Isaac Asimov - The Foundation Trilogy


(4.2 stars; 1397 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 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.

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.

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.

Good, Bad, Indifferent

(2 stars)

Good - that this was even considered and made. Bad - that it was not made well, it has been reduced to its most simplistic level, and acting seemed overly hammy. Obvioulsy has not dated well (including Foundation itself as it is overtly sexist in its social mores. Indifferent - sound department let loose on maybe one of the first synthesisers that probably sounded modern at the time - at best the noises are grating. In summary, I must re-read Foundation as I do not remember it being this bad. The radio series I guess had to over simplify and condense some aspects of it.

Good story, bad audio

(3.5 stars)

I really enjoyed this audiobook, the story is interesting and surprising at times, Asimov was certainly one of the Greatest Science Fiction writers, although he seem to have an easier time imagining a future with space flight and galaxy empires than a future where women have any importance in society. I had some problems with this audiobook excessive especial effects, though it gives it a certain old Dr. Who vibe, sometimes the sound effects are louder than the voices and I had to go back and listen a couple of times to understand what was being said.

Great Acting / Almost Unbearable Sound Effects

(3 stars)

This sounds like a radio show from the 70s. The acting or voice work is very good. The radio show uses professional actors. However the sound effects of computers, space travel or really everything is Almost UNBEARABLE for me. The sound effects are very early buzzers and electronics high pitched whistles. Exetremely bothersome given they show up every minute or so. I would suggest that this audio play be ditched in favor of a play WITHOUT sound effects and straight reads.