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

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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 (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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


‘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

57 of 59 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 Sept. 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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12 of 13 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 Mike Kenny on 12 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Foundation and Empire is the second volume in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Originally published as two novellas, Foundation and Empire the novel is made up of "The General" and "The Mule".

In "The General", as the Galactic Empire crumbles, General Bel Riose launches an attack on the Foundation. Although the Foundation is theoretically stronger than the Empire, General Bel Riose has access to greater resources and personnel and so his attack does begin to threaten the Foundation. A Foundation citizen named Devers intercepts a communication that details the General's double dealings and attempts to escape to Trantor so that he can show the communication to the Emperor and hopefully stop the attack.

"The Mule" is set roughly one hundred years after "The General". The Empire has crumbled, Trantor has been sacked by invaders, and most of the galaxy has split into barbaric factions. Due to its extensive trading routes, the Foundation is now the major power in the galaxy. Until, that is, a new threat arises in the form of a growing army of barbarians led by a mysterious individual known as the Mule. Once it is discovered that Hari Seldon has failed to predict the existence of the Mule, Foundation citizens Toran and Bayta Darell, along with psychologist Ebling Mis and a refugee clown named Magnifico Giganticus, travel the galaxy attempting to locate the Second Foundation that had been established by Seldon.

Although a much darker and more intense book, Foundation and Empire is an excellent follow up to Foundation. Asimov's writing is excellent as ever, with his descriptions of the alien worlds and his characterisations being particularly strong. The whole Foundation series is fantastic and Foundation and Empire is further proof that Isaac Asimov is one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time.
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