Foundation is a science fiction novel, written by Isaac Asimov. It is the first book that Asimov wrote in his Foundation series, although chronologically it is not the first, as Asimov later went on to write prequels to it. The book consists of five short stories, four of which originally appeared in Astounding Magazine. It was only later published as a book; for this, Asimov added a fifth short story to the other four.
The gigantic Galactic Empire was all-powerful. It ruled the whole galaxy, including quadrillions of people. Everybody thought it would last forever. Everyone except Hari Seldon. Seldon, a mathematician, had developed the science of psychohistory – a way of predicting the future based on huge numbers of people. It could not predict the actions of a single person, but it could predict the actions of many billions. And Seldon's predictions are terrible: in just 500 years, there will be nothing left of the Empire. And there will be 30,000 years of "barbarism", before a Second Empire can form. But Seldon has a plan. By establishing two Foundations, at opposite ends of the galaxy, Seldon can shorten the period between Empires to just 1,000 years. Foundation is the story of the first Foundation, established on Terminus.
I really enjoyed this book; the five short stories all worked really well, as well as giving an overview of the Foundation story. It I did get slightly irritated with Seldon cleverly predicting everything; could mathematics really predict what actions humans would take? I don't know. The book, though, was very well written, and is well worth reading.
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- Reading Age: 14+
- Reading Aloud Age: 13+
Clean – the book is quite complicated, hence the age above.
If you like this you might like
- The Foundation series, of which this is the original. The next book is Foundation and Empire.
- Other books by Isaac Asimov.