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Forward the Foundation (Foundation Novels
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About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

Reviews

As a galactic empire struggles to hold onto the million worlds it purports to rule, one man conceives of an idea that will preserve human knowledge during the dark ages that will follow the empire's inevitable fall. The man is Hari Seldon. His idea: psychohistory. In his seventh and final Foundation novel, completed shortly before his death, Asimov explores the life and times of the farseeing professor whose life's work produced a legacy of hope and faith in human survival. Drawing together threads from his previous ``Foundation,'' ``Empire,'' and ``Robot'' series, sf's grand master of storytellers provides the capstone to one of the genre's most enduring epics. Expect considerable--and well-deserved--demand for this title. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/92.

The late Grand Master of science fiction brings his most famous work, the epic Foundation series, to a posthumous close in this volume. Returning to the format of earlier books in the saga, he presents the story in discrete, novella-length segments, finally grappling with the figure at the center of the entire series: the adult Hari Seldon, creator of psychohistory and father of the Foundation itself (the young Seldon was featured in the previous series novel, Prelude to Foundation ). Here, Seldon confronts various threats to the Empire or to the psychohistory project, thwarting them for the most part by his characteristic brand of informed intuition. In part I, Seldon recognizes the rise of a dangerous anti-Imperial movement led by the charismatic Jo-Jo Joranum, and defuses it while simultaneously backing into the post of First Minister. In the second segment (of five), Seldon narrowly avoids an attempt on his life but cannot prevent the assassination of the Emperor Cleon I. Seldon faces personal as well as political setbacks while civilization crumbles. This volume neatly sews up the series, though it offers few real surprises. Most interesting is the glimpse it affords of Asimov himself, obviously personified in Seldon. The psychohistorian's vast intellectual interest, his concern for the future of learning in a time of decline, and his frustration in the face of mortality, ring true with special poignance. Asimov's fans should savor this final taste of his unique persona. (Apr.)

YA-This prequel to the ``Foundation'' series chronicles the life of Hari Sheldon as he struggles with his developing science of psychohistory in order to secure humanity's survival. It works best when read in conjunction with the previous six titles. However, Asimov has left readers with a fascinating portrayal of a man set against the backdrop of the ``rise and fall of the galactic empire.'' It is well written and peopled with believable characters. Essential for all science-fiction collections.

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