Foundation and Empire

Foundation and Empire

Book - 1952
Average Rating:
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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...'
Publisher: Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, [1952]
ISBN: 9780345336286
9780893402105
9781439507209
9780553293371
Branch Call Number: ASIM
Characteristics: 227 p. ; 22 cm

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baldand
Oct 05, 2017

Although published as a novel in 1952, “Foundation and Empire” was originally published in 1945, when Asimov was only 25 years old. It cannot, in any sense, be considered a novel. The first part, The General, is a 93-page novella, the second part, a 170-page novel whose action takes place about a century after the first part. They are connected only by a 3-page prologue and the fact that both deal with the Foundation. In its description of a war for the Galaxy between the Foundation and the Empire (or in “The Mule” by a man who would be emperor), Asimov anticipates and may have inspired Star Wars, but it is a very 1940s America version of it, where all the heavy lifting is done by cigarette-smoking white males.
I found the second part better than the first, although both are worth reading. The Mule’s identity is predictable even before it is revealed in the final chapter, but he is much the most interesting character in “Foundation and Empire”. The novella is like a paean to the idea of an all-encompassing predictive theory of psychohistory. To his credit, Asimov was too much of a realist to really believe in such a thing, and the second part shows how one man, the Mule, had a string of conquests that were absolutely inconsistent with the predictions of that same theory.

s
susan_findlay
Jun 14, 2016

I enjoyed this novel more than the first one. It only has two mini-stories in it, and you get to spend most of the book with the same set of characters. The book is still very much plot/saga-driven rather than character-driven, and most of the characters still only get minimal development. The exception is the Mule, about whom information drips out painfully slowly (but that is what keeps you wanting to read - to find out more about him).

j
Jean-Pierre Lebel
Apr 04, 2016

I enjoyed this one more than the first Foundation novel. Asimov took the story in unexpected directions, and gave us characters that were far more memorable. He also gave the story an amazing twist that I didn't see coming. Highly recommended even if for readers that might have been luke-warm about the first novel.

btmslt Mar 13, 2012

Once again, a good adventure novel from Asimov. The first three books in the foundation series are his best works.

r
RichardPaul
Feb 14, 2011

Foundation and Empire ---- by Isaac Asimov c – 1991/reprint ---- Another part of the foundation series. A good read ---- Enjoy ---- RichardPaul ----

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