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Foundation Trilogy Paperback – Feb 1981


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Paperback, Feb 1981
£38.27 £1.88
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon Books (P) (Feb. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380001012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380001019
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Big Bad Bill on 17 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I have just re-read all 7 of Asimov's Foundation novels, having originally read them in the 1980s. For those of you new to the series it consists of 2 'prequel' novels, the original trilogy (which are actually a series of short stories originally written for a magazine published in three volumes, followed by two sequel novels. The four novels were written decades after the short stories in the original trilogy. This book (Foundation) is the third book (the first of the original trilogy), it was the first Foundation book I read (as I started before the prequels were published).

This is considered to be a very important sci fi story from the golden age of sci fi, but the modern reader needs to be aware that it is rather different than you might expect. First the fact that it is made up of a sequence of related short stories means that it does not read like a unified novel. There is little character development etc. You see far less of this in modern books, because most authors now jump straight into novels rather than starting writing short stories (for which there is just not the same market now). The second thing is that Asimov was never about predicting or focusing on advanced technology. As such much about the tech that is mentioned is either out of date or rather daft. An example of this is that in the story as the 12,000 year old Galactic Empire declines that many worlds lose the ability to use nuclear power. This in itself is not what is daft, it is that despite having to used coal and oil these planets can still have interstellar space ships etc. Asimov's depiction of computer technology is also rather easy to laugh at now - use of microfilm etc. to store records, punch card computers etc.
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