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Den segrande stiftelsen

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So far the Foundation was safe. But there was a hidden Second Foundation to protect the first. The Mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. The men of the Foundation sought it, too, to escape from Mule's mind control. Only Arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she...?


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So far the Foundation was safe. But there was a hidden Second Foundation to protect the first. The Mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. The men of the Foundation sought it, too, to escape from Mule's mind control. Only Arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she...?

30 review for Den segrande stiftelsen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    English (Second Foundation) / Italiano «The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years»But now it no longer exists. The present is the Foundation, at war with an enemy with a terrible "psychic" power, i.e. the ability to influence the minds. The third chapter of the Foundation series is better than the two preceding it, with more action and suspense. It's the final showdown between the "Mule" and the Second Foundation, represented in the final battle by its "First Speaker". English (Second Foundation) / Italiano «The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years»But now it no longer exists. The present is the Foundation, at war with an enemy with a terrible "psychic" power, i.e. the ability to influence the minds. The third chapter of the Foundation series is better than the two preceding it, with more action and suspense. It's the final showdown between the "Mule" and the Second Foundation, represented in the final battle by its "First Speaker". But above all the homeworld of the Second Foundation will now be revealed. Surprise!Vote: 7,5 «Il Primo Impero Galattico era esistito per decine di migliaia d'anni»Ma adesso non esiste più. Il presente è della Fondazione, in lotta contro un nemico dotato di poteri "psichici" terribili, ovvero la capacità di influenzare le menti. Il terzo capitolo del ciclo della Fondazione è meglio dei due precedenti, secondo me, più ricco in azione e suspense. Siamo alla resa dei conti tra il "Mulo" e la Seconda Fondazione, rappresentata nello scontro decisivo dal suo "Primo Oratore". Ma soprattutto ci sta per essere rivelato il pianeta madre della Seconda Fondazione. Sorpresa!Voto: 7,5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    What a great completion of the trilogy! This book, the last part of Foundation trilogy, was very captivating from the start and became even more interesting and enthralling leading to a great spellbinding climax. This trilogy has now entered to my all time favorite books. It has been a great experience reading Isaac Asimov.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    527. Second Foundation (Foundation, #3), Isaac Asimov Second Foundation is the third novel published of the Foundation Series by American writer Isaac Asimov, and the fifth in the in-universe chronology. It was first published in 1953 by Gnome Press. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه دسامبر سال 1994 میلادی عنوان: سقوط امپراطوری کهکشانها (بنیاد دوم)؛ نوشته: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: حسن اصغری؛ تهران، شقایق، 1371؛ در 358 ص ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    And so you take comfort in what once used to chafe and to frustrate: the man is smarter than you. Hari Seldon. At first you fought against his implacable logic, his elegant design mapping out the entire existence of your race, the human kind. But eventually you relaxed and embraced it: you and yours, your dreams, the human race... your goals and your future would be protected, protected by the plan. The Seldon Plan - and Foundation. And when Foundation and the Plan both suffered at the hands of And so you take comfort in what once used to chafe and to frustrate: the man is smarter than you. Hari Seldon. At first you fought against his implacable logic, his elegant design mapping out the entire existence of your race, the human kind. But eventually you relaxed and embraced it: you and yours, your dreams, the human race... your goals and your future would be protected, protected by the plan. The Seldon Plan - and Foundation. And when Foundation and the Plan both suffered at the hands of the mutant The Mule, Seldon's secret guardians - Second Foundation - came to save the day. The Plan on one hand, that secret society of psychic saviors on the other, Foundation and Second Foundation, Mother and an absent but still watchful Father... all fears left you. You became comfortable. You became complacent! And so there rose the frustrated few who still chafed at that soft control - at that absent Father with his invisible fingers, making a puppet of you and yours, "protecting" you. You are mommy's little darlings, hating your distant dad. You will control your own destiny, future be damned! And so you acted against Second Foundation, you plotted and schemed and made intricate designs, you found those secretive psychic saviors, you executed each and every one of them. Or did you? Fortunately for you - oh, and for the future of all your kind, the human race - your goals and your frustrations are excruciatingly finite. Your own small-mindedness will protect you, your childlike inability to see the bigger picture. Poor baby; Second Foundation will save you and yours despite yourself. Just sit back and stop thinking so hard, you'll hurt yourself! And so the original Foundation trilogy concludes with this work. Two ingenious novellas, one detailing the final passage of sympathetic villain The Mule, the other dealing with an attempt made by Foundation to upend Second Foundation. I found the first book to be interesting but flawed in its repetitiveness. The second book had two novellas: one entertaining but likewise limited, the second a brilliant leap forward. And so it is with the third book, Second Foundation: the first novella entertaining and thoughtful but a bit of a retread of the second book's second novella... and like its predecessor, a second novella ("Search by the Foundation") that leaps forward into new, fascinating territory. All three of these books - their various stories and novellas coming together to form an intricate, elegant design - will stick in my mind. I can imagine revisiting this deep well of ideas a few years from now (if the human race still remains). Overall, despite some essentially inconsequential flaws, the original trilogy is a marvelous achievement and I think completely worthy of their classic status. And so I wonder: should I continue with this series? Asimov is a smart man, certainly much much smarter than me. But I have found disappointment when reading series that are picked up decades later. They have read as if the author has grown too comfortable, complacent. The next novel in the series - Foundation and Earth - was written nearly three decades after this third book. Should I risk souring the well?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Second Foundation wraps up Asimov’s brilliant early 50s classic SF series Foundation. Twenty-nine years later (in 1982) Asimov would publish Foundation's Edge, but for most of the golden age, the Foundation trilogy would form a template (though never completely duplicated) for SF excellence. Essentially divided into two parts – the first part a conclusion of Foundation and Empire with The Mule and then the conclusion of the Foundation story. The search for the ultra-secretive Second Foundation co Second Foundation wraps up Asimov’s brilliant early 50s classic SF series Foundation. Twenty-nine years later (in 1982) Asimov would publish Foundation's Edge, but for most of the golden age, the Foundation trilogy would form a template (though never completely duplicated) for SF excellence. Essentially divided into two parts – the first part a conclusion of Foundation and Empire with The Mule and then the conclusion of the Foundation story. The search for the ultra-secretive Second Foundation continues across the galaxy. Both the first part and the second had themes of a chess match between actors with several conflicting solutions being developed and supported. Parts of this, especially discussions about the advanced mental Second Foundation reminded me obliquely of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood's End. Not as strong as the other two, this is still a solid SF story and a good finale for a great SF trilogy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    The idea behind it's pretty good. Asimov has set up little philosopher kings to slowly shape the universe until they can accept being openly ruled by beings as superior as them, because of SCIENCE! It never actually handles the philosophical issues involved, but notes that they exist. Meanwhile, the plot is such: Man1: Haha! I tricked you! Man2: But I knew you were going to trick me. Instead, I tricked you! Man1: But I knew you knew that I was going to trick you, so really *I* win! Man2: NO! *dies* The idea behind it's pretty good. Asimov has set up little philosopher kings to slowly shape the universe until they can accept being openly ruled by beings as superior as them, because of SCIENCE! It never actually handles the philosophical issues involved, but notes that they exist. Meanwhile, the plot is such: Man1: Haha! I tricked you! Man2: But I knew you were going to trick me. Instead, I tricked you! Man1: But I knew you knew that I was going to trick you, so really *I* win! Man2: NO! *dies* Man3: I knew that you knew that he knew that you knew that he was going to trick you, and I set up the whole thing! So I win! Man1: But I knew that you knew that I knew... And so on. The hyper-crossing that occurs in this book, right in the very first chapters, is utterly ridiculous. It gets a bit better as time goes on, but by that point, the cats out of the bag and you pretty much expect it to pull a PDK and have everyone be alien robots with fake memories or something. In short, a good book to wrap up the trilogy, but a pretty weak story on its own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Davyne DeSye

    This was a fabulous conclusion to the original trilogy! In the first book, we see the rise of the Foundation – the kernel of civilization around which the Second Galactic Empire will eventually rise after the fall of the First Galactic Empire… a foundation established for precisely that reason by the inestimable Hari Seldon, who – through his mathematics – can predict the future. In the second book, we see Seldon’s Plan shattered by the unexpected rise of a conqueror with mutant mental powers (the This was a fabulous conclusion to the original trilogy! In the first book, we see the rise of the Foundation – the kernel of civilization around which the Second Galactic Empire will eventually rise after the fall of the First Galactic Empire… a foundation established for precisely that reason by the inestimable Hari Seldon, who – through his mathematics – can predict the future. In the second book, we see Seldon’s Plan shattered by the unexpected rise of a conqueror with mutant mental powers (the “Mule”) – something Seldon’s mathematics could not foresee nor account for. Thankfully, the Mule is stopped through the bravery and intelligence of one woman, and through the help of the secret Second Foundation. In this book, we are about 500 years into the single millennium Seldon’s Plan predicts before the Foundation will establish the Second Galactic Empire. The problem? The Second Foundation, whose purpose it is to protect and continue Seldon’s Plan, is no longer secret. Both the Mule (who was stopped in his expansion) wants to find the Second Foundation and wipe it out and the Foundation (the First Foundation) doesn’t like the idea of being manipulated by some secret outer force and, therefore, also wants to find the Second Foundation and wipe out for reasons of its own. The first half of this book is about the Mule’s search for the Second Foundation which revolves around a bunch of intrigue involving mind control. I love this part of the book because the Mule is such a fascinating and enigmatic creature (well… man, but still… creature might be a better descriptor). This part of the book also includes a lot of double-double crosses that keep the reader guessing all the way. The second half of this book is about (after the Mule’s eventual death) the search for the Second Foundation by the First. I love this part of the book because the heroine is Arkady, a 14-year-old girl who has all the spunk, intelligence and teenaged neurosis/romance you could want in a heroine. (Example: She stows away on a spaceship in her guaranteed-wrinkle-proof jacket with food stores and water, convinced that all she has to do is keep herself from sneezing because that is what gives away all the spies in the movies, but soon realizes that the movies never talk about where/how the stowaway is going to pee… ha ha!) She caroms around the galaxy, from Terminus to Kalgan (where she gains the eye of the ruler as a future wife, escapes and is almost arrested until her escape) to Trantor, all the while trying to hide from the Second Foundation – and knowing that she is the most important person in the galaxy because she knows where the Second Foundation’s secret location is! Just great stuff! I also love Preem Palver, humble farmer who helps Arkady along the way. The ending… well the ending is just sublime. So sublime. Love it! I highly recommend this entire series to lovers of classic science fiction. But even if you are uninterested in reading the entire series, Asimov includes – as a prologue – a synopsis of the first two books, so this could be read as a standalone novel. This is probably my favorite of the three, so I definitely suggest reading it. No, maybe not my favorite. Yes, probably so. Errr… just read them all – they’re great!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    “Was his controlled mind so concerned with obedience as to lose initiative? He felt a thickening despondency drive him down into a strange lassitude.” Poor Captain Han Pritcher. Mind control is a common sci-fi trope but the feelings or thoughts of the person under control are rarely explored. This is what makes Part 1 of Second Foundation so special. As I mentioned in my review of Foundation and Empire The Mule is a terrific villain, clever and ruthless but no exactly evil and a little pitiful “Was his controlled mind so concerned with obedience as to lose initiative? He felt a thickening despondency drive him down into a strange lassitude.” Poor Captain Han Pritcher. Mind control is a common sci-fi trope but the feelings or thoughts of the person under control are rarely explored. This is what makes Part 1 of Second Foundation so special. As I mentioned in my review of Foundation and Empire The Mule is a terrific villain, clever and ruthless but no exactly evil and a little pitiful. This part of the book is entirely concerned with The Mule’s battle of wits against the eponymous Second Foundation. Where the First Foundation that we have come to know from the previous two books is made up of scientists the eponymous Second Foundation is made up of psychohistorians (or psychologists-cum-mathematicians). Their study and development of psychology over hundreds of years make the best of them the equals of the Mule in term of mental power. The showdown between a Second Foundation leader (“first Speaker”) and the Mule consist of moves and counter-moves almost entirely through dialog. This being Asimov the kickass climax does not actually involve feet coming into contact with posteriors; be that as it may the scene is very tautly written and has stayed with me for decades since I first read it. Part 2 of Second Foundation is mainly concerned with the First Foundation’s search for the Second with the intent of destroying it. This turn of event surprises me a bit, suddenly the Second Foundation is cast in the role of antagonists (“ubiquitous menace”) in spite of having saved the First’s bacon in the preceding part. This makes the First Foundation seems like terrible ingrates. On the other hand, nobody likes to have their minds tampered with so their hostility is somewhat understandable. Mixed into the main story arc of the search for the Second Foundation is a subplot concerning the First Foundation’s war with Kalgan. I personally find this warfare section a little dull compared to the much more interesting major plot; I am not at all surprised that I remember nothing of this aspect of the book from my previous reading. The world building in this third volume is the best of in the trilogy, I particularly enjoy Asimov’s description of the Second Foundation’s culture. They do not communicate by telepathy but conduct whole conversations in micro-gestures (actually much more interesting this way). The denouement at the end of the book is particularly ingenious. Asimov does seem to enjoy pulling the rug from under the readers’ feet, and his enjoyment is infectious. So that’s it, the entire legendary trilogy read in just one week due to the total page count being under 700 pages. My main reason for the reread is to go on to Foundation's Edge and subsequent Foundation novels, published around 30 years after the original trilogy which I have never read before. Really looking forward to that!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Simona Bartolotta

    The book alone, I probably would have rated 3 stars out of 5, but I just noticed I rated 3 stars also the first two books in the trilogy, which baffles me because when I think of the Foundation trilogy, I do not think 3 stars. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to up the average rating of the series with this last chapter. “Every human being lived behind an impenetrable wall of choking mist within which no other but he existed.” What I loved about this particular instalment, and a thing that is qui The book alone, I probably would have rated 3 stars out of 5, but I just noticed I rated 3 stars also the first two books in the trilogy, which baffles me because when I think of the Foundation trilogy, I do not think 3 stars. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to up the average rating of the series with this last chapter. “Every human being lived behind an impenetrable wall of choking mist within which no other but he existed.” What I loved about this particular instalment, and a thing that is quite evident more or less in all Asimov books, is that the solution of its plot is so layered, the reader gets lost in its endless folds. Second Foundation comprises more than one episode like its two predecessors, two in the case at hand, and in each of these halfway through the story the narrator starts offering us different explanations, preferably through the perspective of one of the characters, and this successfully contributes to creating an escalation of tension that masterfully resolves into the achievement of the last solution, necessarily the correct one. It's an extremely simple scheme, and yet an infallible one—at least in hands as capable as Asimov's. As always, I could continue with various attempts at clarifying why I love this author, but I've written dozens of reviews/comments about him that you can find in a minute by browsing my shelves, so I won't repeat myself. (Though I would love to: my love for Asimov is a marvellous excuse for me to become repetitively verbose.) And speaking of the devil of my tendency at repeat myself, of course I recommend the Foundation trilogy; in fact, to be precise, I recommend Asimov's whole bibliography in spite of not having read it all myself. That's how much I love him.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This book concludes the original tale of the Foundation and it is a worthy ending. Like the second book, this had not several shorter stories forming a mosaic to introduce the reader to the galaxy as had the first, but had only two parts: - Search by the Mule - Search by the Foundation The first part resumes the tale where it had left off at the end of the second book: the Mule is still ruling the galaxy after having beaten the Foundation and is more powerful than ever. He knows however that there i This book concludes the original tale of the Foundation and it is a worthy ending. Like the second book, this had not several shorter stories forming a mosaic to introduce the reader to the galaxy as had the first, but had only two parts: - Search by the Mule - Search by the Foundation The first part resumes the tale where it had left off at the end of the second book: the Mule is still ruling the galaxy after having beaten the Foundation and is more powerful than ever. He knows however that there is another, a Second Foundation, and that its members have mental powers much like he does (as opposed to the strictly technological approach by the First Foundation) and that is dangerous since it could undo all the conditioning he's done on most people within his galactic Empire. Two men are thus sent out to find the Second Foundation and destroy it, one of which was a character I liked very much: Han Pritcher. The other is a young and unconditioned upstart (view spoiler)[who turns out to be of the Second Foundation. (hide spoiler)] There is a lot of back and forth with forcefully obtained information, some of which turns out to be intentionally wrong and then we get the showdown with the leader of the Second Foundation. The end actually surprised me a bit here. (view spoiler)[It becomes apparent that although the Second Foundation likes to have all the threads in their hands, they actually lack the ambition to use their power in order to rule themselves. (hide spoiler)] The second part takes place 60 years after the above mentioned events. The Mule is dead and (view spoiler)[has been dead for 55 years. Yep, his body was so weak that he had a short natural life span which the Second Foundation foresaw. To think that all the First Foundation would have had to do was endure long enough ... (hide spoiler)] Moreover, since the true reason for the Mule's name was that he could not have any children, we are in a sort of limbo: we have the planet Kalgan on which the Mule ruled and which still stands apart from the rest of the galaxy that is under the rule of the Foundation once again. Moreover, most Foundationists are now aware of the existance of the Second Foundation but opinions differ greatly. Some see them as the safeguards of the Seldon plan, others are highly suspicious of them due to their mental powers. Personally, I dislike the first group because they became lazy and understand the latter group because the whole idea of people being able (whether genetically or through training doesn't matter) to manipulate another person's mind is highly disturbing. The ruler of Kalgan, at one point, declares war on the Foundation but loses (not really a spoiler), proving that the Foundation is strong enough to withstand even a violent conflict (they lacked the self-confidence at first after what had happened to them thanks to the Mule). As a side character, we get the granddaughter of Bayta (the woman who made sure the Mule couldn't find the Second Foundation in the previous book). A bright 14-year-old, slightly too romantic in her notions, but I liked her very much. Especially since the view on women throughout the galaxy (no matter who rules) is preposterous! We get another chase through a couple of worlds and a mystery and then there is the question of where exactly the Second Foundation is. You see, there are people who try to find them in order to kill them all so nobody can manipulate any minds anymore. But the Second Foundation has foreseen this (and many other) problems and they have set in motion a plan (or several, actually) of their own. I won't say more about the conclusion other than that I knew where the Second Foundation was pretty early on. Again, Asimov leaves enough bread crumbs for the reader to follow which is quite nice. The funny thing is that my thinking was a bit too complicated in fact. (view spoiler)[I regarded one of the older book covers and saw the spiral of the galaxy and it hit me that in a spiral, "the opposite end where stars end" from the point of view of Terminus (which is at the outer end of one arm of the galaxy/spiral), is the center of the galaxy => the former capital of the Empire. It was much more easy than that however. Ah well, doesn't matter, the result was correct anyway. (hide spoiler)] It is also revealed just how intricate Hari Seldon's plan really was and how the Second Foundation works, what they regard (apparently correctly) as their "job", why there was never any psycho-scientist in the First Foundation and any other question readers might have had from the start. That was VERY large-scale. What I definitely did not like, once again, is the notion of the uber-powerful Second Foundation. First, I don't think they would be this selfless - humans usually aren't. Secondly, I definitely don't like that everything had been calculated despite the fact that this was not predictable by psychohistory (remember: psychohistory can only predict the course of history where billions of people or more are involved, not individuals). It diminished (view spoiler)[the accomplishments of Bayta and her granddaughter and basically said that an individual cannot be intelligent/important enough to cross such huge plans and have an impact on history when, clearly, that is not true (hide spoiler)] ! When all was revealed at the end, this enraged me so much in fact, that I almost deducted a star (especially since it's a theme that irked me in the previous book already)! Except for the reveal who the First Speaker at that time was - that was hilarious! :D And again I didn't deduct a star. Because this work is truly great in the literal sense of the word. Asimov deserves the title of "master" or "father of science fiction". His writing style remained top notch throughout, was "simple" yet unique, amiable and even got me through the drier parts where the Second Foundationists discussed (in infuriatingly vague but lengthy terms) what they must do or what was happening or what which theory means/entails (actually, the explanations were quite nice because it left nothing to be desired for, but still). Getting into the story was easy and although Asimov seems to purposefully keep the reader a bit at a distance, you find yourself infuriated with the arrogance, ignorance or complacency of certain people / the repetition of events and actually feel for characters like Arkady (Bayta's granddaughter). He also manages to give each and every one of them a realistic and distinct voice although they are all quite different. In fact, I am so happy I read this trilogy that I might read the other volumes too, just for completion's sake.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    Second Foundation is a decent enough conclusion to the original Foundation trilogy, although it was by far the weakest book in the trilogy in my eyes. The problem is that whereas the first book, despite its own flaws, is both intriguing and original, both the second and third volumes focus on deviation from, and restoration of, the psychohistorical master plan of Hari Seldon. The whole story of the Mule feels quite pointless and could be considered the weakest point of Asimov's ideas. Both the se Second Foundation is a decent enough conclusion to the original Foundation trilogy, although it was by far the weakest book in the trilogy in my eyes. The problem is that whereas the first book, despite its own flaws, is both intriguing and original, both the second and third volumes focus on deviation from, and restoration of, the psychohistorical master plan of Hari Seldon. The whole story of the Mule feels quite pointless and could be considered the weakest point of Asimov's ideas. Both the sequels seem to be diversions adding little of value to the story as a whole. Still, the Foundation series is a classic for a reason, and I am happy to have read them. Whether I will continue with the newer books is a matter for another time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I'm still amazed at how well this and the other two books in the trilogy holds up. It's easy to let little things go like all the focus on Atomic Reactors when they've still got FTL. We could replace one technology with another and still have the same core story shine. And it really shines. Yes, SF has had tons of telepathic SOBs, but I still count the Mule as one of the most savvy and intelligent dictators to ever topple a galactic empire. The first half of this book deals entirely with him and h I'm still amazed at how well this and the other two books in the trilogy holds up. It's easy to let little things go like all the focus on Atomic Reactors when they've still got FTL. We could replace one technology with another and still have the same core story shine. And it really shines. Yes, SF has had tons of telepathic SOBs, but I still count the Mule as one of the most savvy and intelligent dictators to ever topple a galactic empire. The first half of this book deals entirely with him and his long quest to hunt down the Second Foundation. It is an obsession with him. And all the while? Yeah, the Second Foundation remains elusive and scarily effective, eventually trapping and defeating the Mule with wit and brilliant conversations and logical traps that are brilliant. I can't recommend this series more. The core stories are still as sharp as ever, even if we as readers are jaded by 60 years of authors riding on Asimov's coattails. :) The second portion of this novel was slightly more special to me, oddly enough, and no matter how much I loved the Mule, I really enjoyed the First Foundation hunting for the Second Foundation even more. The characters involved in it were wonderful. The First Foundation always seems to get things wrong, but this the same as usual. :) Still, the surprise at the end stayed with me after 30 years between readings and still made me smile after my second reading, so that *is* a very good sign, is it not? :) Yes, this trilogy still remains in my top 10 list of (single books or trilogies) out of all the books I've ever read. :) Great stuff.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    Like the other Foundation novels I have read this book (non GR or pre GR) many times since the wonderful fist reading in the 70s. Do I enjoy it every time ? Yes of course, otherwise I wouldn't re-read. Do I enjoy as much or more, hmm, difficult, in some ways no, its not new to me, but in some ways yes, because I get more every time, and I realise every time what an amazing author Asimov was. So I have just finished it for 2017 as part of the Foundation (7 book version) series read for SF Aficiona Like the other Foundation novels I have read this book (non GR or pre GR) many times since the wonderful fist reading in the 70s. Do I enjoy it every time ? Yes of course, otherwise I wouldn't re-read. Do I enjoy as much or more, hmm, difficult, in some ways no, its not new to me, but in some ways yes, because I get more every time, and I realise every time what an amazing author Asimov was. So I have just finished it for 2017 as part of the Foundation (7 book version) series read for SF Aficionados and again I realise what an amazing book and series this is. (One of my dreams is to read Asimov from Robot novels through the Empire novels and then into all of the Foundation novels - I've been told its over 30 novels, so I really look forward to that, maybe 2019, a special year)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Denisse

    A book divided in two parts again, it can be read as two novellas instead of one book. I actually see it that way. A great conclusion with the fluent and smart writing the trilogy has had so far but a bit more focus on answers. Not as philosophical as the previews but far more dynamic. The trilogy in general is the perfect definition of well-plotted. Fast and interesting, perfectly exposed and detailed, intriguing and exciting. Second Foundation can be called an original ending even after all th A book divided in two parts again, it can be read as two novellas instead of one book. I actually see it that way. A great conclusion with the fluent and smart writing the trilogy has had so far but a bit more focus on answers. Not as philosophical as the previews but far more dynamic. The trilogy in general is the perfect definition of well-plotted. Fast and interesting, perfectly exposed and detailed, intriguing and exciting. Second Foundation can be called an original ending even after all these years. Y se acabó. La gran trilogía de ciencia ficción por el genio Isaac Asimov. Pero hablemos del tercer libro por un momento. Hasta ahora ha sido el más intrigante. Ya que tenemos la constante ¿Dónde está la Segunda Fundación? Y es lo que moverá la trama durante las dos partes del libro, dándole un ritmo bastante bueno, como ya teníamos en los previos, pero aparte agrega un interés bastante real ya que la Segunda Fundación es algo que no se ha mencionado mucho y hace que pases las páginas con más rapidez. De verdad es un libro muy intrigante. En la primera parte tendremos al igual que con el segundo libro, un problema central y una solución (que no entenderemos hasta el final del libro) bastante psicohistorica lo cual me sigue pareciendo indudablemente inteligente. Mientras que la segunda parte es más una historia de intriga/guerra de una forma bastante pasiva pero no con ello aburrida a mi parecer, claro. Los temas como la psicología de una mente que sabe ha sido manipulada, el temor y confianza en una guerra, están excelentemente bien descritos durante el libro. Así que les recomiendo mucho a los que ya se leyeron el primero o los primeros libros que terminen la historia, ya que esta no se acaba hasta que terminas Segunda Fundación. Los últimos capítulos te dicen prácticamente todos lo que necesitas saber. La razón de porque las cosas sucedieron de esa manera específica y muchas respuestas a muchas preguntas que seguro iras acarreando desde el primer libro. En general la trilogía entera muestra a la perfección los puntos clave en el deterioro de un organismo pero también en el crecimiento de uno. La definición perfecta de una trama bien trazada desde su inicio que desemboca en una de las mejores trilogías que me he leído. Espero poder leer al autor de otra ocasión. Trilogía altamente recomendada para quien busque una historia seria y con mucho fundamento social dentro del género. Siento que fui muy vaga con la reseña pero no quiero spoilear nada a nadie y es mejor que solo le des la oportunidad y ya, para que veas si es lo tuyo o no.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Isaac Asimov's Foundation series is often cited amongst the nerdegalian as the best sci-fi series evar. It's set, as you may guess, far into the future where a man discovers that Rome ...uh, I mean The Galactic Empire is fated to collapse and bring about 30,000 years of barbarism unless certain actions are taken to start a long chain of events, the first of which is to create a kind of galactic Wikipedia. I'm not normally a fan of hard science fiction, and reading this trilogy kind of reminds me Isaac Asimov's Foundation series is often cited amongst the nerdegalian as the best sci-fi series evar. It's set, as you may guess, far into the future where a man discovers that Rome ...uh, I mean The Galactic Empire is fated to collapse and bring about 30,000 years of barbarism unless certain actions are taken to start a long chain of events, the first of which is to create a kind of galactic Wikipedia. I'm not normally a fan of hard science fiction, and reading this trilogy kind of reminds me of why. It actually has a lot of what I DO like about sci-fi: insightful ideas about human nature, epic plots, and heroes who solve problems through logic, science, and good old-fashioned wits. I also like the idea of Asimov's psychohistory, which is like what the "soft" sciences of psychology, sociology, and economics would be if they were advanced over thousands of years and distilled down to almost pure mathematics to the point where they could predict the actions of entire societies over hundreds or even thousands of years. That's a pretty dang cool idea. Unfortunately, this trilogy also has, in spades, many of the things I don't typically like about sci-fi, especially well aged sci-fi: poor characterization, bizarre pacing that skitters forward hundreds of years at a time, and a jarring failure to predict inventions like computers, the Internet, or genetic engineering that would all make several plot points strange at best and inexplicable at worst. The latter really can't be helped, but it is kind of offsetting to see characters stymied by situations a personal computer or cel phone would solve. There are approximately fifteen thousand other books set in the Foundation universe, but I'm not in any hurry to read them. This was a nice change of pace and the books are short, but it's the kind of thing I have to take in moderate doses.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Intergalactic chess game - shall the Seldon Plan unravel, leaving the galaxy to savagery and digression or shall carefully laid undertakings based on probabilities save the galaxy from such a fate, and if so at what cost? This, the third of the series, was simply comprised of a better story than it's predecessors. It still had that intelligent tilt, but it also fleshed out the characters and concealed the twists in plot in a much more satisfactory way. This was a page turner and by the end I felt Intergalactic chess game - shall the Seldon Plan unravel, leaving the galaxy to savagery and digression or shall carefully laid undertakings based on probabilities save the galaxy from such a fate, and if so at what cost? This, the third of the series, was simply comprised of a better story than it's predecessors. It still had that intelligent tilt, but it also fleshed out the characters and concealed the twists in plot in a much more satisfactory way. This was a page turner and by the end I felt invested in the outcome. As always, I refuse to go too much into the plot when the book is plot-driven, but I will say that this book not only deals with external threats to life and peace, but also has the reader start to question whether a plan such as Seldon's is acceptable to us if it threatens our own sense of self and free-will. What is the greater evil? What is the greater threat? The further into this book you read the more you come to appreciate the careful weaving of the plots. Asimov deserves praise for this series of books, in them he manages to provide credibility to a genre that many of us readers too often turn our noses up at.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Great ending to a great series!! I was very satisfied with the ending. I can’t wait to read the other books Asimov wrote later in his life about Foundation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Farhana Sufi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A circle has no end ... and then the shape of the Galaxy is like a double spiral .. so did I know the answer? Hmm.. not a bad guess. But that doesn't change this to be as entertaining and witty an end to the Foundation Trilogy as promised. All three of the original trilogy are just as much creditable today as must have been when first published. I am always humbled by Asimov's talent and his scientific foresight amazed me once more in terms of the technology described in this series. I am also i A circle has no end ... and then the shape of the Galaxy is like a double spiral .. so did I know the answer? Hmm.. not a bad guess. But that doesn't change this to be as entertaining and witty an end to the Foundation Trilogy as promised. All three of the original trilogy are just as much creditable today as must have been when first published. I am always humbled by Asimov's talent and his scientific foresight amazed me once more in terms of the technology described in this series. I am also intrigued by the psychologist, sociologist and historian Asimov once more by this last book of the trilogy. Cannot wait to read the other sequels and the prequel. :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    It's so funny when SF writers, especially ones like Asimov who take themselves seriously, try to predict the future. This book contains one of my favorite examples of getting it completely wrong. We're God knows how many thousands of years on from now, they have faster-than-light travel and force fields and any number of other miraculous inventions, but what is the absolute latest, cutting-edge technology? Well... it looks rather like Dragon Dictate, with a printer that produces cursive handwrit It's so funny when SF writers, especially ones like Asimov who take themselves seriously, try to predict the future. This book contains one of my favorite examples of getting it completely wrong. We're God knows how many thousands of years on from now, they have faster-than-light travel and force fields and any number of other miraculous inventions, but what is the absolute latest, cutting-edge technology? Well... it looks rather like Dragon Dictate, with a printer that produces cursive handwriting. Except that, hm, they don't seem to have invented Microsoft Word yet. Maybe WYSIWYG text editors aren't as obvious an idea as we all think?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ross Blocher

    A solid, cerebral conclusion to the original Foundation Trilogy. Comprised of two parts, each tells a story about the search for Hari Seldon's fabled Second Foundation, a planet of brilliant psychohistorians located at the "other end of the galaxy" who control the true fate of all the worlds. In the first part, the Mule is obsessed with finding and destroying the Second Foundation and tries a bold, new plan to locate its home planet. In the second, members of the First Foundation try to out-thin A solid, cerebral conclusion to the original Foundation Trilogy. Comprised of two parts, each tells a story about the search for Hari Seldon's fabled Second Foundation, a planet of brilliant psychohistorians located at the "other end of the galaxy" who control the true fate of all the worlds. In the first part, the Mule is obsessed with finding and destroying the Second Foundation and tries a bold, new plan to locate its home planet. In the second, members of the First Foundation try to out-think and defeat the Second Foundation as a war breaks out with one of the Mule's successors. To say much more would spoil the drama, but I can assure you that if you've read the first two books you'll want to follow up with this one. As ever, these books are less about the story at hand and more a setting for Asimov to share thoughts on human nature, history, technology, and the future (which are indeed fascinating). I felt the character development was improved in this book, and Asimov clearly got the note about including more female characters. The first Foundation book was a parade of odd male names with little to distinguish them. The second had one important female character, and this time around we have women more important and central to the plot. Each story builds up a complicated series of feints that add up to some shocking, exciting denouements. Each left me scratching my head about some unexplained factors and counter-factuals, but if you're willing to subscribe to Asimov's prescribed parameters, it's all good fun. There's just the nagging feeling that it might be all a little "too clever". At this point I feel great to have completed the original trilogy as completed in the 1950s. I'll debate whether to continue with the additional books from the 1980s and early 90s, but I'm certainly intrigued.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    I considered turning my review into a lengthy essay about Asimov’s unique mix of science, technology, rationalism, democratic transhumanism, and secularism in the original Foundation trilogy. I pondered a comparison to Philip K. Dick’s contrasting views of what a “technologically advanced” future would look like. But my late-night ponderings lost their steam on this bright winter day. I also do not want to get into spoilers. In sum: the original Foundation trilogy (of which this book is the conc I considered turning my review into a lengthy essay about Asimov’s unique mix of science, technology, rationalism, democratic transhumanism, and secularism in the original Foundation trilogy. I pondered a comparison to Philip K. Dick’s contrasting views of what a “technologically advanced” future would look like. But my late-night ponderings lost their steam on this bright winter day. I also do not want to get into spoilers. In sum: the original Foundation trilogy (of which this book is the conclusion) is terrific, even though I do not buy into the ideas that either the First or Second Empire depicted is an ideal state of human affairs, and, conversely, why it is necessary to minimize the time between the fall of the First and the rise of the Second Empire. All three books are well-paced, with a strong but not unmanageable cast of characters. Asimov is particularly skillful with the “information dumps” necessary in a tale stretches across centuries. You know an information dump is coming, but Asimov finds interesting ways to work them in. The “hard science” factor in the books is not on full throttle, so readers who are not particularly inclined to those topics should not be put off. Like much of the science fiction from the 1950s era, there is the notion that the future can only be better if we throw in enough technology and science to overcome human nature and society's problems. It makes for good reading, even if you do not wear the same rose-colored glasses.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.5 Stars. Satisfying conclusion to one of the classic space opera trilogies in science fiction history. Asimov could really spin a good, fun yarn and populate it was great "larger than life" characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Luke Devenish

    Bliss me out, Bayta! The Second Foundation are controlling my mind! Well, they MUST be because I enjoyed this, the third of the Foundation space doddles, ONE WHOLE STAR MORE than the other two books that preceded it. Let's face it, I was certifiably paranoid BEFORE I picked up book number 3, but thanks to those cunning Second Foundationers and their ghastly galactic grip, I've gone starker raving bonkers than Ozzy Osbourne in receipt of a Final Notice gas bill. But there's a comfort in being min Bliss me out, Bayta! The Second Foundation are controlling my mind! Well, they MUST be because I enjoyed this, the third of the Foundation space doddles, ONE WHOLE STAR MORE than the other two books that preceded it. Let's face it, I was certifiably paranoid BEFORE I picked up book number 3, but thanks to those cunning Second Foundationers and their ghastly galactic grip, I've gone starker raving bonkers than Ozzy Osbourne in receipt of a Final Notice gas bill. But there's a comfort in being mind controlled, I must say; the comfort that comes from knowing WITHOUT QUESTION that this is a rather superior book. I guess old Isaac (when he wasn't on the space weed) got steadfastly better in his novel writing the more he got into this Foundation malarkey. Sure, it's essentially just a pair of novellas shoved rudely together, exactly like the last one was; and yes, the second part is rather more entertaining than the first; but the first part sets up expectations very well (Plot twists! Spot the hidden Second Foundationer!), so that you spend the whole of Part Two in a lather of dread expecting smiling liars wielding mind control EVERYWHERE. And indeed they damn well are, the naughties. Big ticks for the climax of the book, with twist after twist after twist. Big ticks for Arcady, Lady Callia and 'Momma & Poppa', all of whom rather leapt off the page, which doesn't happen every day with Asimov. Big ticks for planet Trantor - hurrah! - which continues to amuse in its (apparent) dissolution with each successive book. A smaller tick for the extra helping of the Mule, too; he's certainly memorable. A mild telling off for all those guys crowded around at Arcady's dad's place - they seemed near-identical on the page, and I had trouble telling them apart. But that's small bickies in the Seldon Plan scheme of things; this is a fun Foundation yarn, best of the bunch, so far. Onward and upward. Foundation's Edge next. Unless the Second Foundation would rather I read another author for a while...?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bryant Rudisill

    Asimov has a linguistic prowess that is nearly untouchable - nearly. Not any skilled writer can project a copious amount of thought and ideals behind a few well-formulated sentences. Let alone have the innate ability to fabricate conundrums for the reader to so innocently and unwittingly plunge into around every other page. I figured myself top-notch, thinking I had discovered the hidden secrets behind the book; thinking I had discovered the ultimate truth behind the words of Harry Seldin and fo Asimov has a linguistic prowess that is nearly untouchable - nearly. Not any skilled writer can project a copious amount of thought and ideals behind a few well-formulated sentences. Let alone have the innate ability to fabricate conundrums for the reader to so innocently and unwittingly plunge into around every other page. I figured myself top-notch, thinking I had discovered the hidden secrets behind the book; thinking I had discovered the ultimate truth behind the words of Harry Seldin and found that Second Foundation on my own. The proverbial saying 'pride before the fall' came to mind at Asimov's grand conclusion for his third novel in his original Foundation Trilogy. This book is a roller coaster. Not in that you are left confused and disordered at every bend and loop, but it's something you don't - you can't - even realize until the final chapter. Only then will you see that Asimov has taken you around the world and back again... except this time to the ultimate truth.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    So I have finished the third one - and the verdict is the same: clever story, lots of twists and double crossings, double-double-crossings, and double-double-double-double crossings... but no character development, stilted dialogue and rampant misogyny. I almost threw the book at the wall when Arcadia’s dazzling intelligence results in the following remarks to her father: if she ever marries, “shoot him. The one she is going to marry, I mean. Life could hold no greater horror than living what sh So I have finished the third one - and the verdict is the same: clever story, lots of twists and double crossings, double-double-crossings, and double-double-double-double crossings... but no character development, stilted dialogue and rampant misogyny. I almost threw the book at the wall when Arcadia’s dazzling intelligence results in the following remarks to her father: if she ever marries, “shoot him. The one she is going to marry, I mean. Life could hold no greater horror than living what she’ll be like when she is twenty. No offense.” To which the father replies: “you don’t offend me. I think I know what you mean.” WTF! What an asshole! And what kind of father would not be offended by something like this??? Were fathers really like this in the fifties? I kind of think not. There had to be at least some who were proud of an intelligent daughter. And there had to be some men who were happy to be married to a smart woman. I am in fact sure of it. He is debasing both women and men here. Misogyny debases everyone. Ok, after that rant, back to the book. I dove into some research about the series - mostly to find out why it is considered such a classic. I found out why it reads like a series of short stories: because it is. They were written separately and collected later as books. I did not know that it was based on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The first book definitely reminded me of it: the loss of interest in new science, the idea that God and the ancients have given us all knowledge and we limit ourselves to study of existing knowledge was key in losing the scientific and philosophical advances of the ancient world and descending into the Dark Ages. A regime that is threatened by science, the seeking of new knowledge, can revert us to barbarism - just like the Empire has forgotten nuclear science and regressed into feudalism and an era of warlords. Psychohistory inspired many thinkers - the idea that while individual actions are impossible to predict, the actions of many are statistically predictable. This is all and well and somewhat possible on the short run. But a Seldon plan of over a thousand years? Only if technological advancement is stagnant. I could see how highly logical minds would be influenced by Asimov’s ideas. However, my pragmatic mind says that supposing unchanged technology and culture over a thousand years is completely at odds with both history and psychology, not to mention the spirit of the times Asimov was living in. Some of the greatest scientific advances were taking shape, and very rapidly: nuclear physics, computers, medical science (vaccines and antibiotics), plastics, television, washing machines, just to name a few. They have changed life and the course of history in a matter of a few years. Yet Asimov ditches all that to envision a thousand years of stagnancy based upon a prearranged plan. I enjoy my science fiction to be visionary or to examine something important to humanity. The idea of psychohistory is both too confined and too abstract to really tell us anything, apart from providing a basis for a story with many twists. I just don’t find it at all insightful. The writing, the purely expositionary dialogue was grating on me, too. There were exclamation marks everywhere, people! Sometimes several of them!!! The story remains unfinished. The Seldon plan is for a thousand years, but we are left at around year 400. There is no sign of the Second Empire. I understand later he wrote some sequels to that affect. But as an original trilogy, promising thousand years and delivering only 400, is clearly defaulting on the contract with the reader. I give it three stars because I do believe its lasting legacy is its vision of humanity on a much larger scale than just Earth or one planet. Asimov spread us out to the whole galaxy, with Galactic politics, mental powers, power struggles. I think this was his biggest innovation. As humans, we must take to the stars if we want to survive.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    12/5 - This one was actually pretty good from start to finish. Whereas Foundation and Empire had a dreadful beginning that I really struggled with and then got better in the second half, Second Foundation was above average the whole way through and the plot's stuck in my mind much better. The red herrings for where the Second Foundation was located kept me guessing and I really liked Preem Palver and his wife. Arcadia/Arkady's flight from the Second Foundation was quite intense and exciting and 12/5 - This one was actually pretty good from start to finish. Whereas Foundation and Empire had a dreadful beginning that I really struggled with and then got better in the second half, Second Foundation was above average the whole way through and the plot's stuck in my mind much better. The red herrings for where the Second Foundation was located kept me guessing and I really liked Preem Palver and his wife. Arcadia/Arkady's flight from the Second Foundation was quite intense and exciting and made Part II a fast read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Gonçalves

    A prophet needs prescience and clairvoyance to accomplish his task, and Isaac Asimov possessed these qualities, because he was one. He did it by conveying the distant future to his followers. It was the Foundation series that made him famous and propelled his name into the annals of science fiction.In this third book, Asimov continues the quest for truth by delivering something unseen in the previous two iterations: consistency. His only major flaw as an author – not being able to utilize engagi A prophet needs prescience and clairvoyance to accomplish his task, and Isaac Asimov possessed these qualities, because he was one. He did it by conveying the distant future to his followers. It was the Foundation series that made him famous and propelled his name into the annals of science fiction.In this third book, Asimov continues the quest for truth by delivering something unseen in the previous two iterations: consistency. His only major flaw as an author – not being able to utilize engaging language- is not applicable here. In the “Second Foundation” he is able to show a new poetic facet. As a result, the prose flows organically, enriching the reader’s eye and soul. “Second Foundation” is more straight-forward and continuous than the previous two novels. The previous books lacked continuity, and there were a lot of interludes in between the storytelling. In this iteration, the plot is consistent leaving the anti-climactic interludes behind. This book served as the epilogue to a successful trilogy (which was reanimated much later), and I can honestly say that the American scientific prophet saved the best for last. Rightfully so.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pterodactyl

    Asimov pulled it off! The cliffhanger at the end of "Foundation and Empire" leads to a wonderful storyline full of mystery and intriguee in "Second Foundation." The Seldon Plan, which worked like a Deus Ex Machina in "Foundation," finally faces a serious threat. Not to mention, Asimov's writing has improved by leaps and bounds in this book, and the glaring exposition necessary at the beginning is handled with much more subtlety and believability. In "Foundation" and the first half of "Foundation Asimov pulled it off! The cliffhanger at the end of "Foundation and Empire" leads to a wonderful storyline full of mystery and intriguee in "Second Foundation." The Seldon Plan, which worked like a Deus Ex Machina in "Foundation," finally faces a serious threat. Not to mention, Asimov's writing has improved by leaps and bounds in this book, and the glaring exposition necessary at the beginning is handled with much more subtlety and believability. In "Foundation" and the first half of "Foundation and Empire," the main character were talking heads illuminating Asimov's complex and amazing universe. The character in the end of the trilogy stand on their own two feet, they are interesting by themselves, even as they face the seeming inevitability of history. "Second Foundation" has proved to me that the trilogy is a must read, must own, and I'll continue to explore the books outside the trilogy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Asimov rounds off the trilogy in exemplary way. The Foundation, destroyed by the unpredictable variable in the statistical equation (in this case, the mutant Mule), is brought back into working order by the "Second Foundation", the secret 'Plan B' of Hari Seldon - rumoured to be located at the other end of the galaxy. It's a fine SF novel and an intriguing space mystery at the same time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Nothing truly surprising in this one by the end, but a delightful read nonetheless.

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