Isaac Asimov - The Foundation Trilogy


(4.2 stars; 1316 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.

License

Reviews

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 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.

painful sound mixing, great story

(2.5 stars)

As other reviewers have mentioned, the mixing is done very poorly. I did find that it was tolerable through ear buds, bit completely unlistenable on the car stereo. Others have wondered whether anyone could follow the story line in this format, stripped as it is of descriptive text and composed mainly of dialogue. I find the story great. I have never read the original, so I don't know what I was missing, but it was a great story, and I was always ready to listen to the next section. I found the one hour sections to be the perfect length to listen to during a long run.

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.

(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.

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 by Asimov

(0.5 stars)

Not an actual review of book. Could not get past the 1st 20mins due to poor sound/production quality. 1.volume so low that even w/ earbuds the audio is drowned out by driving w/ the windows down. 2 .it is read like a combo BBC play/Calvin Klein commercial. 3.the beyond cheesy sound effects, R beyond annoying. I may have trudged through it, had #1 been adequate. Review of the 20 minutes : A seemingly perfect galactic society faces destruction by the common reasons; societal degeneration due to minute, yet compounded, moral lapses by moronic &/or egocentric despots of the moment wanting their own little way. Looking to exert their authority, they fail to recognize their actions R immoral precursors leading the skew towards societal decay/ ultimate destruction. However, at the crux of this tale, R the portents of impending doom via a supposedly scientific calculation that isn't specific enough to point out the cause of utopia becoming dystopia, & thereby making the calculation supplant & mask said cause

LOL

(1 stars)

The books are rather hard to follow due to Asimov never making it quite clear as to what's going on or what people's motivations are, but concentration and a little re-reading make them somewhat worthwhile (although I think they're terribly overrated). Could someone who never read the books possibly even begin to follow this radio version?! I doubt it, but what do I know? Anyway, this is frighteningly boring. The people who complain about the British accents deserve an LOL. It's very unlikely people will still be speaking English in the faroff future, never mind with what accent. I'm thinking the English of the future witll bear about as much resemblance to the English of today that the English of today bears to Chaucer's version of English.