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Foundation; Foundation and Empire; Second…

Foundation; Foundation and Empire; Second Foundation; The Stars, Like…

by Isaac Asimov

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Foundation was written in 1951, Foundation and Empire 1952, and Second Foundation, not surprisingly 1953. I jotted down technology that disappointed me: micro-film, encyclopedia, paper, film-books, communication takes years, newspapers, ticking watches, atomic (not nuclear), navigation by manually aligning stars, transcribing device that printed results on paper, and tubes. Even with that many things that I think should not have been in the book, the writing and story was enjoyable - well done. 8,608 members; 4.01 average rating; 7/19/2017 ( )
1 vote mainrun | Aug 30, 2017 |
A good introduction to Isaac Asimov. Before this, I had already read I, Robot, but nothing else. ( )
  emilythomas | Jan 10, 2011 |
The trilogy of books Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation are among the best Asimov ever wrote among his science-fiction novels and among his most influential. I've read it was based on Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Only this empire spans the galaxy. Hari Seldon predicts through "psychohistory" the empire will fall within 300 years and establishes a foundation to manipulate history to shorten the dark ages that will follow. The fascination is seeing how all that plays out, especially in the first book. Foundation and Empire is less episodic than the first and features one of Asimov's most complex and compelling characters, "the Mule," as well as a strong female character, Bayta, and a clever twist. Second Foundation also features a strong female character--Arkady Darell. The first three books in the series were written in the early 1950s, and at times it shows. Asimov considered himself a feminist and created strong female characters (especially Susan Calvin in his Robot stories) but even so there are blindspots and occasional gender fail, because class? This was the fifties! The trilogy is dated in other ways--technological and social advances Asimov didn't foresee, but for all that I think this is still a fantastic read rich in ideas.

Asimov returned to the Foundation Series in the 80s with Foundation's Edge and other sequels and prequels, merging aspects of the Robot series with it--represented in this volume by Naked Sun and I, Robot, both strong, classic sci-fi. But though I find those novels entertaining, I don't find them quite as thought-provoking as the first three Foundation novels. And The Stars Like Dust, only his second novel, Asimov himself called his least favorite. I can't say it's a keeper. A clunker, really, very pulp fiction. However, I do think Asimov's most amazing works can be found in his short stories, not his novels. I'd recommend getting a book collecting his shorts. His "The Ugly Little Boy," "The Dead Past," "Nightfall" among others are amazing stories. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 2, 2010 |
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This edition contains The Foundation Trilogy plus three other non-Foundation novels in one omnibus. Do not combine any other edition that contains a different set of stories.
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