Foundation's Triumph

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9780061052415: Foundation's Triumph

"One last adventure!"

And so begins the final quest of Hari Seldon, creator of the science of Psychohistory, as he escapes from exile for a last look at the star-flung Empire whose fate he has plotted with such care, and as he now sees, such futility.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many of the familiar themes of modern science fiction.

Now, with the permission and blessing of the Asimov estate, three of today's most acclaimed science fiction authors have conspired to complete the epic the Grand Master left unfinished.

The Second Foundation Trilogy begins with Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear with the origins of the Foundation's creator, Hari Seldon. It continues in Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos with the epic tale of Seldon's downfall, and the first stirrings of robotic rebellion. Now, in David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, Seldon is about to risk everything for knowledge--and the power it bestows.

Effectively imprisoned on the all-steel planet Trantor, Seldon knows that his Second Foundation is growing in secrecy on the far planet Terminus, safe in the hands of "The Fifty." His work complete, Seldon is prepared to die content--until he learns of a new theory that may explain the Chaos Planets that have threatened his Foundation from its very inception.

Escaping in the company of a bureaucrat, a pirate and a beautiful stowaway, Seldon roams the galaxy by star shunt, a wormhole link, and later, by private spaceship, searching for the answer to what he thinks is the last remaining mystery. But instead he finds a tangle of ambition, doubt, and treachery. Lodovik Trema, no longer bound by the Three Laws, is gathering rebellious robots in an Empire-wide conspiracy. And Daneel Olivaw, who has devoted twenty thousand years to humankind, now has a new master.

The Secret Foundation itself is at risk. Are The Fifty with their awesome mentalic powers enough to assure humankind's future? Or will the Second Foundation succeed the first only to fall to the powers of chaos that have bedeviled--and beguiled--Hari Seldon from the beginning?

Foundation's Triumph is a fitting climax to the most ambitious and successful science fictional enterprise of the century's end--an undertaking which Asimov himself--like Hari Seldon--set in motion and would surely approve.

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Review:

Isaac Asimov's 1951-53 Foundation trilogy is a rough-hewn classic of far future SF, honored with a unique 1965 Hugo for Best All-Time Series. It begins with "psychohistorian" Hari Seldon mapping the best possible course for humanity's next millennium, after the fall of the doomed Galactic Empire. Late in life Asimov revisited the series and awkwardly linked it with his popular robot stories--introducing vast conspiracy theories to explain the Empire's total lack of visible robots.

Asimov's estate authorized three SF notables to fill out Seldon's life in the Second Foundation Trilogy, which David Brin here wraps up after Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear and Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos. Chaos is the new keyword, because chaos theory seemingly makes nonsense of psychohistorical prediction. Whole planetary populations can lapse into chaotic rebellion despite secret mind-controlling agencies behind the scenes. So Seldon makes his last interstellar journey, harried, lectured, and even kidnapped by the warring factions of robots and not-quite-robots that have long manipulated humanity. The robots' dilemma:

"We are loyal, and yet far more competent than our masters. For their own sake, we have kept them ignorant, because we know too well what destructive paths they follow, whenever they grow too aware."

Brin does his best with Asimov's overcrowded legacy, skillfully steering Seldon to an insight about the much-foretold future that satisfies both the old man and the reader, with a spark of human free will and constructive chaos shining through the grayness of predestination. Asimov would have approved. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the highwater marks of science fiction. The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline and a secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the coming Dark Age with tools of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many themes of modern science fiction. Now, with the approval of the Asimov estate, three of today's most acclaimed authors have completed the epic the Grand Master left unfinished.

The Second Foundation Trilogy begins with Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear, telling the origins of Hari Seldon, the Foundation's creator. Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos relates the epic tale of Seldon's downfall and the first stirrings of robotic rebellion. Now, in David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, Seldon is about to escape exile and risk everything for one final quest -- a search for knowledge and the power it bestows. The outcome of this final journey may secure humankind's future -- or witness its final downfall...

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