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Foundation

(Foundation (Publication Order) #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  458,553 ratings  ·  12,127 reviews
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, 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 scientis ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Bantam Spectra (first published August 30th 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 hi…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)
Ann Litz I recommend reading the original trilogy, then the preludes. I found
this order very satisfying:

Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Prelude…more
I recommend reading the original trilogy, then the preludes. I found
this order very satisfying:

Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation

Don't even bother with "Foundation's Edge" or "Foundation and Earth" unless you like saying "WTF Asimov?!?!" a lot.(less)

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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
Kevin Kelsey
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
A great story, told in a terribly boring fashion. One-dimensional characters engaged in various trade negotiations, political upheavals and general planning. Dry beyond belief. The concepts are engaging—religion as a means of control, psychohistory—but the telling of the story leaves much to be desired. Some sections are much better than others, particularly 1 & 3. There is a great story between the lines here; one that I think would work much, much better as a television series.

Don't even get m
...more
Sean Barrs
This is the most ambitious thing I’ve ever read.

The scope of this is just hugely imaginative. The idea is to create the new, and perfect, galactic empire. The old one is dying. But new empires don’t just pop up overnight; it takes years for the right circumstances to arise; it takes years for all the pieces to slot perfectly into place. The brightest mind of the age has used his incredibly farfetched, yet incredibly brilliant, psychohistory to predict the exact date the empire will fall. He has
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 527 from 1001 books) - Foundation (Foundation, #1), Isaac Asimov

The Foundation series is a science fiction book series written by Russian American author Isaac Asimov.

For nearly thirty years, the series was a trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation.

It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Asimov began adding to the series in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation, Forward
...more
Adina
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001, fantasy-sf
2.5* rounded up to 3 for the idea.

I postponed writing the review as I was hoping that something would click in my head and I would realize just how magnificent this novel is. It did not happen, unfortunately.

First of all, I was made to believe that this is a SF book. It isn’t. Not really. It is more of a socio-political one. It is not even a novel, but a set of stories who present a series of political, sociological, psychological and religious ideas all based on the famous Psychohistory conce
...more
Bradley
Re-read 11/11/21:

Comparing this to the prequels, indeed, any of the prequels, only makes THIS book shine like a diamond.

In the last few days, I read the Prelude, Forward, and the Second Foundation trilogy to get my chronological read-through. I thought it might have been fun.

But honestly? None of them hold up nearly as well as this. The economy of style, the broad sweep, the razor-sharp scope all builds a full universe with very few words -- simply outshining the rest.

Props where props are due.
...more
Leonard Gaya
Foundation is one of these books most everyone pretends to have read; and perhaps that’s for a reason. This book was published during what is now called the “golden age” of pulp science fiction (the 1940s and 50s) when John W. Campbell ruled over the genre in the U.S. with his Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. Asimov, one of the contributors to this periodical, started telling stories about a declining Galactic Empire and a group of “psychohistorians” who, with the help of some sophisticated ...more
Luca Ambrosino
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English (Foundation)/ Italiano

«HARI SELDON... born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era; died 12,069»

The life of the brilliant mathematician Hari Seldon, protagonist of the two prequels to Foundation series, draws to a close. However, thanks to "psychohistory", the complex discipline founded by himself to predict the behaviours of the masses over time, he timed it all perfectly. He leaves to future generations precise instructions in order to avoid several millennia of intergalactic barbaris

...more
Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I have a love/hate relationship with classic sci-fis.

I tend to love the concepts but the writing is usually dry and the sexism/racism/homophobia tends to ruin it for me.

While it wasn't the case with this one (no real female characters though), I struggled to be fully invested in the story. The scope of it makes it interesting but I'm unsure how I feel about it all after only reading book 1.

Will continue in hopes it gets better but I'm not in a rush.
...more
Jonathan Cullen
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
BlackOxford
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, sci-fi
Life in the Garden of Letters

Foundation is a technological society which believes it can avoid its likely demise through the application of more technology. Even its ‘thought leaders’ believe their job is to preserve technological knowledge in anticipation of the impending dark ages.

But everything they think they know about the past and their projected future and their role in both is false. The question they face is: can a new purpose into which they have been manipulated by their ancestors as
...more
Trish
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read.

I've been an Asimov-fangirl for a long time now. But it started with the robots, not with this series. Nevertheless, once I did read this one, I was quite smitten. And it wasn't any different now that I've re-read it due to the AppleTV+ adaptation.

The difference, this time, is that I'm reading the full cycle. I even read the second trilogy that was penned by other authors. And boy, were those a let-down. However, even Asimov's prequels couldn't hold a candle to this one. The writing styl
...more
Baba
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asimov-verse, scifi
Robot/Empire/Foundation. Book #9: Chronologically the third book in the Foundation series, although this was the first Foundation novel published way back in 1953. Psycho-history has predicted the fall of a universe spanning Galactic Empire and led Hari Seldon into creating Foundation. The first Foundation, the one featured in this book, is a collective of scientists settled on a planet on the very outskirts of the dying Empire. Five interconnected stories map the progress of the planet and how ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
One of my very favorite old Golden Age SF novels. The old empire is dying, says one Hari Selden, a genius historian and statistician, even though hardly anyone believes him. Can he and his followers use their knowledge of history and human behavior to build a better galactic society when the current empire collapses? A quick and absorbing read that's great fun.

I cut my science fiction-lovin' teeth on this trilogy. Asimov was brilliant.

Read count: I dunno, 4 or 5 times?
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
Psychohistory and predetermination have become driving forces of the Sci-Fi genre

Psychohistory itself has many real-life counterparts, I won´t even start counting. Just think of everything that gives one the possibility of predicting the future. Like statistics, AI, mathematics, that clash together with knowledge about all of the history of humankind and current data. It´s quite of a kind how the world is long-time managed today and Asimov saw it coming.

A big data analyst, spin doctor, etc. is
...more
mark monday
psychohistory - "that branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli" - says that the patterns and cycles of human societies can be accurately predicted.

Hari Seldon - that genius psychohistorian whose homely visage speaks to his followers hundreds of years after his death - says that the Empire must fall and that thousands of years of barbarism must follow.

The Foundation - that secretive colony of scientists established by Seldon
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Feb 11, 2015 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!


........................................................




Matthew
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Matthew by: Sud666
I have read several Asimov titles over the years and while I have enjoyed some of them, his writing generally does not click for me. I am not sure what it is exactly because the subject matter is usually something that sounds interesting, but the way it is delivered I tend to zone out/start to lose interest. I feel kind of bad about this as he is a legend, but, it is what it is.

Foundation is a very creative idea that started out with a few intertwined short stories and eventually expanded to sev
...more
Apatt
May 03, 2014 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
Thomas
Nov 19, 2008 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
J.L.   Sutton
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isaac Asimov's Foundation is a good start to a great series! Really like the idea of Hari Seldon, the psychohistorian at the heart of the Foundation Series. Even though he largely disappears after the book's beginning, much of the subsequent action is based on his predictions. Seldon predicts the collapse of the 12,000 year galactic empire and what it will take to preserve the knowledge of mankind so that the period of barbarism between civilized life is shortened. That beacon of hope is the Fou ...more
Simona B
3.5

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


I have 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
...more
Orhan Pelinkovic
This Sci-fi narrative takes place fifty thousand years into the future. Humanity has achieved the possibility of interstellar travel and inhabited a large part of our galaxy, although, strangely, still relying on oil, coal, and for the fortunate ones, nuclear power, as the primary source of energy.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Foundation begins on planet Trantor the administrative and ruling capital of the 12,000 year old Galactic Empire. Hari Seldon, who is on trial for treason in front of the Emper
...more
Markus
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”Now that the Empire had lost control over the farther reaches of the Galaxy, these little splinter groups of planets became kingdoms – with comic-opera kings and nobles, and petty, meaningless wars, and a life that went on pathetically among the ruins.
A civilization falling. Nuclear power forgotten. Science fading to mythology – until the Foundation had stepped in.”


After twelve thousand years of peace, prosperity and expansion, the Galactic Empire is crumbling. Its vain aristocracy is ignorant
...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
picoas picoas
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1992
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


The Dead Hand: "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov



If I remember rightly, Asimov's robots do indeed find a cunning way around the three laws - they invent a Zero-th Law which states that "no robot can injure humanity or through inaction allow humanity to come to harm" which doesn't directly contradict the First Law, so their brains will accept it, but has the interesting effect in moral philosophical terms of turning them from Kantians to util
...more
Adrian
One of my all time favourite books, I first read this many years ago and as books have been added to the original trilogy I have re-read the whole series. I feel that IA pulled the stories together well, so the Robot novels all join with the Empire novels, what a master.
Well I re-read it again (2nd time GR officially, umpteenth time un-officially) and realise (yet again) what a marvellous book it is. Yes it is split as a collection of stories but Asimov is such a master story-teller it all hangs
...more
Tom
Jan 15, 2008 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
Manny
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I can't improve on Mark Rosenfelder's brilliant review at zompist.com. A one-sentence summary of the key argument: psychohistory must be nonsense, because it doesn't predict itself. Now why didn't I think of that?
...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 one of the most prolific writers 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 o
...more

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
  • Forward the Foundation (Foundation: Prequel #2)

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