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Foundation and Empire (Foundation (Publication Order) #2)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  87,879 ratings  ·  1,342 reviews
Led by its founding father, the great psycho-historian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation 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 g ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Turtleback Books (first published 1952)
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blake
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
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Michelle
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
Apatt
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 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
...more
Matt
(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.

Asim
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Pamela
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
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Stephen
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.
Greg
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
...more
Aditya
Jan 03, 2013 Aditya rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Asimov fans
Recommended to Aditya by: Claussius
Shelves: sci-fi
4/1/13
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
...more
Ariane Nazemi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Peterson
"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
...more
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
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Onefinemess
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
...more
Rob Hermanowski
I re-read this classic sci fi book as an audiobook. This is the second of Asimov's Foundation novels, but the 12th chronological book (out of 15) in his complete Robot/Empire/Foundation universe (see http://kaedrin.com/fun/asimov/aguide.... for reading order). As the story deepens, I think Asimov's writing improves (although most of his early writings struggle mightily with his depiction of women). I would rank this 4 1/2 stars if allowed on GR. Expertly read again by the great narrator Scott Br ...more
T4ncr3d1
E' passato un secolo dall'ultima, e in questo secolo, nella Fondazione, si stanno ripetendo tutti gli errori che hanno determinato il crollo del vecchio Impero. L'inerzia! La nostra classe dirigente segue una sola legge: non cambiar nulla. Despotismo! Conoscono solo una sola regola: la forza. Squilibri economici! Hanno un solo desiderio: aggrapparsi ai loro beni!

Capitolo di mezzo, tappa intermedia nel grande viaggio, questa volta nasce come raccolta di due soli grossi racconti, che dividono esat
...more
Micah R 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
...more
Scott
This book flows a lot better than the first one. This one only has 2 parts, instead of 5, which makes it so it feels less like reading a series of short stories and more like an actual novel. There is also less abrupt scene changes which makes it easier to follow and less confusing. But, the main story in this one, which is part 2, was really boring. The whole story was built around rising action and suspense but the climax was so dumb. The author was trying to surprise the reader at the end but ...more
Sarah
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
Mike
Nov 30, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Joseph
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
Sergio
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
...more
Donovan
Oct 25, 2007 Donovan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists
I hated Foundation and Empire. I was more forgiving of Foundation when I read it because I was consciously trying to give the series a chance. Slogging through F&E all I could think was, “If nothing an individual does impacts the outcome then why should I care?” Heck, I even basically agree with that statement as a philosophy, but it doesn’t mean I want to be confronted with my universal insignificance in my pleasure reading. Plus, it just gave a futile sense to the whole business. I believe ...more
Tom Lee
Hmm. These are getting a little tedious. I was hoping that the Mule would be an answer to the basic problem that psychohistory makes no fucking sense. Alas, no: (view spoiler). The eventual twist is obvious the moment it's set up, but takes foooooorever to be revealed. And when it is, it's via a big speech (again: Randian). Which prefaces the revelation that the last two books you read were a distraction from the main action!

I can see why this series is infl
...more
Alejandro Teruel
Leí las tres principales novelas de esta saga clásica hace casi cuarenta años cuando era estudiante, aprendía estadísticas en la universidad y leía esas vastas arquitecturas para la historia construidas por Arnold Toynbee (A Study of History, escrito entre 1934 y 1961) y en menor grado Edward Gibbons (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776-1788), Oswald Spengler (La decadencia de Occidente, 1918-1923)y Giambattista Vico (La nueva ciencia, 1725-1740). ¿Cómo podía no llamarme la atención e ...more
Scarlett
So, yeah, I'm struggling to finish the Foundation trilogy, but I'm determined to do so. I just finished this one and I have more or less the same criticisms I had with the first one. What I can say for Foundation and Empire, though, is that it feels more like a novel than a collection of short stories and I appreciate Asimov's attempt to provide us with some consistency vis-a-vis the characters we're following, but same as before, there's such a lack of development for these people that I honest ...more
William
A quick, entertaining read to be certain, though it doesn't seem as necessary as the first volume. This collects two of the eight stories known collectively as the Foundation Trilogy, and the two pieces are not created equal.

The first is an able enough parable that feels similar enough in tone and dispersion of ideas to the first book. It is brief, but it feels as though it belongs.

The second piece, twice and long and by far the longest story presented thus far, feel like Asimov trying to work i
...more
Landon
Another good read, but distinctly different from the first book in the series. Whereas that book skipped over centuries with brief vignettes, this one focuses on just two pivotal stories, each taking place over the course of (it is presumed) no more than a few years, though they are separated by a century or so. The book differs not only structurally from the first, but stylistically - I said that "Foundation" was written in an austere style with no discernible authorial voice, but "Foundation a ...more
Monk
Much better than the first in the series. Closer to an actual novel (or two novellas) instead of loosly grouped stories. Asimov explores human psychology more in this installment, examining what happens to people who believe they are destined for triumph and have to face the crises of faith when the foundation of their beliefs proves to be false or faulty.
Neo Marshkga
There is a saying which states that the sequels are always worse than the original work. This is something that does not reflect Asimov's work. Having said this, i must warn you that this might contain spoilers, i don't tend to add spoilers to my reviews, but i felt i had to in this case, so be warned.
Foundation and Empire is the second part of the Foundation trilogy. Here we are presented with the Foundation as it was left in the previous books. How Traders have real power and control over the
...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Foundation and Empire 34 63 Feb 24, 2015 02:05AM  
Isaac Asimov Novels: Foundation and Empire 1 1 Jan 05, 2015 02:13AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780553293371 4 29 Oct 04, 2012 05:02PM  
  • The Dosadi Experiment (ConSentiency Universe, #2)
  • Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3)
  • Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2)
  • Redemption Ark (Revelation Space, #2)
  • The Songs Of Distant Earth
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)
  • The Green Hills of Earth
  • Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, #2)
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2)
  • Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy, #1)
  • The Gap Into Madness: Chaos and Order (Gap, #4)
  • The Stars My Destination
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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
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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 (Foundation: Prequel, #1)
  • Forward the Foundation (Foundation: Prequel, #2)
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3) The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1)

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“Society is much more easily soothed than one's own conscience.” 25 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.” 18 likes
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