Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation & Empire, Second Foundation

Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation & Empire, Second Foundation

by Isaac Asimov


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380001019
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/1976
Series: Foundation Series

About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation series at the age of 21, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned over 400 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas. Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decades, until he died, at the age of 72, in April 1992.

Date of Birth:

January 20, 1920

Date of Death:

April 6, 1992

Place of Birth:

Petrovichi, Russia

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Columbia University, B.S. in chemistry, 1939; M.A. in chemistry, 1941; Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1948

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Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation & Empire, Second Foundation 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read this in over 30 years, but it still holds up and is a riveting good read.
chellerystick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although Asimov occasionally indulges in details that fifty years later sound quite dated, and has a wooden approach to characterization, the big ideas and plot twists of this trilogy gripped me to the end. If only he had had help with writing better humans--although this far into the future they at least have the excuse of an alien culture.Highly recommended, though I see no reason not to look for an abridged version.
kaulsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of "those" books that I wish I could read again for the first time!! I first read it in 1969 or 70. Interesting to look at the science and see what has come to pass and what seems like it never will. I'm still waiting to colonize a new system. Ah well, probably too old now!
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For years I had this novel on my shelf, but never read it. I suppose I was put off by the fact that was a supposedly ground-breaking work of science fiction and I lack patience with most of that kind of work. But now I¿m glad I read it and found out that while ground-breaking it certainly is, it didn¿t try my patience. This review is only for Foundation, not the others in the trilogy which are yet unread by me.The story is told in chunks, not in detail. Only the seminal events of the 100 years or so it covers are portrayed. That¿s what gave it life and momentum. If the author had tried to go into detail, it would have choked on itself within 10 pages. Instead, Asimov gives us the bare bones of the story and lets things take shape in our minds. It works.Some observations;The work is filled with that joyous and hopeful technical optimism that permeated the late 40s and stayed through the 50s. Where our achievements in science seemed lofty and worthwhile and would be the saving of mankind. The atomic bomb had recently been dropped and a war ended. That war produced more technological advancements than in probably any other age in history. Our optimism was unbounded and our future bright. The promise of Atomic energy was huge. The fears this power brought were pushed to one side and apparently, in Asimov¿s future, they have been dealt with and conquered.Here, atomic power separates the barbarian from the civilized. It is the means of domination and separation of powers. One of the early leaders of the planet on which the Foundation is housed couched its existence and handling in the mystique of religion. Thereby he kept it strictly controlled and mythologized. Only priests trained by the state were allowed any knowledge of atomic power and were the only ones permitted to handle it. At first this strategy worked and atomic power was not something produced by science, but by priests adept in magic. Clever.Another thing is the complete lack of female characters in any other role except a shrewish and domineering wife. My generation is used to seeing the future concept filled with women at every level of society. Commanders. Ambassadors. Queens. Captains. The future didn¿t have discrimination or bias against women. But here in Foundation, we see it still. The concept of a woman having as much aptitude for command or science as a man seems like it was foreign to Asimov. Women were for decoration and breeding and housework, not for statecraft. Somehow it made for a less than realistic future for me, with only men in control.Another thing that struck me was the dichotomy in technology we have presented here. Atomic power is all. It is the ultimate. It not only powers starships and creates electricity, but also personal shields like body armor and mundane household items like washing machines and knives that never need sharpening. Atomic power can be wielded like a bat and applied to the personal as well as the civic. But it seems so anachronistic. As a person growing up knowing the limitations and failings of atomic power, this future seems klunky and backwards.Not helping was the fact that despite ¿sub-ether¿ transmission, these people still relied on newspapers (a late edition in fact) for information. Asimov¿s immense imagination didn¿t encompass the computer or the computer network, which seems so much a part of science fiction to me. While ships and offices had televisors with which to view messages, they still had pneumatic tubes and capsules which were used to send and receive messages. These same had ¿sub-ether¿ communications, but somehow only messages delivered in person mattered. Good thing they had ¿hyperspace¿.Which leads me to another observation; are these the first instances of these terms? Did Asimov make them up and create their meanings? If so, he¿s authored a lot of the lexicon we take for granted. I first heard ¿sub-ether¿ in the Hitchhiker¿s guide. Same as Encyclopedia Galactica - both terms I thought sprung from th
temsmail on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have not read this book since high school lo these many years ago. Encyclopedia Galactica sounds a lot like the various "clouds" in use in cyberspace, although neither Sheldon nor Asimov could have imagined them to be so. Amazing