ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 23, 2015 |
This is the final book in the Foundation trilogy filling in the bits of Hari Seldon's life undocumented by Asimov himself. Like the earlier books in the series, it takes a deeper look at the background consipracies that had kept the Empire stable for 12 millennia and even attempts to look at possible explanations for the great metal Cities of Earth and the mysongenist Spacer worlds. Brin references work throughout Asimov's Foundation and Empire series whether or not they were particularly relevant but it has been interesting to see them as I'm sure I didn't catch them when I first read the book :-) ( )
  JohnFair | Jul 11, 2014 |
This book is pretty good. I'd say its the best of the three Second Foundation Trilogy books in fact. Unfortunately, you need to read the other two in order for this one to make any sense, which is a shame because the first one sucked, and the second one was ok.

A lot of loose ends get cleaned up in this book. Why did Earth get abandoned? Why did everyone forget their history? Why is Trantor built much like the cities in the Naked Sun? Why are there all those habitable worlds for the galactic empire to reside on? It seems odd that there would be 25 million habitable worlds out there. There are other examples as well, but I wont bore you with them all.

Another good bit of this book is the time line of all Asimov Foundation stories at the back of the book. I am sure it would have been useful to know about that earlier.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/David_Brin/Foundations_Triumph.html ( )
3 vote mikal | Nov 15, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Targete,JeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Little is known about the final days of Hari Seldon, though
many romanticized accounts exist, some of them purportedly by his own hand. None has any proved validity.
What appears evident, however, is that Seldon spent his
last months uneventfully, no doubt enjoying satisfaction in
his life's work. For with his gift of mathematical insight, and
the powers of psychohistory at his command, he must surely
have seen the panorama of history stretching before him,
confirming the great path of destiny that he had already
mapped out
Although death would soon claim him, no other mortal
ever knew with such confidence and certainty the bright
promise that the future would hold in store.

To Isaac Asimov,
who added an entire course to our endless
dinner-table conversation about destiny
First words
As for me ... I am finished."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061056391, Mass Market Paperback)

Isaac Asimov's 1951-53 Foundation trilogy is a rough-hewn classic of far future SF, honored with a unique 1965 Hugo for Best All-Time Series. It begins with "psychohistorian" Hari Seldon mapping the best possible course for humanity's next millennium, after the fall of the doomed Galactic Empire. Late in life Asimov revisited the series and awkwardly linked it with his popular robot stories--introducing vast conspiracy theories to explain the Empire's total lack of visible robots.

Asimov's estate authorized three SF notables to fill out Seldon's life in the Second Foundation Trilogy, which David Brin here wraps up after Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear and Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos. Chaos is the new keyword, because chaos theory seemingly makes nonsense of psychohistorical prediction. Whole planetary populations can lapse into chaotic rebellion despite secret mind-controlling agencies behind the scenes. So Seldon makes his last interstellar journey, harried, lectured, and even kidnapped by the warring factions of robots and not-quite-robots that have long manipulated humanity. The robots' dilemma:

"We are loyal, and yet far more competent than our masters. For their own sake, we have kept them ignorant, because we know too well what destructive paths they follow, whenever they grow too aware."

Brin does his best with Asimov's overcrowded legacy, skillfully steering Seldon to an insight about the much-foretold future that satisfies both the old man and the reader, with a spark of human free will and constructive chaos shining through the grayness of predestination. Asimov would have approved. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Hari Seldon, creator of the science of psychohistory, escapes from exile on the distant planet of Trantor and roams the galaxy in search of a new galactic enigma, only to confront a dangerous new robot conspiracy led by an ambitious Lodovik Trema."--NoveList.… (more)

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