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Forward the Foundation Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Strictly _as_ a Foundation book, I don't think this one is quite as strong as its immediate predecessor, _Prelude to Foundation_. It's good, all right -- but it's not very tightly unified, the writing is sloppy in places, and it introduces a few things that seem to contradict the original series at certain points.
What really makes this four-vignettes-plus-an-epilogue volume so engaging is that in it, Hari Seldon has clearly become a literary alter ego for Asimov himself. And Asimov was well aware as he wrote it that he hadn't long to live.
And _that_ suggests that in writing about Dors Venabili, Wanda Seldon, and psychohistory, Asimov was "really" _also_ writing about his wife Janet Jeppson Asimov, his daughter Robyn, and his own literary oeuvre. So completely aside from its value as an SF novel (or, really, a story collection), it's also of great interest for the light it sheds on Asimov himself.
Asimov is generally credited with three autobiographies: _In Memory Yet Green_, _In Joy Still Felt_, and _I. Asimov_ -- the last being my personal favorite because it's the most introspective and revealing of Asimov's character. (Excerpts from all three, plus some further surprising revelations that you've probably heard about by now, are included in Janet Jeppson Asimov's _It's Been a Good Life_.)
But there's a case to be made that he wrote a fourth volume of autobiography, and that this is it. At the very least, this work of ostensible fiction is almost as revealing of Asimov's character and end-of-life concerns as any of his nonfictional autobiographies.
For that alone, it will be of interest to every Asimov fan. May the Good Doctor rest in peace.
The novel consists of four parts, each separated by about ten years. This is really about Seldon, and the path his life takes. In the first part, many things are simliar to Prelude, the Empire is falling to pieces, an old friend from the Robot series is the person functionally running the empire, and psychohistory is still just a fledgling science. He and his wife, who is his protector (appointed by Daneel Olivaw), have adopted the young boy they encountered in Prelude. The events of this first part see the departure of Daneel, with Seldon being unexpectedly elevated to fill his position.
Part two deals with Seldon's life as a political functionary, running the dying empire while trying to hammer out psychohistory so that he can save humanity. Again, a major character exits the scene, but not quite as one might expect. This results in Seldon exiting politics and focusing solely on his work in part three. Governmental authority has been assumed by the military, and psychohistory is finally able to make some predictions. Hari loses an old friend and his family uncovers a plot to kill someone, they think Hari is the target. While the plot twists a bit in this part are VERY well done, the end is really tragic. This time Hari lost the most important person in the galaxy to him.
In part four, Hari is essentially all alone, with only his granddaughter remaining of all the friends and family he once had.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The greatest SF series ever! Get all seven books of the Foundation.Published 14 hours ago by V. Register
The last of the Foundation books, how sad! The journey of the Foundation series, both the original and the prelude books is perhaps the greatest sci-fi series I’ve read. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Robert Holt
Classic Asimov. This book is a great lead into the "first written" Foundation novel.Published 11 days ago by Todd Mills
Very interesting book, flowing, makes me want to read the rest of the story (5 more books)Published 1 month ago by Itai Bar-Haim