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Foundation Trilogy (Everyman's Library (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Isaac Asimov
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Kurzbeschreibung

29. Oktober 2010 Everyman's Library (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)

It is the story of the Galactic Empire, crumbling after twelve thousand years of rule. And it is the particular story of psycho-historian Hari Seldon, the only man who can see the horrors the future has in store: a dark age of ignorance, barbarism and violence that will last for thirty thousand years. Gathering together a band of courageous men and women, Seldon leads them to a hidden location at the edge of the galaxy where he hopes they can preserve human knowledge and wisdom against all who would destroy them.

Asimov went on to add numerous sequels and prequels to the trilogy, building up what has become known as the Foundation series, but it is the original three books, first published in the Forties and Fifties, which remain the most powerful, imaginative and breathtaking.


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 605 Seiten
  • Verlag: Everyman (29. Oktober 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 184159332X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841593326
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,7 x 13,8 x 21,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.419 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy - a riveting saga of humanity's struggle against darkness played out on the grandest possible scale - is one of the cornerstones of modern science fiction.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Asimov was born in Russia in 1919, his family moved to the USA where his father owned a succession of sweet shops.

Asimov graduated from Columbia University and, after a brief period in the army, he joined the Boston University school of medicine and thereafter took to full time writing, until his death in 1992

Introducer biography: Michael Dirda is a book critic on the Washington Post.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen First Rate Edition 20. August 2013
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
There's nothing more to say about the novel. If you like it or not is a question of taste. But there's something to say about this edition: first rate. For this price I expected one of the usual hardcovers. To my delight I received a luxury edition: bookbinding in genuine linen with strings (!), a cover made of high-gloss paper and a silk bookmark. The quality of the paper (very thin and extraordinary good) and an extremely sharp print top it all. For a book like this, if available at all, the price is usually twice as high and that would be fair! Everyman's Library is to be praised!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Epic 20. Juni 2008
Von Thomas Wikman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The Foundation trilogy (three first books) and the Foundation series (all seven) are often regarded as the greatest set of Science Fiction literature ever produced. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Isaac Asimov was among the world's best authors, an accomplished scientist, and he was also a genius with an IQ above 170, and it shows in the intelligently concocted but complex plots and narrative. There are already 331 reviews for this Science Fiction novel, however, I still believe I have something unqiue to contribute which is stated in my last paragraph.

This book and the rest in the series take place far in the future (allegedly 50,000 years) at a time when people live throughout the Galaxy. A mathematician Hari Seldon has developed a new branch of mathematics known as psychohistory. Using the law of mass action, it can roughly predict the future on a large scale. Hari Seldon predicts the demise of the Galactic Empire and creates a plan to save the knowledge of the human race in a huge encyclopedia and also to shorten the barbaric period expected to follow the demise from 30,000 years to 1,000 years. A select people are chosen to write the Encyclopedia and to unknowingly carry out the plan to re-create the Galactic Empire. What unfolds in this book and in the books that follow is the future history of the demise and re-emergence of a Galactic Empire, written as a series of adventures, in a similar fashion to the Star Wars series.

Even though this is arguably the greatest set of Science Fiction novels ever written, I do not recommend it to those who are only mildly interested in Science Fiction. Character development is not the focus of these novels and the large amount of technical/scientific details, schemes and plots can become both confusing and heavy for the unitiated Science Fiction reader. If you read this one you will feel the need to read the others which may take a long time. If you are new to Science Fiction start with something lighter and when you are hooked you can continue with this series. Also, in my opinion the second and third books were better than the first.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Foundation trilogy is essential 6. Oktober 2002
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The trilogy is essential, but since Asimov also capitalized on his own genius by writing what seems to be hundreds of lesser Foundation stories, it can all get very confusing and a bit draining. This is the second book in the original trilogy, so it is from a science fiction point of view essential reading. The trilogy itself comes up with two highly memorable characters, Hari Seldon, the psycho-historian, who uses Mathematics to predict the future and establish a "Foundation" that will limit the dark ages after the fall of the "Empire" to a single millenium (as opposed to ten.) He reappears as a hologram at certain points in the story with more or less accurate takes on what is happening in "History" at that point.
The other very memorable character is the Mule. He represents the variable that makes predicting "History" mathematically a tricky business at least, not to mention impossible. He is a nasty totalitarian character who strangely in Asimov's hands manages to elicit some sympathy. Asimov is playing with the idea of predicting human behavior scientifically (or controlling it scientifically,) but this character is also a humanistic meditation on how masses of people get overwhelmed by evil social forces like fascism and soviet communism. You can see that Asimov lived through the era of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin and that these cult of personality tyrants and the submission of masses of people to their destructive and sadistic wills profoundly affected his view of human nature. Foundation and Empire seems to be an attempt to come to terms with that experience, and so has something to say about the specifics of twentieth century history, as well as about historical philosophy.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." 13. September 2003
Von John S. Ryan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
[The quotation is from Salvor Hardin, Mayor of Terminus.]
Let's say it's around 1940 or so; you're studying chemistry in grad school but your true love is history; you've read Edward Gibbon's _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_, but writing a historical novel set in the _past_ would require just too much research; you get the bright idea of writing a historical tale set in the _future_, about the decline and fall of a _Galactic_ Empire, and you suggest as much to John W. Campbell, Jr.
Campbell's response: he gets excited and suggests that you introduce some pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo about "psychohistory". Do you:
(a) drop the idea and write something else?
(b) write the story just as Campbell describes it?
(c) use a little imagination, make Campbell's idea a bit more intellectually presentable, and crank out, not just a single story, but a Hugo-award-winning series?
If you picked (c), congratulations; you're Isaac Asimov.
The Hugo didn't come until 1965, when the Foundation series won for best all-time series (defeating even Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_ books). By then Asimov had long ago tired of the series; you can tell by the first part of the third book. (But the _second_ part of the third book is probably the best part of the original three volumes.)
And heck, even in order to keep it going _that_ long, he had to introduce a radical departure from the Seldon Plan, in which the Mule initiates not just another Seldon Crisis but a new element altogether, one that wasn't accounted for in the Plan. (And in even later installments, it becomes pretty clear that Asimov isn't exactly thrilled by either the Plan or the Empire it's supposed to bring about.)
But in the first volume, all of it is still fresh. Here we meet Hari Seldon for the first time, get slightly acquainted with his mathematical science of psychohistory, and learn what he's done to keep the decline of the Galactic Empire from leading humanity into 30,000 years of barbarism. He can't avert the decline, but he's got a way to reduce the period of barbarism to a mere millennium.
He's set up two Foundations at opposite ends of the galaxy. And he's carefully set the ball rolling so that every so often there will be some sort of sociopolitical crisis, to which there's only one possible resolution. All the Foundation has to do is wait until the crisis narrows everything down to just one option, and then figure out what the heck that option _is_ . . .
Well, I think you can see that the pattern leaves some room for the exercise of intelligence, but not a lot for individual initiative. No wonder Asimov let the Plan start going awry; the story might have lasted a thousand years, but the dramatic possibilities wouldn't.
Anyway, it's a great, great series. This is where it begins in realtime, although the later novel _Prelude to Foundation_ is "first" according to the chronology of the Foundation universe. (And the Empire novels -- _Pebble in the Sky_, _The Stars, Like Dust_, and _The Currents of Space_ -- take place even earlier. So do most of the robot stories.)
If you haven't read it yet and you think you might be an SF fan, you'll want to get around to it pretty soon. Start here, and enjoy.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Kindle edition is a watered down disaster 22. November 2013
Von J. Callen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This review is specifically of the Kindle edition, published by Ballantine/Bantam.

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.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen The Foundation Series is the biz 19. November 2002
Von DavidLG1971 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Asimov had an active and brilliant imagination - truly, a scientist writing fiction. This series is science fiction on a grand scale. When you keep in mind that this story originated in 1951, it is easy to see how much Star Trek, Star Wars and yes even Heinlein's & Clarke's later works borrowed from these ideas.

Anyway, Asimov at his best was a creator; he had amazing ideas of the universe, how it worked, and how to structure stories that manipulated the readers expectations.

The Foundation series is like a spider web that continues to become more intricate and complex with each chapter. The intricacy of the plotting is amazing, although honestly it's not self-evident in the first few stories of the first novel, given that they were published independantly, as serialized short stories told one at a time.

Only with the second book did this change.

The basic premise: The rise and fall of the roman empire, told on a galactic scale from a historian living in the 2nd empire a thousand years later.

The setup: One man creates a science, called Psychohistory, a fictional precursor to Chaos Math (a real statistical science today). This psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, predicted that the vast Galactic Empire is about to crumble, dropping humanity back into the dark ages. This dark ages was due to last 30,000 years (I believe), and while it is too late to prevent this horrible breakdown of society, Seldon believes he can use this new math to shorten the time period between empires.

To do so, he establishes two "Foundations" made up of scientists, one at the outer edge of the galaxy, and the other at "Star's End". In advance, Seldon plots out the future (using the math of psychohistory), and sets in motion a series of "domino" events. The Foundation faces crises and problems, forcing change in both strategy and focus for the next several hundred years. But Asmimov continues to modulate the story throughout each of the books, and building upon the previously-understood structure.

In fact, once you think you've read enough permutations on the same idea, Asimov starts tearing the structure down, introducing variables into the story that further complicate matters.

A caveat about the most often-touted complaint about Asimov: His writing style (or lack thereof):

In 1951, when these stories were first published, Asimov was not a great writer - as in, a writer of literature. His descriptions, characterizations and storytelling technique all left a lot to be desired. His technique got better with the passing years, such that any of his fiction written after 1970 or so reads easily.

But that is not the point, here. Asimov didn't create great characters (save for his robot stories) - he came up with mind-bending ideas and subsequent permutations.

The litmus test of whether or not Asimov is for you: Read 'The Last Question'. It's a 12-page short story. Not brilliantly written, but a fantastic story with amazing ideas contained inside. When you get to the last sentence of it, you will probably be blown away. If you are, Foundation is for you.

Read them - and commit to all of them, because they get better as they go, generally speaking. The first three were written in 1950 - 53. But the fans demanded that he someday continue the story, so he continued with a fourth book in 1983, and the last in 1986. Some complain that the last book is overlong - and I agree - but the last sentence of the last book is...amazing.

The books:

Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation (contains the best story - Search By The Mule)
Foundation's Edge (best overall book)
Foundation and Earth

Afterward, Asimov went back and wrote prequel novels (Prelude to Foundation, Foundation's End) taking place prior to and concurrently with events from the first book. He later admitted that he wrote prequels because the main story had gotten so complicated, he felt he'd taken the story as far as it could go.

The prequels aren't too bad, but they are completely non-essential.
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