Monday, 21 March 2011

Foundation and Empire Review

Foundation and Empire
-       Isaac Asimov
Publisher: UK - Collins
The Seldon Plan guided the First Foundation safely through two centuries of chaos as the Galactic Empire disintegrated. Seldon's recorded holographic image appeared in the Council Chamber on Terminus at moments of crisis predicted by pshychohistory, and his voice was heard. Even war between the Foundation and the remains of the Empire was foreseen - and planned for - by the great scientist. But Seldon had no way of predicting the birth of the Mule, a mutant of uncanny power and unlimited ambition. The Mule's conquests are effortless and his subjects mind-controlled slaves. The Foundation is powerless against the supernormal force the Mule exerts. The Seldon Plan is in tatters.
This is the second of the Foundation series, a classic science fiction tale written by a legendary man himself, Isaac Asimov. I read Foundation and really enjoyed the ideas and theory behind the classic novel. In this next novel, the story of the Foundation’s task to reduce the chaos between Galactic Empires continue. The first part of the book covers a new Seldon Crisis where the remains of the old empire turns it’s attentions to the emerging power base of the Foundation and leads to conflict. The second part of the story is set a hundred years later and charts the time history starts to diverge from the psychohistory that Selden had foreseen three hundred years earlier with the rise of the unknown Mule who starts to conquer the galaxy. This was a pleasant change of pace as up until this point it was pretty much confirmed that Seldon had been right all along.
There is less emotion in this book than most novels but the ideas and economy of language provoke such startling thoughts, you never notice that you’re not emotional attached to these characters. Each character has a different personality and adds a different point of view to the situation. In fact most of the action occurs through conversations rather than physical action. While short on pages, this book is big on  ideas and even manages to end in something of a cliff hanger that I will have to pick up Second Foundation soon.
Recommended for fans of Ian M Banks and Jostein Gaarder. 7 out of 10.

Part of FTC's Speculative Fiction Challange Book 6/12

Part of My Personal Classics Challenge Book 2


  1. You know I've read so much about Isaac Asimov but have never read one of his books. Hm... I might need to correct it one day. I'm sure our library has the books. Thanks for giving the review.

  2. Hmmm, this is really interesting. :) Sounds like a great read. thanks for sharing it!

  3. On the whole the original Foundation trilogy didn't do much for me (I much prefer his Robot books) but this was easily the standout volume of the sequence.