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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series

The Foundation series is Isaac Asimov’s iconic masterpiece. Unfolding against the backdrop of a crumbling Galactic Empire, the story of Hari Seldon’s two Foundations is a lasting testament to an extraordinary imagination, one whose unprecedented scale shaped science fiction as we know it today.

The First Foundation survived two centuries of barbarism as the once-mighty Galactic Empire descended into chaos. Now it must prepare for war against the remnants of the Empire as the Imperial fleet advances on their planet, Terminus.

Hari Seldon predicted this war; he even prepared his Foundation for it. But he couldn’t foresee the birth of the mutant Mule. In possession of a power which reduces fearsome opposition to devoted slaves, the Mule poses a terrible threat to Seldon’s Foundation.

©2019 Isaac Asimov (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF." (The Times)

"Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age. It will never be known how many practising scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov." (Carl Sagan)

"Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction." (Daily Telegraph

What listeners say about Foundation and Empire

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  • AJL
  • 05-04-2021

Another superb reading from William Hope

And I'm still loving Asimov's storytelling ability, and his ability to describe. His descriptions are sublime, never over-the-top or too long, and always interesting.

Here are two examples of the type of descriptions his books are peppered with.

"And behind a very sturdily-built and staunchly-defended facade of practical, unromantic, hard-headedness towards life, there was just that little pool of softness that would never show if you poked for it, but could be reached if you knew just how - and never let on that you were looking for it."

"There was quite a bit of smugness about his attitude towards Bayta - the satisfied awe that marks the triumph of someone who has been hovering on the edge of an inferiority complex for three years."

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Foundation and Empire: A Sequel

Foundation and Empire is the second book in a multi-book series surrounding The Foundation, a far flung human colony tasked with limiting a great technological and political interregnum that was set to last 30,000 years (a detail explained in the first chapter of the first book, and not strictly a spoiler, which I do my best to avoid). The book follows on from the plot of Foundation in its usual jump forward in time, however Foundation and Empire deviates from the first book in that the events of the book centre around only one period of time, instead of several.

William Hope's performance has improved from the first, showing his range effectively. If you read my review of Foundation this will make more sense. I honestly believe his performance demonstrates a solid familiarity with the source material and it really comes across. However, there were some minor characters I thought he could do a better job with. One is mentioned to have has a slight vocal mannerism that would have been a nice touch had he added this to the delivery. Though this was a short section, maybe five minutes, and overall a minor complaint.

There is not much to discuss about the plot without potentially spoiling aspects of the first book, and this book as well. So I will say this: if you enjoyed the first book, you should Foundation and Empire. I feel that this work is an improvement over the first, which had some shortcomings (again read my review of Foundation if you would like elaboration), mostly to do with being a fix up novel, written at different points in time. Where as Foundation and Empire was clearly written as one novel with intention.

I hope you enjoy this book, I know I did.

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A classic

I have lost count of how many times I have heard or read this. It still holds up

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Mule Power = deux ex machine.

It was an ok but a little disappointing. The overall plot annoyed me. Really didn't like the idea of the mules powers as a plot device. Asimov used this character upset the foundation plan.

Deux ex machine.

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Kazablanka

Just a continuation of a great story, very well performed. Having made the point that the forces of history cannot be defeated by ordinary means, Asimov introduces something extraordinary - a mutant. l. And still the mystery of the Second Foundation lurks - no doubt to be a key focus of the next novel in the series. Genius.

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  • "wilwebber"
  • 28-08-2020

not as good as first installment

I tired of narrators style this time round, I was okay with it during Foundation.

will listen to third installment though

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  • Tom Johnson
  • 28-05-2020

brilliant

a brilliant book from 1952 which feels like it could have been written in 2020

1 person found this helpful

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  • john jackson
  • 23-01-2021

Brilliant

Once again William Hope gives an outstanding rendering of another foundation book.
I listened to the book in one day, which I can't believe. But after hearing his rendition of the first foundation book, I just had to buy the second, just to hear if it was as good as the first. But I have to say, I think that it was even better.
I must admit I read the books years ago when I was younger and I loved reading them then.
I didn't think that I would like listening to books rather than read them, and I must admit this is only my second book.
But if the other books are just as good, then I'm sold on them as I can listen to books will doing other things as well

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  • ALK
  • 31-12-2020

Classic Sci-Fi epic Surprisingly Enjoyable

second in the original trilogy of books by Asimov, this book was an improvement on the first (which I enjoyed the immediacy of). It comprises of two novellas linked by the continuing story arc of the Foundation, and the predictions of Hari Selden from the first book. Of the two novellas I found the second more interesting, with the amusing twist at the end and the set-up (I hope) for book three. Asimov's writing is surprisingly fresh and engaging for a book written when my father was but a boy. The underlying themes are interesting yet not overly heavy, and so much sci-fi that was to follow took inspiration from this book I can see why it earned its status.
for the Audio book, the narration was great. definitely one of the better narrators I've listened to.

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  • Ricollinb
  • 13-05-2020

Excellent

I have really enjoyed this version of th trilogy more than others I have previously listened to

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  • Jason Hehir
  • 03-03-2020

great book well performed.

There are an awful lot of voices for one guy to have to do in this book, he did very well but I wonder if sometimes it's just better to speak normally for incidental characters.

The story is a classic. some of the dialogue is as little ripe and Asimov generally struggles with the concept of female characters but it's very enjoyable and all the better for being a true novel as opposed to the first book, which is more a collection of short stories.

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  • David Connor
  • 19-12-2019

Seldan says...

Change of pace from the first but still enjoyable. A fantastic psychological world worth exploring.

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  • Aleksander Sulkowski
  • 18-12-2019

Great sci-fi book

The narrator turns from initially being a bit annoying, to a totally addictive and irreplaceable. Looking forward to listening to the third part.

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