5.0 out of 5 stars good doctor really dropped the ball on that one
This is by far the worst book in foundation/robot series by Isaac Asimov. Don't get me wrong -it's still better than most other works in the field of science-fiction. However, the fans of Hari Seldon and his Plan will find this book somewhat disappointing due to this new twist. First of all, THIS IS NOT THE LAST BOOK IN FOUNDATION SERIES. Foundation and Earth, is the...
Published on March 9 2000 by Human
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sailing off the Edge
Written in 1982 - about three decades after the publication of Second Foundation, the original end to the trilogy - Foundation's Edge is a cautionary tale about not letting a publisher talk you into writing an unnecessary sequel to an otherwise successful book or series. It starts out well enough, with the events of the previous novel a century in the past and the Galaxy...
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Tom Bruno
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5.0 out of 5 stars good doctor really dropped the ball on that one,
This is by far the worst book in foundation/robot series by Isaac Asimov. Don't get me wrong -it's still better than most other works in the field of science-fiction. However, the fans of Hari Seldon and his Plan will find this book somewhat disappointing due to this new twist. First of all, THIS IS NOT THE LAST BOOK IN FOUNDATION SERIES. Foundation and Earth, is the last novel , and the action takes place right where Foundation's Edge left off. However, FOUNDATION AND EARTH, THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES, THE BOOK THAT TIES ROBOT AND FOUNDATION NOVELS TOGETHER, FOR SOME REASON, IS OUT OF PRINT. ( Publishing companies work in mysterious ways....) Anyways, back to the book. The main character, who is the citizen of the First Foundation takes off along with few other people on the quest (which concludes in Foundation and Earth) to find the long lost planet, where human life began, Earth. In the meanwhile, Second Foundation's telepaths feel that something is not right, something is interfiering with the order of things. In the end, chosen people from two foundations arrive to some mysterious planet, where one person will decide the fate of the galaxy.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sailing off the Edge,
Written in 1982 - about three decades after the publication of Second Foundation, the original end to the trilogy - Foundation's Edge is a cautionary tale about not letting a publisher talk you into writing an unnecessary sequel to an otherwise successful book or series. It starts out well enough, with the events of the previous novel a century in the past and the Galaxy seemingly on the track to peace, love, and happiness thanks to psychohistorian Hari Seldon and his thousand-year Plan to transition the human race from the end of their beloved Galactic Empire to a Second one, avoiding the three hundred millennia of chaos and barbarism that would have ensued without Seldon's help. Things are going well for the Foundation and its ever-expanding sphere of influence - too well, as it turns out, prompting a quest to see if the secretive mentalists of the Second Foundation are still attempting to control history despite their presumed destruction at the end of the last book.
Okay, so far so good. One of the things I found odd about the Seldon Plan is that we only get to see the first few centuries of it in the original trilogy, whereas in Foundation's Edge we begin at the halfway point between the First and Second Empires. Even better. Unfortunately the direction that the novel takes from here ultimately undermines what that has gone before by making everyone in the Galaxy- not only even the puppetmaster psychics of the Second Foundation but the ones pulling their strings as well are under his/her/its control - a puppet of a mysterious force that Asimov gamely refuses to reveal at the end of the book, leaving the door open for an unnecessary sequel to this unnecessary sequel.
The funny thing is that I remember loving this book when I read it as a kid. I also happily devoured the novels that would follow this initial sequel - Foundation and Earth, Prelude to Foundation, and Forward the Foundation. The latter two of these novels are mildly interesting, as they revisit the details of Hari Seldon's life as a psychohistorian, but as the revelations made in Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth tend to minimize the importance of Seldon in the grand scheme of things, they too end up falling flat. What a shame! I think this time around, I will call it quits with Foundation's Edge, which as it turns out is quite aptly named, though not for reasons Asimov would be pleased with: in this book, you can actually pinpoint the very page number where the Good Doctor sails right off the edge of a carefully and lovingly constructed universe and into the abyss of cliched mediocrity.
5.0 out of 5 stars All of the Sudden--another plot twist!,
We are now in yet another generation, which makes it hard to follow the series without the ability to attach to the characters like you nornally can. A couple new characters get featured here that you will follow through Foundation and Earth. You are nearing the end of the story and for an ending as big as Asimov is planning he needs to start the finale process already in the second to last book!
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 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.
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 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great followup,
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars The older, mature Asimov's visit to his youthful creation,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle over and Battle begin,
At last the war between the Two Foundations as ended. The recriminations are not over and there is still alot of bad blood reigning between the victorious Scientists and the vanqushed Second Foundation. A new empire is now in it's acendancy and it looks like the Seldon plan is working out.
A new race is now beginning, the race to find Earth the mysterious home planet of humanity, and robots. Is it still habitable or have the stories of it's poisoning by ancient Atomic weapons have a ring of truth about them.
Two outcast councillors have been given the task to find out.
They set off on the journey to find the truth.
2.0 out of 5 stars Foundations� Edge Falls off of the Edge,
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."
5.0 out of 5 stars Foundation's' Edge is addictive reading...,
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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Foundations Edge by Isaac Asimov (Hardcover - Oct. 1982)
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