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

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  102,597 Ratings  ·  1,647 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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Spectra Books (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
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
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
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! ;)
Feb 14, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Muddle head
Jan 03, 2013 Muddle head rated it really liked it
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
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.
Jul 03, 2011 Greg rated it did not like it
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
Steven Peterson
Jun 20, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
"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
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
Jan 18, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
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
Nov 18, 2012 Onefinemess rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
Joe Soltzberg
May 11, 2016 Joe Soltzberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty damn good sequel to an excellent novel. Foundation is one of my favorite books and I was worried that the sequel would be a let down (kind of like how Dune Messiah was to Dune). I was pleasantly surprised, however. Foundation and Empire picks up soon after the ending of Foundation and the action is quick to resume. The prose style is largely the same and we once again find a host of different characters trying to combat subsequent Seldon Crises. The style does vary a bit in the seco ...more
Micah Sisk
Dec 28, 2014 Micah Sisk rated it liked it
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
Apr 24, 2014 Scott rated it it was ok
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
Sergio González
Apr 28, 2013 Sergio González rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2007 Donovan rated it did not like it
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Please merge 3 15 Oct 10, 2015 05:08AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Foundation and Empire 34 68 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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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.” 32 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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