Ok, let s begin with the fact that I tackled this trilogy when I was 12 I m sure that, were I to pick it up once , my appreciation would grow exponentially HOWEVER, as wonderful as Asimov is, he writes like an engineer He s careful and methodical, and the plot that weaves through the Foundation series is unbelievably complex If you ve got the time, and you enjoy Sci fi, go ahead and pick up Prelude and follow Hari s awesome adventure. Foundation 1951 Gigantic brain warping grand science fiction, this is as big as it gets, so big it s difficult to fully comprehend From the first page of Chapter 1, The Psychohistorians , which begins with a quote from the Encyclopedia Galactica , beginning in the 11,998th year of the Galactic Era, you know that Isaac Asimov is going to be writing on the largest possible scale Let s take a look at what type of a man would dare write on such a staggeringly gigantic scale This is the most confidant looking man in horn rimmed glasses and a bow tie that you will ever see That confidence and determination in his eyes is borne from the knowledge that he is going to blow your world into another freaking universe He is concocting a story which will encompass 25 Million inhabited worlds and will involve time lines which play out over tens of thousands of years, involving sciences which will stretch your powers of comprehension With Foundation , Asimov sets his sights as high and as far as it is possible to conceive, resulting in a marvelous, and indeed humbling, intellectual edifice of awesome proportions I was very satisfactorily and indubitably rocked by it s mind warping majesty It makes perfect sense that the Hugo Award for Best All Time Series was created in 1966 specifically to honor this achievement in science fiction.This first book in the series begins with establishing both a new science, psychohistory a type of mathematical sociology The first book is a whirlwind of ideas and descriptions of a gigantic and futuristic human empire of the distant future.Foundation And Empire 1952 Perhaps not so great as Foundation , this book is written in two main parts, the first of which was gigantic, epic science fiction that I was hoping for The second part, The Mule , I frankly did not like I did not care to be reading about the Mule or Magnifico the Clown, I wanted hard Foundation stuff, big science, psychohistory and scientists performing stunning upsets I was unsure how all this played into psychohistory or how these characters fit into Hari Seldon s timeline of the future Maybe I didn t like it because it derailed Seldon s psychohistory and thousand year plan However, these concerns were assuaged in Second Foundation.Second Foundation 1953 Split into two parts, the first part deals with the Mule and his easy conquest and the disruption of the Seldon plan I did not particularly care for this and was anxious for it to be over The second part finally does away with the Mule and it s back to Foundation scientists and Second Foundation psychohistorians, which I absolutely loved Asimov basically tells a plausible story with some weird bits, and then in the last chapter, a character comes along and you have to totally reinterpret what has happened, and why the weird bits were absolutely important even though the reader overlooked them and was focused on other events in the story Asimov does this again and again and it s always marvelous He did it in the first book, a bit in the second, and here in Second Foundation As a trilogy, I had some concerns which may or may not have been cleared up but that I perhaps didn t notice maybe I just wasn t smart enough to notice them being cleared up in the subtle and elegant fashion which Asimov moves the plot along by slipping in facts which become relevant later.1 With interplanetary travel, the people on any given planet will age normally, but people traveling between worlds will not age as fast, because space travel is time travel If you travel from planet A to planet B, then back again, you may have taken 5 years to travel, but once you get back to planet A, it should be hundreds of years from when you left depending on how fast you were traveling Asimov must have known this, but it seems to not have been incorporated into the story A possible workaround is that that they make jumps in space, so traveling from planet A to planet B requires no great disparity in the elapsing of time on either the planets, or to the travelers However, this is never explicitly stated Perhaps this is obvious to other SF readers 2 There seemed to be no great emphasis on the advancement of human biology or culture One girl character is 5 4 and Hari Seldon dies when he is about 73 years old That s not very futuristic, is it I would expect the human race of thousands of years hence to be vastly taller, to live longer, and to to have very high IQs There were other anachronistic elements, like Darrell having a maid , and a soldier saying Ain t Keep in mind that these events take place at least 12,000 years after the establishment of a galactic empire, where the original home world of humans is no longer even known because it is lost in the mists of prehistory But people still say Ain t and sit around smoking cigars and reading newspapers And there are farmers Is this the future, as conceived of circa 1950 3 I am likewise incredulous that Asimov has constructed a fictional galaxy of over 24 million inhabited worlds in which there is no mention of any alien life, sentient or otherwise Given the vastness and age of space, and the uniformity of physical laws and elements, many astronomers will opine that the universe is quite literally teeming with life It seems implausible that human life is the only one across millions of inhabited worlds.Despite these issues, Asimov has constructed a grant universe and plot which takes place over 500 years, a trilogy which is not only grand but very detailed, his story is filled with intricacies and shows a dedicated attention to detail and story construction An absolute monument of Science Fiction. A THOUSAND YEAR EPIC, A GALACTIC STRUGGLE, A MONUMENTAL WORK IN THE ANNALS OF SCIENCE FICTION FOUNDATION Begins A New Chapter In The Story Of Man S Future As The Old Empire Crumbles Into Barbarism Throughout The Million Worlds Of The Galaxy, Hari Seldon And His Band Of Psychologists Must Create A New Entity, The Foundation Dedicated To Art, Science, And Technology As The Beginning Of A New Empire FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE Describes The Mighty Struggle For Power Amid The Chaos Of The Stars In Which Man Stands At The Threshold Of A New Enlightened Life Which Could Easily Be Destroyed By The Old Forces Of Barbarism SECOND FOUNDATION Follows The Seldon Plan After The First Empire S Defeat And Describes Its Greatest Threat A Dangerous Mutant Strain Gone Wild, Which Produces A Mind Capable Of Bending Men S Wills, Directing Their Thoughts, Reshaping Their Desires, And Destroying The Universe You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.Mind games at their finest In The Foundation Trilogy, comprised of Foundation Book 1 , Foundation and Empire Book 2 , and Second Foundation Book 3 , you ll quickly find yourself in front of an author whose grasp on science fiction is beyond belief Faridea driven than character driven, Isaac Asimov crafts the rise and fall of civilization in an intricate and astonishing prose Tackling subjects ranging from religion to politics, this story will challenge your comprehension of individuals, but especially of collectives Spanning over centuries, the Foundation series is nothing like you ve ever seen before Foundation propels us in a time period where the Galactic Empire has thrived for over 12000 years Psychohistorian Hari Seldon however shocks the world by announcing an impending Dark Age where the Empire will fall and dwell in barbarism for almost thirty millennia unless the Empire s Commission of Public Safety permits him to establish a back up plan that will guarantee a muchshorter age of barbarism and the promise of rebirth It is on this premise that resides the adventures to come and thus leaves us with the torturous question Will Hari Seldon s plan bear fruit In Foundation, Isaac Asimov introduces readers to psychohistory The idea behind this field of study is that the behavior of masses, in billions, can be predicted thanks to complex mathematical algorithms, while an individual s behavior remains almost impossible to anticipate The originality behind this concept is beyond reproach and will drive this universe from the very beginning It s in Hari Seldon s comprehension of masses that the faith of humanity resides on and it s in Isaac Asimov s creativity that this series wonders will shine in success Of all three books, Foundation will undoubtedly go down as my favourite of the trilogy because of not only how magnificent and grandiose the ideas were, but because Isaac Asimov manages to fit what seemed like a gargatuan amount of content into just 250 pages To put the cherry on top of the cake, the major plot twist in the first book one that merits praise and definitely secured the first book s spot as my favourite book of the trilogy changes the game in unimaginable ways and remains one of the most important moment in the Foundation series.What I also loved a lot about Foundation is its themes Isaac Asimov serves us with countless questions to ponder on as events unfold on galactic scales For instance, the idea of free will is greatly challenged as Hari Seldon s plan basically strips individuals of their ability to control their destiny on a societal level It just makes you wonder how people feel when there actions as individuals won t matter in the bigger picture I also love how violence is depicted and how the author represents true power Throughout this series you ll quickly come to realize that there s often only one type of behavior that will win the war, while the other will only win battles The writing style also helps in delivering the prose fluidly without ever feeling jaded or overwhelmed In fact, I found that the structure, composed of short stories, packed a lot punch and kept the intrigue at a high level In all honesty, this one series that felt extremely accessible and easy to follow Everything was straight forward, even the countless twists to come While characters come and go, their dialogues remain pertinent and striking whenever they do appear.Foundation and Empire takes place a couple years later and introduces us to new characters The story presents us a muchpowerful Foundation that easily takes care of the menace that represents the Empire until an unexpected force enters the stage This individual who goes by the name of The Mule is known by countless to be a mutant with powers that no one has ever seen before He is also the one factor that Hari Seldon s plan had never accounted for Its the inclusion of such a character that threatens to put an end to a future that seemed sealed that brings new life to a story that seemed to know only one end This second book in the series also presents us with our first female character when you would ve thought that this whole series would only have had men doing the impossible and changing the world individually This was definitely interesting since the introduction of a woman also brought into play the one thing that never seem to be in the way of men in this story emotions Foundation and Empire also changes its structure by splitting the book into two parts rather than having multiple short stories The change was sort of unfortunate as the short stories seemed muchpoignant, but it definitely didn t take away the astonishing historical scope of this story.The third book in the series, Second Foundation focuses on a second Foundation that was hidden away in a secret remote location that no one knows about in order to remain unaffected by the actions and events that the Empire and the Foundation will come face to face with Similar to the second book, this one is also split in two as the first part neatly ties things up regarding The Mule and the second part weaves us through the hunt for the second Foundation One of the elements that was regrettable is the level of predictability In these last two books, I found myself foreseeing the ruses and the twists that were integrated Even if I saw a couple moves ahead, I still thought that the ideas conveyed were brilliant In Second Foundation, I also loved the introduction of a second female character a little girl this time who glowed with a radiant Sherlock Holmes vibe in whatever she did If Isaac Asimov ever wrote a book just for her, I d read it now please let me know The finale in this book was also brilliant and kept you at the edge of your seat without you realizing Just when you think things were done, expect the unexpected.The Foundation trilogy isn t an adventure where you ll find yourself connecting with characters It s a universe where you ll be mesmerized by the ideas and Isaac Asimov s foray into the human psyche and the evolution of civilization As you acquaint yourself to key players in a plan to save humanity from falling into barbarism, you ll find yourself in awe at the countless twists and turns that are thrown into this giant game of chess Science, religion, economy, history, philosophy and politics will all be explored in their rawest forms and everything will always feel complementary to one another While the trilogy remains the three most important books of the series and must reads for any science fiction fan, Isaac Asimov expands the universe with sequels and prequels, as well as separate short stories for starving devotees Published in 1951, this trilogy remains a colossal piece of art in this day and age There is honestly no excuses out there that could justify putting this classic aside.Yours truly,Lashaan Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog games at their finest In The Foundation Trilogy, comprised of Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, you ll quickly find yourself in front of an author whose grasp on science fiction is beyond belief Faridea driven than character driven, Isaac Asimov crafts the rise and fall of civilization in an intricate and astonishing prose Tackling subjects ranging from religion to politics, this story will challenge your comprehension of individuals, but also of collectives P.S Full review to come soon.Yours truly,Lashaan Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog I read some short stories by Asimov in High School and although he never measured up to the likes Rohald Dahl or Kurt Vonnegut I seem to remember actually enjoying some of them, but there s no way I can pretend that this novel was anything other than awful This is bad science fiction in every sense of the word, overly descriptive of irrelevant details, filled soulless characters all with the same emotionless analytical voice, events that seem to have no purpose and all take place in a world that s extremely difficult to contextualise and even harder to care about and written with no style or eye for pacing I read at least half of the book and I honestly can t tell you what was happening, who any of the characters were or what was at stake This is one of those books that is so uninteresting it s actually infuriating Great science fiction uses the conceits of the genre to deal with big philosophical and questions and confront socio political constructs, but it makes the reader care about these issues by putting a relatable character with basic human dilemmas at the centre This is where Foundation fails, it s all ideas and no humanity I d love to disseminate it , but honestly, who cares Who the fuck even cares Do not recommend. Wow, WHAT AN END to the trilogy After going through the pains of the three books, because I am not used to reading Space Operas like this, the third book ended on an extremely satisfying note.All the three books contained some dull sections for me, not to mention several times when I was coming across what I would call Asimov s bad writing style However, I will say that the chronicling of the events taking place within the confines of the trilogy have been in itself brilliantly structured and placed It was the mystery of the Second Foundation that made me kept going, and the twists It is surprising however, that Asimov has avoided the inclusion of any extra terrestrial life forms in the books, which to me makes me think that either they were irrelevant and thus intentionally not included, or perhaps they have been kept away from the brinks of the Galaxy in the Foundation Universe only to may be include them in the later books of the series P view spoiler Spanning about 400 years of history during the Foundation Era,Foundation book one deals with the organised establishment of its colony and on how it prevents itself from destructionFoundation and Empire book two deals with the coming and rise of a black swan and how it deviates the prognosis Hari Seldon s Plan using psycho historySecond Foundation book three then deals with how the Second Foundation gets rid of the Mutant, and is now faced with a situation wherein the required outcome s probability of the Seldon Plan is reduced drastically The story then progresses as to how the Second Foundation manipulates events that happen, using the mathematical equations representing the science of human behaviour, to increase this level of probability such that future events occur as devised by Hari Seldon hide spoiler The Foundation Trilogy is widely considered one of the most influential science fiction series ever written it even won a Hugo award for the best all time series back in the 60 s.And I get it I can see why it s so influential, mostly because I ve read and seen the books and movies and television shows that have been influenced by it I m mostly talking about The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy and Futurama, but there are countless others Isaac Asimov has so many fantastic, interesting ideas he s tracing the fall and rise of a civilization, using past history to guide him In the span of three novels we ve seen this history play out over 400 years, and seen how people originally seen as minor players were revered down in history later on.It s just that it s so dry Seriously I realize that the ideas areimportant than the writing, but this is a book I needthan interesting ideas to keep me motivated to read.The books do get better, however, I will admit that But Foundation, the first book in the series, is hard to get over I took a four month hiatus in between that and the second book because I couldn t get over how dry it was Seriously, Foundation consists of people sitting around talking about ideas All the action happens off the stage, and we re left to hear people discuss ideas I get that Asimov is telling a broad history, and that history isinfluenced by backroom politicking than different battles, but I wish he had given us something And since the novel takes place over quite a long period, I never really felt like I had the time to devote much attention or interest in any particular character.Asimov definitely picks up the pace in Foundation and Empire While the first half is reminiscent of Foundation, he at least seems aware of this fact, and has one of his characters comment on the absurd amount of talking everybody does But it s the second half, about the Mule, where things really get interesting This is the story that deviates from intended purpose of the series, where one man with abnormal capabilities disrupts the plan and a small band of people have to join together to defeat him There was still quite a bit of talking, but it was spliced in between action and characters having to make important decisions in order to save the whole galaxy while on the run from a great evil Bayta Darrell and The Mule are interesting, flawed characters who grow and change Bayta especially is one of the most clever people in the series, and I wish that she had appeared inthan just this book she s clever enough to match wits with any science fiction hero, and she s able to use her inherent goodness against the most manipulative of foes Second Foundation was my favorite book of the series Asimov still reverted to talking, but there was far less of it Besides, this book also introduces us to the first truly funny character in the series Arkady Darrell, who is mostly funny by the virtue of her being 14 and who gains all of her knowledge from books and television stories about spies and other romance stories This is not a new character archetype Don Quixote is the most famous, but there are many others And it s a lot of fun to see Arkady go from a naive 14 year old girl, obsessed with living out the roles in her books and movies like any true hero to a 14 year old girl who understands that the world is an incredibly dangerous place and that her actions can cause great harm to a lot of the people she holds near and dear It s the most true journey of any character presented in this series so far , and it s incredibly rewarding I d go back and read about Arkady any day, though I d probably skip the last chapter.I get what Asimov was trying to do with the Foundation series And there are times, when he moves away from the archetypical science fiction hero who is right and doesn t really have any sort of interesting journey to characters who learn and grow and change, that he really succeeds And while the last half of Foundation and Empire and almost all of Second Foundation are worth it, I just can t get over the first book and a half I m glad I read it, because now I get so many of the references that I see in other science fiction series, but I don t know that I d ever reread it I certainly wouldn t reread all of it But when I inevitably reread The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy and its sequels, at least I ll have a better understanding of the jokes. 4.5 5 Rese a en espa ol debajo My problem with science fiction is the freedom of the authors to use words referring to physical phenomena to describe a certain technology For those who do not know, I have a degree and a PhD in physics, and the nerd in me can not avoid to think about how that technology would work, so I usually spend a lot of time frustrating myself because I can not find the meaning Something like that happened to me with Hyperion, by Dan Simmons.However, although Asimov left me thinking for a while with some artifacts, in general the narrative has focused on aspects such as the personality of several characters in this trilogy I thought it was a wonderful book, which I could not stop reading It is really fascinating to read about the development of the Foundation during the years of anarchy, and I definitely want to read muchabout this author There is not a minute of boredom.Since the saga of the Foundation takes several centuries, we do not see the point of view of a few characters, but several generations are the ones who tell us this story, people with different personalities and motivations.I really recommend it a lot.Mi problema con la ciencia ficci n, es la libertad de quienes la escriben de utilizar palabras referidas a fen menos f sicos para describir una determinada tecnolog a Para quienes no lo saben, tengo un grado y un doctorado en f sica, y la nerd en m no puede evitar ponerse a pensar c mo esa tecnolog a funcionar a, por lo que suelo pasar mucho tiempo frustr ndome por no poder encontrarle el sentido Algo as me pas con Hyperion, de Dan Simmons.Sin embargo, aunque Asimov me dej pensando un buen rato con algunos artefactos, en general la narraci n se ha enfocado en aspectos como la personalidad de varios personajes de esta trilog a Me ha parecido un libro maravilloso, al que no pod a parar de leer Es realmente fascinante acompa ar al desarrollo de la Fundaci n durante los a os de anarqu a, y definitivamente tengo ganas de leer mucho m s de este autor No hay un minuto de aburrimiento.Dado que la saga de la Fundaci n ocupa varios siglos, no vemos el punto de vista de unos pocos personajes, sino que varias generaciones son las que nos cuentan esta historia, personas con diferentes personalidades y motivaciones.Realmente lo recomiendo much simo. The Foundation trilogy is made up from a series of short stories published between 1942 and 1953 At the dawn of American dominance, Asimov as a fiction writer was inspired to write about decline and fall, rather like Edward Gibbon turned his attention to the end of Rome no sooner had victory in the Seven Years War set the seal on British ascendancy, but with science fiction as his medium.Asimov was fond of locked door murder mysteries and this technique of creating a seemingly impossible situation and resolving it cleverly is one that he used in the Foundation series The resolutions are clever The series is enjoyable for its interest in big questions rather than big battles in spaces with loads of exploding things.But back to locked door mysteries First Asimov locks the door by inventing a concept that he calls psychohistory This is a super science that allows the reasonably precise prediction of the future and this is the basis of the whole set of stories Super scientist Harri Seldon using his magic powers mcguffin technique of psychohistory realises that the Galactic Empire in which he lives, is going to decline and collapse into a horrible galactic dark age in the very near future However he has also calculated that by planting a colony of scientists in a safe spot this dark age can be minimised This Foundation will undergo various ups and downs and existential threats as it grows to create become a future galactic republic, all of which ups and downs are predicted by psychohistory, and by means of a fancy nuclear powered hologram thingamajig, he, Harri Seldon, can broadcast suitably condescending messages to impress the people of the future The door is closed how can the stories be interesting if the results are known and predictable in advance and the key turns in the lock The first solution is that the people of Foundation don t have access to the predictions and so fulfil them unwittingly Then random events do occur particularly in Foundation and Empire , which appear spectacular but don t turn out to have a long term impact Finally it turns out that a super secret cabal of psycho historians had been hidden away to keep the plan on course In the last of these early stories the Foundation becomes aware of this Second Foundation and embarks on a McCarthite witch hunt for them Very much of its time with its fear of infiltration by people with mysterious mental powers think of The Manchurian Candidate , its interest in technology as the under pining of power, and its concern with Imperial rise and fall Since apparently this series went on to influence Newt Gingrich I can only recommend it to careful readers. When Isaac Asimov learned that the World Science Fiction Convention would be giving a special Hugo Award in 1966 for Best All Time Series, he believed that the category had been created specifically to honor J.R.R Tolkien s Lord of the Rings trilogy Indeed, for a modern reader, it s surprising to learn that Asimov s Foundation Trilogy was once so highly revered in the canon of speculative fiction that it beat Tolkien s masterpiece for the prize Such are the fortunes of a genre built on the challenge of looking forward when the future actually arrives, even its greatest masterpieces are left looking like the relics of a hopelessly distant past The Foundation Trilogy is not the greatest multi novel series to emerge from modern science fiction Nor is it, by even a generous assessment, a masterpiece Perhaps the series fared better in a time when the expectations placed upon sci fi writers was that they would produce entertaining pulp when the novelty and intellectual reach of Asimov s ideas could distract from his lacking style By today s standards, however, the work is almost hopelessly inept The premise is this Harry Seldon, the greatest psychologist of the far future, predicts that the Galactic Empire will crumble ala Rome within a few hundred years of his writing Using the science of psychohistory his own invention , he foresees an intellectual Dark Age of approximately 30,000 years following this collapse, but he also calculates that this period can be shortened to a single millennium if the right people are in the right places to keep the flame of knowledge lit Thus, he creates two Foundations, groups that work behind the scenes to keep learning alive through the empire s fall.The story spins bizarrely but predictably from there wars, rumors of war, deranged mutants, psychologists with seemingly supernatural abilities, resolution Asimov s unflinching faith in the potential of science is the real focus throughout In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, we ve come to understand that even closed systems are fundamentally unpredictable over any considerable length of time in Asimov s time, there was still faith that science could predict the future of a galaxy spanning empire over the course of thousands of years The naivety of the late 40s and early 50s, however, is not what prevents The Foundation Trilogy from being the masterpiece it was once considered to be Asimov s plot isn t perfect, but it s functional Rather, the work s real failings are literary The characters are flat, cardboard cutouts of people, the great leaders of one generation virtually indistinguishable from the next women, of course, are almost never to be seen, with the notable exception of a rather likable young heroine in the second part of Second Foundation Nor is there poetry in Asimov s prose instead, there are merely endless pages of expository dialogue occasionally graced with the most meager of descriptions Fundamentally at issue here is the fact that science fiction has earned the right to be considered literature, and that the canonization of works like Foundation serve only as unpleasant reminders of the genre s humble beginnings It is not an altogether terrible work, and certainly worth reading for historical context alone, but advocates of contemporary science fiction can only hope that novels such as these will one day no longer be the standard by which the genre s literary merits are weighed.