Isaac Asimov - The Foundation Trilogy

(4.2 stars; 1344 reviews)

The Foundation Trilogy concists of: 1. Foundations 2. Foundation and Empire 3. Second Foundation The Foundation Trilogy is an epic science fiction series written over a span of forty-four years by Isaac Asimov. It consists of seven volumes that are closely linked to each other, although they can be read separately. The series is highly acclaimed, winning the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept devised by Asimov and his editor John W. Campbell. Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy). The larger the mass, the more predictable is the future. Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he creates two Foundations, small, secluded havens of art, science, and other advanced knowledge, on opposite ends of the galaxy. The focus of the trilogy is on the Foundation of the planet Terminus. The people living there are working on an all-encompassing Encyclopedia, and are unaware of Seldon's real intentions (for if they were, the variables would become too uncontrolled). The Encyclopedia serves to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. The Foundation's location is chosen so that it acts as the focal point for the next empire in another thousand years (rather than the projected thirty thousand). Audio has 8 parts

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



excellent book, but choose another reader

(1 stars)

Everyone who knows Asimov knows that the Foundation series is excellent; 5/5 stars. For those who haven't heard of it, trust the rest of the sci fi fan community and pick these books up (or listen to them). However, due to poor volume mixing, this radio interpretation is absolutely not recommended. I cringed in pain while riding the 2/3 train the very first time the weird synth sounds played at their explosive volume. The synth sounds are played at some dramatic moments and between all sub chapters, so they happen quite often. The radio interpretation is a very cool idea, even if it does leave out some descriptive narration (it is mostly dialogue), but this audio mixing is simply unbearable.

A product of its recording era

(2.5 stars)

This would get more points of it weren't for the background noises. Unfortunately this was recorded around the era when the BBC science fiction community was in love with jarring, grating experimental synth. Were it not for that this reviewer would put it closer to 4-5 stars. some parts of the music being significantly louder than the dialogue I would recommend headphones if you don't want to annoy the neighbors and still want to hear what is being said. if you are of a nervous disposition and don't like sudden loud noises I would avoid it all together.

despite fx: dramatization adds

(4 stars)

once you accepted the special effects, can enjoy dramatized novel better than plain pronunciation audiobook. Imagination is why we read instead of watching a movie adaptation of a long novel or saga. audiobooks can improve a text and good effort has been made. Author can write, director can put own version. You can always read a book and imagine/interpret what a character sounds like or feels, this version took a decision and gave a director's cut. feel free to come up with your own. Alleygator.

(5 stars)

Very cool! Tackling Future History head on. Asimov does an excellent job of taking the long view. Considering how most humans have a hard time comprehending time beyond 5 years in the past or future, this story deals with time scales in hundreds and thousands of years. This is an adaptation not a direct read of the books. The sci fi synth effects are a nice score and give it a somewhat dated vibe but in a good way. Asimov could not foresee concepts like the Internet or instant communication but this gives the story an alternate history kind of vibe. I never heard this when it originally aired so I'm not sure how it ends, but the story seems incomplete. Still, very cool.

Sounds like the 60s

(4 stars)

In the 60s people sat next to their radios right? Now we walk around with ear buds and listen to audiobooks while driving. The sound effects are seriously dated and damn annoying; it would help to upload this audio file and reduce them because they play between every chapter and section break. Still, Asimov is captivating and I was hooked, I was hooked; now, my ear drums are taking revenge.

the saga of thatacoman's opinions (and the derision thereof)

(5 stars)

BTW- when Andy Kaufman was at the zenith of his fame, as a comedian in the 70s, he hit up colleges for gigs all over. A literal FUCK TON the kids just wanted to see him mime 'The Mighty Mouse Theme," as he had done on SNL. Or they'd yell 'Do Latke, you schmuck!' Because, dammit, they had paid their $3.75!!! This was similar to yelling "Play 'Creep!' you British idiots!!!" at on tour between the release of My Iron Lung ep and The Bends as they were opening for REM's 'Monster' tour in '94. ***I know it's pretty much the same thing as heckling Andy K.*** =-=mainly cuz i was one of the knobs yelling for Radiohead to play 'Creep.' do you dig?=-= So...I digress: the point is: tacoman, you would cry at what Mr Kaufman would do often, when heckled: he would tell the crowd that if they didn't knock it off, he'd read 'The Great Gatsby' start to finish. Guess what, T-man??? He'd read the whole damned book to a shrinking crowd! You'd have, like totally despised the dude. (main review) »»»This seminal British radio drama is quite possibly the best approach to the interpretation of such an easily comprehending work whose primary difficulty in filming is the millennium spanning narrative, It is a cartrip family tradition of mine.

Foundation and Empire

(2 stars)

I have read the Foundation Trilogy several times over 50 years; I looked forward to this reading /performance, but as many of the reviewers have stated, the sound is of a very poor quality, and in order to hear the voices you risk being deafened by the swoopy noises that invade regularly. I'm not entirely sure why they were needed, but they do serve to remind me of "Space Cadet". Not in a pleasant way. The voices, when they could be heard, were difficult to understand--Im good at accents and can usually pick up on what's being said (altnough why a British accent was used I have no idea) very easily. Often it sounded like someone was talking into his sleeve. What I could hear made no sense. I lasted five minutes. This is an extremely complex trilogy, and attempting to make a radio performance out of it is a noble idea but for me it's a colossal disappointment.

A colorful sound experience

(4 stars)

A reading experience is different than a listening experience. If you are going to listen to a science fiction book then, there should be some flair to capture your attention and engage more of your senses. I thought this recording made a good attempt at that, in radio play format. However, most of the mixing is quite poor at times and the sound effects volume can blast blood from your ruptured eardrums, or soft voices lull you to sleep. It was somewhat reminiscent of the old BBC radio recordings of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where there were multiple voice actors and sound effects. Machiavellian schemes and the goodness in human nature are swirled together over generations in this series, with well-played voice acting and cool retro sci-fi sounds. I do wish it was re-mixed.