Asimov's Foundation series, based on the ideas from the "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire," starts with a 12,000 year-old Galactic Empire. The great Hari Selden has mathematically proven that the Empire will soon fall and a 30-millennium Dark Age will follow, but Selden's Foundation can shorten that time by a factor of 30.
In Second Foundation, the Mule has conquered the original Foundation and much of the galaxy, but the secretive Second Foundation---oriented to mental science where the first Foundation is oriented to physical sciences---lurks out there and is interfering with the Mule's plans for a new empire. The Mule attempts to track down the Second Foundation. After the Mule's death, the original Foundation needs the Second Foundation's help in getting the Selden plan back on track.
The Foundation trilogy is a bit dry, and the characters are quite one-dimensional and cartoonish. It may be more enjoyable if you think of it as a history book from the distant future rather than an adventure story. The envisioned technology was typical for the 1940's (computing your course across the galaxy with a slide-rule), but seems rather quaint now. One other complaint: Asimov got pretty wordy in places, to the detriment of the story.
I like Scott Brick as a narrator and he does a pretty good job with this.
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