Second Foundation (Book Three of The Foundation Series) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Mar 1994
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‘One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF’
From the Inside Flap
Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long.
After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins--destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule. But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism. The Mule failed to find it the first time--but now he is certain he knows where it lies.
The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only fourteen years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed...before it destroys them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book goes a long way to explain the purpose of the mysterious second foundation, but the main focus is on its location, and the search for it by both the mule and the first foundation.
The first half puts order into the chaotic situation left by the events in 'foundation and empire', and follows many twists and schemes that make it entirely engrossing, without giving the slightest hint of the dramatic ending.
The second half provides the real substance of the book, a rebellion of the first foundation against the ideals of the second foundation. This leads the reader to question the entire idea of psychohistory, as the first foundation does not like to think of itself as being 'controlled' by the second, even though it knows that the interference of the second foundation will result in a bright, peaceful future for mankind.
The book is laid out with a new twist to the plot in every chapter, making it almost impossible to put down, especially towards the end.
The most interesting parts are meetings of the second foundation members, which explain the inner workings of the seldon plan, along with how the arrival of the mule affected it.
The characters are well presented, and are developed only as much as is necessary, to keep the fast pace of the novel going, but are entirely believable, and link in with the characters in the previous books.
Some people like to read the last page of a book first, doing this with second foundation, and indeed with the entire foundation series, will ruin the book utterly.
Still, it's a good story with at least one compelling character in 14-year-old aspiring novelist Arcadia Darell, a prototype for feisty teen investigators.
There's one slip-up where Asimov puts us inside the head of a character who could not possibly be thinking what he tells us she is because it later turns out she's been on top of the whole situation all along. Isaac, that's careless; you were pantsing it, I suspect.
At the end, having enjoyed the ride, I still had to wonder why Hari Seldon didn't just put the psychologists (who are really kind of psycho-economists) and the physical scientists on the same planet. It would have saved a lot of confusion. That'll be why, then.
Quite a lot of typos in these editions, by the way. You can work out what was meant but it's irritating.
Readers of the original series may be disappointed in the lack of twist and turns in the plot as this book only really concerns itself with one storyline which plods rather lethargically to its conclusion. You almost get the feeling someone is behind asimov with a cattle prod trying to get as many words out him as possible for what is essentially a short story forced out into a novel. Nevertheless it is asimov and as such there is no predictability and while no two characters are really that different from one another there's a great intellectual weight behind the dialogue and narrative.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Foundation has been taken over by the Mule who directs his attention to the only force capable of stopping him. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Dave
Perfect, just as it was the first time around (showing my age)Published 4 months ago by Angelika parker