One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon.
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—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 future 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. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.
From the Hardcover edition.
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I discovered the foundation series because as a science fiction fan who has read various sci-fi novels randomly, I decided to "go to school" and read what most consider to be the master works in the sci-fi genre - Asimov. Reading a sci-fi novel which was written over 65 years ago took some getting used to for me. The plot, characters, and concept are all outstanding. The depiction and descriptions of space travel and the concept of a "Galactic Empire" was very well conceived. The only thing that took getting used to were the personal technologies we have today which when reading "Foundation" makes it an obvious dated read. I had to constantly keep reminding myself this was written in 1951 and move on. Other than those small details, the book was fantastic.
Epic Must Read for all Sci Fi fans
I reread this after reading it by chance in college back in the 80’s. The story and concept is engaging. You see how it influenced Star Wars and other greats. Also keep in mind this was written circa 1950 and Asimov had to create a universe on his own from scratch. It’s part of one of the greatest epics ever written. This book is a great place to start the thousands of years of Galactic history he created in the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. If you start here and read the original Foundation books then I would advise going back and reading the Robot novels and short stories then Empire then the Foundation Prelude Novels. Alternatively start with the Robot “Caves of Steel”.
This was the first Asimov book I ever read. I was young at the time. As soon as I started reading it I knew I was in for a challenge. I thought, wow he actually wants me to think as I read. I give credit to this book, more than any other to help me become a good reader and to be able to understand complex concepts. Thanks Issac wherever you are. Out in space somewhere I'm sure.