Forward the Foundation Turtleback – Mar 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
The late Grand Master of science fiction brings his most famous work, the epic Foundation series, to a posthumous close in this volume. Returning to the format of earlier books in the saga, he presents the story in discrete, novella-length segments, finally grappling with the figure at the center of the entire series: the adult Hari Seldon, creator of psychohistory and father of the Foundation itself (the young Seldon was featured in the previous series novel, Prelude to Foundation ). Here, Seldon confronts various threats to the Empire or to the psychohistory project, thwarting them for the most part by his characteristic brand of informed intuition. In part I, Seldon recognizes the rise of a dangerous anti-Imperial movement led by the charismatic Jo-Jo Joranum, and defuses it while simultaneously backing into the post of First Minister. In the second segment (of five), Seldon narrowly avoids an attempt on his life but cannot prevent the assassination of the Emperor Cleon I. Seldon faces personal as well as political setbacks while civilization crumbles. This volume neatly sews up the series, though it offers few real surprises. Most interesting is the glimpse it affords of Asimov himself, obviously personified in Seldon. The psychohistorian's vast intellectual interest, his concern for the future of learning in a time of decline, and his frustration in the face of mortality, ring true with special poignance. Asimov's fans should savor this final taste of his unique persona.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-This prequel to the "Foundation" series chronicles the life of Hari Sheldon as he struggles with his developing science of psychohistory in order to secure humanity's survival. It works best when read in conjunction with the previous six titles. However, Asimov has left readers with a fascinating portrayal of a man set against the backdrop of the "rise and fall of the galactic empire." It is well written and peopled with believable characters. Essential for all science-fiction collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Strictly _as_ a Foundation book, I don't think this one is quite as strong as its immediate predecessor, _Prelude to Foundation_. It's good, all right -- but it's not very tightly unified, the writing is sloppy in places, and it introduces a few things that seem to contradict the original series at certain points.
What really makes this four-vignettes-plus-an-epilogue volume so engaging is that in it, Hari Seldon has clearly become a literary alter ego for Asimov himself. And Asimov was well aware as he wrote it that he hadn't long to live.
And _that_ suggests that in writing about Dors Venabili, Wanda Seldon, and psychohistory, Asimov was "really" _also_ writing about his wife Janet Jeppson Asimov, his daughter Robyn, and his own literary oeuvre. So completely aside from its value as an SF novel (or, really, a story collection), it's also of great interest for the light it sheds on Asimov himself.
Asimov is generally credited with three autobiographies: _In Memory Yet Green_, _In Joy Still Felt_, and _I. Asimov_ -- the last being my personal favorite because it's the most introspective and revealing of Asimov's character. (Excerpts from all three, plus some further surprising revelations that you've probably heard about by now, are included in Janet Jeppson Asimov's _It's Been a Good Life_.)
But there's a case to be made that he wrote a fourth volume of autobiography, and that this is it. At the very least, this work of ostensible fiction is almost as revealing of Asimov's character and end-of-life concerns as any of his nonfictional autobiographies.
For that alone, it will be of interest to every Asimov fan. May the Good Doctor rest in peace.
I first became acquainted with the Foundation series when I read Foundation. Since that time, I have hungrily read the other books of the series with Forward the Foundation being the last of the books to be read. I like the Foundation series due to the problems that the characters face and the clever and seemingly easy ways in which the Foundation avoids destruction. However, I feel that Forward the Foundation just is not up to par with the other Foundation books. The writing is disjointed almost as if Asimov would pick up the manuscript after being absent from it for a while and start to write again. He starts chapters by introducing information that the reader already knows from other chapters as if it is new. Furthermore, some of what is written seems to contradict things that happen in some of the other books. The contradictions are small, but noticeable.
In all, I think that Forward the Foundation is a descent book which helps to fill in the time period before the Foundation was established. I would not say that I have found it an essential read to enjoy the Foundation series. However, as a fan of the Foundation, I would have read it nonetheless. Just be prepared for a book which is not as good as the other books in the series.
I will not go into plot details but I truly believe that this is Asimov's master work, it goes beyond his usual solid sci-fi style to create a scope that reminds the reader how precious and awe inspiring a life can be. For Asimov it marks the culmination of a life time of writing and I have heard it was finished only weeks before his death. I am certainly guilty of comparing Hari and Asimov all through this book, but with or without comparisons, the emotions it draws out truly are a wonder. Unintentionally it seems, in Forward the Foundation, Asimov has written a beautiful tribute to his own life. This is not suprising since he always found it irrisistable to share his opinion on everything, not least on himself. And all I can say is thankyou Asimov, wherever you may be or not be.
Most recent customer reviews
Nothing fancy about it, good value for money.
just a good pocket edition, of a scifi classic.
This Asimov treasure is a complete joy to read and has stood the test of time as all his Foundation Series has.Published 19 months ago by Ty Schultz
Having read 'Prelude to Foundation', I totally enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to any one who's into science fiction.Published 23 months ago by rene thibault
This story is the continuation of Prelude and it fills the gap between Prelude and Foundation. It is a great piece of work--in fact one of Asimov's last before his death. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2003 by Steven M. Balke Jr.
Foward The Foundation finishes of the loose ends Isaac Asimov needed to do before he died. In it we are prepared for Hari Seldon's final plunge into the Trilogy and it's sequels. Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by A. J. Cherrington
After reading the orignal trilogy, I had to continue to his later books(i.e. Foundation's edge and Foundation and Earth and also the preqels. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2003 by Chris Mitchell
I need to share with other readers the feeling that this book is not up to the usual standards set by the previous Foundation stories. Read morePublished on June 21 2002