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Second Foundation Library Binding – October, 2008
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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From the Inside Flap
Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long.
After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins--destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule. But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism. The Mule failed to find it the first time--but now he is certain he knows where it lies.
The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only fourteen years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed...before it destroys them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Isaac Asimov was the Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the founder of robot ethics, the world's most prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. The Good Doctor's fiction has been enjoyed by millions for more than half a century. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Nobody, except one man, a psychologist named Hari Seldon. He invented the concept of psychohistory, predicting the behavior of human masses. The behavior of one human being is unpredictable, but the behavior of masses of people can be predicted in their reactions to any event. The greater the mass, the easier it is to predict their reactions.
In predicting the fall of an empire, Dr. Seldon foresees 30,000 years of barbarism, a dark age, ahead for humanity. The fall of this empire could not be averted, but the period of barbarism could be reduced from 30,000 years down to 1,000 years, so Dr. Seldon sets up two foundations, “at opposite ends of the galaxy” in order to observe and intervene when necessary when a major crisis arises, and for the Foundation, the First Foundation in this case, can deal with it and move on with its work.
Dr. Asimov himself has stated that this trilogy is based on the book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” You can see the resemblances here. Rome itself was also known as Terminus back in the days of the empire. When Rome fell, it did split apart into feudal kingdoms before the Renaissance, and then the nation-state came into being. Don’t forget the Barbarians, the Germanic tribes to the North of Europe.
With this, you have an interesting book. Little kingdoms are formed as the empire falls apart, all trying to be the top power, with several battles taking place here and there. There are different planets with different physical features; one planet always faces its sun, with the inhabitants living on the border day/night (twilight) zone. Another planet being cold nine months of the year, and, of course, Trantor, the capital with one gigantic city covering the whole planet, until it gets sacked.
What is different is that the two foundations, in the book, try to minimize the barbarous, or chaotic, era to 1,000 years, controlled by the First Foundation, which is openly displayed for all to see. The Second Foundation was a lot more mysterious, with no one knowing where it is.
Terminus is a planet with no natural resources, so the people, especially the scientists, placed there have to use their ingenuity to come up with ways to control the masses in the galaxy by way of a religion, the Galactic Spirit (similar to Christianity) and also come up with miniature technology, i.e. atomic weapons and power plants the size of a golf ball (my example). Whenever Terminus, of the Foundation is threatened, the image of Hari Seldon appears in a room, where the top echelon of the Foundationers gather, and Seldon tells of the crisis he predicted and tells the Foundationers what they should do about it. Terminus rises from a threatened entity to an indispensable society, with the other kingdoms highly dependent on it.
All goes well, and the First Foundation starts to rise as a new force in the galaxy, until the coming of an unforeseen conqueror, the Mule. The Mule has a way of controlling minds from afar and uses it to establish his own empire. He could turn his most bitter foes into his closest allies through mind control. (One person pointed out to me that this is similar to the coming of Islam, but this is very different).
This is where the mysterious Second Foundation comes in, and both the Mule and others start to search for it, to destroy it, but the Second Foundation uses deception to lead these searcher off the track. They also have a “counter mind control” that threatens the Mule himself.
This book will take you to planets and lead you into battles, battles that were started by those you would not suspect for reasons that you would never guess. In a way, this book could be a psychology book, teaching you the reactions of the masses whenever a crisis occurs. Psychohistory is becoming a new and important discipline in our society today.
The original trilogy was written in the early 1950s, but it is not dated by any means. All of these situations could be applied today. For example, look at the condition of the United States and see what could be ahead for them. Look at the masses of people and how they react to the present crisis we are in, and will find a lot of similarities.
Asimov has written two sequels to this trilogy, and two prequels after that, leading you to other series of books, including the robot novels, but this trilogy is the core of his writings, and it is a good stand along book, or books, since there are three of them.
If you decide to get into his “Foundation series,” read this trilogy first, then delve into the robot novels and others, then reread this trilogy.
If you read the Trilogy years ago and want to read it again, yes, this is the right book. If you're a science fiction fan and you haven't read the Foundation Trilogy, you really should.
But enough about the story. There are many fine reviews out there already. Besides, if you're thinking about buying it you probably already know it is a classic. You probably already know what it's all about. So what about the book itself? How's it made?
Like all the Everyman's Library books, this is a nicely done hardcover. It seems to have good quality paper, with a nice ivory color. Print clarity is good. The cover is red cloth, with a gold ribbon bookmark and a slipcover with (as you can see) a young Isaac Asimov gazing at you seriously. (You can't pull that serious look on me, Asimov. I know you're also known for collecting and publishing collections of dirty limericks.)
I think they should have made the book thicker, because the text size is a little smaller than I find ideal. But it does fit three rather lengthy books into one compact volume, which is good for conserving your bookshelf space. Nicely done.