Foundation's Edge (Foundation Series #4)

( 64 )

Overview

At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they retum to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second ...

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Foundation's Edge

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Overview

At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they retum to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553293388
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Series: Foundation Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 123,240
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

Biography

To list Isaac Asimov's honors, as to list his books, would be excessive. Let it simply be noted that Isaac Asimov was the most famous, most honored, most widely read, and most beloved science fiction author of all time. In his five decades as an author, he wrote more than four hundred books, won every award his readers and colleagues could contrive to give him, and provided pleasure and insight to millions. He died in 1992, still at work.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      January 20, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Petrovichi, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      April 6, 1992
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Columbia University, B.S. in chemistry, 1939; M.A. in chemistry, 1941; Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1948

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

The First Galactic Empire was falling. It had been decaying and breaking down for centuries and only one man fully realized that fact.

He was Han Seldon, the last great scientist of the First Empire, and it was he who perfected psychohistory-the science of human behavior reduced to mathematical equations.

The individual human being is unpredictable, but the reactions of human mobs, Seldon found, could be treated statistically. The larger the mob, the greater the accuracy that could be achieved. And the size of the human masses that Seldon worked with was no less than the population of all the inhabited millions of worlds of the Galaxy.

Seldon's equations told him that, left to itself, the Empire would fall and that thirty thousand years of human misery and agony would elapse before a Second Empire would arise from the ruins. And yet, if one could adjust some of the conditions that existed, that Interregnum could be decreased to a single millennium-just one thousand years.

It was to insure this that Seldon set up two colonies of scientists that he called "Foundations." With deliberate intention, he set them up "at opposite ends of the Galaxy." The First Foundation, which centered on physical science, was set up in the full daylight of publicity. The existence of the other, the Second Foundation, a world of psychohistorical and "mentalic" scientists, was drowned in silence.

In The Foundation Trilogy, the story of the first four centuries of the Interregnum is told. The First Foundation (commonly known as simply "The Foundation," since the existence of another was unknown to almost all) began as a small community lost in the emptiness of the Outer Periphery of the Galaxy. Periodically it faced a crisis in which the variables of human intercourse-and of the social and economic currents of the time-constricted about it. Its freedom to move lay along only one certain line and when it moved in that direction, a new horizon of development opened before it. All had been planned by Han Seldon, long dead now.

The First Foundation, with its superior science, took over the barbarized planets that surrounded it. It faced the anarchic warlords who broke away from the dying Empire and beat them. It faced the remnant of the Empire itself under its last strong Emperor and its last strong general-and beat it.

It seemed as though the "Seldon Plan" was going through smoothly and that nothing would prevent the Second Empire from being established on timeand with a minimum of intermediate devastation..

But psychohistory is a statistical science. Always there is a small chance that something will go wrong, and something did-something which Han Seldon could not have foreseen. One man, called the Mule, appeared from nowhere. He had mental powers in a Galaxy that lacked them. He could mold men's emotions and shape their minds so that his bitterest opponents were made into his devoted servants. Armies could not, would not, fight him. The First Foundation fell and Seldon's Plan seemed to lie in ruins.

There was left the mysterious Second Foundation, which had been caught unprepared by the sudden appearance of the Mule, but which was now slowly working out a counterattack. Its great defense was the fact of its unknown location. The Mule sought it in order to make his conquest of the Galaxy complete. The faithful of what was left of the First Foundation sought it to obtain help.

Neither found it. The Mule was stopped first by the action of a woman, Bayta Darell, and that bought enough time for the Second Foundation to organize the proper action and, with that, to stop the Mule permanently. Slowly they prepared to reinstate the Seldon Plan.

But, in a way, the cover of the Second Foundation was gone. The First Foundation knew of the Second's existence, and the First did not want a future in which they were overseen by the mentalists. The First Foundation was the superior in physical force, while the Second Foundation was hampered not only by that fact, but by being faced by a double task: it had not only to stop the First Foundation but had also to regain its anonymity.

This the Second Foundation, under its greatest "First Speaker," Preem Palver, managed to do. The First Foundation was allowed to seem to win, to seem to defeat the Second Foundation, and it moved on to greater and greater strength in the Galaxy, totally ignorant that the Second Foundation still existed.

It is now four hundred and ninety-eight years after the First Foundation had come into existence. It is at the peak of its strength, but one man does not accept appearances—

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Prologue

The First Galactic Empire was falling. It had been decaying and breaking down for centuries and only one man fully realized that fact.

He was Han Seldon, the last great scientist of the First Empire, and it was he who perfected psychohistory-the science of human behavior reduced to mathematical equations.

The individual human being is unpredictable, but the reactions of human mobs, Seldon found, could be treated statistically. The larger the mob, the greater the accuracy that could be achieved. And the size of the human masses that Seldon worked with was no less than the population of all the inhabited millions of worlds of the Galaxy.

Seldon's equations told him that, left to itself, the Empire would fall and that thirty thousand years of human misery and agony would elapse before a Second Empire would arise from the ruins. And yet, if one could adjust some of the conditions that existed, that Interregnum could be decreased to a single millennium-just one thousand years.

It was to insure this that Seldon set up two colonies of scientists that he called "Foundations." With deliberate intention, he set them up "at opposite ends of the Galaxy." The First Foundation, which centered on physical science, was set up in the full daylight of publicity. The existence of the other, the Second Foundation, a world of psychohistorical and "mentalic" scientists, was drowned in silence.

In The Foundation Trilogy, the story of the first four centuries of the Interregnum is told. The First Foundation (commonly known as simply "The Foundation," since the existence of another was unknown to almost all) began as a small community lost in theemptiness of the Outer Periphery of the Galaxy. Periodically it faced a crisis in which the variables of human intercourse-and of the social and economic currents of the time-constricted about it. Its freedom to move lay along only one certain line and when it moved in that direction, a new horizon of development opened before it. All had been planned by Han Seldon, long dead now.

The First Foundation, with its superior science, took over the barbarized planets that surrounded it. It faced the anarchic warlords who broke away from the dying Empire and beat them. It faced the remnant of the Empire itself under its last strong Emperor and its last strong general-and beat it.

It seemed as though the "Seldon Plan" was going through smoothly and that nothing would prevent the Second Empire from being established on timeand with a minimum of intermediate devastation..

But psychohistory is a statistical science. Always there is a small chance that something will go wrong, and something did-something which Han Seldon could not have foreseen. One man, called the Mule, appeared from nowhere. He had mental powers in a Galaxy that lacked them. He could mold men's emotions and shape their minds so that his bitterest opponents were made into his devoted servants. Armies could not, would not, fight him. The First Foundation fell and Seldon's Plan seemed to lie in ruins.

There was left the mysterious Second Foundation, which had been caught unprepared by the sudden appearance of the Mule, but which was now slowly working out a counterattack. Its great defense was the fact of its unknown location. The Mule sought it in order to make his conquest of the Galaxy complete. The faithful of what was left of the First Foundation sought it to obtain help.

Neither found it. The Mule was stopped first by the action of a woman, Bayta Darell, and that bought enough time for the Second Foundation to organize the proper action and, with that, to stop the Mule permanently. Slowly they prepared to reinstate the Seldon Plan.

But, in a way, the cover of the Second Foundation was gone. The First Foundation knew of the Second's existence, and the First did not want a future in which they were overseen by the mentalists. The First Foundation was the superior in physical force, while the Second Foundation was hampered not only by that fact, but by being faced by a double task: it had not only to stop the First Foundation but had also to regain its anonymity.

This the Second Foundation, under its greatest "First Speaker," Preem Palver, managed to do. The First Foundation was allowed to seem to win, to seem to defeat the Second Foundation, and it moved on to greater and greater strength in the Galaxy, totally ignorant that the Second Foundation still existed.

It is now four hundred and ninety-eight years after the First Foundation had come into existence. It is at the peak of its strength, but one man does not accept appearances--
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 64 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2002

    The conflict and junction of the three series

    Isaac Asimov, who had made an intermission of more than 3 decades to write the fourth title of the Foundation series, did not expect "Foundation's Edge" to become his first bestseller and above all, to win the Hugo award. I've read this book in English and in Spanish and I could not find a single imperfection; it is just a one of the most wonderful science fiction books written by Isaac Asimov. This story, which protagonists are Golan Trevize and Janov Pelorat, begins in the middle-age Terminus. There, Trevize is sent to the outer space to find the Second Foundation, for his friend Munn Li Compor had betrayed him by reporting the authorities that Trevize supported the belief that the 2nd Foundation still existed. In the spaceship, he meets his companion, the historian Janov Pelorat, an old man looking for traces of the legendary Imperial Library. The Second Foundation, dealing with squarrels among themselves, decide to send Stor Gendibal to prove his strength and return as a glorious First Orator. Intrigues about the identity and location of the Earth and the mysterious Gaia foreshadow the great decision Trevize has to make for the fate of the Galaxy: Terminus (1st Foundation), Trantor (2nd Foundation), or the living-conscience planet Gaia?

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2014

    wierd

    wierd

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    One of the best books of the Saga

    Personally I think that this and Foundations and Earth are the best books in the saga

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Asimov at his best

    As a long time Asimov fan, it had been a while since I had read the Foundation series. With the handy portable e reader I once again immerse myself in his detailed galaxy and his interesting characters. Well worth the revisit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    See if Harry Seldon's plan will escape

    the next epic challenge to returning to chaos instead of the Seldon plan for the new Empire.

    Has the First Foundation become too skilled and able to forcefully remove the Second Foundation from its apparent hiding place?

    Will the new technology cause the Plan to forestall and allow the First Foundation to become the New Empire before the appointed time.

    Asimov, once again, creates a riveting sequel in this series of a galactic empire being "reborn" or "remade" into a more productive form after the demise of the prior empire.

    See if you may discern the end prior to finishing!
    The Second Foundation may have a hand in inhibiting you!
    Ha ha ha!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Asmov was a genius

    Great fun to read! Asimov never shied away from challenging ideas and with this novel he undertook as task that would have been thought impossible before it - uniting his robot novels, the empire novels and the foundation series into one overarching universe. And he pulls it off with a panache that is unbeleivably good. Highly recommended!

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Continuation

    This being the first book back into the Foundation Series after Asimov took a long almost 20 year break was still amazing. He keeps all the energy of the first trilogy and brings in a whole new aspect I had not seen coming. Asimov's attention to detail and flawless ability to layer stories beyond your imagination is so much fun to read. Definitely read the first 3 books before coming into this one. There is a prologue that reestablishes where the story is so far, but it doesn't do it justice. Definitely a must read for any Sci-fi fan, let alone Asimov fan. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Amazing beyond belief

    This book is a very well written extension of the Foundation Trilogy. Absolutely the best of the series at the moment. Such a suspenseful book you won¿t want to put it down. Leads perfectly into the next book. The technology in this book far surpasses the technology in the first and second book. A perfect book for any Sci-Fi book reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006

    Absolutely Brilliant!

    The best in the Foundation series, and a great way to expand on the ideas of the original three. Everything was perfectly written, especially the ending, which also happens to give the reader an introduction to the next book. Unfortunately, 'Foundation and Earth' is a flop. If I were you I would finish the series with this book and call it good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    Absolutely incredible!

    I am hardly a dedicated reader, but I have read the first four books in the Foundation series in the past month, and I had wondered where Asimov could possibly go after the original trilogy. I was simply amazed. This book is, by far, one of the best I've ever read, and it has inspired me to continue to read any book he has written connected to Foundation. I will never look at Lord of the Rings or Star Wars in the same way again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2000

    Another great book in the Foundation series.

    I just read this book and I think it is one of the most exciting of the Foundation novels yet. This book has a great plot, exciting characters, and everything else that you would expect from Asimov.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 6, 2011

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    Posted August 12, 2010

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    Posted March 7, 2010

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    Posted December 15, 2010

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