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5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite of the Foundation series
I've tried reading some of the newer SF authors and some of them, especially in the last several years, have turned out to be surprisingly excellent. Nevertheless I keep returning to the old masters with whom I grew up.
You know which three. Just so you know where I'm coming from: I've always been primarily a Heinlein fan and Asimov was a close second; although I've...
Published on Sept. 6 2003 by John S. Ryan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great followup
Ok - if one were to follow just the books we have had a Prequel to Foundation, then the series itself, and now this Sequel. But all the while, Asimov has been expanding and introducing many externals, principally robots and their story and making it coincide with the Foundation Series.
Again, Asimov has an advantage of writing 30+ years after the publication of the...
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by Avid Reader


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great followup, Oct. 30 2003
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Ok - if one were to follow just the books we have had a Prequel to Foundation, then the series itself, and now this Sequel. But all the while, Asimov has been expanding and introducing many externals, principally robots and their story and making it coincide with the Foundation Series.
Again, Asimov has an advantage of writing 30+ years after the publication of the original stories. This has allowed further advances in technology and more time to flesh out the story. We are involved with two men - Golan Trvize, an rebel of sorts who is searching for the mysterious Second Foundation and Stor Gendeibel who is part of the Second Foundation. They are both interested in the ancient planet "Earth" and somewhere along the way they end up on Gaia, that was obviously settled long ago by humans.
Sorry, but the characters in here just do not excite. They are worse that Asimov's usually lackluster rendering and I just can't keep them in mind after the story has concluded. Also, the action toward the end gets confused as if Asimov suddenly had a change of heart or (more likely) he had an idea for a future book and had to incorporate some information here to make it work.
I was expecting something different, something more. Maybe next time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite of the Foundation series, Sept. 6 2003
By 
John S. Ryan "Scott Ryan" (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) - See all my reviews
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I've tried reading some of the newer SF authors and some of them, especially in the last several years, have turned out to be surprisingly excellent. Nevertheless I keep returning to the old masters with whom I grew up.
You know which three. Just so you know where I'm coming from: I've always been primarily a Heinlein fan and Asimov was a close second; although I've read Clarke I never really got into him too much. (Among SF writers since that time, my main loyalties have been to Spider Robinson and James Hogan, and among the _really_ recent ones I've been especially impressed by China Mieville, Richard Morgan, Neal Stephenson, and Robert Sawyer.)
Of the big three, Asimov undoubtedly had the highest literary output as measured in sheer wordage. I've been of the opinion for several years now that the only reason the Good Doctor stopped writing is that somebody went and told him he'd died. I have my own views about what parts of his output were of the highest quality, but there's little doubt that the Foundation series (not a "trilogy"; it was originally published as a series of short stories and novellas) is among his best known.
(He's also known, of course, for his famous robot stories. Long before the current generation of cyberwriters started screaming mouthlessly and crashing snowily, Asimov was writing compelling tales of mechanical intelligence on the presumption that such technology was on _our_ side. And like Heinlein -- and with just as little credit among modern writers -- he anticipated the recent explosion in information technology. For Heinlein, see especially _Friday_; for Asimov, drop by Trantor and visit the Galactic Library.)
He had secured his place in SF history fifty years before his death. But (again like Heinlein) he spent some of his later years tying up his better-known works into one big future-history package (including not only his Foundation stories but also his robot stories and his Galactic Empire novels). I think he did this more successfully than even Heinlein did.
This one -- _Foundation's Edge_ -- was his first return to the world of the Foundation stories after some thirty years. In it, he began to address a big fat problem he had left at the end of the original series of tales: how come the First Foundation bought so easily into the fabrication that the Second Foundation had really been defeated and dismantled, when in fact it hadn't?
Now, I have to say at once that purely _as_ a Foundation novel, this one probably isn't the most satisfying of the bunch. In fact both _Prelude to Foundation_ and _Forward the Foundation_, (excellent novels both, by the way) include _much_ more interesting Foundation-y stuff. But the very points that make this one weak as a Foundation novel also make it strong as an SF novel.
You see, it's hard to write really engaging novels about Hari Seldon's science of psychohistory, because the science itself is supposed to be statistical and to work only in the abstract with large masses of human beings. That fact means that a good psychohistory tale is bound to focus on broad historical forces at the expense of individual character development. Indeed, even in the original series of stories, Asimov had to introduce a radical departure from the Seldon Plan (via the Mule) in order to generate a really compelling human-interest tale.
This novel is probably among Asimov's best in terms of character development. That's one of the reasons I like it best as a novel; it's probably that I tend to empathize with the rebellious Golan Trevize (and to some extent with the equally mavericky Stor Gendibal) and to enjoy hopping around the galaxy with these guys nearly as much as with Lazarus Long.
Unfortunately that's also why it doesn't advance the ball much as far as Foundation history is concerned. _Prelude_ and _Forward_ are filled to the brim with scientific research, Imperial intrigue, and cool plot twists; this one is more of a character piece. It's not that nothing interesting or significant happens; far from it. It's just that the cool stuff mostly doesn't involve the outworking of the Seldon Plan.
At any rate, the Good Doctor was an expert at telling an engaging tale and keeping the reader involved until the very end. I, at least, have found this to be one of his most unputdownable (and the two Foundation prequels are darned close).
I didn't like _Foundation and Earth_ as well (and I'm not sure Asimov served the series terribly well by trying to tie in all the robot stuff), but I hope it returns to print so that I can buy a replacement copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a great followup, July 26 2003
By 
Dave Fernandes (Chelsea, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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Isaac Asimov has had a lot of time to reenergize himself into another Foundation novel and this one is one of his best. For one thing, the whopping plot hole in "Second Foundation" is addressed (e.g. I never could accept The First Foundation so easily accepting the 'fake' destruction of the Second Foundation.). In this book, Asimov from the start confronts that error!
Foundations Edge starts off, without revealing too much, introducing a young Foundationer who sets out to discover the location of the Second Foundation and along the way gets introduced to the concept of Earth where all of humanity is supposively originated from. The Second Foundation of course is hot on the trail trying to discover who or what is really going on suspecting that this Foundationer is really more than he seems. What results is a bit of a "road picture plot" , but a very suspensful one. The conclusion is a terrific confrontation between the First Foundation, the Second Foundation, and a third force unlike anything we have encountered before in these books.
Along the way Asimov has lots of time to talk science advancement, race theory and of course logically realizes that his original idea had a flaw: The First Foundation is managed by the forces of the Second Foundation, but of course who keeps track of the Second Foundation? Asimov introduces the idea of checks and balances in a very brilliant way. There are plots within plots within plots and Asimov never slows the pace down and keeps the book going. I would call it one of my all time favorite reads. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the follow up "Foundation and Earth" which could have ended the series on a much higher note. As is, I like to think it ended with this book instead!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The older, mature Asimov's visit to his youthful creation, June 3 2003
By 
Neal Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
It seems to me that so many have missed a very important point at what's happened here. Isaac Asimov created, in his youth and from his brilliance, a future universe. Then, as is so with all authors, he moved on to other projects, developing his philosophy and his story telling skills and also his sense of humor as his career continued. Of his own, he really had no idea of returning to Foundation, but of course, readers wanted and began to demand more. Finally, his publishers applied pressure, and the result was FOUNDATIONS EDGE, FOUNDATION AND EARTH, PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION, & FORWARD THE FOUNDATION.
Just as the earlier "novels" were actually shorter stories strung together, FOUNDATIONS EDGE and FOUNDATION AND EARTH are two longer segments of the next step in his future history. Much has happened during the thirty years to affect the author's philosophy, and these two books which represent the necessary trip back to the beginning of it all reflect changes in thinking and of course of advances in scientific knowledge.
We see what is happening from two different viewpoints, the First Foundation viewpoint and the Second Foundation viewpoint. Each has its flaws and one can see that the Second Empire will indeed be deeply flawed if either of the foundations has its way over the other.
Humanity, however, is being guided by intelligence beyond that of Hari Seldon's plan, and those who have read PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION are quite aware of this. FOUNDATION'S EDGE works to lead us in the direction of the true master plan.
Read this book with an open mind, and do continue the thread by reading FOUNDATION AND EARTH before coming to concussions...er, conclusions...about it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Foundations� Edge Falls off of the Edge, May 1 2003
After thirty years, Isaac Asimov finally wrote Foundation's Edge. It is a book undeserving of the name, "Foundation."
Foundation's Edge is the long awaited continuation of his famous Foundation series. It has been four hundred and ninety eight years since the establishment of the foundation by Hari Seldon, which was created to save the galaxy. Being fifty thousand years in the future, society is immensely different. Golan Trevize, a councilman of the Foundation Federation, had been sent off of the capital, under a cover-up. The leaders said that he had been sent to find Earth, the long lost origin planet of the human race. He was actually being sent to find the threatening, Second Foundation. There is great character development. They seem to actually be alive when you read it. At first, it seems like another Foundation book. After awhile, when no "bad guy" shows up, and the main character Golan, says he doesn't like Hari Seldon, (gasp!), die hard fans will start to lose faith in this book. Trevize is actually another boring political leader, who has no sense of adventure.
This book, with beautifully descriptive writing, and great character development, just cannot stand up to the original trilogy's greatness. Instead of answering age-old questions from the first three books, it just gives way to new ones. For example, should he have chosen Gaia? Finally, the ending to this book is the most disappointing ending imaginable. Unlike all of the other books, it says, " The End."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Foundation's' Edge is addictive reading..., March 11 2003
By 
L Jason Bayda (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
I really enjoyed this book. I read the entire Foundation series (minus the non-Asimov books, and Forward the Foundation) about 10 years ago. I have re-read all of them (except Foundation and Earth) plus I read Forward the Foundation within the last few weeks. I found the second time through that Foundation's Edge was my favourite (after Prelude). I could not put the book down at all as it was constantly building towards the climax. Even though this was my second read of this series, so that I knew what would happen, it was extremely enjoyable to engulf my mind in it once again. The greatest asset to this book is the extensive conflicts between individuals on an intellectual perspective that Asimov covers quite well. Reading how individuals were trying to outwit one another and dealing with those of lower intellect was quite stimulating especially when I compared it to how similiar these interactions are from current modern day life. I apologize in advance if my descriptions are vague at best but I do not want to ruin the reading experience for anyone who is trully considering reading this book. If you enjoyed Prelude to Foundation (which I strongly suggest you read along with the other 4 Asimov foundation novels prior to this one) then you should enjoy this one immensely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Foundation's Edge: The Saga Continues, June 22 2002
By 
Martin Asiner (jersey city, nj United States) - See all my reviews
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There was a reason why Asimov's original FOUNDATION TRILOGY was voted the best science fiction trilogy of all time by the Association of SF Writers. It covered a vast sweep of post-Galactic rise and fall that brought to mind Gibbons' RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Asimov's plots are straightforward, but often convoluted and requires a reader's careful attention to hints that suggest a surprise ending. In his original series, the action is set perhaps 50,000 years from now in an empire ruled by Trantor, covering hundreds of millions of worlds. The empire is falling, and only Hari Seldon sees it. He sets up one foundation in the full glare of light and a secret second foundation buried under the ruins of a devastated Trantor.
Fully thirty years after Asimov wrote this trilogy, he returned to the same theme, but this time he tries to connect other themes from his past: the destruction of earth from his robot series and his fascination with a long-lived sect of humans who exist only to plot the end of their more short-lived brethren.
FOUNDATION'S EDGE tells the stories of two protagonists: Golan Trvize, an upsetter of his superior's political plans, who travels through space to locate the hidden Second Foundation; and Stor Gendibal, a member of the secret Second Foundation, who is on a similar trek to locate Earth. Soon enough, their respective journeys co-incide, but not on Earth. Both wind up on Gaia, a planet that was probably settled long ago from Earth. The complicated plot leaves many loose ends for sequels as both Golan Trevize and Stor Gendibal realize that someone unconnected to either foundation had previously removed all references to Earth from all historical sources and libraries.
To appreciate how this novel fits in to Asimov's Foundation universe, it is useful to have first read other works in the canon. I recommend his robot series and Pebble in the Sky. Still, FOUNDATION'S EDGE can be enjoyed on its own basis.
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4.0 out of 5 stars First Foundation Novel that actually was a Novel, March 14 2002
By 
frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
It's worth reminding yourself before you pick up this book that it was written a looong time after he wrote the original three Foundation books-- thirty years after, to be precise. It is also the first of the Foundation books that was written as a single book; the others were originally written and published as a series of short stories. When the Asimov's publisher asked for a new Foundation book, he jumped at a chance to finally make a fully developed book out of the theme.
Given these facts, it's not surprising that there's some fairly significant differences between the thematic focus and tone of _Foundation's Edge_ and the three novels preceding it. I think this accounts for some of the dismay from fans of the trilogy and the feeling that Asimov somehow stopped fighting the good fight.
The Seldon plan still plays an important role, but it is no longer the backbone of the story as it was in the trilogy. Instead, Asimov takes the opportunity to tie together the Robot and Foundation universes, creating a meditation on autonomy and government styles that asks a number of questions about strategic choices and also asks about the relationship between governed and the governors. When the warlike first Foundation sends a troublesome politician in search of the manipulative second Foundation, every party finds more than they bargained for when they reach the planet Gaia.
I *liked* _Foundation's Edge_ although I would agree that it doesn't reach the heights of the trilogy itself-- it has a number of weaknesses (the lame explanation of the Mule's origins, for one) and doesn't feel as important somehow. But the original trilogy was a darned difficult act to follow, true?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new direction for the Foundation series, Feb. 18 2002
By 
Ritesh Laud (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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Foundation's Edge is chronologically the sixth book in the Foundation series. The events here take place about two hundred years after those in the novel Second Foundation. The book introduces a surprising new element into Asimov's fictional universe.
Essentially, a couple key people in the First Foundation realize that the Second Foundation survives and is likely still guiding the First Foundation in following the Seldon Plan. Mayor Branno of Terminus sends the young politician Golan Trevize out to attempt to draw the Second Foundation's attention and thus bring them out of hiding.
At the same time, Stor Gendibal of the Second Foundation believes that things are going too smoothly and that some third party may be directing humanity's course, even to the extent of controlling the Second Foundation! He is also aware of Trevize's mission (through a secret agent on Terminus) and thinks that Trevize is headed for a rendezvous with this other organization. So Gendibal sets out to pursue Trevize and to hopefully locate this sinister controlling entity.
Some very surprising information is revealed in the last couple chapters of the book. To fully appreciate the revelations, you should read the four-book Robot series prior to reading Foundation's Edge. In addition, Asimov makes a couple references to the third Empire novel "Pebble In The Sky". Therefore, I recommend first reading the Robot series, then the Empire series (three books), and finally the seven Foundation novels. This will give you Asimov's complete vision in chronological order.
Overall I enjoyed Foundation's Edge and liked the new characters it introduced. It's a fairly long read but the pace picks up when the plot lines begin converging about two-thirds of the way through. As usual, Asimov is heavy on dialogue and is fond of explaining things through debates or discussions between characters. The ending is a bit weak and doesn't resolve everything but fortunately the novel "Foundation and Earth" picks up right where Edge leaves off. I'm looking forward to reading the final chapter in this wonderful saga.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea with only mediocre execution, Sept. 2 2001
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
After the first few Foundation stories were published (those that ended up collected in the "novels" called Foundation, and Foundation and Empire), Asimov stated that he couldn't write any more stories in the series because with the Seldon Plan in motion, everything was already determined. Importantly, it should be noted that the Plan was not about establishing a Second Empire after the fall of the first, but only reducing the time between those Empires (and therefore, reducing the amount of strife and hardship). To continue the series, Asimov had to create crises to be resolved.
The first crisis was the attack of the Mule, which followed the idea that one powerful man might be able to alter the course of history, or at least disrupt the Plan. This was the equivalent of introducing a Genghis Khan, Alexander, or Napoleon. It's a matter of debate whether they actually altered the course of history (e.g., they don't speak Macedonian in Iran, or Mongolian in Russia), so the Mule's disruption would be one of timing, not the ultimate establishment of the Second Empire. Thus, the series rested for 20 years.
By its nature, technological advances cannot be imagined by more "primitive" scientific societies, and this is the crisis that sets up this novel, Foundation's Edge. Just as our great political philosphers of the 19th century could not have predicted nuclear weapons, Hari Seldon could not predict the technological advance of the First Foundation. Thus, some of the Foundation's leaders decide the time has come to dispense with the Plan, and by extension the Second Foundation. This is an intriguing setup, and like all of Asimov's works, you are quickly drawn into the story and immediately get to know the characters intimately. It centres around an exile - Trevize - sent out by the leader of the 1st Foundation as a "lightning rod" to try to flush out the Second Foundation. Naturally, the Second Foundationers find out and take moves to stop it. Both Foundations are also concerned that the Plan is too precise - is there something/someone else guiding the plan for its own purposes?
Unfortunately, the story doesn't live up to its promise, or rather, the characters and specific situations don't. They just aren't as interesting or likeable as in other books written during the same few years - namely, the final two robot books (Robots and Empire and Robots of Dawn). It even suffers in comparison to Second Foundation, the immediately previous book in the Foundation series (written 20 years earlier). Thus, while interesting, and a must read for Foundation (and Asimov) fans, it's a little disappointing relative to his other works.
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