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Foundation (Foundation (Publication Order) #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  256,782 Ratings  ·  5,118 Reviews
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists ...more
Published April 28th 1983 by Grafton (first published 1951)
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Tony Stop thinking of it as a modern day book. There is very little character development, which so many people swear by. Don't try to connect to any of…moreStop thinking of it as a modern day book. There is very little character development, which so many people swear by. Don't try to connect to any of his characters. They aren't meant to be connected with. Try reading it as if you were listening to your grandfather tell you a tale. Isaac Asimov's ability to tell an extremely compelling story without the use of dynamic characters is quite literally mind blowing.(less)
Elise M. I disagree. I read Foundation before the prequels were written. The trilogy stands on its own. The prequels are on my to-read list forty years after I…moreI disagree. I read Foundation before the prequels were written. The trilogy stands on its own. The prequels are on my to-read list forty years after I read the original trilogy.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christy
Honestly, I don't get why this book/series is so popular. There are some interesting elements to it (for instance, the use of religion as a tool of mass control and the implicit resultant argument that religion is no more than a fraud, "the opiate of the people," after all), but the book gave me little to enjoy or dig into. The forces of the novel are broad, historical, dealing with masses of people; this means that there is little to no room for individual characters here and little to be done ...more
Kane
Jul 09, 2011 Kane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Foundation. The name is apt.

Isaac Asimov's sprawling scifi tale is the rock on which much of today's space opera is built. Truer scifi historians than me would cite the late 1920s and pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories and E. E. "Doc" Smith as the DNA donors that spawned a thousand space operas. They would be right, but Asimov's fame towers above all others. His 1952 story of the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire is space opera's... foundation.

Unfortunately, the analogy continues. Fou
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Aug 23, 2015 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Absolutely Loved it! Hail Asimov! He is brilliant! His writing is enchanting and filled with awe inspiring genius. Work of sheer Ingenuity! Height of Inventiveness!


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Bookworm Sean
Apr 21, 2016 Bookworm Sean is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I’ve read an embarrassingly small amount of science fiction in my life. It’s time to change that; it’s time to read a classic science fiction novel that, judging by the blurb alone, clearly was an influence on Star Wars. This shall be interesting!
Thomas
Nov 26, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction fans
Recommended to Thomas by: Mats Henriksson
The Foundation trilogy (three first books) and the Foundation series (all seven) are often regarded as the greatest set of Science Fiction literature ever produced. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Isaac Asimov was among the world's best authors, an accomplished scientist, and he was also a genius with an IQ above 170, and it shows in the intelligently concocted but complex plots and narrative. There are already 331 reviews for this Science Fi ...more
Ken-ichi
An amusing read, but I think I still prefer Brin and Simmons when it comes to epic space opera. Probably the most interesting thing about this book (and, I assume, the rest of the series) is the millennia-spanning time scale of its narrative, which Asimov handles by establishing Hari Seldon's statistical prophesy, and then dropping in at critical junctures to investigate how individuals contrive to fulfill that prophecy. It's kind of a fun model, always knowing the general direction of the plot ...more
Simona Bartolotta
3.5

"Call it idealism. Call it an identification of myself with that mystical generalization to which we refer by the term, 'humanity.'"


I read exactly fourteen novels and countless short-stories written by this genius of a man (because people, he's a genius. Don't even start looking for a more fitting word, because you won't find any. He's a genius, period) and this is only the third time I rate one of his works less than four stars. The fact that this is happening with the first installment in t
...more
Tom
Dec 04, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has a grain of interest in Sci Fi
Recommended to Tom by: Me Mums
I highly recommend Foundation to anyone who professes to have a grain of interest in Sci-Fi. The political intrigue, religious undertones, innovative sci-fi thoeories, world building, and epic scope make Foundation one of the most worthy reads of speculative fiction.

The premise is that the genius, Harry Seldon, has created and perfected a new science, phychohistory, a form of advanced statistics, to the degree that he can mathematically predict and guide the future of extremely large population
...more
Denisse
Sep 17, 2015 Denisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction hardcore fans
Buddy Read at: Emma's Tea Party

The Foundation trilogy is considered to be the best Science Fiction series of all time. And with reason. This first book is what we can call a huge introduction to what is in my opinion and little experience the best sociological study ever put in fiction. There is no problem exposed in Foundation that cannot be transposed to our reality or history. As a warning I must say the book doesn’t have any kind of character development. It doesn’t even have a main characte
...more
Apatt
Sep 13, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Yes, I have read Foundation before, chances are you have too! However, for some reason I missed out on the later Foundation books from Foundation's Edge, I can barely remember who Hari Seldon is or why “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. So reread the series from the beginning it is then; no great hardship really, a fun time is already guaranteed, and the three volumes combined are shorter than a single book by Peter F. Hamilton.

The very first Foundation story was published in 1942
...more
Penny
There's a reason everyone recommends this trilogy. It really is that good. I flew through this (granted it really isn't long) and loved every second! It's essentially 5 short stories that follow one another and need to be read in order. I'm very keen to read the rest of the Foundation novels when I'm finished with my 2014 challenge.

The investigation of science, religion and trade, and how they can work together and against one another is remarkably well done. It was unusual to read Asimov sans
...more
Lyn
Feb 07, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this again after about a thirty year hiatus. I remember as a high schooler liking it, and I read and liked some of the sequels, but not entirely getting the full ideas presented.

After some time to grow up and mature, I think I can appreciate Asimov's vision better than before. Maybe it was the lack of much action that hindered my enjoyment as a teenager, but as an adult I really liked the concepts approached and the ideas put forth.

Great science fiction and very influential on the works
...more
Juliana Zapata
Apr 19, 2016 Juliana Zapata rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Creo el que es el libro que mas me he demorado en terminar, es indudablemente una obra magnífica de ciencia ficción, sin embargo, considero que este tipo de historias no son para todo el mundo.

Yo personalmente tengo que decir que se me hizo un poco tedioso, tengo muchos problemas con la política y este libro es una crítica política en su totalidad, por lo que me aburrí un poco leyéndolo, sin embargo debo recalcar lo bien escritos que estan los personajes, lo complejo y completo que es el mundo q
...more
Kevin Xu
Mar 18, 2015 Kevin Xu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where Science Fiction especially Space Opera first started. Any fan of Science Fiction has to read this, this is the father of all Science Fiction. Its why its called Foundation. It is the Foundation of science fiction.
Steven Harbin
Jun 03, 2012 Steven Harbin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classic science fiction
I just re-read this for about the 5th or 6th time, although this was probably the first time I've gone back to this volume in over a decade or even two. Asimov still holds up for me, though I can't say how much of that is nostalgia. Still, he's probably not for everyone, a little wordy at times, not much action. Even so the whole Foundation series was a major great concept when it first came out and I still recommend it to anyone who loves science fiction, especially "classic" science fiction. T ...more
Phrynne
This is a very interesting book full politics and intrigue. Actually not a lot really happens but the author provides a lot of food for thought. Some times I felt the writing was just a bit too dry and the characters a bit too bland. Overall however it is a classic piece of science fiction and I am happy I have read it.
Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. The epic scope of this series (e.g., a Galactic Empire spanning 25 million worlds and containing over a quadrillion people), the great characters, the fun story and the concept of psychohistory, which I think is one of the coolest concepts ever, make this an absolute must read for SF fans. It is just loads of fun. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Winner: Hugo Award for Best All Time Series (The Foundation Trilogy) (1966)
Voted onto the Locus Li
...more
Eric
Nov 12, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of classic sci-fi
Recommended to Eric by: Sword and Laser
It's always good to read something that helped mold a genre you love -- in the case of science fiction, that means reading Heinlein, Bradbury and Asimov. What's even better is when that classic turns out to be more interesting than anticipated.

In this particular case, that seems to be in spite of itself. It tries really hard to be very boring, in a number of ways.

1) Consistently telling instead of showing, to the extreme that there were literally no action sequences in the entire novel, a nove
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Alongside the Robots, the Foundation must be the most endearing (and enduring) thing that Asimov has created. Being the mathematics nut that I am, I enjoyed the whole concept of being able to predict human behaviour accurately statistically, given the size of the population was big enough. The discipline of psychohistory is presented with just enough uncertainty to make it credible. A terrific read!
Ben Babcock
I read the Foundation novels when I was younger, probably around the same time that I began getting into science fiction and fantasy in grades 7 and 8. I read a lot of Asimov, both because there was a lot of him in my suspiciously well-stocked public library and because … well, he wrote a lot of books. I read about the Foundation, psychohistory, his Three Laws of Robotics … everything and anything Asimov, if I could check it out with that brilliant plastic card, I would devour it. I can’t rememb ...more
José
Apr 09, 2016 José rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
English review soon.

4.5 estrellas: ¡Lo terminé! La reseña va otro día porque hoy es mi cumple (wiii), pero en pocas palabras me encantó y fue mucho menos pesado de lo que pensaba. Voy a esperar para seguir la trilogía porque son libros que hay que disfrutar y en este momento no tengo mucho tiempo para este tipo de lecturas :s.

Katie
Dec 21, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
A book that's more intriguing than good, I think. I get why it's a classic - the book is full of interesting ideas, and Asimov does a fun job in taking the large scale forces of earthly societies and transplanting them into space. It's very clear that he has a background in medieval studies, and this book could probably be subtitled "A Rather Negative View of Medieval History in Space." Psychohistory, while ridiculous, is a fun concept in the abstract. And it would not surprise me - if I knew mo ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
“PSYCHOHISTORY–...Gaal Dornick, using nonmathematical concepts, has defined psychohistory to be that branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli..”

Psychohistory is interesting but not as interesting as robo-psychology.

One of the reasons I love reading Asimov is that he is one of the few science fiction writers who do not make scientists look like fools. Most science fiction I’ve read or seen is about scientists releasing so
...more
Ryan
Dec 07, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good:
So many cool ideas, many of them extremely popular (and probably a bit worn) tropes in modern space opera. However it is almost certain that most of those tropes made their first appearances here - this was written over 70 years ago, and I haven't read anything older in the genre to know for sure. And since it spans the better part of two hundred years, it is nothing if not epic.

The Bad:
Having its genesis in a series of short stories featuring different main characters, there is little
...more
Brad
Apr 21, 2011 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an html thing!>

--i could have sworn i read this a decade ago, but now i don't know. something tells me i read an excerpt in a class sometime and thought i read the book. i didn't remember a fucking thing other than Hari Seldon

--c'mon ... Lucas is the most shameless thief since Shakespeare. Coruscant = Trantor. Don't even pretend it doesn't. And the Ewoks are stripped straight out of The Word for World is Forest.

--psychohistory is a load of crap, but a fun load of crap.

--Sherri told me that Fo
...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
"Somewhere in the fifty years just past is where the historians of the future will place an arbitrary line and say: 'This marks the Fall of the Galactic Empire.'"
p. 80

Foundation is The Book of Kells writ large. The amazing-but-made-up science of psychohistory determines that the Galactic Empire is crumbling and the impending Dark Age can only be, at best, shortened (from 30,000 years to 1,000) if all its expansive knowledge and learning are preserved and disseminated in just the right way. This
...more
Rick
May 30, 2007 Rick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fictioneers, psychology fans, history buffs
I first read this when I was 16, and it changed my life, giving me a whole new take on history and psychology and even math. I even tried a year as a psych major in college to see if the statistical approach was really the answer. Forty years later, I read it again, just to see what effect it would have. What I noticed was that the plot was carefully staged and not "fair" (in that the writer often kept some secret informaiton up his sleeve that the reader didn't know, but still it was a good rea ...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Apr 09, 2016 Magrat Ajostiernos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
¡Me ha gustado mucho! Mi parte preferida, la protagonizada por Salvor Hardin....
A ver si no tardo mucho en leer lo siguientes... :D
Arun Divakar
Jul 18, 2013 Arun Divakar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There has been volumes written about this work and its companion volumes. It has been called seminal,monumental and pathbreaking in the field of Sci-Fi. But after reading this, I found it to be outstanding in the amount of intellect that oozes from the book.

I do not wish to write a detailed dissection about the book but there are a few things that stood out for me. Firstly, all three of the male protagonists : Hober Mallow, Salvador Hardin and Hari Seldon are extremely sharp and far sighted. The
...more
Michael

It really is high time I review this sucker, even though I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. Even Hari Seldon doesn't know how I'm going to do it, but that's because individuals are hard to predict. He could tell you fer sure what's going to happen in 2012, though: whether or not we can expect Xenu's return, whether or not the Tea Party is going to win and realize they don't have a bloody clue how to lower taxes, whether or not the final battle between vampires and werewolves will happen, whate
...more
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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 and Empire (Foundation, #2)
  • 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)

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“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” 5327 likes
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