Foundation’s Edge

ISBN: 0246120126
ISBN 13: 9780246120120
By: Isaac Asimov

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About this book

At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they return to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire on the ruins of the old. But rumors persist that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all & that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now two exiled citizens of the Foundation, a renegade Councilman and a doddering historian, set out in search of the mythical planet Earth...and proof that the Second Foundation still exists.Meanwhile someone or something outside of both Foundations seems to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final, shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!

Reader's Thoughts


Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father. As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life (so far). Foundation’s Edge won the Locus Sci-Fi award in 1983, finishing ahead of The Golden Torc (sequel to the previous year’s winner), 2010 (the sequel to Arthur C Clarke’s classic 2001 ) and The Crystal Singer (the first in what, my wife and Mother assure me, is a fine Ann McCaffrey trilogy) to name just three.I’ve read the Foundation series twice in my life, and Foundation’s Edge was one of the six winning books I had previously read before I began my Locus Quest.The first time I read the Foundation series as an awe-struck pre-teen, I’d have instantly given the whole series a 5-star review: it was a story that became a foundation stone (excuse the pun) of my love for sci-fi. Let's get this out of the way: Asimov's Foundation series is required reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in science fiction. If you've not read it yet, put it on your list!Returning to Asimov in my mid twenties I was expecting to be disappointed. Some issues are unavoidable – much of the characterisation is shallow and doesn’t develop far and there series as a whole tends to repeat plot devices with surface variations – but overall I was pleasantly surprised. Asimov tends to remind me H.G. Wells. That may sound extreme considering The Time Machine was written in the 1890s while Foundation’s Edge was released in the 1980s, but the Foundation series was conceived back in the 50s. Wells and Asimov may represent the best of pre-WW1 and post-WW2 sci-fi, but their formative cultures have more in common with each other than post-2012 audiences.To me, their stories are now are charming combination of dated ideals and visionary speculation. This is one of the few Foundation novels which can stand alone, so I can heartily recommend it to all - not just fans of the series.I’m no longer blown away as I once was, but it’s still a very enjoyable read!After this I read: Ilium


** spoiler alert ** As much as I enjoyed the first three books in the Foundation story I am beginning to feel that Asimov didn't really know where to go with the follow up stories. Foundation's Edge added a new hidden culture to the universe, which should have been exciting but the plot dragged out mercilessly. Asimov has a terrible way of loving to listen to his own lectures and loves to reiterate them a lot for such a short story. On the whole I found this book a marginal follow up to the excitement of the first three installments and would have a hard time referring someone else to it. I'm on to the Foundation and Earth now so maybe it will pick up again, but I hold no great expectations.

Martin Hernandez

Escrita 29 años después de la publicación del último libro de la Trilogía de la Fundación, Segunda Fundación, y 32 años después del primer relato de Fundación, Los límites de la Fundación supone el retorno de Asimov a la continuación de la saga. Según el propio Asimov, en el prólogo escrito para Fundación y Tierra en 1986, "los aficionados [...] me pidieron que continuase la serie. Les dí las gracias, pero seguí negándome. [...] Pero Doubleday se tomó aquellas peticiones con mucha más seriedad que yo".1 De hecho le ofrecieron un contrato con un anticipo 10 veces mayor que el acostumbrado, pidiéndole que elaborara una novela de 140.000 palabras: el doble que cualquiera de los volúmenes anteriores, y casi el triple de cualquier relato individual. Para ello, Asimov tuvo que releer la Trilogía de la Fundación y, como él mismo dice, "respirando hondo, me puse manos a la obra".

Ales Zdarek

This is definitely classic sci-fi and you need to consider this book as such. In this book there are not so many disturbing moments, visible in the previous books of this series. Maybe one of the reasons is the fact that the author wrote this book almost thirty years later after finishing the original trilogy. Even then there are some disturbing, not fitting moments, but they are really not so many and not so strong.Autor was very skillful in setting the novel in the way that although it has several main characters, we understand why each of them behaves like it is described, their behaviour is logical, structured and reasonable – they are believable.I liked the most the book ending, which was clear finale of the whole book “adventure”. Informations, data, connections everything is presented to the reader so precisely, that in the end everything fits together and I have to say I have enjoyed it very much. It is clear that the author was the master of the sci-fi and because this book is clearly genre’s classics, there is no way – you need to forgive to the author the disturbing moments. Maybe, you will not mind them as much as I did.


Starts to remind me a little bit of latter day Stephen King. Not in the content but in its bloat. The first three books in the series are pretty svelte and move fast, telling two or three stories at least in each volume that are unconnected. This is a single story and it's much longer. It starts to delve into kind of unnecessary/uninteresting explanations of hand wavy science things (looking at you gravitational ships) and that only gets worse at the end. It also ends up having a lot of dialogue that is extremely explanatory and feels like the author just putting the internal arguments he was having in his head on the page with no filtering to make them feel lifelike. That said, it still makes for entertaining reading and despite the fact that hundreds of pages build up to basically one kind of meh showdown (hence the King comparison) it's pretty fun.

Meenal Srivastava

This book follows the Foundation trilogy. Asimov is a genius. I liked the Foundation trilogy but this book is even better than the trilogy. This book deals with the question of on which planet did humanity originate and the fight between second and first foundation. You just cannot put the book down. New concepts are introduced and even though it follows the same basic story about Seldon's plan, it also brings about certain deviations. It talks about the concepts which form the basis of various other Asimov's book.When you read the book you are overwhelmed by the creativity, twists and turns all in a good way. How far can you stretch your imagination into the infinite stretches of time! If you are a science fiction fan, you are incomplete unless you've read Isaac Asimov. It is a work of pure genius. This book takes you on a splendid thrilling ride into the future where your imagination is unbound.


Finally! Asimov realizes the potential of his Foundation stories in this fourth volume in the series. There is an altogether different feel to it. Less a dramatic history and more of a suspense/mystery tale, Foundation's Edge focuses on Councilman of the Foundation Golan Trevize whose conspiracy theories concerning the existence of the Second Foundation get him in a lot of trouble. Set up opposite Golan is a young speaker of the Second Foundation, also aware that something is completely wrong with the Seldon Plan. Golan is exiled for his challenge to the status quo by the Mayor of the Foundation, his secret mission, to explore, from the peripheries, his belief that the Second Foundation exists and if so, what it is up to. The speaker's goal: to find who or what is manipulating the Seldon Plan outside the Second Foundation. Two mysteries intertwine and combine in a wonderfully new direction for the Foundation series that leaves so many more questions than before.I loved the brilliant new twist to this storyline comes in Golan's companion, Historian Jan Pelorat, a fringe academic who believes, astonishingly, that human beings, now spread over millions of habitable planets across the galaxy, actually originated on a single planet: Earth. Pelorat joins Golan as a cover for his investigation of the Second Foundation. Why did people leave Earth 20,000 years ago? And why are there no precise records of it's history or even location? Through their journey the explore mythology and legend, folklore and fairytales of the future. Was Earth destroyed in a radioactive cataclysm? Did a war between robots and humanity force human beings to flee the planet to establish a world without?The difference in this particular novel is Asimov's focus on just a couple of characters. He builds the mystery of Earth throughout the entire novel and does it in a very intriguing fashion. Written 30 years after the original Foundation trilogy, this novel shows Asimov's growth as an author. Gone is a lot of the repetitive explanations of bits of technology or futuristic custom and in it's place is solid character and plot development. Foundation's Edge ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, Golan is forced to make a choice for the future of humanity and it's not altogether clear what his decision entails. The Seldon Plan takes a backseat for the first time in the Foundation's history and a new force outside the Foundation makes its presence known. Guess I'll be finishing this series after all...

Erika RS

This is the first book after the original Foundation trilogy. Foundation's Edge was written decades after the original trilogy, and feels different than the original. Some of the differences make the book feel less dated: women can hold political power and technology has advanced. The larger change is a change in focus. The original trilogy focused primarily on large themes -- the development of worlds and flow of history -- and secondarily on people. This book focuses primarily on people and secondarily on larger themes. In some ways this makes for a deeper story, but there is a real sense in which the larger themes which were the focus of the first book is what made them classics of science fiction. The original trilogy, in its breadth and scope, was great science fiction. This sequel, in its smaller focus, is just very good science fiction.That said, Foundation's Edge was an engaging read, and I look forward to the next book.

Pamela Deters

Foundation's Edge is a continuation of the Foundation series, this time as an actual full length novel. Choices must be made and apparently the fate of the galaxy will rest in the hands of Golan Trevize - chooser extraordinaire. Both the First Foundation and the Second Foundation are manipulating events to allow their vision of the future become the reality. But a third choice is manifesting itself and when events come to a head only Trevize will be able to decide which direction the future should take.I really like the direction Asimov is taking the series. The characters are interesting (Bliss is a riot)and the idea of shadowy entities pulling the strings of the galaxy keeps you guessing.The minuses are that some of the string pulling actually seemed too contrived and was merely a tool to keep the plot moving along. Another issue is that apparently in the longer format Asimov tends to get a bit...chatty.Still, Foundation's Edge fits well into the Foundation Universe.


This is probably the weakest of the Foundation novels (I have not read the last one yet), yet I still cannot possibly give it less than 4 stars. The first half of the book, in fact, is absolutely fantastic. Its denouement, though, is wanting.Regardless, the Foundation series as a whole should be judged together, and it is probably the greatest science fiction series every written, alongside the Robot series by, again, Asimov. Foundation's Edge cannot compete with, say, Foundation, Second Foundation or Prelude to Foundation, which all had an element of magic and a huge number of new ideas in them. Rather, it is the continuation of the original trilogy, and in some of its pages I have a feeling that Asimov was himself grappling with and testing out new ideas, some of which found their way hastily in this tome.None of the characters of the previous novels come back, of course (per Asimov tradition), but new ones are introduced are are remarkably similar to the old ones, and a whole new factor comes into the First Foundation vs. Second Foundation equation, and is more powerful than both. Ultimately, which of the three sides will prevail comes down to one individual, so unlike the theories of Hari Seldon that proposed that only mass social inertia could be the real catalyst for significant change.A great read, and I look forward to reading Foundation and Earth.


analogue to Herbert to the extent that dialectical materialist predictions of the future are resisted by magicke group of indeterminate persons not subject to rigorous scientific forecasting. in order to remedy this, protagonist takes one of the more famous ships of speculative fiction on a galactic sojourn to get laid with borg-hippy.


Things took an unexpected turn with new elements in play, all perfectly plausible and well-chosen to keep things fresh and exciting. A continuation of the Foundation trilogy, the war between the two Foundations has ended but things are by no means over. While much of the First Foundation believes that the Second Foundation has been destroyed, Mayor Harlo Branno is not deceived. Not content to rule under their control, she has developed an effective though imperfect shield against mental weapons. When Councilman Golan Trevize goes around broadcasting the same suspicions, she exiles him and sends him out into the galaxy as a lightning rod. He is accompanied by historian Janov Pelorat who is on a quest to find Earth, the planet of human origins. Meanwhile on the Second Foundation, young and newly appointed Speaker Gendibal feels that the Seldon Plan is going too perfectly, and suspects another force at work. They all converge on the planet Gaia, a planet of collective consciousness, and Trevize is made to decide the fate of humanity.This was a good read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the earlier Foundation books perhaps because some of the ideas (collective consciousness and Trevize having an ability to be right) didn't quite make sense to me. Nevertheless, it was excellently crafted and just as thrilling.

Derek Davis

I didn't plan to read the "later" Foundation books because most attempts to reinvigorate an early, highly successful series (and except for "Lord of the Rings," no original series of the '50s and '60s was as successful as the Foundation trilogy) usually leave you somewhat embarrassed for the author.Not here. Rather than trying to reanimate the sword-and-hoopla of much of 1950s SF, Asimov writes us a 450-page logical argument. You might think that would be enough to give Socrates a headache, but, as the master storyteller he always was, Asimov keeps you hanging on every unexpected but perfectly reasoned turn of plot.By "logical argument" I mean a warring of intensely bright minds trying to one-up each other's motivations and uncover the structure behind a constantly reorganizing viewpoint of political and social organization. Roughly 200 years after the original stories, the Foundation has taken peaceful control of nearly half the galaxy's million colonized worlds. The Foundation believes that the secretive Second Foundation has been exterminated, but we (of course) know that it still lurks on the former Empire home world of Trantor, controlling the unfolding fate of the galaxy through subtle but benevolent mind-tuning. There's no need to list more facts, because this is not a fact-based novel. It's a constantly unfolding and interfolding of ideas through the truly deft use of mind games. And it works only because Asimov created superb characters who speak to each other not in didactic paragraphs but in a genuine attempt to explain the situation to each other. We, the readers, are but eavesdroppers.One thing from the original series remains the same, and it's always seemed both silly and endearing to me. Despite the fact that the galaxy is home to a quintillion human beings (or, one royal shitload squared), their fate always hangs on tiny a handful of isolated minds, who meet two or three at a time out behind some planet where any two spaceships can always conveniently find each other, like neighborhood rudeboys dreaming up a heist in the parking lot of the Pep Boys' warehouse.

Insener Garin

Olen väikse dilemma ees, esimesele kolmele Asumi loole panin kõigile hindeks 4, sellele aga tahaks kangesti viit panna, kuid ei tea, kas nii ikka sobib. Triloogia raamatud said 4 seetõttu, et igas teoses olid minu jaoks mingid nõrgemad peatükid(osad) sees- "Asumis" Kaupmehed ja ka Printskaupmehed; "Asum ja Impeeriumis" oli nõrgem Kindrali osa; "Teises Asumis" Asum otsib peatükk.Dilemma aga seisneb selles, et ilma eelneva triloogiata saaks ka see raamat 4, aga sari siiamaani oleks kokkuvõttes viit väärt, seega panen neljandale raamatule viie. Tore, et ka Igaviklased ja robotid said kõik üheks maailmaks seotud.Eks nad muidugi selline kerge ja meelelahutuslik lugemine ole, kus ei pea ise midagi ridade vahele juurde mõtlema, sümboolikat paika loksutama, allteksti mõistma. Lihtne, aga mõjub...

Simon Mcleish

Originally published on my blog here in November 2002.Foundation's Edge was the first science fiction novel Asimov had written for a decade, most of which he had spent concentrating on non-fiction. It had a mixed reception, composed on the one hand of the desire to extend a welcome to an old friend long absent (which brought it the Hugo award for 1983), and on the other of the feeling that it was a sequel which failed to live up to the classic Foundation trilogy which it follows.Reading Foundation's Edge now, after the fuss has died down, and doing so just after revisiting the original trilogy, I am more inclined to the former view, changing my mind after first acquaintance twenty years ago. This is because the earlier books have now come to seem dated, like a lot of Asimov's early fiction.Foundation's Edge is set about halfway between the creation of the Foundation and its predicted establishment of a new empire a thousand years after the fall of the old one. (This little piece of chronology makes it clear just how large a scope Asimov had left himself for a sequel.) The Mule is long defeated, and the Second Foundation has returned to obscurity, convincing the Foundation that it too has been destroyed. Seldon's plan is back on course - and this eventually provokes suspicion in both Foundations; after so great a disruption as the reign of the Mule, how can centuries old predictions suddenly become minutely valid once again? This prompts both Foundations to begin searching for whoever or whatever has caused this, and this search is what Foundation's Edge is about.Asimov's science fiction revolves around two great ideas: the laws of robotics and the science of psychohistory. In practice, the main interest of the plots he devises using these ideas is the ways he finds to circumvent their limitations - almost all the robot stories are about attempts to bend or break the laws of robotics, and the Foundation stories are about applying the laws of psychohistory to small numbers of individuals (because novels need to have personalities in them), something explicitly forbidden by the statistics on which the rules are supposedly based. (Alternatively, he allows an individual like the Mule to overturn the predictions, using precisely the justification that it is impossible to apply psychohistory to the actions of individuals.) One of the biggest problems that the original trilogy has, it now sdeems to me, is that the tension this produces is not fully integrated into the plot; in Foundation's Edge, it is handled much more expertly, as befits a writer with thirty years' more experience.Asimov's characterisation is generally pretty perfunctory (the most obvious exceptions being Elijah Baley and the members of the Black Widowers), but here it is rather better than usual, the personalities of those involved playing an important part in the way that the plot is resolved.The greater maturity of the writing should ensure that Foundation's Edge dates more slowly than its predecessors (though they, of course, first appeared over four decades ago). However, it is still the idea behind the series as a whole which is of central interest, much more so than the merits of the individual novels. The sweep of galactic history and the interest of psychohistory will probably mean that the original trilogy continues to be read for some time yet.

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