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Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Asimov

Name : Second Foundation
 
Author:  Isaac Asimov
 
Genre : Science fiction novel
 
Pages : 210
 
Language: English
 
Publication Year: 1953
 
Is Review Spoiler: No
 
Awards :  
 
Rating: 5/5

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  1. Book 1 : Foundation – Review
  2. Book 2 : Foundation and Empire – Review

Does second foundation really exists? if so, where exactly they are located? what’s the rule second foundation is playing in Seldon’s plan?

In the third volume of original foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov come to close in this ambitious finale. This book is divided into two parts titled “Search by Mule” and “Search by Foundation” each parts mainly focused on the search of mysteries second foundation whose whereabouts no one knows.

If you have read the first two books (The Foundation and The Foundation and Empire), then most of you already know about the Hari Seldon and his plan to save the future. For those who haven’t read the previous two books – here is brief intro of Seldon’n plan:

“Hari Seldon the great mathematician has foreseen the end of galactic empire by using the mathematics known as psycho-history, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mas action – psycho-history can predict the future but only on a large-scale. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillion of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future. So he establish two foundations each at different end of galaxy to minimize the barbaric period expected to follow the demise of empire from 30,000 years to 1,000 years and to establish the second empire.”

The first part of the book – Search by Mule – deals with the search for second foundation by Mule who uses his emotion controlling power to search for second foundation. This part is very tightly plotted and has many twist and turns which will keep you glued to the book until you finish it.

The second part of the book – Search by Foundation – takes place sixty years after the first part. In this part few people from first foundation suspects that second foundation is controlling the key members of first foundation and using them for fulfilling their purposes. So they form a small group – named Conspirators’ – and resolve to find the second foundation which many believe doesn’t exists at all. In terms of tightness of plot it’s much better than first part.

The only thing which I think could have been better is character development, there is not much in all three foundation novels in terms of character developments.

The best part of this trilogy compare to others is – all three books – in this trilogy are totally different and merely linked with each other. What I mean by this is each book and each part follows its own agenda. Like the first book which mainly focused on establishment of Foundation to save the future society after the collapse of galactic empire. The second book has its own agenda – in which foundation has to face dying galactic empire and mutant named Mule – who is all set to destroy Seldon’s plan. And this book – is focused on search for second foundation by two different groups – first by Mule and his company and second by ‘first foundation’ – who thinks that they are controlled by second foundation and don’t like that idea at all and set to find the truth behind  all this.

Overall, all books in trilogy are must read for all science-fiction fans. If you haven’t read it yet, then you are missing something great.

Name : Foundation and Empire
 
Author:  Isaac Asimov
 
Genre : Science fiction novel
 
Pages : 247
 
Language: English
 
Publication Year: 1952
 
Is Review Spoiler: No
 
Awards :  Hugo Award for Best Novel
 
Rating: 5/5

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Isaac Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series, his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” in 1966.

The Foundation is highly recommended to anyone who admit that they have a keen interest in sic-fi. The foundation series is considered as greatest science-fiction novels ever written, these novels are not recommended for those who are only mildly interested in sicience-fiction. If you are new to sci-fi genre, start with something lighter and once you are comfortable with the genre then you can start with this series.

The foundation and empire start exactly after the event of the foundation. In the foundation, Hari Seldon the great mathematician has forseen the end of galactic empire by using the mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mas action – psychohistory can predict the future but only on a large-scale. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillion of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future. So he establish two foundations each at different end of galaxy to minimize the barbaric period expected to follow the demise of empire from 30,000 years to 1,000 years and to establish the second empire.

After the 200 years since it’s establishment, the first foundation has conquered the most of the surrounding planets using it’s economic rule, going as per Seldon’s plan. This book is divided into two parts namely ‘The General’ & ‘The Mule’ and is more focused on the developmental of plot than first book which was divided  on 5 loosely related chapters. In first part named ‘The General’ – the first foundation faces the new and much more serious threats from dying Empire. The general Beo Riose – the last strong General of the Galactic Empire – after investigating the so-called ‘magicians’ from the foundation, finds out about Hari Seldon’s plan of second empire – and concludes that the foundation is the real threat to galactic empire.

The second part – The Mule – is mainly focused on individual who named himself ‘The Mule’ and is conquering the planets one by one without a fight. So little is known about the ‘The Mule’ and about his past,only few knows how he looks and that he has super powers which can be the biggest threat to Seldon’s plan – sensing this The Foundation citizens Toran and Bayta Darell along with psychologist Ebling Mis – travel to different worlds of the Foundation, and finally to the Great Library of Trantor to discover more about the ‘Mule’ and most importantly to find ‘the second foundation’ [no one knows about it’s location or whether it’s exist or not] and to warn them about the growing threat of  ‘The Mule’.

“The Mule” was first published in the November and December 1945 issues of Astounding Science Fiction. The first part of the book – The General – is quite straight forward in which foundation faces the empire and as per Seldon’s plan they execute their strategy against galactic empire.

The second story is quite interesting and ingenious, in which the flaws in Seldon’s plan are bought into light. This story told in terms of suspense built around the mule, of whom very little is know in entire galaxy. The notable thing about the second part is mystery Asimov built around the mule which will keep reader glued to the book till the end. Asimov has written it so well that by the time you finish second book you will be thinking ‘wow it’s awesome’ – desperate for more –  you will start reading third book in series.

Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets…?

If you are a science fiction fan and haven’t read foundation series by Asimov then your missing something amazing, I will recommend this for all sci-fi fans.

Name : The Foundation

Author:  Isaac Asimov

Genre : Science fiction novel

Pages : 255

Language: English

Publication Year: 1951

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book :

Awards :  Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” in 1966.

Rating: 5/5

—————————————————————————————————————————

Isaac Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series, his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Foundation series won the one-time Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” in 1966.

The Foundation is highly recommended to anyone who admit that they have a keen interest in sic-fi. The foundation series is considered as greatest science-fiction novels ever written, these novels are not recommended for those who are only mildly interested in sicience-fiction. If you are new to sci-fi genre, start with something lighter and once you are comfortable with the genre then you can start with this series.

Foundation was originally a series of eight short stories published in Astounding Magazine between May 1942 and January 1950. The first four stories were collected, along with a new story taking place before the others, in a single volume published by Gnome Press in 1951 as Foundation. The remainder of the stories were published in pairs by Gnome as Foundation and Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953), resulting in the “Foundation Trilogy”,  as the series was known for decades.

The novel is set in far future where humans have scattered across the milk way galaxy and inhabited the all life supporting planets and ruled by Galactic Empire. The premises of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon – has developed a mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mas action – psychohistory can predict the future but only on a large-scale. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillion of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future.

Using psychohistory Seldon predicts demise of the galactic empire and creates a plan to save the knowledge of human race in huge encyclopedia knows as encyclopedia galactica and also he creates a plan to minimize the barbaric period expected to follow the demise of empire from 30,000 years to 1,000 years.

He establishes the foundation on planet Terminus with selected few to write encyclopedia galactica and to carry out the His secret plan.

The main focus of this novel is not character development so you won’t find much in terms of character development in this novel. The novel is divided into five parts namely The Psychohistorians, The Encyclopedists, The Mayors, The Traders and The Merchant Princes. Each part introduces set of new characters and each part deals with the progress of foundation in terms of encyclopedia galactica and carrying out the secret plan of Hari Seldon. Hari Seldon is the only person who appears in all five parts. Every time foundation faces some crises (know as Seldon Crises), a vault is opened automatically and Hari Seldon’s pre-recorded video is played in which Seldon will provide the solution for present crises and future course of action for foundation.

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.

“The whole war is a battle between those two systems; between the Empire and the Foundation; between the big and the little. To seize control of a world, they bribe with immense ships that can make war, but lack all economic significance. We, on the other hand, bribe with little things, useless in war, but vital to prosperity and profits.” – Foundation.


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