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Foundation: 1/3 (The Foundation Series) Paperback – 28 Mar 1994


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Frequently Bought Together

Foundation: 1/3 (The Foundation Series) + Foundation and Empire (Book Two of The Foundation Series): 2/3 + Second Foundation (Book Three of The Foundation Series)
Price For All Three: £19.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New Impression edition (28 Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586010807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586010808
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy. Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. But this project will take generations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him? The first Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) won a Hugo Award in 1965 for "Best All-Time Series". It's science fiction on the grand scale; one of the classics of the field. -- Brooks Peck

Review

‘One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF’
The Times

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Asimov's Foundation series was more aptly named than many suspect. Over the years it has served as an inspiration to many science fiction masterpieces, and became the benchmark by which all other epic science fiction was based. Much of today's space opera owes much to the original vast planet-spanning tale of the birth of a civilisation guided through the ages by the God-like hand of Seldon, and its testament to the enduring legacy of the work that its still as awe inspiring a tale as it was more than half a century ago. True, some of the technologies and settings are a little dated but that's not where the strength of the series lies.
If you're unfamiliar with the Foundation work, they are basically a series of short stories taking place over a number of centuries that chart the rise of an intergalactic civilisation from humble origins to a vast galactic power, and the trials and tribulations that shaped it, narrated from the perspective of its major historical figures, such as prominent civic leaders, military heroes, merchant traders, brilliant scientists etc. Underpinning all this is the strange figure of genius Hari Seldon, who predicted the whole course of future events through his discipline of psychohistory, a science that predicts the actions of whole civilisations and societies over a grand time-scale.
Each chapter starts with an excerpt from the fictional Encyclopedia Galactica on the events portrayed in the following scene as if the whole series is a look back at history from some undisclosed future. It lends a wonderful sense of grandness to the stories as well as being an original and novel way of introducing the new setting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rod Williams on 26 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
Originally serialised in John W Campbell's `Astounding'. This trilogy became Asimov's most famous (if not his best) work. Allegedly, Campbell refused to accept stories in which aliens were superior to humans in any fashion so Asimov decided that his Galactic Empire would have no aliens at all.
It is set against a background of a Galactic Empire, comprised of millions of worlds, all improbably controlled from the governmental central world of Trantor.
The Empire has lasted for thousands of years and has become a stagnant society.
Scientist and psychologist Hari Seldon has developed the statistical science of Psychohistory which, by examining the interactions of billions of people, can predict future trends to a high degree of accuracy and has foreseen the fall of the Empire within five hundred years.
`Foundation' is the story of his plan of damage limitation.
He cannot prevent the fall of The Empire but he can set forces in motion which will reduce the intervening period of barbarism and set the foundation for a new better Empire.
Two Foundations are established at `either end' of the Galaxy ostensibly as a base for the production of the Encyclopaedia Galactica. From these, Seldon predicts, an inevitable process of cause and effect will engender a renaissance across a galaxy slowly falling into barbarism.
Although he is dead by the time the narrative gets into its stride, Asimov is able to bring Seldon back through the neat device of the Foundation Time-Vault in which Seldon has left holographic messages which are set running at the projected times of crises for the community.
Thus, although we move forward through time in leaps and bounds of fifty to a hundred years, Seldon provides a linking device throughout the narrative.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Philip Roberts on 21 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
Imagine a time, set so far in the future... A time when Humans have left Earth to explore, and settled throughout the Galaxy, a time where the idea that mankind ever only inhabited ONE planet, is thought to be an old wives tale.
Foundation is just that. The foundation for all other sci-fi adventures. So many books and films have followed in the steps of Foundation, and Asimov really has lead the way for people to let their imagination run riot and imagine what on the one hand, is so far fetched, but on the other leaves us wondering "well maybe..."
Everything in Foundation has a sort of logic, the theory that the future can be mapped out by mathematical equations. However even in the future, ideas can be thought of as heretic, and people with ideas that do not fit in with the norm, are cast away, to the edge of space where they can cause no trouble.
Foundation, and the following classics will stretch your imagination and throw you into a World of 'fantasy' that seems to have a lifeline to reality. Considering the Foundation series of Asimovs books were written so long ago, they are still fresh enough, and still have an edge to hold onto the reader until the very last page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big_T on 5 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book, indeed a series, which is based on a one single idea.

It's a good idea, to be fair. At its core is that history becomes as formulaic as physics, in that events can be predicted with absolute precision. The inventor of this technique, Seldon, discovers that the galactic empire is on the verge of collapse. To prevent the onset of a thousand years of a new, galactic-wide 'dark ages', he persuades the government to sponsor two foundations. This is the story of the first one, and its first few hundred years since its founding as it struggles to survive amongst a galactic civilisation that is collapsing. The inhabitants of the Foundation are aided by recordings from Seldon, who has predicted their futures (but intriguingly, Seldon essentially took the secret of his new science with him to his grave - so no one else can see what is coming down the line).

As I said, this book covers the first few centuries of the Foundation as they struggle with various neighbours and triumph by trade, war, and even religion, over differing and predicted 'Seldon Crises.' This is also one of the book's major problems.

The characters. After putting the book down I have to say that not one of the characters stayed with me for more than a few days. Each of the heroic characters share specific traits that to me seemed to indicate they had been pulled out of a box to fill a requirement. Their journeys and experiences are too bland to warrant any fond memories . . .

So in essence, it's a novel underpinned by one great idea, but where pretty much everything else remains the same - even though we are supposed to be so far in the future that earth has been forgotten and FTL travel is commonplace (to start with).
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