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Foundation and Empire [Kindle Edition]

Isaac Asimov
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,322 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets...?


From the Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Led by its founding father, the great psycho-historian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Yet now it must face the Empire--still the mightiest force in the Galaxy, even in its death throes. When an ambitious general determined to restore the Empire's glory turns the vast Imperial fleet toward the Foundation, the only hope for the small planet of scholars and scientists lies in the prophecies of Hari Seldon. But not even Hari Seldon could have predicted the birth of the extraordinary creature called the Mule-a mutant intelligence with a power greater than a dozen battle fleets. . .a power that could turn the strongest-willed human into an obedient slave.

From the Inside Flap

Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets...?


From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3306 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553293370
  • Publisher: Spectra (June 1, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1PWK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,412 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
326 of 365 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic June 19, 2008
Format:Hardcover
The Foundation trilogy (three first books) and the Foundation series (all seven) are often regarded as the greatest set of Science Fiction literature ever produced. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Isaac Asimov was among the world's best authors, an accomplished scientist, and he was also a genius with an IQ above 170, and it shows in the intelligently concocted but complex plots and narrative. There are already 331 reviews for this Science Fiction novel, however, I still believe I have something unqiue to contribute which is stated in my last paragraph.

This book and the rest in the series take place far in the future (allegedly 50,000 years) at a time when people live throughout the Galaxy. A mathematician Hari Seldon has developed a new branch of mathematics known as psychohistory. Using the law of mass action, it can roughly predict the future on a large scale. Hari Seldon predicts the demise of the Galactic Empire and creates a plan to save the knowledge of the human race in a huge encyclopedia and also to shorten the barbaric period expected to follow the demise from 30,000 years to 1,000 years. A select people are chosen to write the Encyclopedia and to unknowingly carry out the plan to re-create the Galactic Empire. What unfolds in this book and in the books that follow is the future history of the demise and re-emergence of a Galactic Empire, written as a series of adventures, in a similar fashion to the Star Wars series.

Even though this is arguably the greatest set of Science Fiction novels ever written, I do not recommend it to those who are only mildly interested in Science Fiction.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Foundation Series is the biz November 19, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Asimov had an active and brilliant imagination - truly, a scientist writing fiction. This series is science fiction on a grand scale. When you keep in mind that this story originated in 1951, it is easy to see how much Star Trek, Star Wars and yes even Heinlein's & Clarke's later works borrowed from these ideas.

Anyway, Asimov at his best was a creator; he had amazing ideas of the universe, how it worked, and how to structure stories that manipulated the readers expectations.

The Foundation series is like a spider web that continues to become more intricate and complex with each chapter. The intricacy of the plotting is amazing, although honestly it's not self-evident in the first few stories of the first novel, given that they were published independantly, as serialized short stories told one at a time.

Only with the second book did this change.

The basic premise: The rise and fall of the roman empire, told on a galactic scale from a historian living in the 2nd empire a thousand years later.

The setup: One man creates a science, called Psychohistory, a fictional precursor to Chaos Math (a real statistical science today). This psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, predicted that the vast Galactic Empire is about to crumble, dropping humanity back into the dark ages. This dark ages was due to last 30,000 years (I believe), and while it is too late to prevent this horrible breakdown of society, Seldon believes he can use this new math to shorten the time period between empires.

To do so, he establishes two "Foundations" made up of scientists, one at the outer edge of the galaxy, and the other at "Star's End". In advance, Seldon plots out the future (using the math of psychohistory), and sets in motion a series of "domino" events.
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124 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Foundation trilogy is essential October 6, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The trilogy is essential, but since Asimov also capitalized on his own genius by writing what seems to be hundreds of lesser Foundation stories, it can all get very confusing and a bit draining. This is the second book in the original trilogy, so it is from a science fiction point of view essential reading. The trilogy itself comes up with two highly memorable characters, Hari Seldon, the psycho-historian, who uses Mathematics to predict the future and establish a "Foundation" that will limit the dark ages after the fall of the "Empire" to a single millenium (as opposed to ten.) He reappears as a hologram at certain points in the story with more or less accurate takes on what is happening in "History" at that point.
The other very memorable character is the Mule. He represents the variable that makes predicting "History" mathematically a tricky business at least, not to mention impossible. He is a nasty totalitarian character who strangely in Asimov's hands manages to elicit some sympathy. Asimov is playing with the idea of predicting human behavior scientifically (or controlling it scientifically,) but this character is also a humanistic meditation on how masses of people get overwhelmed by evil social forces like fascism and soviet communism. You can see that Asimov lived through the era of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin and that these cult of personality tyrants and the submission of masses of people to their destructive and sadistic wills profoundly affected his view of human nature. Foundation and Empire seems to be an attempt to come to terms with that experience, and so has something to say about the specifics of twentieth century history, as well as about historical philosophy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read from a master.
Published 4 days ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a science-fiction classic
It was a lot of fun to re-read, after many years, Isaac Asimov's "Foundation", the first book of the classic "Foundation" trilogy (prequels and sequels to the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not my type of scify novel
Published 7 days ago by Maria Naranjo
1.0 out of 5 stars I Hated This So You Won't Have To
I actually read the entire 3 volume trilogy, thinking it might get better as I went along. It didn't. Read more
Published 11 days ago by R. K. H. Lein
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great ending for the trilogy!
Published 14 days ago by FELIX OLIVARES
3.0 out of 5 stars Firecracker fizzles out.
One can only assume (by the dismally underwhelming finish) that Asimov's mother's death took the wind out of his sails and his inspired creativity flagged like a stalled sail... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Steven McAbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described.
Published 18 days ago by George C. Rankin
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, however weak for Asimov.
Not as good as Foundation. Just isn't as gripping. There's much better Asimov out there, but still enjoyable nonetheless.
Published 19 days ago by AX
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
One of the great ones. Science fiction at its best and surpassed by only a few, if that. Read it multiple times over the years.
Published 20 days ago by clclark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Timeless classic
Published 20 days ago by Andrew Schutzbank
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