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Prelude to Foundation [Kindle Edition]

Isaac Asimov
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 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

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

To Emperor Cleon I, the science of psychohistory seems to offer the opportunity to predict and direct the course of his Galactic Empire. To Hari Seldon, discoverer of the still theoretical science, it becomes a nightmare as the young historian becomes the most wanted man in the colonized universe. An intricately twisted plot, uncomplicated but amiable characters, and an abundance of leisurely explication mark Asimov's latest addition to his classic Foundation novels. While familiarity with earlier titles is not necessary, series followers will particularly enjoy this prequel. Recommended.JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.?

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1641 KB
  • Print Length: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (March 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003EY7JH6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,473 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
168 of 168 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel has a subtle beginning. I would take a little to time reading the beginning to absorb Asimov's setting and style here. The science of psychohistory that laid out the Foundation had to start somewhere, and this is where it starts and with Hari Seldon. So there's a lot written of Seldon's early life and a lot about different sections of the Galactic Empire capital planet of Trantor. Seldon is not represented as some sort of superman, but if you've read other books in the Foundation series, as someone to admire, and is seen as a person outside of just psychohistory. Sort of like seeing the famous photograph of Albert Einstein riding a bicycle. And as others in the Empire see the potential power of psychohistory, even before Seldon does, thus begins the race to harness that power. The joy, and the point, in reading this novel is in the knowing the eventual power of psychohistory and thus how it develops. Seldon has to be persuaded to progress his theory of psychohistory by the other interesting characters in the novel. Can you imagine, early in the 20th century, having to go "come on Albert, will you at least *try* to develop the theory of General Relativity".

There are two type of readers that would be potentially interested in reading this book for the first time: those that have read the traditional Foundation series and are wondering if they should continue here with this prequel, and those that haven't read the originals and are wondering if they should start here. For the former, sure with the understanding that Asimov's style will be different 40 years after he wrote the novellas of the original series, and for the former, no, I would start with Asimov's original Foundation trilogy.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning book of the famous Foundation series. June 26, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1988, Asimov published a prequel to his famous Foundation series. He also uses this book to continue to tie in other novels that he had already written, most notably all of the robot stories, particularly involving R. Daneel Olivaw and Lije Baley, as well as "Pebble in the Sky" (1950) (in fact, in such a larger scheme, "Prelude to Foundation" follows "Pebble in the Sky" and precedes "Forward the Foundation" (1993)). In this novel, he finally uses Hari Seldon as a main character. A young assistant professor of mathematics, Hari Seldon, travels to the planet Trantor (the governing planet of the galactic empire) to present a paper at a convention on a new field he has begun referred to as psychohistory. In his paper, Seldon suggests that it might be theoretically possible to develop mathematical equations and techniques of analyses to predict, with strong statistical analysis, future events of human history on a broad scale (in which the discipline only is applicable to extremely large numbers of people). Asimov provides some hints that this field might use chaos theory as well, although he never uses that term. Seldon also believes that, while theoretically possible, it isn't practical. There are those, however, who believe that the galactic empire is collapsing and hope to use a developed psychohistory theory to help direct human society. Seldon finds himself running from the Emperor's agents and hiding in various different enclaves throughout the planet Trantor, and thus learning more and more about Trantor (those reviewers who criticize this trek are obviously missing its importance in the greater scheme of the series). Read more ›
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating starting point May 22, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Foundation-novel I read. After finishing it, I immediately went to the bookstore to buy 10 other Asimovs, which should say enough.. . . The galaxy sketched by Asimov is so colorfull and realistic, one is driven to read the entire book at once. Each department of Trantor has its own characteristics, just like each culture on our tiny 'Aurora'. The problems created by these differences are parallel to 'ours' as well. As I recognised the Big Galactic Problems Asimov adresses in this book in our modern society, I was curious to see the development of the special solution Hari Seldon tried to find for them. You can recognise the scientist in Asimov, when Hari Seldon is asking himself questions about the development of his psychohistory. I was very curious about the answers lined out in the following novels. Furthermore, I was fascinated with the idea of our Earth transformed into a mere legend, and the unexplainable 'Easterns' and 'Westerns' spread into the vast galaxy. Last but not least, the plot was very surprising. Asimov tricked me into some wrong ideas the entire novel. I am reading 'Foundation and Empire' now, and I'm still totally obsessed with it, so I recommend this series to everyone who likes SF-novels as well as social sciences.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at Hari Seldon January 17, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you read Foundation and left wondering more about Hari Seldon, the man, as I did then this is a great book. If you hope that this book will provide some deep insight into psychohistory this is not the book to read. If you have never read the Foundation series before, this would be a fine book to start with. However I think it is a little lacking in the level of richness and detailed plot that the other books have. It is however still a fun book to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Foundation Series is one of the best stories in science fiction
Classic Asimov. This book is an essential to the Foundation Series. The Foundation Series is one of the best stories in science fiction.
Published 4 days ago by David L.
5.0 out of 5 stars still an amazing read.
the book itself was worn more than i had thought it would be.... It was also an older publication that did not have some of the corrections from the editor that the newer... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Nicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent transition into Foundation
Great read. Much longer than I intoxicated, but it kept me hooked. Much more than I expected for a prequel to the foundation series.
Published 24 days ago by Michael Brawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Continues the great Asimov style
Continues the great Asimov style. He does not need sex or bathroom references to show a range of emotions. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Robert Thorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and it enriches the rest of the Foundation series.
It enriches the rest of the Foundation series.

Even if one were not to read the rest of the series, it would be a great read.
Published 26 days ago by dennis j hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great purchase and great quality service
The book arrived in perfect shape, and is a great read! Definitely recommend this book and service!
Published 26 days ago by Nathan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good background to Foundation series
The novel provides background to the classic Foundation series. There is far less involvement with robots than I had hoped, although it does define rule zero as an addition to the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth A Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars That's probably the worst you can expect
I'm taking off a star not for the story within the book but for the shipping as some of the pages were folded in the back of the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elmo King
5.0 out of 5 stars Great prequel story
I simply couldn't stop reading it! I'll start reading the next one immediately :-)
Published 1 month ago by Cristiano M. Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Just reread the entire Foundation
Excellent. Just reread the entire Foundation Series
Published 1 month ago by Robert Brownback
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