Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  7,132 ratings  ·  86 reviews
With the permission - and blessing - of the Asimov estate, three of today's bestselling SF writers, Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin, have conspired (like the original Foundation!) to complete the epic saga the beloved Grand Master left unfinished. The Second Foundation Trilogy begins with Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear, a voyage to the very beginnings of th ...more
Library Binding, 616 pages
Published May 30th 2000 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This first entry into the Foundation (2) Trilogy by other authors is a mess. I would not have finished it except that I wanted to read the additional entries in the series. I had read reader reviews before I started this book, so I was prepared for it to have problems.

There are three major strands in the story. One is the attempt by the Emperor to nominate Hari as first minister. Cleon knows of Hari's work on psycohistory. This story winds its way through the 578 pages and is a relatively cogent
So it took me over a month to get through this disaster of a book, and I ended up skimming some of it just to get through it. If you haven't read the original Foundation books, SPOILER ahead.

The entire reason this book exists is to show, in detail, Seldon's ascent from academian to First Minister. There was an almost-interesting sidebar about how another species helped him form his theory of psychohistory. All in all, not a book worth reading.

The first part of the book starts out good: it's remi
TLDR: don't bother reading this book. It's bad sci-fi, unnecessarily length, full of a poor story and poor science.

I didn't like this book. I tried to like it. I rather enjoy the original Asimov trilogy, but I gave up on finishing Foundation's Fear.

Reasons I didn't like the book:
1) Foundation's Fear contains a contrived argument between sims (artificial intelligences) who represent Faith and Reason. Joan of Arc represented Faith, and Voltaire represented Reason.
2) Hari Seldon and Dors Venabili
Josh Meares
Benford was given a tough task: trying to flesh out Hari Seldon's conception of psychohistory. Benford's answer is the scientist propaganda of our day: that humanity can be understood more deeply by looking at our simian ancestors. Benford did wrestle somewhat admirably with the idea of the self as a self-organizing, emergent property of the complexity of the brain and with emotions as endemic to all animals.
However, Benford is not a very good writer, there were several times when I was simply
I had not even known about the second Foundation trilogy until last month, when I became an instant fan of the author of the third book in the set — so much so that I purchased that third book after reading complementary comments about it about the Internet, but it occurred to me that it made no sense to read the third book in a trilogy before reading the preceding two, so I sought this one out at the library, despite the fact that I had noticed many of those reviewing comments expressing praise ...more
Peter Hutkins

"is not canon"

This book is written in a much different tone than that of Asimov's, and that takes a toll on the feel. By taking the Empire and Robot legacies and projecting onto it, I think Benford creates a distraction from the Asimov universe, not a development or refinement. It leaves me with the same slightly-betrayed feeling as if Turner Classic Movies produced a colorized spinoff called "Casablanca: the Paris years".

This book contains complicated mishmashes of ideas and philosophical tre
The original series was so much better. I don't know what I don't like about this one: lack of action? or is it the things that the author introduces into this series: like computers, the Mesh, simulations, the theory of psychohistory... meh. don't know if I should keep on with the next books in this trilogy.
Daniel McGill
How can you write a tribute to one of the greatest works of science fiction by one of the greatest science fiction authors and start out by throwing his physics out the window and replacing them with your own? Don't bother reading this one.
Jan 04, 2010 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Foundation books
Shelves: science-fiction
I've never ready any Greg Benford, so I didn't know what to expect. I found that Greg Benford does not write like Asimov. I also found that that doesn't matter.

If you're a fan of Asimov's Foundation series, as I have been since I first read it in high school, you will enjoy this book. It tells the story of how Hari Seldon came to be First Minister of the Empire. There is a lot of interaction between Hari and Dors, which I enjoyed. Bear writes with a playfulness that works well with the story. A
Eoghann Irving
I approached this book with considerable trepidation. I'm a big fan of Asimov's original Foundation Trilogy but was not overly impressed by his later additions to the series like Foundation's Edge where he attempted to tie the Foundation stories in with his robot stories.

So, knowing that this book took place prior to the setting up of the Foundations, that it featured robots and that it was written not by Asimov (for obvious reasons) but by Gregory Benford, who's books I had never read…..

I was,
Tim Weakley
I really failed to get into this book. I understand that Benford wasn't trying to duplicate Asimov's style. It's just that as a work in this series it didn't grab me or add into the arc of the story. The entire aspect of the sims of Voltaire and Joan of Arc was not to my taste. The portrayal of Seldon and Daneel did not live up to the other books in the series even with a large gift of creative room for the author on the part of the reader.

Maybe the other "extar books" will be better.
Terrible continuation of the Foundation series. What was the point of this book? I'm still wondering months later. There are so many boring side discussions that have no relevance that I found myself skimming towards the end. The plot never really develops, and although I liked the ending, it left me wondering why Hari didn't just make it happen 400 pages earlier. Thoroughly unenjoyable, even to a big Foundation fan. I hear that the next two (Chaos and Triumph) are good though.
The Seldon sections are pretty decent, but the entire Joan/Voltaire thing is unreadable drivel - my enjoyment of the book increased significantly around 75% in, after I just started skipping all the pieces about them, and I only wish I did this starting with page 1.
There were so many good ideas in this book, but I couldn't get interested in the plot until I was nearly 3/4 of the way done...then i stayed up all night to finish it.
Bruce Jones
Benford leads the trilogy with a smart, philosophic close look at Hari Seldon and the robots that make crucial moves in the Foundation era.
Jeremiah Johnson
This book was about 300 pages longer than it should have been. Entire sections of the book were pointless and very boring. Reading the chatpers with the "sims" were about as exciting as watching someone play the game of the same name...
Characters were very flawed too. Asimov describes Yugo as someone that is only interested in science, he has no political or other ambitions. For some reason, Benford turned him into an annoying Dahlite zealot.
The parts where he tried to explain the science was di
amazingly true to the brand and to the original author. asimover than asimov.
Peter Nys
Too longwinded, even boring at times. Doesn't fit in with the rest of the Foundation series with respect to style and subject. Why this subplot about the Voltaire and Joan of Arc sims that goes on and on and on and has little or no connection with the rest of the story or the series? I'm not sure yet if I will end this book.

By accident I read the second part of this second trilogy first ("Foundation and Chaos" by Greg Bear). That one is much better, but I kept wondering why those very un-Foundat
Spandan Sharma
Well well well...I'm not entirely sure what Mr. Benford started out to do when he agreed to take up this project, or what the Asimov Foundation was thinking in making the decision to commission this work. Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe is pretty complex and maze-like already, for the uninitiated, and Benford's hammed-up attempt at expanding the universe to explain protagonist Hari Seldon's backstory is likely to leave anyone except for the most hardcore Foundation fan severely confused.

My bi
What an odd book. I don't know that I expected it to be a carbon copy of one of Asimov's novels in the series, or even one that sounded like a Foundation novel, but what I found here was very different from my expectations.

For one thing, Foundation's Fear has better characterization than anything Asimov ever wrote. The closest I ever got to feeling for any of the characters was during Dors' death in Forward the Foundation, and even then, it was more about the sense of loss than it was about how
Roddy Williams
This is the first in a posthumous trilogy sanctioned – if not instigated – by the Asimov Estate which is actually a prequel to Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation trilogy, one of the landmark SF works of the mid-twentieth century.
It’s good to know that three tried and tested authors (Benford, Greg Bear and David Brin) have taken on what must be a daunting challenge.
As good a writer as Asimov was, his best writing was completed in his early life and his later novels, which fed very much on his es
It appears that my forray into the Foundation novels is not at the close I had feared. It continues, just not with Asimov at the helm.

And therein lies the problem.

My original review of this book was simply going to read, "No. Just no." I decided to give my review readers a bit more.

This book takes place in between the time when Hari Seldon marries Dors and creates the Mathist department at Streeling University and when he is installed as First Minister for Emperor Cleon. Notably absent in this t
Primera trilogía de la lista de libros de 2008 – 2009. Hace por lo menos 20 años leí la primera trilogía de la Fundación, escrita por Isaac Asimov, de la que me quedó un buen recuerdo. Años más tarde encontré está nueva trilogía de varios autores que me gustaban bastante. En su momento la compré, y hasta ahora no había encontrado el momento para leerla, pero ese momento ha llegado.

Le he dado 3 estrellas a esta primera parte, que me ha resultado entretenida y me ha gustado recordar como veía a es

Dec 06, 2007 Walter rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science or sociology buffs
Parts of the book were slow and many of the characters were not well developed. However, two characters were very well developed and it was a joy reading any scene where they were present: the electronically 'resurrected' computer ghosts of Voltaire and Joan of Arc. These two characters were wonderful, stole the show from the main characters and were great all around.

Much of my delight from these two characters comes from one big scene. The people of the future generally fe
Az Alapítvány-univerzum első olyan kötete, melyet Asimov halálát követően a sci-fi műfaj egy másik jeles alkotója jegyez. Benford a könyvhöz fűzött utószavában részletes beszámol mindazon dilemmákról és nehézségekről, melyek toronyházként magasodnak mindazon szerzők előtt, akik az asimovi mestermű egy-egy repedését kívánják kitölteni úgy, hogy a mű egésze szemernyit se sérüljön, sem tartalmi, sem esztétikai szempontból. Kiállta-e Benford ezt a próbát? Nos, erre a kérdésre bizonyára ezerféle vála ...more
Phil Giunta
This is the first book in a trilogy that follows Isaac Asimov's acclaimed Foundation series. Gregory Benford's background in physics comes through in overwrought detail when describing the technology and science of the Trantorian Empire. The pacing is uneven and stultifying in some sections but his action scenes move swiftly and you get a true sense of the breadth of the galaxy that Asimov painted so beautifully in his original works.

I think clearly, Benford tried to remain true to the characte
Kathy Chung
i was delighted when i found this book. unfortunately, it's pale compared to the original .

what i didnt like about are :-

-too lengthy with too many unnecessary things added in.

-the above caused the story seems to be jumping here and there.

i guess the the author has tried his best. i tried liking this book but sorry it's a no for me.
J. David  Knecht
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm a fan of some of Benford's prior work and loved the original Foundation series, so I had high hopes for this novel. Unfortunately, I was mostly disappointed in this book.

The parts that focused on the original characters were generally good, but there was too much space devoted to the "sim" characters that Benford introduced. They seemed to have promise at first, but way too much space was devoted to them, disrupting the narrative flow of the book.

Overall, the book seemed disorganized and wa
Like many of the reviewers, I found the "sims" sub-plot quite irritating at first, and I wasn't entirely convinced by the attempt to integrate it with the main plot. But it was good to be back with Hari on Trantor :-)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)
  • Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2)
  • Foundation's Friends
  • Utopia (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #3)
  • Forward the Foundation (Foundation: Prequel, #2)
  • Odyssey (Isaac Asimov's Robot City, #1)
  • Cyborg (Isaac Asimov's Robot City, #3)
  • The Norby Chronicles (Norby, #1-2)
  • Venus
  • Suspicion (Isaac Asimov's Robot City, #2)
  • Beyond The Fall Of Night
Gregory Benford is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine.

As a science fiction author, Benford is best known for the Galactic Center Saga novels, beginning with In the Ocean of Night (1977). This series postulates a galaxy in which sentient organic life is in constant warfare wit
More about Gregory Benford...

Other Books in the Series

Second Foundation Trilogy (4 books)
  • Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2)
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)
  • Le Second Cycle de Fondation
Timescape In the Ocean of Night (Galactic Center, #1) Great Sky River (Galactic Center, #3) Across the Sea of Suns (Galactic Center, #2) Tides of Light (Galactic Center, #4)

Share This Book

“factotums” 0 likes
“Plaster holo screens against a mountain a full kilometer high, covering it until it glitters with a half million dancing images. Each holo used a quarter of a million pixels to shape its image, so the array musters immense representational power. Now compress those screens on a sheet of aluminum foil a millimeter thick. Crumple it. Stuff it into a grapefruit. That is the brain, a hundred billion neurons firing at varying intensities. Nature had accomplished that miracle,” 0 likes
More quotes…