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Second Foundation Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1991

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (Oct. 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553293362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553293364
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF' The Times

About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the final book in the original Foundation trilogy.
With the advent of the Mule, the Foundation is set off from the Seldon plan irreversibly. Or is it? The second book ends with a theory that the Second Foundation established by Seldon, is one consisting of the scientists using Seldon's own method of mathematical psychology. As such, it would make it a natural complement to the physical scientists of the First Foundation. However, very little is known about the Second Foundation and they haven't shown their face in all the centuries of the Foundation history. Do they exist? Do they have the power of Seldon's psychology? Are they the true keepers of the Plan or are they the enemy?
This novel details the search for the Second Foundation - whatever that entity happens to be. There are two books: the first detailing the Mule's own search for the Second Foundation (to destroy it and thus establish his supreme dominion of the Galaxy) and the second, detailing the search by some people from the Foundation itself (by which time, it is seen as a hostile force from the Foundation's perspective).
I found the second book to be better, but, while enjoyable, they both suffer from a flaw missing from the previous Foundation novels. The others were concerned largely with physical force and even at that were pretty packed with conspiracies, double-crossing and the like. Because the Second Foundation deals with the mind, these elements escalate to the point where I though it was a bit too arbitrary. The climaxes of both books are a bit like a wild goose chase, where the reader's conception of the situation is shattered and a new one built up in its place several times over within a few pages. It seems a bit over-the-top.
Still, a great finish to the trilogy.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
By the time you get to "Second Foundation" the final volume in the original Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, there is no real need to keep on with the effort to persuade you to keep on reading. Instead it would be more beneficial to look at the original trilogy as a whole and consider why it stands out as one of the greatest in the realm of Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Simply compare the Foundation Trilogy with the two other, admittedly more popular, trilogies: "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars." In the former it is established that the One Ring has to be destroyed and from that point on Tolkienï's story is devoted to getting that accomplished and trying to return peace to Middle Earth. In the latter it becomes clear at the end of the first film (of the original trilogy) that the story will end when Luke Skywalker kills Darth Vader at the end of the third film, which means that Darth will have to defeat Luke at the end of the second. That is indeed what happens, although George Lucas did throw a big twist into the picture.

In comparison the genius of the Foundation Trilogy is that the three volumes are so different. "Foundation" establishes the theory and practice of psychohistory, as Hari Seldon's master plan for reducing the inevitable barbarism of the time between galactic empires to a single millennium. But then "Foundation and Empire" finds the plan disrupted by the threat of the genetic mutant the Mule, and the careful progression of the first novel is replaced by a crisis that is an unforeseen Seldon Crisis. However, with "Second Foundation" there is a new agenda, as both the Foundation and the Mule search for the location of the titular entity.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Asimov's classic original trilogy comes to a close in this ambitious finale. Here Asimov has really gone over the top with political and intellectual intrigue, which propels the two main plot elements. As with the two previous Foundation novels, there are actually two shorter stories here that take place decades apart. In this installment Hari Seldon's plan gets back on track after being disrupted by the mutant known as the Mule, with the mythical Second Foundation starting to peek out from behind the scenes. Who works for whom, who's a traitor or not, and whether or not the Second Foundation even really exists are all intricately played out by a series of intelligent and conspiratorial characters in relentlessly tangled webs of intrigue. In fact, this book has the most well-defined characters yet to appear in the Foundation series, especially the young Arcadia. The original Foundation saga is wrapped up nicely here as the original trilogy comes to a close. Of course, Asimov's creation is so expansive that there was plenty of room for more speculation and development of the story, leading to the prequels and sequels that Asimov continued to crank out for this classic series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Foundation, and Foundation and Empire even more, but Second Foundation is truly the pinnacle of the series, and a masterpiece. Very tightly and interestingly written, it begins with the story of the Mule's search for the second Foundation. This is an extremely interesting portion of the story, and makes for a great, fascinating read. It picks up on the semi-cliffhanger ending of Foundation and Empire, and wraps up that part of the story in worthy style. The second (and lengthier) part of the book deals with first Foundation's search for the said second Foundation. This is truly interesting as well, and the plot goes through so many twists and turns that your head will be reeling by the end! You really have to give it up for Asimov, as he truly wrote it masterfully, tying up nearly every single loosed end in the series, and creating a reel of suspense and intrigue that should be commended on any level. I guarantee you, the last couple of chapters will have you frantically flicking back to earlier ones to look over tiny little points that you may have missed. A truly compelling read.
A masterpiece. Read it.
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