Review: Foundation and Empire

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Foundation and Empire Book Cover
Foundation and Empire Foundation, Book 2 Science Fiction HarperCollins Audiobook 9h 33m Audible

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.


Another superb listen.

In this continuation of the saga we have two more interlinked stories which continue the timeline. The first is the war between the Foundation and the Empire. The second concerns The Mule, an unpredicted mutant.

As usual, Asimov concerns himself with the more psychological and broader events of the developments of the galaxy as the Empire crumbles and the Foundation grows in strength. Wheels within wheels turn and pawns are moved around the great cosmic chessboard as the play reveals itself and leads us on, as the smell of cheese might a mouse. Excellent to the last page and sets us up nicely for book 3 – Second Foundation.

If you are more interested in space battles and lots of action, look elsewhere. If you prefer a thoughtful and well-constructed tale of cosmic proportions framed by Sheldon Crises (key incidents in the timeline on which we focus), then this is the trilogy you have been looking for.

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By Edward

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    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!