The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.
Led by its founding father, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation has survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Yet now it must face the Empire, still the mightiest force in the Galaxy even in its death throes. When an ambitious general determined to restore the Empire's glory turns the vast Imperial fleet toward the Foundation, the only hope for the small planet of scholars and scientists lies in the prophecies of Hari Seldon.
But not even Hari Seldon could have predicted the birth of the extraordinary creature called The Mule, a mutant intelligence with a power greater than a dozen battle fleets, a power that can turn the strongest-willed human into an obedient slave.
Listen to all of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, including (in chronological order):
©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House
Frighteningly relevant view
The way that Asimov - who moonlighted as a SciFi writer when he wasn't at the Chicago Tribune as science editor - writes his tales makes you feel like you might see these events come to pass in the near future (any of the titles tied to his Three Laws of Robotics) or makes you look at our society as a whole from a broader perspective (Foundation saga). The view he paints may be set in some far-off future, but it could have easily been set in the modern world.
I have the Enderverse saga through Audible, and Brick was very impressive in a dynamic where he works with others. But in the Foundation books, he is prodded to do more as a solo act. This comes across with all the vehemence and the passion and fervor the book portrays.
To achieve Paradise, all must be undone.
The story line.
The first book in this trilogy Foundation.
they were all good
Mankind can never get away from its basic weakness.
I read perhaps 1 or 2 books a year before Audible. Now I listen to 1 or 2 books a month. I'm mostly listen to sci-fi, fantasy, and classics. I'm a software developer and tabletop game designer.
I enjoyed the Foundation more than this sequel (part 2 of the trilogy). It's basically two storys, the first one dealing with the last battle with the fading Empire and the second dealing the new enemy, the Mule. I enjoyed the first one more. The latter is sort of a long winded setup for part 3 (Second Foundation). There was a mystery too the second story that I figured out quickly so that made it less enjoyable.
Still, the writing is great and I'm excited for part 3.
I read 'Foundation' on the recommendation of a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was figuring with 'Foundation and Empire' that I would enjoy it as much or more. I was also thinking that this book would lead to the recreation of the Empire. I was wrong in that regard. This book opens a whole new storyline or dimension to the story line. Here we see the Seldon plan fail and then be reborn. We also catch our first glimpse of the 'Second Foundation'. One thing Isaac Asimov has made clear throughout all his books is those that try to control everything will fail along with those that will do the same with time. People have to be given freedom to choose their own paths in life. The unexpected can throw off all plans and controls. It can also move everything in a new direction that is better than the control. I recommend this book to anyone of says otherwise.
Hard to say since I read the print version of the Foundation Trilogy as a teenager in the early '60s. Now, I would definitely give the nod to Scott Brick's reading.
The real problem, for me, is that 50 years have passed since I first read this and it is painfully clear that, as great a writer as Asimov is, he couldn't think outside the box with respect to the future of science. Other than the Faster Than Light concept of "Jumps" (that all SF writers resort to in one form or another when writing about interstellar travel), the science postulated for many millenia in the future, seems antiquated and quaint in 2012.
But in many ways, that was never really the point of the Foundation Trilogy. The evolution of cultures and very large social structures (and the attempt to successfully manipulate them is as fascinating now as it was way back when.
Beta is the most complex and interesting character to me. Since I already knew who the Mule was, I was more able to concentrate on her and her reaction to The Mule, and his to her. If you're reading/listening to the story for the first time, it's almost impossible not to get caught up in the mystery and miss the underplay.
The killing of the Prince/Emperor is particularly gripping, especially as it's narrated. It's a turning point in Beta's understanding and Scott's reading is brilliant.
I'd say the description of Magnifico's first playing of the instrument for Beta and Ebling. What an experience something like that would be! I think it could only be approached by music or art that really touches your soul.
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