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The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation (Publication Order) #1-3)

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  55,632 ratings  ·  704 reviews
The Foundation Series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. The series is best known for the Foundation Trilogy, which comprises the books Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. In 1965, the Foundation Trilogy beat several other science fiction and fantasy series (including The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien) to receive a special Hugo Award...more
Hardcover, Book Club Omnibus, 679 pages
Published October 1st 1982 by Doubleday (first published 1951)
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Stephen
Love...is...Forever...
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CHAPTER ONE
The Foundation Trilogy
By Isaac Asimov

INTRODUCTION:

In my life, there have been three science fiction books/series that will always hold special shelf space in my heart’s library. The first, and the subject of this review, is The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. Yet, before I begin my history with this extraordinary story, let me briefly mention my other two great loves.

A. Dune:

The second of these pivotal SF relationships was with Dune, who I first met whil...more
Mark
When Isaac Asimov learned that the World Science Fiction Convention would be giving a special Hugo Award in 1966 for "Best All Time Series," he believed that the category had been created specifically to honor J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Indeed, for a modern reader, it's surprising to learn that Asimov's Foundation Trilogy was once so highly revered in the canon of speculative fiction that it beat Tolkien's masterpiece for the prize. Such are the fortunes of a genre built on the...more
Jan-Maat
The Foundation trilogy is made up from a series of short stories published between 1942 and 1953. At the dawn of American dominance Asimov as a fiction writer was inspired to write about decline and fall, rather like Edward Gibbon but with science-fiction as his medium.

Asimov was fond of locked door murder mysteries and this technique of creating a seemingly impossible situation and resolving it cleverly is one that he used in the Foundation series. The resolutions are clever. The series is enjo...more
Chris
Foundation (1951): Gigantic brain-warping grand science-fiction, this is as big as it gets, so big it's difficult to fully comprehend. From the first page of Chapter 1, "The Psychohistorians", which begins with a quote from the "Encyclopedia Galactica", beginning in the 11,998th year of the Galactic Era, you know that Isaac Asimov is going to be writing on the largest possible scale. Let's take a look at what type of a man would dare write on such a staggeringly gigantic scale:

IsaacAsimov
This is the most...more
Sedy
Jun 05, 2007 Sedy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with mind-numbing patience.
Ok, let's begin with the fact that I tackled this trilogy when I was 12. I'm sure that, were I to pick it up once more, my appreciation would grow exponentially... HOWEVER, as wonderful as Asimov is, he writes like an engineer. He's careful and methodical, and the plot that weaves through the Foundation series is unbelievably complex. If you've got the time, and you enjoy Sci-fi, go ahead and pick up Prelude and follow Hari's awesome adventure.
Ralph
La verdad es que es un libro bastante extenso (900 páginas de nada) y hay que empezarlo con ganas porque de lo contrario es muy posible que dejes la historia. Lo que sí os digo es que el osado lector que se atreva con el tocho de libro no desmerecerá su esfuerzo ya que, a medida que avanzas en la trama, te vas enganchando y solo deseas saber cómo acaba la historia.
En cuanto al autor, lo considero un genio, solo hay que ver lo que escribió y cómo lo escribió. Esta saga es de los años 50 y le da...more
Kyle
The Foundation Trilogy is widely considered one of the most influential science fiction series ever written - it even won a Hugo award for the best all-time series back in the 60's.

And I get it. I can see why it's so influential, mostly because I've read and seen the books and movies and television shows that have been influenced by it (I'm mostly talking about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Futurama, but there are countless others). Isaac Asimov has so many fantastic, interesting idea...more
Andy Wenman
I read some short stories by Asimov in High-School and although he never measured up to the likes Rohald Dahl or Kurt Vonnegut I seem to remember actually enjoying some of them, but there's no way I can pretend that this novel was anything other than awful. This is bad science fiction in every sense of the word, overly descriptive of irrelevant details, filled soulless characters all with the same emotionless analytical voice, events that seem to have no purpose and all take place in a world tha...more
Sean Mooney
Aug 29, 2007 Sean Mooney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, Sci Fi or Roman History
Shelves: sciencefiction
I have to write about this trilogy as a whole instead of each book individually because I think it is imperative to read all three in succession to truly appreciate the depth of Asimov's tale. I had not read any Asimov books when I picked up 'Foundation' but was unable to put each book down until they were finished. The only way to preserve the accumulated knowledge of a dying empire rests in the foundation of a new colony on the outskirts of the empire devoted solely to mathematics and science....more
liza
i read foundation in 1970, but i didn't even know the other books in the series existed until i was well into my teens.

by today's standards these books might seem weak for science fiction, but they are the Foundation upon which all of today's sf authors fed as youths. asimov was a great story teller.
Ben
I don't understand how someone can write something like this, so epic in scope, so much imagination. It's staggering to me.
Stefan Yates
I can understand why Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the building blocks of the genre of Science Fiction as we know it today and I can respect the quality of the material itself. This trilogy is well-written, grand in scope, and has a very interesting concept, however I found it to be very dull for long periods of time and took me much longer than usual to plod through.

Asimov has crafted his tale around a scientist who foresees the end the current structure of civilization and devises a p...more
Patrick
Am rereading these after 30+ years. The first still has the compelling ideas of psychohistory, although less developed than I had remembered, or would have liked. To Azimov's credit, the character of the Mule was still vivid enough in my memory that the second book lost most of its tension.

What I had forgotten was just how virulently misogynist and patriarchal these books are - it is kind of embarrassing given that he came of age when women had been working in factories, serving in war, and hold...more
Andreas
The series consists of seven books. In order of internal chronology:

* Prelude to Foundation
* Forward the Foundation
* Foundation
* Foundation and Empire
* Second Foundation
* Foundation’s Edge
* Foundation and Earth

This is truly one of SciFi’s classics. The original trilogy (starting with Foundation) is widely considered to be one of the finest SciFi series ever written. The rest of the books are of equally high quality, except (in my opinion) for Forward the Foundation, which seems more like...more
Valerie
I have to admit that I was only able to get through the first book of The Foundation Trilogy: Foundation.

This novel was not for me. It's obviously a highly revered, acclaimed novel in the science fiction genre - some say the BEST in the genre - and maybe it was too lofty a goal for my first sci-fi book.

On the plus side, I thought Asimov's ideas of what the future might be like were interesting: the study and application of psychohistory (using mathematics to predict how large numbers of people w...more
Penny
A great premise and a good read, but I think Asimov makes a wrong turn half-way through the Trilogy. Here's the set up: it is many thousands of years in the future, humanity has colonized the universe, and for 12,000 years, the Galactic Empire has reigned. A man called Hari Seldon, however, develops the science of psychohistory, and with it comes to predict the fall of the Empire and the coming of 30,000 years of chaos. He establishes the Foundation, a colony on the edge of the Empire, in such a...more
29alabs
No lean estos libros, en general es el clásico cliché de una profecía que tiene que ser cumplida y la mayor parte del libro se la pasan usando energía nuclear sin siquiera sufrir muertes significantes por cáncer, por si lo demás la prosa de Asimov realmente descriptiva y con increíbles personajes que todo el tiempo te mantienen la borde de suspenso pensando en sus acciones y con grandes rasgos de suma inteligencia, realmente no llena todo lo épico que puede realizarse en una galaxia.

Y Asimov se...more
Apatt
An iconic sci-fi trilogy that no sci-fi fans should miss. For anybody who want to get into reading sci-fi novels this trilogy is one of the best starting points.

Below are links to my reviews of the individual volumes (I doubt this omnibus edition is still in print):

1. Foundation
2. Foundation and Empire
3. Second Foundation

Cheers!
Victor
La humanidad ha conquistado la galaxia entera. Millones de sistemas y planetas a lo largo de toda la espiral están bajo su dominio formando el Imperio Galáctico, cuya capital se encuentra en Trántor; un mundo destinado únicamente a la burocracia de toda la galaxia y residencia del emperador.

Pero no todo es hegemonía. Hari Seldon, el mayor psicohistoriador de la historia predice mediante dicha ciencia la caída del imperio y un período de barbarie que durará varias decenas de milenios hasta que se...more
Drew
I read the Foundation Trilogy when I was a kid, probably in late grade school or early high school. I loved it then. I was a hard science fiction fan, and this book was a classic when I bought it. At some point, I lost or gave away my beloved copy. About five years ago, I decided I wanted to read the book again. I didn't want a digital version and I didn't want to go to the library. I wanted to own a physical copy. I also wanted the edition, or as close to it as I could find, that I originally r...more
Andrew Breslin
Asimov was a man so ahead of his time, I have to wonder whether he habitually showed up for trains and busses an hour, or maybe a few decades, early.

The Foundation stories were originally published beginning in the early 1940s, when everyone else writing science fiction was focused on gizmos and gadgets and space opera, envisioning a future full of flying cars, robots*, and ray guns (i.e.: variations on the Jetsons). Asimov, at the time little more than a brilliant, visionary child in his early...more
Tony
I'm not a historian. Not a lit major. Wasn't born in the pre-atomic era.

From an intellectual standpoint I can acknowledge that Asimov's Foundation and Robot series were, to pardon the pun, foundational works in the science fiction genre. That said, the series lacks the timeless quality of true classics.

The most positive thing I can say about Foundation is that it is within the realm of aspirational speculative science fiction writing - that is to say, it seeks to exam both human and sociologica...more
Jabberwocky
The first time I read this book, I was astounded and enthralled. The premise was interesting, and it was fascinating to watch as the struggle played out between the Foundation and the dying Empire, not to mention the mysterious hints of the 'Second Foundation' dropped here and there. There were also quite a few memorable quotes ('violence is the last refuge of the incompetent') and characters that I wanted to read about.

The second time I tried to read this book... I just didn't buy the premise a...more
Jeremy
At times this seemed more like a giant thought experiment than a fictional trilogy. Asimov's idea of a galaxy wide civilization that revolves around large social and economic pressures which are manipulated by an organization of social and physical scientists seems sort of like an academic wet dream. Yet in focusing on the workings of the Foundation's convoluted, (though always conveniently explained at the last minute) realpolitiking, he also shows that science fiction can do more than just be...more
Jeffrey
It's hard to review a book that spans 500 years of human history. In the introduction to the trilogy, Asimov writes that in the 1980s before he started writing the final Foundation story, he hadn't thought of the series in so long he went back and read the books again. "I read it with mounting uneasiness," he writes. "I kept waiting for something to happen, and nothing ever did. All three volumes, all the nearly quarter of a million words, consisted of thoughts and of conversations. No action. N...more
Phoenix
I realize that these novels were written in the 40s/50s but if I'm not mistaken women did exist back then, so I can't figure out why there are so few female characters in this series. And they are all lovers, mothers or daughters, there for the smart men to manipulate or find comfort in.
Honestly the trilogy felt like a spy novel, too much politics and not enough science fiction for my taste. The Galaxy is the boys' playground and it doesn't really matter what happens to it, as long as these powe...more
Thomas
An emanantly readable book in the science fiction genre. Of most Asimov's books, this one stands out as him at him best.
There are elements of this book which deal with behavioral science as regards group dynamics, and though the premise of being able to predict the future through this statistical means may not be realistic, I do think it holds relevance to some of the sadder elements of humanity - such as our propensity to repeat history, and likely our inability as a whole to change our path.
B...more
Eugene Caputi
Dullsville. I read it when I was 12 and didn't get a thing out of it. Then in my 20's I thought I missed something and so I read the trilogy again. Nope. It's just the work of a hoary old science nerd who didn't have to build tension, write interesting space battles, define characters or anything that makes a good, memorable read. Why not? Because in them days, all science fiction writers had to do was put science into a book and it was science fiction.

Anytime they bandy about the idea of makin...more
Broodingferret
This collection has been in my "to read" stack for ages, and for that reason I was a little leery when I started it. Despite being a prolific reader, I'm only now getting around to reading a number of "must read classics" and something I've noticed is that, for reasons that vary depending on the book, I would have appreciated and enjoyed many of these "classics" had I read them at a younger age, when my reading tastes weren't quite so complex. I was pleased to see that The Foundation Trilogy doe...more
Nathan
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Goodreads Librari...: Isbn disagreement 8 97 Jul 14, 2014 10:26AM  
New introduction by Paul Krugman 8 65 Jul 11, 2014 06:09AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect Page Count on ISBN 0385188307 2 14 Sep 30, 2013 06:30AM  
science fiction 6 33 Sep 14, 2013 07:58AM  
Hitchhiking Acros...: Psychohistory 4 32 Jun 27, 2013 12:20AM  
Dead Poets Society: The Foundation Trilogy 1 8 Feb 04, 2012 12:57PM  
Goodreads Librari...: 0 pages? 2 139 Aug 25, 2011 03:46PM  
  • The Great Dune Trilogy
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  • The Martian Chronicles/The Illustrated Man/The Golden Apples of the Sun
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  • Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga, #2)
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  • The Winds of Dune (Heroes of Dune, #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
More about Isaac Asimov...
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1)

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