Book Review: Foundation and Empire

Foundation_EmpireFoundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Rating: 5/10

To go along with reading Foundation a couple of weeks ago, I continued on the series to read Foundation and Empire.

One of the things I liked about Foundation was watching time march on with each individual story, this one only had two stories. It was interesting to see how one story created the history for the next and how history would become myth and legend just 1 or 2 stories later. These two stories were almost completely separate of each other. It had a feel of two short stories that Asimov linked in his Foundation universe, but could have been separated.

I found that I liked the second story more than the first, a bit of mystery in that one that kept me guessing. I did guess the twist before it happened, but I do not think Asimov gave it away with too many hints, I just got lucky.

But there is not much to say for this book that was not already said about Foundation. If you read that you should continue the series and read this one, and I plan to move on to the third book to complete the trilogy.

Until next time…

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Foundation and Empire

  1. “These two stories were almost completely separate of each other. It had a feel of two short stories that Asimov linked in his Foundation universe, but could have been separated.” — yes, it’s called a fix-up novel. Pre-1950s novels were almost never written in SF. The magazine business is hit really hard in the 50s and authors see that they need to survive so they stitch together their previously published short stories into novels. Hence, Foundation’s fractured nature. This is hardly a reason to complain though…. Still unsure why you didn’t like it.

    1. Joachim, sorry if I gave the impression I did not like, I did. Part of my disappointment does stem from the fact that “Foundation” was so good that a sequel needed to really be good just to stay above water, and “Foundation and Empire” did not.

      As an example look at Orson Scott Card and “Ender’s Game”, “Speaker For The Dead” was amazing and the fact it was the sequel to a great book is even more impressive.

      And as for the stories first being published in magazines, I completely understand. It just felt to me that the two stories in Foundation and Empire could have been two completely different stories and did not need the backdrop of the foundation, but Asimov forced them into it just to continue the story, especially the second story.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate the comment and challenge to my review. I hope to read the third book soon and have a review of that one.

      1. I actually think the series is highly overrated but I felt like prodding — there are better writers than Asimov from the 50s, that’s for sure (Aldiss, Kornbluth, Sheckley, etc).

      2. No trouble at all, and I have to say, I love your blog. You have a vast library of old sci-fi books and your reviews are great. Keep up the good work.

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