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Foundation 2: De foundation en het imperium – Het muildier (Foundation (Publication Order) #2)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  110,268 Ratings  ·  1,867 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published 1993 by Bruna (first published 1952)
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Less episodic than the first (Foundation), which was a plus. But it makes all the more apparent Asimov's complete inability to create memorable or sympathetic characters. This means that each of the two halves read like over-long short stories. Part I is a suspense-thriller, solved by a ridiculous and anti-climactic deus ex machina, while Part II telegraphs its twist-ending so far in advance that the last few chapters are simply redundant.

There's no arguing the brilliance of Asimov's ideas -- o
Simona Bartolotta
I read it half in Italian (my physical copy) and half in English (my digital copy) and I've come to the conclusion that the Italian translation sucks. Hard.

"It was strange that the Glory of the Galaxy should be a rotting corpse."

I have gone over and over what to say in this review, but I realized that at the end of the day I had already said everything in my review of Foundation, the first installment in the series. The two books are of course different (for one thing, I found this one less epis
Sanjay Gautam
Sep 04, 2015 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Differs considerably from its prequel while maintaining the same thrill throughout.
Feb 14, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isaac Asimov was 31 when he first published the SF classic Foundation in 1951. The next year he came out with the sequel, Foundation and Empire.

Unlike many series these days, or even a traditional series or trilogy (which this would be for 30 years) the first part, introducing readers to Hari Seldon and psychohistory and to the beginning of Seldon’s millennia plan, was more of a prequel to the larger scope and more interesting plot brought out in Foundation and Empire.

The leaders of the Foundati
Isaac Asimov based Foundation and Empire on Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; if you're in any doubt, consider the following lines from his well-known poem "The Foundation of SF Success":
So success is not a mystery, just brush up on your history, and borrow day by day.
Take an Empire that was Roman and you'll find it is at home in all the starry Milky Way.
With a drive that's hyperspatial, through the parsecs you will race, you'll find that plotting is a breeze,
With a tiny bit of cribbin' from
Sep 14, 2015 Denisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction hardcore fans. Foundation hardcore fans
Foundation and Empire is an excellent continuation. For those who wanted more reliable characters, you will find them here. For those who enjoyed the hard psychology behind the first book, you will find that here too but briefly. I still like Foundation more, but this second installment goes into a more classical sci-fi direction without losing its philosophical serious plot. Still a very intelligent book, with an incredible pace and perfect exposition. An essential read if you liked the first b ...more
Split into two stories instead of many like the first book, this one feels a lot more streamlined and the Foundation has met two of its greatest foes.

One of which was expected, and one that wasn't.

The path back to stable galactic civilization is a tortuous one. The foundation always knew that it would one day have to face against the Empire, and it did, and that story was very interesting.

But the Mule?

Well, he's just fascinating. And iconic. And perhaps a bit overdone ever since then, because,
Nandakishore Varma
The saga continues, with the Foundation coming up against the unexpected. We are sharply reminded that psychohistory is a probabilistic science and can fail against the unpredictable.

Edit to add:

I was thinking of the mutant, Mule, who upset the carefully planned Foundation applecart.

Yes, there's very little one can do against unexpected mutants! ;)


Another one of my reviews which has proved prophetic today. I am getting so good at this so as to frighten myself.
Feb 14, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I am baffled as to why I liked this book and the previous one in the series, at least I am baffled as to how to explain it. This is about as conceptual as it gets. There is no protagonist, or maybe the protagonist is the human race, which might sound kind of original and exciting, but it really isn't. The characters themselves don't really get that much characterization, they are pawns in a game with no players and they're only "on stage" for a brief episode and then the epic sweep of time swats ...more
May 11, 2014 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Continuing from my review of Foundation (book 1) just a few days ago, this is my take on volume 2 of the iconic original trilogy. The title Foundation and Empire is something of a misnomer as the Galactic Empire has already faded in this book and its function is more like a prop than a player. When I first looked at the titles of the books in this trilogy in my teens I was also a little confused that Second Foundation is actually the third book! Still, at least I didn't make the mistake of readi ...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
The laws of history are as absolute as the laws of physics, and if probabilities of error are greater, it is only because history does not deal with as many humans as physics does atoms.
p. 96

Often, the best direction to take an episodic series built around a fantastical or science fictional idea is to use the first, or first few, installments to establish the concept and central mechanic and, after that’s done, to start fucking with it. We need a few Superman stories (although these days a vigne
I didn't like the first novel in this series, Foundation, at all. It was fragmentary at best, mind-numbingly boring at worst. I am surprised that people say that these are the novels that turned them on to science fiction--if it were me, I would have run screaming in directly the opposite direction.

Please don't take this to mean that I don't like and admire Asimov--I do! I really enjoyed the collection of stories in I, Robot (and yes, okay, I loved the movie too, and a lot of that had to do wit
Feb 24, 2011 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
(Cross-posted to my sci-fi blog, Android Dreamer.)

Having now read three of Isaac Asimov's and been thoroughly disappointed by two of them, I feel comfortable in saying that in my opinion Asimov is a writer of great ideas and worlds with rather poor actual execution. Foundation and Empire is a terribly boring novel. The series as a whole is high concept, with one of the more memorable characters of the medium in Hari Seldon, but I feel as though the first book is really all that is necessary.

Ariane Nazemi
Nov 25, 2012 Ariane Nazemi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5 stars. Part two of the classic Foundation Trilogy. This is class science fiction at its best and is a really fun series to re-visit every now and then. Highly Recommended!!

Voted to the Locus Poll of All Time Great Science Fiction Novels.
Muddle head
Jan 03, 2013 Muddle head rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Asimov fans
Recommended to Muddle head by: Claussius
Shelves: sci-fi
Alright here it is finally. I might end up complaining about a lot of things in this book, but its only because i love Asimov's books a lot and i like them to be nothing short of perfect!

Taking off from where it is left in Foundation, this book can be divided in to two parts - Before Mule and After Mule.

Before Mule - the story is about the 4th Seldon Crisis - the attack of the Empire on the Foundation and the subsequent rise of the Foundation (aka downfall of Empire) as the most dominant r
Jul 03, 2011 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's been a long time since I actually finished a book I hated through and through as much as I hated F&E, but I was determined that if I was going to give this a bad review I had to go ahead and read the entire thing to justify the rating in the face of those who feel one has to read an entire novel to have a valid opinion of its quality. Normally when I know after ten pages that I'm going to genuinely dislike a book I don't read much further.

I was hoping this would be better than Foundatio
Daniel Gonçalves
To fully appreciate this book - or series of novels - it is advisable to shift the focus and adapt to the times in which it was written.

The 1950's were booming with eagerness to explore the universe and conquer the worlds. Yet, Asimov talks about the distant future in the "Foundation" saga. By trying to predict a luminous, exciting reality for human kind, he might have gotten slightly out of control, in my view. What astounds me, is the realization that he was having a lot of fun while writing
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foundation and Empire has quite a bit of immediacy, and if the prose isn't sparkling, it is always sufficient for the story Asimov's trying to tell. I'd never run out and quote a line, rapturously. But I'd almost always be willing to sit down and spend some time with him. And so it is with this one. Which I had read before, but wasn't sure until I sat down, and then, was more than willing to reread.

Note: The rest of this review is being withheld due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and
Steven Peterson
Jun 20, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Foundation and Empire," the second in a trilogy of classic science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov, is a must read for historians of science fiction. For those who like science fiction itself, this volume is also valuable. Asimov can madden, especially in his early novels, but his imagination is wonderful. His strength is conceptualizing systems (whether empires or cultures) and he often plays with big ideas.

I first read the trilogy while in college, and was fascinated. This triggered a long-la
Jan 11, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The original Foundation is the story of a galactic dark age; of a mighty interstellar empire crumbling from within and the attempt to stem the tide of barbarism using psycho-history, applying mathematical precision to complex social forces. Most of the conflicts involve the clashing motives of ambitious men (and yes, they're ALL men, it was the 50s after all) and the rolling tide of mass psychology. Foundation is a book that's big on ideas if short on character; it gave us The Encyclopedia Galac ...more
Nov 30, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
"Foundation and Empire" continues the galactic saga begun in "Foundation". (see previous review) "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", used to be a familiar phrase. In this novel, Asimov starts out having the Empire distrust the seemingly unstoppable growth of the Foundation. Where as the Foundation is at the rim of the galaxy and the Emperor at its heart you'd think that there was room enough for both. But no, it is the growing influence, economic power, and technological advancements of the Fou ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With each Foundation book I finish the more surprised I am at myself for not reading them sooner. They are pretty light reads to be honest. I got through the 386 pages of this one in maybe 7 hours total. And it was as captivating from start to finish as the first. But the scale of his stories are massive, spanning several universes and encompassing multiple facets of the societies contained within those universes. Asimov says volumes with very few words, which goes to show that the success of go ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Webb
I'm really enjoying the Foundation Trilogy but I can't help that niggling thing that this second book brings on more than the first. The women in it are portrayed as housewives and even the first (and so far only) woman that makes it as a proper character is constantly admired for her looks. There is an almost hilarious moment when an elder of a planet they visit is shocked and offended that she is allowed to sit and converse with men.

Why did he include a female leading character at all? Well th
Jan 25, 2008 Bill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Book 1 of this novel was an effort. The only reason I stuck with it was I had read in other reviews that Book II, The Mule, more than made up for it. Well, 50 pages into The Mule was when it struck me that I really didn't care anymore. So I flew ahead to the last two chapters just to cut to the chase and satisfy my curiousity of The Mule.
So, Asimov was a giant of SF huh? I can see how this series is classic; his vision of humanity's political progressions and cycles are certainly impressive, and
Jason M Alexander
Continuing the saga of The Foundation and the Seldon crises, Terminus and the greater galaxy must deal with internal strife and an external force that even psychohistory could not be expected to account for.

*If the sentence above sounded like gubbledy-gook do not worry, you did not just have a stroke (well... you probably didn't [I can not really know, because I am not in your presence, nor would it do you any good if I were for I am not a medical professional), this is just where one finds them
Micah Sisk
I'm afraid I'm finding Asimov, and this series in particular, to be overrated. Its obviously dated prose aside, this still reads very much like pulp SF: the plot advances in skittering jumps, dancing forward as if there's not much to tell of any particular epoch of the Old Empire or the Foundation itself; its characters are drawn as thinly as possible, seeming almost to be an annoyance to the author; the dialog is unconvincing and contrived.

As for the plot, well its only saving graces are in ove
Chasm Myth
May 28, 2016 Chasm Myth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The clash against the Empire was inevitable. The Foundation was small but more advanced, while the Empire was massive as fuck. This conflict though, seem to me, only served as introduction to show the extent of Hari Seldon's psychohistory; the people of the Foundation really put much faith in it. Such reliance of "scientific" prophecy made them arrogant and complacent. The Foundation grew too big and began to possess some traits of ugly bureaucracy that they opposed.

Bayta, a female character in
Sergio González
Apr 28, 2013 Sergio González rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading the Foundation books in order of publication.

People should not expect anything more than two dimensional characters in a space opera; especially if they are reading this book after Foundation #1. The characters are only here to serve the plot, and I am fine with that.

Normally I wouldn't complain about an obvious plot twist, but this is a book with no character development and almost no action. By writing such a cerebral book, one would assume that Asimov was expecting readers to be
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Goodreads Librari...: Please merge 3 19 Oct 10, 2015 05:08AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Foundation and Empire 34 69 Feb 24, 2015 02:05AM  
Isaac Asimov Novels: Foundation and Empire 1 2 Jan 05, 2015 02:13AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780553293371 4 29 Oct 04, 2012 05:02PM  
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  • Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, #2)
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
More about Isaac Asimov...

Other Books in the Series

Foundation (Publication Order) (7 books)
  • Foundation (Foundation #1)
  • Second Foundation (Foundation #3)
  • Foundation's Edge (Foundation #4)
  • Foundation and Earth (Foundation #5)
  • Prelude to Foundation
  • Forward the Foundation (Foundation: Prequel #2)

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“Society is much more easily soothed than one's own conscience.” 36 likes
“The laws of history are as absolute as the laws of physics, and if the probabilities of error are greater, it is only because history does not deal with as many humans as physics does atoms, so that individual variations count for more.” 25 likes
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