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Second Foundation (1953)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Foundation (5), Foundation Expanded Universe (13)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,893115518 (4.01)1 / 156
So far the Foundation was safe. But there was a hidden Second Foundation to protect the first. The Mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. The men of the Foundation sought it, too, to escape from Mule's mind control. Only Arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she?… (more)

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» See also 156 mentions

English (98)  French (4)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Slovak (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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 |
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
This was a satisfying end to the story line started in book 2. I liked it. ( )
  Nannus | Jan 17, 2022 |
Second Foundation brings the Foundation Trilogy to a fitting climax. There are plenty of twists and turns demonstrative of Second Foundation mental manipulation, and it would be hard to guess the ending in advance. A very satisying conclusion to the series. ( )
  Hoppy500 | Dec 1, 2021 |
Asimov, Isaac. Second Foundation. 1953. Foundation No. 3. Bantam Spectra, 2004.
Like Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation is a book constructed of two magazine novellas. In the first, the Mule, a mind-controlling mutant dictator, sends two men on a search for the rumored second foundation set up by Hari Selden. The Mule has defeated the Foundation military and taken over its territory, but he is afraid that the Second Foundation may be plotting his overthrow. The second novella tells of a search conducted by the first Foundation. Selden’s original psychohistory was based on a complex algorithm that allowed him to forecast large-scale historical trends. The later novels in the trilogy shift the focus to mind-control techniques. In abandoning the development of Selden’s original idea, Asimov may have pitched the baby out of the bathtub, as he seems to cave in to a “great man” theory of history in the Mule and the unlikely use of the paranormal control of historical events in the cabal that runs the Second Foundation. In the end, the cobbled together novellas don’t make a coherent group of novels. I much prefer other works by Asimov—Caves of Steel, Pebble in the Sky, and The End of Eternity—to name a few. 4 Stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Nov 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Billon, Pierresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fruttero, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giralt, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucentini, FrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scaglia, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Marcia, John, and Stan
To the memory of John W. Campbell, Jr.
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The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years.
THE MULE It was after the fall of the First Foundation that the constructive aspects of the Mule's regime took shape.
There is much more that the Encyclopedia has to say on the subject of the Mule and his Empire but almost all of it is not germane to the issue at immediate hand, and most of it is considerably too dry for our purposes in any case.
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So far the Foundation was safe. But there was a hidden Second Foundation to protect the first. The Mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. The men of the Foundation sought it, too, to escape from Mule's mind control. Only Arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she?

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