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Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,066 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction.It is the monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of psychohistory. Now, with the permission -- and blessing -- of the Asimov estate, the epic saga continues.

Fate -- and a cruel Emper
ebook, 624 pages
Published February 10th 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1987)
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Sep 27, 2008 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pans, 2008-read
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
Jun 28, 2011 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 08, 2012 Calvin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Feb 19, 2013 JBradford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2008 Karina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unsorted
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
Aug 04, 2011 Daniel McGill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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.
Jul 30, 2011 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tausif Shahriyer
This was a totally disappointing book and should not have even allowed to use the Foundation name and the characters so amazingly created and developed by Asimov. I finished all the rest of the Asimov books starting with Robots and ending with Foundation and Earth.. And was not wiling to let that world go. So figured I'd give this a read. Spoiler alert ahead!
The characterization of Daneel Olivaw in this book was totally off. Hari Seldon entering the minds of chimpanzee like beings to figure out
May 22, 2014 Mars rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 29, 2008 Rhoda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
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
Jun 19, 2011 Bruce Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 19, 2009 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading, usa
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
Nov 27, 2013 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2011 manuti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
Ron Holmes
May 01, 2016 Ron Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of the Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, so I was intrigued when I saw this book. It is an interesting continuation of the series, but with different authors (of course). There is sex sprinkled into the story line. There are numerous twists and turns, a lot even for science fiction. It is a long book and a bit of a struggle to get through, but, I did it.
Kathy Chung
Aug 06, 2015 Kathy Chung rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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