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Foundation [Kindle Edition]

Isaac Asimov
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,305 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun--or fight them and be destroyed.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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

Review

'One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF' The Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
321 of 360 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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122 of 137 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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24 of 24 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ending!
Magnificent story telling. I admit that it was slow in parts, but it was all tied together in the end cleverly.
Published 1 day ago by Peter Obregozo
4.0 out of 5 stars profound view of taking responsibility for history, immature 1st book,...
Apparently the whole foundation series is linked and cannot be reviewed separately, so this covers several books.

Why review a classic book with over 1000 reviews? Read more
Published 1 day ago by Robert Shuler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
OK
Published 2 days ago by Wilfred J Cruz Sr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Asimov, what else is there to say?
Published 3 days ago by Cathy Garrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Best saga ever written. This first book is extraordinary. Fast pace, extremely addictive.do not miss out on this amazing novel.
Published 3 days ago by Jorge Porro
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
The characters shared a similar style in personality, but maybe that is just how people are way out in the distant galaxy. I will read the rest of the series.
Published 4 days ago by Matthew Norwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best!
I've just finished rereading the Foundation trilogy...it's been twenty years or more. But, without question, Asimov remains the master, and this work remains his master stroke!
Published 4 days ago by Tom and Kathleen Gallier
5.0 out of 5 stars it is very well written and easy to read
This is more of a sci-fi mystery; it is very well written and easy to read. I read this series when I was a teenager. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Keith Radcliffe
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I'm afraid this classing could not keep my attention.
Published 12 days ago by Do
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to see it holds up after so many years
Always a classic. Have read it multiple times over the years. Nice to see it holds up after so many years.
Published 13 days ago by peterconrad
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Kindle version not available for UK
Amazon you need to solve this soon, we have the best tool ever for reading books and we can't download the best Sci-Fi novels ever written if we do not live in the USA, How come?
Feb 6, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 10 posts
Kindle Missing Foundation Books
This is one defining sci fi series that cries out for kindle.... So what does it take to get it all there?
Jan 9, 2012 by Tubster |  See all 6 posts
Not available for Kindle
anyone know how to get amazon attention on this one?
would love to get the book for kindle...
Jan 20, 2014 by Dustin Rees |  See all 3 posts
Not Available in Asia & Pacific region?
Why is this book not available on kindle what's the point of having the third book available at all?????
May 10, 2014 by Alex O'Brien |  See all 2 posts
I want to buy this. Why no help, amazon?
Can't believe this is restricted to the USA. I thought a kindle was for mobility but apparently you have to stay put in the US to buy books. So stupid Amazon.
Jan 25, 2015 by David Perez |  See all 2 posts
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