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Foundation - Isaac Asimov


By Isaac Asimov

  • Release Date: 1991-10-01
  • Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Score: 4.5
From 1,171 Ratings


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.


  • 3-Dimensional Chess

    By Richard Bakare
    I started to read this again when the Apple released the teaser trailer for the adaptation. I read it first in middle school, but a lot of the details faded with time. Like with the rereading of Dune, our social progress highlights many of the patriarchal and white savior narrative in these books that has gotten stale. But the central message and theme remains timeless. This passage from the book summarizes the struggle neatly, “it could be considered that science, as science, had failed the outer worlds. To be reaccepted it would have to present itself in another guise—and it has done just that.” Science as state craft, as religion, and as an economic tool would be the means for preserving scientific advancement and social and political surviving crises. These are objectives that can’t be played out in a single story, which is why it is fitting that the foundation series is so expansive in volumes and in the narrative style. Jumping half centuries in some moments and drilling down to minute interactions in others. The book and series do a great job of demonstrating a philosophy of governance where the actors use a mix of inductive and deductive reasoning beautifully. Leveraging the right details to steer a course in keeping with a macro vision of a future prosperity they themselves will not enjoy.
  • THE “Fantastic Voyage” of Science Fiction

    By Spinnin' Wheeler
    Incredibly detailed plot spanning a thousand years, impeccably written to make you think as you read (yeah!!), and a completely engaging storyline. This series became an instant favorite of mine when I first read it over 45 years ago, and it still packs a wonderful sci-fi punch of much-needed originality. Thank you Isaac Asimov!!!
  • What a fantastic book and series of books

    By Wrctrnrth
    I am a big fan of Asimov!!! I started reading in my 20s and read all books that I could find. I have enjoyed them very much that I read them twice or even 3 times. Now that I’m in my 60s, I have decided to read them again. I’m still in awe of his writing skills and I am getting more enjoyment out of the whole FOUNDATION series!! I intend to read more from this GREAT AUTHOR!!! He is truly one of THE GREATS!! Michael Paul Zaza
  • Epic Must Read for all Sci Fi fans

    By Exbusterr
    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”.
  • Classic

    By siegfried77
    Just reread it for n th time.. now rereading Foundation and Empire
  • Epic Science Fiction told in short stories

    By Scrub Kai
    This is a classic series for a reason. Really it should be required reading for all Science Fiction fans.
  • Worthy of the hype

    By JenniferJamesGina
    This book is on every top 10 sci fi book list I am aware of...justifiably so. It is epic in scope. Great ending.
  • Brilliant

    By Dwardeng
    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.
  • Timeless sci-if

    By Exbuster
    I picked Foundation up on a whim in college at the university bookstore. I had been dabbing in sci-fi since I was little, but this book blew me away. The story's are timeless, woven together, span thousands of years and the plots and endings are unexpected. As other posts have commented, Asimov's entire universe is a must read: Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. I would recommend reading them Foundation series first then Back to Robot and Empires series.
  • Foundation

    By Maxmatt33
    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.