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Prelude to Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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Prelude to Foundation (Foundation (Chronological Order) Prequel 1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  25,263 ratings  ·  601 reviews
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It is 12,020 G.E. & Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological & cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who'd see him fall, those whom he'd destroy...more
Mass Market Paperback, 434 pages
Published October 1991 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1988)
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Stephen
In the realm of science fiction, Isaac Asimov’s stories have always been my woobie.
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This rings especially true for his Robot and Foundation series. For me, they’re a literary panic room where I can escape the stress storms and never-ending deadlines of the day-to-day ruckus into a much simpler time where the ambient happy is always turned way up.

Yes…yes…before you say it, I'll acknowledge your gripes about Asimov and even concede to some of them.

Asimov wasn't as skilled a wordsmith as, say, Jack...more
John
My first Asimov book, it was both wonderful and disappointing. I loved the hugeness of the imagination at work here. The bizarre and diverse societies of Trantor with their rituals, structures, foods, ways of living, and just the physical structure of the world itself, with multiple layers and a surface covered with sand and the occasional forest, made for fun reading. As for the disappointments, although it is probably a cliché at this point, I could not stand the squareness of the dialogue, th...more
Peter
Unless you're just a die-hard Foundation fan and have to read them all, "Prelude to Foundation" can safely be skipped. In particular, I'm not sure that I would recommend reading it prior to the other Foundation novels despite the fact that it's a prequel.

It's not spoiling anything to briefly explain why this is. In "Foundation," which is really more a shorts collection than a novel despite the fact that the stories do flow very well together, Hari Seldon is already an old man. The whole premise...more
C.
This really wasn't that bad - in fact I enjoyed it quite a lot - but it was very disappointing. It is an entirely different kind of book to Foundation, which was about concepts. Not amazingly written, certainly, but neither was this, and without the great concepts, there's not a huge amount left.

I think it would be a bit harsh to say that this book was written to cash in on the phenomenon that was Foundation, though I suspect that is part of it. What probably happened is that Asimov realised tha...more
Sesana
I'm working on reading the Foundation-related books in internal chronological order. I've worked through the Robots and Empire books, and now I'm moving on to the Foundation books. Is this a good idea? It's probably still too soon for me to say. I imagine that somebody who's read Foundation would have a totally different reaction. For me, it was my first exposure to psychohistory, so it worked to see what I guess you could call the birth of the idea. I didn't need to see details into what exactl...more
Martin
"You mean that something quite accidental came to be viewed as a tradition?" p.118

"No no. I mean 'primitive' only in that it has been known as long as our records go back, that its discovery is shrouded in the mists of antiquity as is that of fire or the wheel." p.168

"So you insult us by asking about out religion, as though we have ever called on a mystrious, insubstantial spirit to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves." p.230

"They would support, as such, even that perfectly ridiculous tale...more
Meike
Prelude to Foundation was the first book written by Asimov I read, and on the first pages, I didn't quite know what to do with it.
I have never ever read a book like this one.

My standards of "beloved" are set by Kazuo Isiguro:
I enjoy books written in beautiful language, and my personal hero Kazuo Isiguro can paint with words; I adore that.
Asimoc can't - or doesn't. This book is written in such a simple language that it irritated me quite a bit on the first pages, but it is easy to read and so...more
Tomislav
Some day I'm going to read the novels of Asimov's future history in story order...

The Caves of Steel (1953)
The Naked Sun (1956)
The Robots of Dawn (1983)
Robots and Empire (1985)
The Stars Like Dust (1951)
The Currents of Space (1952)
Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Prelude to Foundation (1988)
Forward the Foundation (1993)
Foundation (1951)
Foundation and Empire (1952)
Second Foundation (1953)
Foundation's Edge (1982)
Foundation and Earth (1986)

Meanwhile though, I've already read the robot, empire, and foundation...more
Maanasa Kona
I did the unthinkable when it comes to reading the Foundation series and started with Prelude (I recently also finished Forward the Foundation and have started reading Foundation). I read the book slowly during my commute, and I found myself getting progressively more annoyed with how quickly I got to and from work. I felt like the book went 0-60 in no time as it immediately set a brisk pace that it would follow for the rest of the book. I found that the flight of Hari Seldon was both exciting a...more
Marco Segreto
Primo dei prequel Asimoviani sulla Fondazione, spiega i motivi che portano Hari Seldon (irriconoscibile rispetto alla figura miticizzata che troveremo in seguito, più umano) a mettere a punto ciò su cui verterà successivamente l'intero ciclo: la psicostoria.
E' un libro che può risultare interessante ad un fan, in quanto fornisce continuità alla storia, e un intreccio con le saghe dei robot e dell'impero, ma che si distacca dal ciclo canonico per banalità e stile, a mio parere, sottotono rispetto...more
Joel Simon
This was my first Foundation book, and my second Asimov book (I, Robot was the first). Even though written later than the original books in the Foundation series, I decided to read it first because it is in chronological order of the story. I will never know whether or not this was the right thing to do and I can see from other readers' comments that many Asimov fans found this book to be disappointing. So in a way it is good that I read this Foundation book first because things will get even be...more
kellyn
I read this when I was about 13 or 14 and loved it. Re-reading it almost ten years later lets me read it with a depth I couldn't have at 13. Asimov was such a genius, writing in the 1940's with a prophetic political and technological imagination. (Granted, this was written in the 1980's as a prequel to the books written in the 40's).
He writes the dialogue with a clinical edge that really makes you feel you're hearing people from an entirely different society speaking. At the same time the descr...more
Simona Bartolotta
"C'era un essere umano artificiale che aiutò la Terra. Era Da-nee, amico di Ba-lee. Non è mai morto, è ancora vivo da qualche parte, aspetta il suo momento per ritornare. Nessuno sa quando arriverà quel momento, ma un giorno Da-nee verrà e farà rinascere il grande passato..."

Mi sto stancando a scrivere recensioni dei romanzi di Asimov in cui dico sempre la stessa cosa: geniale, geniale, geniale, tanto geniale da essere umanamente inconcepibile. Il mio sconfinato apprezzamento per i libri e la br...more
Icten keskin
"pek çok şey mümkündür ama uygulanabilir değildir."
Max Ostrovsky
Wow. And frustratingly wow. Asimov was a prolific writer and now I find out that his major series all join together. I haven't even begun the Robot series and some major books are missing from my collection of those. So I need to go out and beg, borrow, and steal the missing books from my collection.
I read the last Foundation book over a year ago and found it lagging in pace. With each successive book in the series, I found myself less and less interested. Until this book. I couldn't put it dow...more
Balkron
My Rating Scale:
1 Star - Horrible book, It was so bad I stopped reading it
2 Star - Bad book, I forced myself to finish it and do NOT recommend
3 Star - Average book, Was entertaining but nothing special
4 Star - Good Book, Was a really good book and I would recommend
5 Star - GREAT book, A great story and well written. I can't wait for the next book

Characters - Ok this is apparently the smarted stupid person in a book. He is considered a genius but cannot figure out the easiest problems. I started...more
Max Anadon
I've only read limited science fiction, and although I'd bought most of the Foundation series a few years ago, I had avoided reading it because I was intimidated by 'I-Robot' author, Asimov. I thought it would be unreadable in the way Focault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco, was for me (I'll take another stab at that sometime).

Not only did I find it readable, but it was quite enjoyable. It moved at a good pace, following the young mathematician, Hari Seldon, around the 800 domed world planet Trandor...more
Bill Wellham
I felt that this was written just to explain and fill in gaps in the Foundation world. I read all the others over ten years ago, and only recently read this 'prelude'. I feel that in some ways it has changed my visualizations of some of the other characters. The younger Hari Seldon turned out to be completely different to how I had previously imagined him.

Some of the plot in this book is too drawn out, I almost felt myself 'speed reading' at times (sorry). I personally did not feel drawn to the...more
Kevin J. Rogers
Every once in a while an author is forced, whether by their publisher or their public, to write an unnecessary book. I think this is one of those cases, and Asimov nearly admits as much in his Author's Note; as he explains, he returned to the Foundation Series in 1982 (after a 25-year hiatus) because he was basically pressured to. Not that Prelude to Foundation is in any way a bad book--actually, it's pretty good, and were one to be completely unaware of the other Foundation books it would be, o...more
Nathaniel Turner
One of Isaac Asimov's best works, and - I think - the one I read first (many years ago, of course). Given my renewed interest in science fiction, I decided to begin collecting Asimov's works again, and (at my hinting) my wife gifted me a new copy of this.

It is an excellent work of science, culture, and supposition, as good science fiction should be. Some of the twists I remembered from previous readings, but others I could foresee without remembering (the nature of Dors, for example, is easily s...more
Carol
Most sci-fi founds have read the Foundation series from beginning to end. I was a late-comer to sci-fi and have only just finished reading most of the series. The first Foundation novels, written much earlier than the later ones, weren’t that appealing to me, despite their status as classic novels. I found them hard to read and a bit dull. (Shame on me, I know, but I’m not a diehard Asimov fan). Why then did I continue? Well, I happened to read “The Caves of Steel,” and I liked it a lot. Trantor...more
Aditya
Hard to review this without spoiling it for future readers. Would recommend one thing though - please read the robot series before this one. It helps you a lot in understanding and also in creating a sense of anticipation for the climax. This has got a couple of explosive twists in the last 20-30 pages, which, am sure, fans of the Robot series would enjoy a lot.

The novel starts with Hari being summoned by the present galactic emperor Cleon I, who wants to make use of Hari's theoretically possib...more
Ob-jonny
This is the beginning prequel to the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov and takes place first chronologically. It was written in 1988 about 45 years after Foundation and the content is very different. I feel like this book could be made into a fantastic movie with all of the action, interesting places, and great character development. In contrast, Foundation written in 1944 is relatively dry and a little more work to read but still an amazing book.

I feel like Prelude was well-written in a few wa...more
Eric
This was as good and interesting the second time around as it was the first. Some of the conversation seems a bit stretched and unrealistic at times. Cumbersome is perhaps the word I'm looking for. The characters frequently seem rather flat. Even the main character, Hari Seldon, doesn't seem to have any great character development. The only change I think his character really experiences is a growth of knowledge and the logical conclusions that follow.

I am a fan of the Galactic Encyclopedia ent...more
David
Dec 30, 2010 David rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
This is my first experience with Asimov and I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Firstly, most science fiction writers simply cannot write. What I mean by this is that character, plot, style, incident and crisis are all subservient to science and ideology. This makes for an incredibly tedious read...and a predictable one. Secondly, I knew, suspected strongly, from the beginning who Demerzel/Hummin/Daneel were(I shan't say here) and this shattered most of the dramatic tension in the nov...more
Andrew O
This is the 6th book in the foundation series, at least in published order and in order they should be read. While it is not nearly as good as the first 3, it was still better than 4th and 5th books. However, if you are not a die hard fan, I would say just read the first 3 books in the series, the original foundation trilogy.
Michael
This is the first book of the foundation series in that it starts with a young Hari Seldon presenting his idea of Psycohistory and the course it takes. If you are hungry for a background story on the life of Seldon and you are a fan of Asimov's style then you will certainly enjoy this book. Do not expect any fresh ideas to come your way. Instead Asimov further develops and intertwines his three major series: Foundation, Empire, and Robot.
As a fan of Asimov and someone who has read all of the b...more
Maryam Taheri
This is one of those books that at first your interested, it's good, not necessarily a page turner but interesting enough to keep reading.

The entire book is beautifully written with an incredibly complex story line. Asimov has created a unique world all his own. You have to genuinely admire the work it took to craft his universe.

Although not what one would call a page turner , when you hit the last twenty pages the entire story and characters you've come to know... Well it changes and then you c...more
Eric
I loved the other Foundation books, but quit about halfway through this one. It lacked the brilliant commentary or interesting insight into human behavior that the others had. Never once did I think, like I did so many times reading the other books, "This situation seems inescapable. I wonder what clever plan the main character will have been hatching all along that will seem so obvious when I read it but isn't occuring to me now?" Without that cleverness, it just wasn't a fun read. And let's be...more
Joaobispo
The first prequel of the Foundation series, where we follow Hari Seldon around Trantor while he starts his work on psychohistory.

I read this book right after the last book of the series (Foundation and Earth), and I can say it is a nice "follow-up" =) The story in both books are apart 500 years, and I wasn't expecting to see so many connections between them. It was also nice to get to know better the planet Trantor, which in the story is the capital of the known Universe.
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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
More about Isaac Asimov...
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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