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Old 11-17-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
pakiyabhai
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Isaac Asimov - Foundation Series Help

Hello,


Having never read anything by Isaas Asimov(yes) , I wanted to get started on his famous foundation series , but there are so many prequels , stories that I am lost.

Could anybody point me to how do i start and which ones to read in it ?
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pakiyabhai View Post
Hello,


Having never read anything by Isaas Asimov(yes) , I wanted to get started on his famous foundation series , but there are so many prequels , stories that I am lost.

Could anybody point me to how do i start and which ones to read in it ?
Go here,
www.fantasticfiction.com

Enter Isaac Asimov into the author search bar. It will come up with a list of his books in chronological order.

Last edited by desertgrandma; 11-17-2009 at 08:17 PM. Reason: corrected link
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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IMHO, when you are reading a series, you always go in the order of the date of publication, even if some of the latter books are meant as "prequels."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundat...ation_Universe

But (again, IMHO) a bit percentage of "golden age" science fiction just has not aged very well, so you may not actually like the material enough to try to read all of it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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IMHO, it is still better to read the books in their chronological order of publication: the prequels spoil too much of the story otherwise. Hence, I'd advise you to start with the original trilogy, Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, in that order.

Enjoy the reading, they're great books!
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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Argh, my typing was too slow!!!
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:36 PM   #6
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aaah guys , thanx u so much for such swift reply . I am going to go ahead with the original triology as suggested by Alfy
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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It's interesting how it worked out. In the end, Asimov tried to tie (almost?) all the science fiction he wrote into a single history. Many authors seem to do this, and I'm never quite sure how much of this was planned from the beginning versus how much was revisionism from later in their career.

As mentioned above, the foundation series was a three book series originally. The prequels and sequels also pulled in his robot stories and his galactic empire stories. Some of which were chronologically published before the Foundation trilogy. So the argument of what really came first can be quite muddy.

If I was to start fresh, the foundation trilogy would be one of my preferred starting points, and I would look at Foundation, Second Foundation and Foundation and Empire.

However, as RDG noted, some of the 'classic' stuff does appear dated and I'm afraid that the Foundation might seem to be a bit dated. Even though the Foundation series is recognized as his most famous work, in many ways his Robot series has been more lasting. The recent I Robot movie took its name (not its plot) from a collection of his short stories. And Asimov's three laws of robotics are widely quoted by others. I do find this a bit strange because these laws would be better seen as design guidelines, but Asimov and his successor treat them as if they are truly natural laws and are inviolate.

Anyway, another approach would be to start with the robot series. Although I'm usually not a fan of short stories, I would begin with the "I Robot" anthology and then read The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.

Good Luck

MLH
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
But (again, IMHO) a bit percentage of "golden age" science fiction just has not aged very well, so you may not actually like the material enough to try to read all of it.
Its funny you should say this.

I've actually found that I prefer to read Golden age SF to more modern SF. It seems that while I'm not able to get into most of the modern SF published by Analog, Universe, etc I still love to read works by Asimov, Clark, Heinlein, Doc Smith, etc.

Some of my Favorite works such as the Lensmen Series by E.E. Doc Smith is lot more dated then Asimov's work, But Its still a lot of fun, especially if you are able to suspend your disbelief a little.

Going back to Asimov, I'll suggest Starting with the Original Foundation series and then Going to the Robot Series before reading the rest of the foundation series as lot of it may not make that much sense otherwise.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:40 AM   #9
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There is somewhere, if I find it again I'll post a link, a complete list of the Asimov Robot and Foundation books arranged in story chronological order, starting with some early robot short stories before Susan Calvin invented the positronic brain.

Although the styles became a bit mixed at times I found it a very interesting way to read 10,000 years of human development and most story lines fitted well into the sequence. The complete reading list was about 4.5 million words so it took more than a weekend to read but overall, after several months, I was very satisfied with the reading.

I found the link to the list

Last edited by weedfreak; 11-18-2009 at 05:52 AM. Reason: lisnk found
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by emellaich View Post
Anyway, another approach would be to start with the robot series. Although I'm usually not a fan of short stories, I would begin with the "I Robot" anthology and then read The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.

Good Luck

MLH
I'd continue till Robots and Empire myself.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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There's always a first time!

Asimov is a fun writer to read.

You might also check out his robot stories and novels, as well.

Have fun!


Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 11-18-2009 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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Another useful source for all sorts of reading order information is LibraryThing

They list a few different series orders for the Foundation Series. The complete one is Here - Related Series' are links in the green sidebar on the right.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfy View Post
IMHO, it is still better to read the books in their chronological order of publication: the prequels spoil too much of the story otherwise. Hence, I'd advise you to start with the original trilogy, Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, in that order.

Enjoy the reading, they're great books!
I certainly agree with this. I probably have read this trilogy 4 or 5 times over the years, and each time I get something new that I didn't see before. I think the original poster can't go wrong beginning with this series.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:18 AM   #14
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When a series is written out of chronological order, forget published order and got for chronological order and let the spoilers be dammed.

Here is a good list of the Foundation books and those set in the same universe in chronological order.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundat...ation_Universe

Last edited by JSWolf; 11-20-2009 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pakiyabhai View Post
Hello,


Having never read anything by Isaas Asimov(yes) , I wanted to get started on his famous foundation series , but there are so many prequels , stories that I am lost.

Could anybody point me to how do i start and which ones to read in it ?
You might want to check out this link. Years ago I had actually pretty much read the novels in this order. Happy reading, Asimov can be an enjoyable read. Like with any classic writer though, these works reflect the time period they were written in, so please remember to read them accordingly.

http://stason.org/TULARC/education-b...der-shoul.html
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