We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Prelude to Foundation Audiobook

Prelude to Foundation

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

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

©1988 Isaac Asimov (P)2011 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (810 )
5 star
 (508)
4 star
 (208)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.5 (733 )
5 star
 (489)
4 star
 (166)
3 star
 (56)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.5 (727 )
5 star
 (475)
4 star
 (173)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Timely Toga 12-22-15
    Timely Toga 12-22-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Writing"

    This is my first Asimov novel, and what an introduction indeed! He does an excellent job drawing you into a world that never quite has existed and does just enough to make you feel his books are merely a forecast of humanity's distant future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brady hebert 09-02-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "asimov and Scott brick"

    The narrator is awesome. He's narrated a few books my husband and I have listened to so far.
    Asimov's books are great... though I want a huge fan of his empire trilogy, foundation is starting off wonderfully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. H. C. 07-29-15
    S. H. C. 07-29-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, fluid narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Prelude to Foundation to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print edition; I know, I'm embarrassed to admit it as well, especially since I have always been a Sci-Fi fan. I decided to read/listen to it now, but barely having free time to read a physical book, this audible book was the better option; I could listen to it in the car, at the gym, etc.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I decided to start the Foundation series in chronological order of the storyline, not the publication date. Asimov himself had once stated in an interview that it might be a better way to go about reading the series. So far, so good! Loved the story and the universe it sets up.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Eto Demerzel, by a landslide. He's essentially the entire empire by himself. And has been so for an unknown number of years!


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

    Not really. The book was written in the 80-90s, so the "shock value" in it isn't derived from extreme emotional string-pulling, but more from plot twists and their implications. Neither made me laugh or cry out loud.


    Any additional comments?

    I would strongly suggest reading the Foundation series in their chronological order of the timeline versus the publish date. I'm on book-3 of the series now and while conversing with a friend who had read them by publication date, found that I had a better grasp of the (excuse the pun) foundation of the story, hence found later elements more enjoyable.

    The chronological order by story timeline is:

    (Start with this book) Prelude to Foundation
    Forward the Foundation
    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Foundation's Edge
    (End with this book) Foundation and Earth

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 06-10-15
    Michael 06-10-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Amazing Robot story."

    Love these books and Scott Brick does a wonderful job reading, so glad I got it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 04-09-15
    Paul 04-09-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    I wouldn't read it as the first in the series . The narrator took a little getting used to but was good after a little while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence 03-27-15
    Lawrence 03-27-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "this should be a mandatory for all high-schools"

    this is a great piece of literary art and should be read by every person in the world

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel McLaughlin 03-22-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic sci-fi but unmodulated reading"

    Perhaps it's a result of the writing style of Isaac Asimov, but this reading eventually got on my nerves. There was too much forceful, dramatic pronunciation, and not enough variety and modulation in tone. I was left feeling that there was one main character in the book: that of Scott Brick, the narrator. More nuance and colour would have made it more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Horton 03-11-15
    Ben Horton 03-11-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great read"

    It's a little slow in the beginning but towards the end of the book everything comes together and you see why things were like they were. I liked that Asimov explained everything and you weren't left wondering why an event had happened. It was quite satisfying this way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Ferguson Albuquerque, NM 11-12-14
    A. Ferguson Albuquerque, NM 11-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Verdict"
    What disappointed you about Prelude to Foundation?

    Ok fellow Foundation fans - this review is not pretty (but, there are also no spoilers), but it's honest. And it's from a fellow Foundation fanatic who LOVED the first five books.

    Plain and simple, there is not story here. Instead of clever plot twists and surprises, you get one straight-forward, predictable read, without the slightest interesting story until the final 30 pages of the book. The last 30 pages contain several large, ingenious surprises. Problem is, none of the previous story was needed to justify the final surprises.

    In the first five books, we have a genius of a storyline with great suspense. In this book, no suspense to speak of. Someone gets left atop a rooftop and almost freezes to death, then someone complains that they have to wear a bald wig on a planet, then someone gets in a knife fight, and really nothing enlightening happens along the way.

    I suggest you read the final 30-50 pages and call it a day. Trust a fan of the first five books, the high ratings this book is receiving would NOT have been provided had this been the first book in the Foundation series. There's no story here.

    Caveat, The narrator did a Fantastic job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 09-15-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    172
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    132
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    24
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fits Neaty into the Series"
    If you could sum up Prelude to Foundation in three words, what would they be?

    Harry Seldon Begins...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Prelude to Foundation?

    This book is consistent with Asimov's writing style throughout his career. There is a nicely tied up ending, that begs another question(s) ... if you liked his other books, you will love this one as well. I would say the ending was terrific, but the scenes in the region where hair was unacceptable were priceless...


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Scott always does a great job, I wish he did the last 2 books in this series, but that should not stop anyone from reading this book. Scott does great job.


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

    No, too long, but that is not a negative. These books become companions, and spending time with them is time spent well.


    Any additional comments?

    Asimov is a unique writer. There is depth but this is not over philosophical. The characters are developed but these are not character studies. These are old fashion stories, meant to entertain, challenge your ideas and keep you involved. They are based on logic, not fighting or sex or melodrama. The story evolves, reveals itself and enthralls you until the end. I always suspect Asimov wrote these to primarily amuse himself, and the reader is invited into that approach. I highly recommend this book to any Asimov fan or fan of the Foundation Series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.