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Foundation's Edge (Foundation Novels) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF' The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they return to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reissue edition (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553293389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553293388
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've tried reading some of the newer SF authors and some of them, especially in the last several years, have turned out to be surprisingly excellent. Nevertheless I keep returning to the old masters with whom I grew up.
You know which three. Just so you know where I'm coming from: I've always been primarily a Heinlein fan and Asimov was a close second; although I've read Clarke I never really got into him too much. (Among SF writers since that time, my main loyalties have been to Spider Robinson and James Hogan, and among the _really_ recent ones I've been especially impressed by China Mieville, Richard Morgan, Neal Stephenson, and Robert Sawyer.)
Of the big three, Asimov undoubtedly had the highest literary output as measured in sheer wordage. I've been of the opinion for several years now that the only reason the Good Doctor stopped writing is that somebody went and told him he'd died. I have my own views about what parts of his output were of the highest quality, but there's little doubt that the Foundation series (not a "trilogy"; it was originally published as a series of short stories and novellas) is among his best known.
(He's also known, of course, for his famous robot stories. Long before the current generation of cyberwriters started screaming mouthlessly and crashing snowily, Asimov was writing compelling tales of mechanical intelligence on the presumption that such technology was on _our_ side. And like Heinlein -- and with just as little credit among modern writers -- he anticipated the recent explosion in information technology. For Heinlein, see especially _Friday_; for Asimov, drop by Trantor and visit the Galactic Library.)
He had secured his place in SF history fifty years before his death.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you've already formed an opinion about Isaac Asimov's writing, FOUNDATION'S EDGE isn't likely to change your mind. The book has all of Asimov's earmarks, both good and bad: wooden characters who almost always know exactly how they feel and say exactly what they mean; dialogue-heavy scenes in which the exchanges are drenched with ideas and cerebral analysis but almost devoid of emotion or neurosis; an inventive setting replete with plausible details; and a propulsive, energetic plot that delivers lots of suspense and surprises. I already liked Asimov before I picked up the book, and it certainly didn't disappoint me, but it's not going to convert anybody who only wants to read about nuanced characters making subtle self-discoveries.
Because the plot is one of the book's best features, to say too much about it would spoil the fun for too many readers, so I'll limit myself to one of its most interesting aspects, which is that it attempts to tie together a number of Asimov's works. Without giving too much away, it's fair to say that part of the book's project is to meld the fictional "universes" of the Robot stories, the Empire novels, and THE END OF ETERNITY with that of the FOUNDATION trilogy. Many Asimov fans have derided this decision, claiming that it marks the beginning of his decline as a science fiction writer. For myself, while I can't say that I find the attempt at retrofitting fictional consistency onto highly disparate works to be particularly compelling or convincing, I do find it interesting. Consider that Asimov was an atheist, who argued that in the absence of any persuasive evidence of a Supreme Being (of which he could find none), it was more rational to believe in God's nonexistence than in His existence.
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Foundation's Edge is chronologically the sixth book in the Foundation series. The events here take place about two hundred years after those in the novel Second Foundation. The book introduces a surprising new element into Asimov's fictional universe.
Essentially, a couple key people in the First Foundation realize that the Second Foundation survives and is likely still guiding the First Foundation in following the Seldon Plan. Mayor Branno of Terminus sends the young politician Golan Trevize out to attempt to draw the Second Foundation's attention and thus bring them out of hiding.
At the same time, Stor Gendibal of the Second Foundation believes that things are going too smoothly and that some third party may be directing humanity's course, even to the extent of controlling the Second Foundation! He is also aware of Trevize's mission (through a secret agent on Terminus) and thinks that Trevize is headed for a rendezvous with this other organization. So Gendibal sets out to pursue Trevize and to hopefully locate this sinister controlling entity.
Some very surprising information is revealed in the last couple chapters of the book. To fully appreciate the revelations, you should read the four-book Robot series prior to reading Foundation's Edge. In addition, Asimov makes a couple references to the third Empire novel "Pebble In The Sky". Therefore, I recommend first reading the Robot series, then the Empire series (three books), and finally the seven Foundation novels. This will give you Asimov's complete vision in chronological order.
Overall I enjoyed Foundation's Edge and liked the new characters it introduced. It's a fairly long read but the pace picks up when the plot lines begin converging about two-thirds of the way through.
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