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Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Prelude to Foundation (original 1988; edition 1988)

by Isaac Asimov (Author)

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6,22573961 (3.7)1 / 57
Title:Prelude to Foundation
Authors:Isaac Asimov (Author)
Info:Dbldy (1988), Edition: later ptg

Work details

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1988)

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English (64)  Italian (4)  French (2)  Russian (1)  Slovak (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I've completely surrendered myself to this series. It's absolutely perfect for me, and I'm so happy to have read it a little bit later in life. As I get older, I start to think of future generations, humanity in general and, hopefully, try be a little less selfish.

As far as sci-fi adventuring goes, this is top notch. Asimov's writing got better as he got older, and even though there's little to no action, Hari Seldon and Dors visiting the various regions of Trantor and experiencing new cultures and dangers was fascinating. I can't believe the series is nearly over (I'm undecided if I will read the non-Asimov Foundation books), it will easily be right up there with my favorites when I'm done. Incredible callbacks to previous (future) books, the focus on a small cast, but a large scope feel just added another layer of enjoyment.

Hell, I love how the characters THINK. All the time. And they express their thoughts, often, and will discuss and debate with each other. Sometimes they'll change their minds when presented with a logical conclusion, othertimes they'll remain steadfast. It's that unpredictability, combined with a rational perspective, which endeared me to savor every page.

I may have a new favorite author. I'm not saying this book, or the Robots/Empire/Foundation series, is for everybody; it's got quite a few flaws, and I'm sure somebody will be happy to explain why it's not "good literature", but I couldn't care less. Love this series, loved this book. ( )
1 vote hskey | Nov 26, 2018 |
Although this book was written later, chronologically it is the first book in the Foundation series. It Introduces Hari Seldon and the concept of psychohistory. There are many dangerous episodes as Hari moves from sector to sector. But, more than anything, the book is an introduction to the rest of the series.
I had trouble wading through some parts of the book, but it was necessary to be prepared for coming books. I did not find the ending the surprise I think it was supposed to be.
I'm glad I read it, but I'm hoping the next book picks up the pace. ( )
  dh-writer | Feb 27, 2018 |
A good read, but frustrating in the inconsistencies between this post-series prequel and the rest of the series. The two biggest things that bothered me was the description of Trantor as well as Seldon's entire history. His work here is presented entirely different than in the main series. Again, a fun read, but doesn't flow too well into Foundation. ( )
  yrthegood1staken | Feb 28, 2017 |
I was told that Isaac Asimov’s works are the best place to begin as a total Sci-fi neophyte. Traditionalists may disagree with starting with Book “0”, as the original Foundation series were a trilogy beginning with “Foundation”, but chronologically the origins of psychohistory begin with Prelude to Foundation .
Mathematician Hari Seldon has theorized a new science called psychohistory, which if realized could become a means by which to predict the future of humanity. Naturally, the implications of this science have made Hari Seldon “the most wanted man in the [Galactic] Empire”. Hari must now race to prevent himself and his theory from falling into the wrong hands, globe-trotting across multiple civilizations to protect the prophetic power which he nevertheless sees as nearly impossible to prove.

It is not difficult to see what makes Asimov a mastermind of not only sci-fiction but also fiction itself. The world that he has carved through the Foundation series is timeless and immense, but his tenderness toward culture and history demonstrates an anthropological sharpness unlike no other. The novel’s cultural imagination leads us through faraway worlds equally complex as our own, with a mathematician-turned-anthropologist whose quest for knowledge keeps preventing him from staying out of trouble. Observant readers will be amazed at the profundity and quality of the dialogue -- few can match Asimov’s ability to capture tone, response and body gestures with such precision, making any and all characters come to life so effortlessly.

Young and old reader alike will join in the celebration of one of the most intricately crafted worlds of futuristic fiction, appreciating the immortality of literature that prompts us to dream full-heartedly.

Liked my review? Check out my book blog for more! ( )
  biblio-empire | Aug 12, 2016 |
At first I was unsure how this would work out. This is a prequel to his first 'Foundation' book written over 25 years prior and before he decided to tie most of his book series together. Wow, I was mistaken to be doubtful. This book was amazing. In 'Foundation' we get only a glimpse of Trantor in its prime, whereas the entirety of this book takes place there and we get to see quite a bit more of Trantor.

I do feel like the Trantor in this book was portrayed only slightly differently, in the domed over aspect. By the original book I expected Trantor to be more of a Coruscant type world with massive buildings everywhere. In this book almost all of the cities on Trantor have massive domes and it seems like from space you'd see a dark, seemingly uninhabited world - for the most part. A really minor point though.

I'm not sure what order I'd recommend reading the books in. I read the original 5 books first, then this one. There's a number of references in this book that, having already read 'Foundation and Earth', I was quite giddy about.

To sum it all up though: I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  thanbini | Jun 19, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anselmi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cormier, WilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segrelles, VicenteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jennifer "Green Pencil" Brehl,
the best and hardest-working editor in the world.
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CLEON I - The last Galactic Emperor of the Entun dynasty. (Chapter 1 Headnote)
Suppressing a small yawn, Cleon said, "Demerzel, have you by any chance ever heard of a man named Hari Seldon?"
Suppressing a small yawn, Cleon said, 'Demerzel, have you by any chance ever heard of a man named Hari Seldon?'
When I wrote "Foundation," which appeared in the May 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, I had no idea that I had begun a series of stories that would eventually grow into six volumes and a total of 650,000 words (so far). (Author's Note)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553278398, Mass Market Paperback)

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the year 12,020 G.E., Hari Seldon arrives in the domed city of Trantor and begins to develop his theory of psychohistory, which predicts the rise of a power greater than the Empire.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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