Isaac Asimov - Foundation


20 May 2019

2 minute read

Foundation is a sci-fi book series that spans over the course of 7 books and has won a total of 4 Hugo Awards. It is one of the masterpieces of famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. This series explores robotics, psychology and the notion of predicting the future.

This video provides additional context on how this series came to be.

Set in an immense space empire, these novels focus on a quest to save their galactic empire from terrifying decay. We follow different narrators over thousands of years as the science of psychohistory, a technology that might be able to predict the future based on the actions of the masses, is being devised. Hari Seldon, the creator of this theory, hopes that he will be able to limit the chaos that will ensue after the total collapse of order.

He begins a galaxy-wide effort to prevent a humanity's regression.To do this, he creates two foundations, one hidden, living in the shadows, shaping the world to Seldon's social precepts, and another that becomes the most advanced scientific power of the galaxy by preserving scientific knowledge and using nuclear power. His scientific foundation becomes an unbeatable power by swaying its enemies while the second leads humanity by controlling its leaders.


The order you should follow when reading Foundation is quite confusing, so Asimov provided a useful list. The first four are the Robot novels, the following three constitute the Empire series and the rest are the actual Foundation books. The first eight complement the series but are not essential to reading the actual Foundation books.

  1. The Complete Robot (1982)
  2. The Caves of Steel (1954)
  3. The Naked Sun (1957)
  4. The Robots of Dawn (1983)
  5. Robots and Empire (1985)
  6. The Currents of Space (1952)
  7. The Stars, Like Dust-- (1951)
  8. Pebble in the Sky (1950)
  9. Prelude to Foundation (1988)
  10. Forward the Foundation (1992)
  11. Foundation (1951)
  12. Foundation and Empire (1952)
  13. Second Foundation (1953)
  14. Foundation's Edge (1982)
  15. Foundation and Earth (1983)

This collection of novels is quite atypical; as you progress through the series, you draw away from the characters and become absorbed with the glamorous idea of Hari Seldon's Foundation as you try to understand its obscure goals. It will truly please any reader that is tired of the often overused sci-fi tropes.

This series of enthralling books is perfect if you enjoy complex and extended plots that explore radically different ideas. If you are looking for a long but well thought out story, you will love Foundation.

Once again Isaac Asimov does not fail to astound the reader with this suspenseful and unpredictable story that evokes mind control, mutations and participated in launching the space empire genre. I recommend this novel that is a science fiction classic that honores the author's vast array of writings.