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Foundation Paperback – April 29, 2008
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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 --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
`Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age...It will never be known how many practicing scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov'Carl Sagan `Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction'Daily Telegraph `Asimov's career was one of the most formidable in science fiction'The Times --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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The Foundation Trilogy is a wonderful piece of work, but the Kindle edition butchers it! Someone has decided to water down Asimov's prose, eliminating some of the more enjoyable passages of the book. Here are some examples, found by comparison with an old Bantam Doubleday hardcover edition.
Several pages into chapter 3, Salvor Hardin is arguing with the Encyclopedists about the decline of the Empire.
Original: "If you ask me,", he cried, "THE GALAXY IS GOING TO POT!"
Kindle: "If you ask me,", he cried, "THE GALACTIC EMPIRE IS DYING!"
In chapter 5, Hardin is again meeting with the Encyclopedists and discussing the threat received from Anacreon.
Original: The message from Anacreon ... boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement ... "You give us what we want in a week, or we beat the hell out of you and take it anyway."
Kindle: The message from Anacreon ... boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement ... "You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force."
I'm going to be asking for a refund.
In the billion-star inclusive Galactic government, Hari Seldon, a brilliant mathematician, devised a way to accurately plot the future by analyzing past events, trends, and movements in human history. Branded a madman, he and his followers are given a kind of half-exile, half-grant to the planet Terminus, to found their Foundation, which, it seems, is to be a focal point of knowledge for Seldon's predicted coming galactic catastrophe.
But is that all the Foundation is? A glorified university?
Asimov is the herald of a new age, filled with robots, spacetravel and weird technologies beyond our understanding, and sometimes, even our imagination. A thinker, philosopher, and theologian, Asimov's books are chock-full of singular personality and wit.
I recommend Foundation as necessary-reading to any fan of science-fiction who has somehow escaped it thus far. You will NOT be unimpressed.
Personally. I got a little lump in my throat reading the Epilogue in which Hari Seldon writes fini to his life and dedication to history. As in a good tragic love story his last thought . . . . . .
Through the story the author seems to poke holes in paradigms and assumptions in a provocative yet understated way, a wry sense of humor helping to develop the characters and the plot in an engaging and playful, yet thoughtful work.
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