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Foundation (The Foundation Series) [Kindle Edition]

Isaac Asimov
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (995 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $4.59
You Save: $3.40 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon.

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—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 future 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. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews 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


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

Product Details

  • File Size: 346 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553293354
  • Publisher: Spectra; Revised edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1PWA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,498 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
262 of 292 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic June 19, 2008
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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107 of 118 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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167 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." September 12, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
[The quotation is from Salvor Hardin, Mayor of Terminus.]
Let's say it's around 1940 or so; you're studying chemistry in grad school but your true love is history; you've read Edward Gibbon's _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_, but writing a historical novel set in the _past_ would require just too much research; you get the bright idea of writing a historical tale set in the _future_, about the decline and fall of a _Galactic_ Empire, and you suggest as much to John W. Campbell, Jr.
Campbell's response: he gets excited and suggests that you introduce some pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo about "psychohistory". Do you:
(a) drop the idea and write something else?
(b) write the story just as Campbell describes it?
(c) use a little imagination, make Campbell's idea a bit more intellectually presentable, and crank out, not just a single story, but a Hugo-award-winning series?
If you picked (c), congratulations; you're Isaac Asimov.
The Hugo didn't come until 1965, when the Foundation series won for best all-time series (defeating even Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_ books). By then Asimov had long ago tired of the series; you can tell by the first part of the third book. (But the _second_ part of the third book is probably the best part of the original three volumes.)
And heck, even in order to keep it going _that_ long, he had to introduce a radical departure from the Seldon Plan, in which the Mule initiates not just another Seldon Crisis but a new element altogether, one that wasn't accounted for in the Plan. (And in even later installments, it becomes pretty clear that Asimov isn't exactly thrilled by either the Plan or the Empire it's supposed to bring about.)
But in the first volume, all of it is still fresh.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Sci-Fi
This novel is the first of the Foundation trilogy, and a quintessential science fiction book. It is a series of five short stories chronicling the fall and rise of an Empire with... Read more
Published 1 day ago by AJ.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Science Fiction at its best
This is a must read book for any Sci-Fi lovers out there. Relatively short and easy to follow, Asimov tells a political story set in a far future vision of humanity where... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ryan Lidwell Hendrixson
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the Foundation I've gone full circle
I became an avid science fiction fan when I was in the third grade. Heinlien was my first, followed by Asimov and Clarke and a host of lesser stars. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Robert C. Klingenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars A Science Fiction Classic
This is an amazing book, a classic of the science fiction genre, and I would recommend it to anybody. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Joshua M. Jonkman
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets interesting
Found this a little dry with little character development.
Interesting like a complicated chess game. I hear that book #2 escalates and gets even more intriguing.
Published 5 days ago by Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it the first time I read it 35 years ago and still loved it upon...
One of the best Sci-Fic novels ever written. I read the first 3 books 35 years ago and never forgot them. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Debra Long
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning....
The first book in the Foundation Trilogy. That trilogy is now six books. I found Asimov's writing style to be somewhat dated and a bit awkward. Read more
Published 11 days ago by M. Brian Stone
2.0 out of 5 stars meh
it is an underpopulated book that does not explain itself well--lots of two person scenes and sophomoric debating. Read more
Published 11 days ago by john donovan
5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov Foundation Trilogy
I have recently retired and I am catching up on re-reading some of what I consider the best SF books ever. Read more
Published 14 days ago by SAM MCDADE
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor edition
I truly enjoy Isaac Asimov. I wore out my last copy of the Foundation trilogy, and was hoping this would be a suitable replacement. Read more
Published 18 days ago by LAWalker
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Topic From this Discussion
Kindle Missing Foundation Books
The entire series need to be available on Kindle . The robots series is available so why not this series?
Sep 27, 2011 by Rotem Gorodeisky |  See all 6 posts
Kindle version not available for UK
Unfortunately, this kindle book is not available all across Europe. This leads to a very stupid situation: from the Foundation trilogy, title 3 (Second Foundation) is available for me, but not the first two... Is it supposed to encourage me to buy books for my kindle 3 from somebody else as... Read more
Dec 8, 2010 by Raphael Coeffic |  See all 9 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 2 posts
Book Discussion of Asimov's Foundation
One thing that always bothered me was why Asimov chose to create a whole separate group of mentalics to create Gaia, and in the process basically invalidate everything Hari Seldon strove for. It weakens the series so much. If he wanted to do a Gaia type of ending, why not have the Second... Read more
Jun 24, 2008 by D. Peterschmidt |  See all 8 posts
Can you read just this first novel?
I think you have to consider that there would never have been a second in the series if the original had not stood on its own and been satisfying in and of itself. I think you will be more then happy with the first but hope you will go on and try the rest as well
Apr 10, 2010 by H. Schmoll |  See all 3 posts
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