Foundation

Asimov, Isaac

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Foundation
Print
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun--or fight them and be destroyed.

Publisher: New York :, Bantam Spectra Books,, [2008], ©2008
Edition: Bantam trade paperback edition
ISBN: 0553382578
9780553382570
Branch Call Number: FICTION Asi
Characteristics: 244 pages ; 21 cm

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Mar 23, 2015

In early 2015, Hari Seldon, science fiction's answer to Albert Einstein, or Schweitzer, perhaps, couldn't be more well-defined! When America is perceived in many third-world countries today as an "empire" and some encyclopedias even define the US that way, it remains to be seen as to whether or not truth can prevail when confronted with outright lies, general baseless assumptions and bad, post-apocalyptic predictions about someone else's "future." (And by that I mean that the critics often originate outside of the US boundary).. I will say, however, that the idea of a foundation that involves galactic domination is that of a Type III civilization that could be of some use philosophically to students who interact with each other in any country, peacefully, in order to protect and maintain peace, diplomacy and non-agression within the confines of that particular space and time, and inclusive of discussions about the present generation of "mere Earthlings". I have faith and confidence in a peaceful, prosperous future, not consistently marred by violence and confusion, when that can be taught through and avoided. Prophecy is one thing, active truth and choice are something quite different. Remember Job? From the Bible?

Mar 22, 2015
  • jbrookins rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I'm not sure I would classify this book as science fiction. Yes, it takes place in a galaxy far away in a future so distant that the planet of human origin has been forgotten. But the story, what there is of it, takes place almost entirely in conversation about the politics of manipulating and controlling the public through religion and market. For me, there is a lot to like about Asimov's brilliant insight regarding the use of violence - <i>the last refuge of the incompetent</i> - and the nefarious philosophy of winning war by missionary and inscrutable trade practices. I was entertained by quotable quotes I found on almost every page of <i>Foundation</i>. But in the end, that is all the book was, a collection of quotable quotes interspersed in a rather drab story with no effort to develop scene and setting other than a conversation between to thinly developed characters.

I'm going to have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of science fiction which tends to rely heavily on stark landscape, machines and dystopian-like utilitarian society. Asimov did very little to even develop landscape. Nuclear energy is revered by all cultures. Strange notions of handheld nuclear devices gives the bearer clout in spreading the religion of science, but there is no action. <i>"And so after three years of war which was certainly the most unfought war in history, the Republic of Korell surrendered unconditionally"</i>. The entire story is developed in conversation between characters of whom the reader knows nothing.

<i>Drab</i> is the word that comes to mind for me when I consider science fiction and dystopia. For that reason, I am hesitant to start books by Bradbury, Orwell, even Herbert, and now Asimov. The material is entertaining because it is brilliant, but I don't particularly enjoy the story set with dystopian atmosphere, austere characters, machines and stark landscape.

But this seems somehow like a Great American series that I do plan to complete.

Oct 18, 2013
  • anthonybencivengo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Once you've suspended your disbelief (Going from a period of major scientific advances to the darkest of dark ages in less than a century? Really?), you can settle in to an intelligent political thriller that will keep you constantly on the edge of your seat. Isaac Asimov was a remarkable writer, and in this book he builds a strong sense of place despite having only short vingettes to work with as the plotline flies between historical eras and characters with the speed and exhiliration of an FTL drive.

Jul 04, 2013

I liked Foundation's Edge much better than the original trilogy. Better writing and more involved plot. Written much later in his life.

Jul 04, 2013
  • BrickBook rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a very old-style, classic SF story. I was so bothered by the constant jumps in time that it took a while to notice there were NO WOMEN except two who seemed very cardboard-cutout: one who said nothing but was blown away by bling, and one who nagged her husband. (copyright 1951 - no wonder!)

The book is hindered by the author's attention to his idea at the expense of plot, character, setting. But as a trip down memory lane it was fine.

Mar 13, 2012
  • btmslt rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very good story The foundation series was originally a trio of books and as such the first three are the best. Actually, as with many series, the first is the best. This book sets you up for the legacy of the foundation.

Feb 13, 2012
  • RichardPaul rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Foundation ---- by Isaac Asimov c - 1979/LP Read reg. book Orig. c - ? The foundation series is a wonderful story line. ---- As I've said for many years, Sci-Fi authors sure have a way of chiding governments. And it's Wonderful to read that humor!! --- It's really comical the way the masters do that. And Wonderful to read that humor!! ---- Read the series and enjoy! ---- RichardPaul

Sep 16, 2011

I couldn't quite wrap my head around this book. Yes, the concept was fascinating. However, the writing and the dialog were not very good. The characters felt unrealistic and flat. Even so, there is something intriguing about this story, so I'll probably end up reading the next two books. I want to find out what happens next.

Apr 17, 2011
  • ericabraumberger rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Asimov is a genius. The narrative of "Foundation" is especially interesting because unlike most novels, you follow the progression of a planet rather than a character, exploring its socio-political situation from every angle. It's so unlike anything you've ever read, and I highly recommend it to any science fiction fan.

Jan 24, 2011
  • nontechmom rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Never having read Asimov before, I was disappointed in this book. The Foundation is an interesting concept, but I found the nuclear energy/science as a religion equated with Christianity distasteful.

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