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Foundation and Empire | [Isaac Asimov]

Foundation and Empire

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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):

Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth

©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What Members Say

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  •  
    Lynwood Saint George, SC, United States 06-17-12
    Lynwood Saint George, SC, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece"

    Books in the original Foundation trilogy need no introduction; they have stood the test of time and are broadly accepted as some of the greatest masterpieces in the science fiction genre. You can find millions of words written about these books all over the Internet.

    I have some comments that relate to frustrations I encountered while reading reviews for this book. First, I wish that I could comment on reviews that others have written like I can on Amazon. What follows would more appropriately be entered as such a comment, but it's here because there is no other way to respond to existing reviews.

    To Joseph: First of all, it is misleading and unhelpful to give a book a poor rating because you didn't realize it was part of a trilogy. You are supposed to review the quality of the work, not vent your frustration at being unaware that the book is part of a series. That's your problem, not the book's.

    Secondly, it would have taken you all of 5 minutes to discover not only the series to which this book belongs, but also the published order of all the books in the series, with a simple Google or Wikipedia search. This is made even easier by the fact that this is one of the most famous serials written during the entire 20th century in any genre, and at least in the top 5 of most famous science fiction serials of all time.

    That said... it would not hurt my feelings if Audible would include both the chronological order and published order of books that belong to a series. It would really be nice to be able to add all books in a series to my wish list with a single click, and for those books to remain grouped together in the wish list so it is clear that they are all members of the same series. That would make it easy to buy them all at once too. Keeping them ordered by original book publication date within the grouping would also be VERY helpful. NOT the date the audio version was published -- the date the ORIGINAL BOOK was FIRST published.

    Chronological order is interesting but not terribly useful, because you do not want to read them that way. The author expects you to read them in PUBLISHED order, so that is what you should do for maximum effect. For example, there are essentially "spoilers" in prequels that will ruin mystery and suspense created in the books published earlier in the series.

    For anyone not willing to type the words "foundation series published order" into Google, below is the published order of the series. This is the proper and expected order in which to read them.

    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Foundation's Edge
    Foundation and Earth
    Prelude to Foundation
    Forward the Foundation

    Enjoy!

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynwood E. Hines Saint George, SC USA 06-17-12
    Lynwood E. Hines Saint George, SC USA 06-17-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece"

    Books in the original Foundation trilogy need no introduction; they have stood the test of time and are broadly accepted as some of the greatest masterpieces in the science fiction genre. You can find millions of words written about these books all over the Internet.

    I have some comments that relate to frustrations I encountered while reading reviews for this book. First, I wish that I could comment on reviews that others have written like I can on Amazon. What follows would more appropriately be entered as such a comment, but it's here because there is no other way to respond to existing reviews.

    To Joseph: First of all, it is misleading and unhelpful to give a book a poor rating because you didn't realize it was part of a trilogy. You are supposed to review the quality of the work, not vent your frustration at being unaware that the book is part of a series. That's your problem, not the book's.

    Secondly, it would have taken you all of 5 minutes to discover not only the series to which this book belongs, but also the published order of all the books in the series, with a simple Google or Wikipedia search. This is made even easier by the fact that this is one of the most famous serials written during the entire 20th century in any genre, and at least in the top 5 of most famous science fiction serials of all time.

    That said... it would not hurt my feelings if Audible would include both the chronological order and published order of books that belong to a series. It would really be nice to be able to add all books in a series to my wish list with a single click, and for those books to remain grouped together in the wish list so it is clear that they are all members of the same series. That would make it easy to buy them all at once too. Keeping them ordered by original book publication date within the grouping would also be VERY helpful. NOT the date the audio version was published -- the date the ORIGINAL BOOK was FIRST published.

    Chronological order is interesting but not terribly useful, because you do not want to read them that way. The author expects you to read them in PUBLISHED order, so that is what you should do for maximum effect. For example, there are essentially "spoilers" in prequels that will ruin mystery and suspense created in the books published earlier in the series.

    For anyone not willing to type the words "foundation series published order" into Google, below is the published order of the series. This is the proper and expected order in which to read them.

    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Foundation's Edge
    Foundation and Earth
    Prelude to Foundation
    Forward the Foundation

    Enjoy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 05-25-10
    Joseph 05-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "NOT AS HAPPY AS I WOULD LIKE TO BE"

    I feel that when a BOOK IS OFFERED, if it is part of a SERIES THAT A STATEMENT BE MADE AS TO WHAT PART OF THE SERIES IT IS !!!!!

    This is the Second book in the series and it needs / you should have some knowledge of the First book to make some sense when listening to this Audio Book. This series was originaly a TRILOGY. The series should be read as ( FOUNDATION, FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE, SECOND FOUNDATION ). There are also two additional sequels to the series ( FOUNDATION'S EDGE AND FOUNDATION AND EARTH ). And two prequels
    ( PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION AND FOWARD THE FOUNDATION ). The sequels and prequels are not required for the " FOUNDATION / EMPIRE SERIES ". They just make good reading.

    I KNOW THIS INFORMATION TO BE CORRECT AS I HAVE FIVE OF THESE BOOKS [ PRINTED VERSIONS ].

    64 of 93 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 08-14-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 08-14-14 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    87
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    77
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    12
    18
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sci Fi Classic(s)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. The audible version is stellar and these books (Foundation Series) are a must read for any fan of Sci Fi or speculative ficiton.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Everyone of them. Superbly done.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have read some negative reviews of Scott Brick and I don't get it. I think he is terrific, he lends the right tone of drama to material that lends itself to that type of delivery. He was great in the Dune Series and his work here is equally well done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really. These books are logical puzzles, with lots of characters and sub-plots. The fun is in keeping track of it all, in a world that Asimov has built just for you.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read. Audible has done a great job with the Asimov books. I suggest reading reading the Robot Series and the Galactic Series first, then delving into the Foundation Series. However read Prelude to Foundation last, which is largely background information.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-24-11
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-24-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
    ratings
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    69
    25
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    "Excellent book"

    It is second book from the trilogy. Not as thrilling as the third one (Second foundation), it is still very interesting and entertaining. Scott Brick is an excellent narrator and his narration is flawless. I am glad that I bought this book, it was true fun to listen.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SFDS 12-25-14
    SFDS 12-25-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Awesome once again!!!"

    Scott Brick is fantastic my third time reading/listening second in audio. He captures it. Asimov is the king. when I am in a funk and can not find something to listen to. I go back to the beginning and read the entire series starting with robots..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin D LAmbert 09-18-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    "Big Asimov Fan"
    What made the experience of listening to Foundation and Empire the most enjoyable?

    I have read numerous volumes of Isaac Asimov's works. As I get older, I find reading a little more difficult because of my eyes (you yung ins will find out soon enough) So having an unabridged copy available is great. I can take it in my car, or listen while I work on the computer. Audiobooks are a wonderful addition to my media collection.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Foundation and Empire?

    There has been no change in my interest, I have read the entire series twice. I also have Foundation on audio tape with Isaac Asimov as the narrator. Doesn't get any better than that.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Scott Brick is a competent narrator. I like his ability to alter his voice slightly to indicate the different characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Killdeer, ND, United States 02-19-14
    Ray Killdeer, ND, United States 02-19-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is SciFi for the common man."
    If you could sum up Foundation and Empire in three words, what would they be?

    Frighteningly relevant view


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    To achieve Paradise, all must be undone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-13
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    183
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    188
    188
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    38
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The end of the story? No, just a new beginning"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Morristown, VT, United States 10-29-12
    Richard Morristown, VT, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great, but a little dated"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Foundation and Empire to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    3/1/11
    Overall
    "Better than the first book"

    A magnificent book that surpasses the first in the series, although both books are superb. The Foundation is in trouble and Hari Seldon's prophecies are at risk from a mutant intelligence he could not have predicted. Hope is turned towards the revelation of a second foundation but discovering its location could prove its downfall as dark forces are also interested in it.

    This book is different from the first in that it is not so split up into shorter stories (five in the first book) that cover hundreds of years of history. This book consists of two stories ('The General' and 'The Mule') and as such I enjoyed it more since I could get better involved in the characters and longer plot than the fragmented structure of the first book. Both of these books are sci-fi at its best, though.

    This book was a real pleasure to listen to, all the more enjoyable for the great narration by Scott Brick.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    Hilton, United Kingdom
    1/23/12
    Overall
    "Asimov Foundation and Empire"

    Simply put I really enjoyed this, I have been a fan of Asimov for years and have read this book conventionally more than once. The narration is clear and fits the classic sci fi feel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Donald
    Braintree, United Kingdom
    8/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Difficult Second Book"
    If you could sum up Foundation and Empire in three words, what would they be?

    Continuation, classic, compelling.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Foundation and Empire?

    The denouement is the face off of the Foundation with the remains of the Galactic Empire, but it is handled so well, like any diplomatic crisis, people don't cry 'eureka' but change occurs imperceptibly, inevitably.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to the 3 'Foundation Saga' audiobooks and Scott was great in all of them. I think that sometimes the greatest accolade for a narrator is simply to go unnoticed. Too much or too little acting draws attention to itself.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is certainly one I would listen to again, but it is a big chunk of time to do it all in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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