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Foundation (1951)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Foundation (3), Foundation Expanded Universe (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,513346215 (3.99)2 / 515
One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon. For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare--that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves, or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.… (more)
  1. 335
    Dune by Frank Herbert (Patangel, JonTheTerrible, philAbrams)
    JonTheTerrible: The pace of these books are similar as well as the topics they cover: society and government. The science plays only a small role in both books but is present enough to successfully build the worlds in which the characters inhabit.
  2. 152
    The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov (karnoefel)
    karnoefel: de eerste drie foundation boeken in een robuuste hardcoverband. Dit boek was een van de eerste sf boeken die ik las in de jaren 70 in de bibliotheek van Tegelen
  3. 132
    The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (Cecrow)
  4. 92
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (br77rino)
  5. 50
    Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov (br77rino)
    br77rino: Pebble in the Sky is the first book Asimov wrote regarding the Galactic Empire, a subject he used in his later masterpiece trilogy, Foundation.
  6. 73
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (yokai)
  7. 41
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (nar_)
    nar_: Space travelling and interminable, huge lands and space... so huge !
  8. 52
    Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford (Patangel)
  9. 20
    Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov (philAbrams)
  10. 21
    Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury (goodiegoodie)
  11. 00
    The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu (aulandez)
  12. 11
    Shadow of Heaven by Bob Shaw (Polenth)
  13. 01
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (Anonymous user)
  14. 01
    The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (missmaddie)
  15. 02
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (br77rino)
1950s (42)
Read (60)
My TBR (4)
2021 (19)
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English (316)  Italian (4)  French (4)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (2)  Slovak (2)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  Polish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (340)
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
I'd originally read this book as a teenager so long ago I barely remembered most the details. This reread came on the heels of my son reading it and recommending it again.

Things I hadn't noticed the first read but definitely noticed in this that this world and galaxy as vast as it is has no women until the very end and even then they are shrill and only pawns. Obviously as a master Asimov of his built an intricate sociopolitical historical system spanning a galaxy. ( )
  yonitdm | Sep 1, 2022 |
Começo de uma aventura englobando ao menos 1000 anos, do declínio de um império até o começo de outro, tal como previsto pela ciência da psico-história, capaz de fazer previsões confiáveis de estados sociais gerais. Um livro de embates políticos e diplomáticos, a resolver cada uma das três crises de Seldom pelos vanguardistas da civilização, a Fundação, de sua criação até um modesto estabelecimento.

(Parte da trilogia que ganhou o Hugo 1966 por melhor série de livros de todos os tempos.) ( )
  henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
Will stick with this. Do subsequent novels get better? God I hope so. ( )
  graeme.bell3 | Aug 25, 2022 |
I read the three books of the foundation trilogy in such quick succession that I cannot separate them in my mind. So...

This is a trilogy with grand scope. The great galactic empire is falling, and the great psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, is the only one who knows how to shorten the period of chaos that will engulf the galaxy until a second empire is established. To this end, he establishes two Foundations to serve as the seeds of the new empire. This is their story.

As with much older science fiction, this series has its flaws. Although Asimov does have some strong female characters, the world they live in is one that assumes that all positions of power -- politicians, scientists, etc. -- are held by males. There is a scene where two women rush to the bathroom to buy some time before talking to the police. Apparently there were no female officers. The technology, as always, was not as impressive as it probably seemed at publication time, but Asimov saves himself from sounding too dated by not providing too much detail. Also, as some people have pointed out, the assumption that history is subject to statistical prediction of the future is less plausible given findings of the mathematics of chaos theory.

But despite all that, the Foundation novels have stood the test of time quite well. I really enjoyed the series (although it would have made more sense if I had know that it was originally printed as semi-independent stories; that would have made the repetition of background info and abrupt switch between story lines make more sense). ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
I'd come across this book, in of all things, in fanfic. Fictional characters reading published fiction. And since the title or the series name kept coming up along with my constant reshelving of "I, Robot" (I volunteer at the library), I decided to read it.

I can see why this book has been so popular even with it being written so long ago. Spaceships, planets, conflict, advanced technology, force shields: all the elements for a good sci-fi story. Well, not all of them but this story didn't need all of them.

Hari Seldon predicted the future so as to create a society that would survive the downfall of the Empire and then emerge as the new Empire. Asomiv goes through that evolution from a world dedicated to creating an encyclopedia of science and history, to a religion based on science and nuclear power, to trade, to gaining galactic political power through religion by importing the science religion, to pure trade, to gaining control over parts of the periphery of the galaxy, and dealing with Seldon crises. There are big moments but nothing that results in all out war or any sort of violent conflict. "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent." Waiting and being shrewd is the name of the game.

The characters can be interchangeable and don't have much depth. They are mostly plot devices and means to move things along. They are still entertaining though and relevant to the story.

I intend to read the next books in the series. ( )
  pacbox | Jul 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fruttero, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giralt, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucentini, FrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, JeanTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scaglia, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Post-1973 reissues:
To the memory of my mother
(1895–1973)
1951 issue:
To my Mother

Of whose Authentic Gray Hairs
Not a few were caused by myself.
First words
HARI SELDON ... born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era: died 12,069.

ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.
Quotations
It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Violence is the last refuge of the competent.
He had brought down his first Nyak when scarcely thirteen; had brought down his tenth the week after his accession to the throne; and was returning now from his forty-sixth.

‘Fifty before I come of age,’ he had exulted. ‘Who’ll take the wager?’

But courtiers don’t take wagers against the king’s skill. There is the deadly danger of winning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon. For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare--that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves, or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.

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Book description
First issued as Ace Double D-110 (with Poul Anderson's "No World of Their Own"); shortly thereafter, reissued as a stand-alone with the same publisher's number (D-110); reissued again a few years later as D-538. One of the stories that make up the 'fix-up' novel "Foundation".
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Average: (3.99)
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