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Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy) Hardcover – February 17, 1998
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, I must congratulate the author who did a fantastic job after the 1st mess of a book to put the series back together again. The concise, clear style is much appreciated by this reader (despite what anyone may say about individuality and style, the readers here are the original fans of Asimov and therefore probably prefer the Good Doctor's style! ).
But more damage is done precisely because of this. Benford's work I can completely ignore because it is so far from it's foundations (sorry ;-)) that it's virtually unrecognisable. The same cannot be said about 'Foundation and Chaos'. It's an easily recognisable/acceptable episode in the Asimovian Galaxy.
Spoiler alert: I'm going to discuss plotting, characters and theme here.
Firstly, thank you Mr. Bear for getting rid of (or as much as you could) wormholes, memes, sims and most of the other unnecessary additions by Benford.
Secondly,why is everyone focusing so much on robots? This is the FOUNDATION series - a series originally about human resourcefulness and ability to triumph, remember? This is NOT THE ROBOT series. Just because the Good Doctor decided they take place in the same universe doesn't mean robots now fill every page of a FOUNDATION book. In the 3 foundation novels that robots were mentioned (F&Earth, Prelude and Forward), only 1 novel had a significant portion of the novel devoted to robots. In this new series we are presented with 2 (and mostly likely 3) novels packed full of robots.
Don't take me wrong - I like the robot series very much - probably more than I did the original Foundation series. I whooped with joy when Daneel appears in 'Foundation and Earth' and was glad to greet him like an old friend in all subsequent novels.Read more ›
Basically, this deals with Hari Seldon's trial and the conflict between two factions of robots, those who identify with Susan Calvin, the pioneer in Robotics, and those who identify with the legendery R. Daneel Olivaw. Throw in a couple of mentalists at odds with each other, and you have a rather good Foundation novel.
Read FOUNDATION'S FEAR if you think you must, but it's not necessary because this far better written second novel stands well by itself.
The story is very well fleshed-out and the plot (and plotting) are excellent, including the political aspects. (After all, Hari Seldon always operated in the sphere of the political regime). I highly recommend it. It makes slogging my way through the first book in the new trilogy (which I was not as thrilled with) well worth the effort. Foundation and Chaos also ties in very nicely with the events from the Part I section of the original 1951 Foundation novel and fills in a lot of gaps as well as keeping the wonderful Robots-Foundation combination story going. We also get a little taste of what the events in Asimov's Foundation and Earth foreshadowed.
It really seemed to me like this series wasn't as much a collaboration as a competition... Bear seems to take pains to instantiate his own ideas and opinions about the Robots/Empire/Foundation universe at the expense of Benford's. (And later, Brin will do much of the same.) I much rather would have seen a true collaboration that brought out only the best of the authors involved (much like the Niven/Pournelle collaborations do). Unfortunately, we're subjected to something that comes across as literary oneupsmanship.
But I give Bear 4 stars for his effort, which is easily the most "Asmiovish," in my opinion. Not that Asimov wasn't tedious (like Benford), or didn't take lurching left turns (like Brin), but of the three novels in this series, Foundation and Chaos was most like what I expected. Brin's conclusion is easily worth reading, if you make it this far, but don't expect it to be better than this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read the Foundation Trilogy, by the 'Kiiler B's,' every couple of years, as the potential science is so intriguing! I prefer hard scifi, and these authors really deliver!Published 2 months ago by nom de plume
Written to satisfy both Bear followers and Asimov traditionalists. Adventurous, keeps you on the edge of your proverbial seat!!!!!!!!!Published 4 months ago by Pat
Foundation and Chaos is the second book in the post-Asimov Foundation trilogy. I missed it when it came out in 1998, and decided to skip the first novel because it was generally... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Piaw Na
Excellent continuation of the Greatest Science Fiction Series ever wriiten. Although the writing style is not quite that of the Grand Master himself the story line holds true.Published 5 months ago by Frank Riley
Not bad, I became absorbed, felt more like I was reading Asimov than expected. But Seldon evaluates himself as a failure and is constantly moping around and not confident at all. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Robert Shuler
I'm finding Bear to be a surprisingly versatile writer, doing excellent work in many settings.Published 13 months ago by Walter Pirie
It fills in the void between stories I remember from youthful readings. It ties in well with the rest of the story. I feel closure with this beginning.Published 14 months ago by kwheele