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1. Foundation (Foundation Novels)
2. Foundation and Empire (Foundation
3. I, Robot
4. Second Foundation (Foundation
5. Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories,
6. The End of Eternity
7. The Currents of Space
8. Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts:
9. Asimov's Guide to the Bible: Two
10. Foundation and Earth
11. S as in Zebatinsky
12. The Complete Stories: v. 2
13. Robots and Empire
14. The Robots of Dawn
15. Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth
16. Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor
17. The Earth (Isaac Asimovs 21st
18. Understanding Physics, 3 Volumes
19. Nightfall and Other Stories
20. The Mammoth Book of Golden Age

1. Foundation (Foundation Novels)
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553382578
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme.Now it is dying.But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years.To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire.Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun—or fight them and be destroyed.Amazon.com Review
Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in thefuture that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout thegalaxy.Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size iscrippling to it.In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed andtunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, apsychohistorian and mathematician.Seldon can scientifically predict thefuture, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to sendhumanity into barbarism in 500 years.He concocts a scheme to save theknowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica.But this project willtakegenerations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him?The first Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation andEmpire,Second Foundation)won a Hugo Award in 1965 for "Best All-Time Series."It's science fictionon the grand scale; one of the classics of the field. --BrooksPeck ... Read more

Customer Reviews (385)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reviews from Brizmus Blogs Books
Foundation is a reread for me (I read it way back when I was in high school), and to be honest, I can't decide if I liked it more then or if I liked it more now.Which probably means that I felt the same way about it both times.
Which is that it is a well-written, intriguing work of thoughtful science fiction.
When it comes down to it, Foundation is the type of science fiction that I SHOULD love.It takes place in a believable, scary future, Earth isn't remembered or maybe doesn't even exist, the entire galaxy is populated, and there are lots of cool future gadgets.More than that, it is filled with intelligent people who have to think in interesting, convoluted ways to make the things that happen happen.It even starts off with a mathematician - brilliance!

And that is why I DID love this book - I loved trying to figure out how the people were going to think or how they were thinking and what conclusions this would lead them to.It was like a mystery, but one in which you just have to unravel intelligence. The narrative flows beautifully, and the plot is just complex enough to keep you exited and thinking without feeling like Asimov was trying too hard.

When it comes down to it, Foundation really is the perfect science fiction novel, and it's no wonder that it won the Hugo and was named "Best Science Fiction Series of All Time."

But (you knew there was a but coming), I'm not the hugest fan of short stories, and Foundation is, essentially, a series of short stories.Granted, the short stories are so well-linked that you sometimes forget, but when it comes down to it, each chapter is a new story.In each chapter, at least 50 years have passed since the last one, entirely new characters are introduced, and the old ones, for the most part, are rarely mentioned again.The thing linking them is Harri Seldon and the Foundation that he created.It is because of this that, even though I loved it, I can't say that I LOVED it.

Still, Foundation is one tight piece of work, and I would recommend it to any and all lovers of science fiction.I mean, when it comes to science fiction, this is it!And I know I'll be rereading the others in the series as well!

4-0 out of 5 stars Still kind of a one of kind sci-fi book
I've come to start with four stars as I note that no book is perfect; considering this is just a story, it can't be perfect. My giving a book much less this one four stars is no knock on it.

Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark are considered the beginning of 'hard' sci-fi.It's not strictly true as there were guys like H.G. Wells Jules Verne and might I add Johannas Kepler?There's also the Frankenstein story. A point I want to make here is that it seems that nobody has been able to follow in their footsteps!Why?They didn't necessarily mean to just be scientificaly accurate.Their message was scientific humanism.It's the philosophy of being scientific that is portrayed in their books and not just robots and spaceships.

Something else that needs to be pointed out is the difference between Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.Some would suggest that Arthur C. Clark was more technically sophisticated than Isaac Asimov.Was Arthur C. Clark really all that technically sophisticated in his books?He had guys shooting through a vacuum to get to an A.I. computer gone haywire!Isaac Asimov has faster than light travel by means of space folding in his foundation books(a prediction that may not be so far off . . . in either technical accuracy or time; meaning it could happen sooner than you think!); he has mind reading; we have the ability to plus computers into brains and read what they're thinking and saying now; it's not mass produced(yet); but, it's there.I for one only liked Isaac's first volume of his foundation books because he has this mind-reading which I didn't like; well, what do I know?

What seems to continue to set Isaac Asimov's Foundation appart is that of a galactic empire and how it dies(human neglect of rationalism).It should be noted that Isaac managed to connect his foundation books with his empire and robot books; so, he shows how intelligence really grows to dominate a galaxy, and then shows social ways that it can crumble(inspired by the fall of the roman empire).

Despite Isaac's reliance on nuclear power as the high technology of the day, his foundation books symbolizes the real issues facing humanity and not what you get on the news channels(actual politics channels; they just call them news channels); they seem to argue for the same things each election year but never solve the same problems!Meanwhile, the science world keeps on chugging(word?lol!) along.

2-0 out of 5 stars Classic to some, past its atomic half-life for others
Foundation is the epitome of the ideal of the pessimistic technocratic utopian. Strange as it may sound, the plot is as follows: pseudo-science finds a way to predict future, politicians banish scientists, scientists establish new citizenry, trade flourishes, scientists gain control through pseudo-religion. This supposedly tried-and-true pseudo-science is a way to predict the future by way of studying human behavior (an oddly fatalistic view of a scientific universe). However, I disagree with the notion and invest my interest in the rival fund of the `Crazy Eddie' effect of Niven's Motie series where an individual can make the most drastic difference.

I must further state that I was born in 1980 and began reading SF in 2007 with the likes of Niven, Bear and Brunner. I like my complex Iain Banks, voluminous Alastair Reynolds, mind-bending Greg Egan and ever-changing Brunner. Now while many of the so-called `old timers' have proclaimed Foundation sacred like the novels of Dune, I am of the new generation and of the new voice, which can't be held to the same standard as the last generation (or two). Times changes, ideals change, perspectives change, terminology changes, tolerable prefixes change and personal development changes. While Dune may have been impressive in style and scope, it did not satisfy me in content, interest and follow through. To these effects, I wish to express my dissatisfaction with Foundation.

To paraphrase an excellent book about the relationship between psychology and musical composition entitled `Of Mind and Music,' the author states that repetition is an exploit of human emotion causing the listener (or in this case, the reader) to fall into a collective primal rhythm with fellow listeners (read: readers). Like in Foundation, the amount of repetition is akin to the acute attack of bass at a rave; theories are repeated endlessly, idiosyncratic allegories are scattered through every chapter and the word `atomic' was shotgun blasted, litter strewn, scattered to the winds, chucked without consciousness onto nearly ever page (sign of the times, I presume?). Here is the alphabetical list of `atomic' phrases found in Foundation:

Atomic blaster, atomic drill, atomic drive (also the hyperatomic drive), atomic drill, atomic fire, atomic force, atomic force-shield, atomic gadgets, atomic generator, atomic knife, atomic power, atomic shear, atomic ships, atomic specialists, atomic techniques, atomic washing machine (bwah!) and atomic weapons.

If `style' could mean the expressed use of repetition, the Asimov has easily seduced the science fiction reader of the early 1950s. With the blossoming (pessimists read: destructive radiation) of the atomic age, the dream of an atomic future must surely have seemed to be an optimistic fantasy. Nowadays, the equivalent would be novels which saturate their content with micro- and nano- prefixes. Thus, it seems as Asimov had the initial bug of beginning of the `atomic' prefix fixation? Did Asimov overdo it? In these regards, I stand to say that Asimov had a single-tracked mind.

While reading the sciences and unfolding plot of the pseudo-science, I was constantly remained of the `Seldon crisis' and the mightier-than-thou proverb `Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.' As an educated reader, I only need to be reminded once to have the full effect of conveyance and depth. Throw in the tame pre-sensor curses of `Oh, space!' and the cringe-worthy `Great galloping galaxies!' and you have for yourself a novel which is mildly aggravating, almost maddening. Repetition doesn't mean a solid follow through. Rather, it just means the author is either under-evaluating the reader of filling up word space.

Additionally, the characters were as bland as cardboard for breakfast. Everyone seemed to be a utopian plutocrat or an idealistic capitalist in a struggling capitalist society. Scientists know best, so scientists so rule, right? It's ONE vision of style of government but the path Asimov takes is one of superiority and, ultimately, disagreement. The approach is too preachy to the benefits of an ideal technocratic civilization. Throughout, I understood the relationships and the dealings between opposing parties, but I found the unraveling as tedious as the usage of the word `atomic.' Politico scenes compounded by feudal titles bored me to bits, much like Herbert's Dune, Tepper's Grass and some of Wolfe's Long Sun series. While the over-all feudal scene works well with the future technocratic/religious society, I find the kowtowing to be overwhelming (more so considering I already live in a fairly visible feudal society).

Inevitably, as the word and review suggest, I must say that the novel has failed to impress me in the year 2010 after 30 years of mortality and four years of reading science fiction. Surely, many modern novels must have been based off the ideals presented in Foundation, but from my standpoint in the ear 2010, I fail to see greatness which was intrinsically embossed upon it during its publication and further years of intense readership. In the year 2010, the novel does not stand the ultimate test of time.

3-0 out of 5 stars A promising start, but lower your expectations
The first thing to understand about Foundation is that it isn't really a novel. It is a collection of 5 connected short stories (The Psychohistorians, The Encyclopedists, The Mayors, The Traders, & The Merchant Princes) written in the 1940s for publication in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. The first story in the book was actually written a few years later for repackaging the stories as the first novel in what would eventually become the Foundation trilogy (later expanded with additional books).

The galactic empire is rotting. After it collapses, there will follow 30,000 years of barbarism. Nothing can prevent the collapse, but Hari Seldon believes that the subsequent dark ages can be contained to 1,000 years if the proper steps are taken. To achieve this he sets up the Foundation at the very fringes of the empire. The first two stories are far and away the best in the book, and are worth the price of admission by themselves.This is because they deal directly with the central premise, which is a fantastic idea.

Things go downhill with the next two stories. In particular, The Traders, seems completely unnecessary. Things pick up a bit with the final chapter.

Taken as a whole, Foundation is less than the sum of its parts. I don't think it is the unrivaled masterpiece that many make it out to be. I would definitely go in with an open mind and lowered expectations.

However, as I mentioned earlier, the idea is fantastic and promises much more and better to come. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars just timeless
one would be hard pressed to find better sci-fi in the last 60 years than the foundation novels.what amazing insight these books had. ... Read more

2. Foundation and Empire (Foundation Novels)
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553382586
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction.Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity’s light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

Led by its founding father, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation has survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets.Yet now it must face the Empire—still the mightiest force in the Galaxy even in its death throes.When an ambitious general determined to restore the Empire’s glory turns the vast Imperial fleet toward the Foundation, the only hope for the small planet of scholars and scientists lies in the prophecies of Hari Seldon.

But not even Hari Seldon could have predicted the birth of the extraordinary creature called The Mule—a mutant intelligence with a power greater than a dozen battle fleets…a power that can turn the strongest-willed human into an obedient slave.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (96)

5-0 out of 5 stars FURTHERING FOUNDATION....
Notetably one of the finest chapters in the Foundation series...the "original triology" is still the best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Going deeper
I read this book after coming blind to the foundation books - I've never read Asimov in a novel before.I've noted how Asimov, when writing the books, was very much a part of his time.When a character doesn't smoke, it is a character trait to point out where everyone else smokes by course.Also, sexism is taken for granted, and when a female character assumes to be treated with equal rights it is a place for comment.I had hoped that we would have found better ways to get high and allowed more equality that far into the future, but I suppose smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Anyways, I like this book better than the previous one because there are characters that you can root for and unexpected jerks in the plot-line and a more linear narrative based on the fact that a lot of the exposition is out of the way from the first book.I now cannot wait for the finale of the original series and debate weather to read the other three ancillary books that Asimov wrote later.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you've heard and more
These are just a phenomenal set of books.Asimov is and always will be the master of science fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Asimov and the Foundation books are awesome
I loved this series... couldnt put it down. I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves sci-fi.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heads above the first book in the trilogy
I was so disappointed in the first book, Foundation, I gave it two stars. I've been wanting to read the trilogy for years and I couldn't believe that that mediocre pulp was it! But Foundation and Empire is the saving grace. I look forward to the next book. ... Read more

3. I, Robot
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055338256X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior.In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--afuture in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor.Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
In this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction,Asimov set out the principles of robot behavior that we know asthe Three Laws of Robotics.Here are stories of robots gone mad,mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians,and robots who secretly run the world, all told with Asimov'strademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (228)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Classic of Science Fiction
First, this book is not like the movie with Will Smith.This is the original book which the movie had to borrow lightly from to create an action/drama movie from.The book feels like a lot of good science fiction stories that came out of the 50's and 60's.It felt a lot like Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.It's a series of stories told over time that show the evolution of robots in a future world.It's definitely a must read for any one that likes science fiction.Keep in mind the future in this book is derived what people in the 50's and 60's imagined a future would be like.Paper is still fed into giant thinking robots with data on them (punch cards any one?).Computers for individuals are not even considered, only making a few larger giant computers for humanities needs.It's an interesting look back at what people looked forward to.

Much of the book is centered on the three robotic laws and the effects it has on events.Every problem and solution in the stories is based on the three robotic laws.In that sense the movie version stays true to the original book.However the book does a much better job of presenting more in depth issues around the robotic laws and how they play out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Asimov was a true visionary.
I, Robot

I, Robot contains the following:

Catch That Rabbit
Little Lost Robot
The Evitable Conflict

It is amazing to me the science fiction writers who
"cut their teeth", so to speak on Asimov.Just read the Introduction/Preface

"I, Robot" For me, reading Asimov is a good starting point to reading Science Fiction.Oh, you could read Norton's Juveniles or Heinlein, but, you can't go wrong with the "Good Doctor" either.

BTW, don't think that if you've seen I, Robot (Widescreen Edition)the movie that you can skip the book.The movie has very little to do with the book.They both had the same title and they both dealt with robots or androids, but that's it.
If you have never read Asimov or looking for somewhere to start, I would highly recommend "I, Robot" as a first glimpse into Asimov's world(s). Here is a wonderful and timeless collection of nine short stories that all center around a central theme; The Three Laws Of Robotics.
The three laws are: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
These laws are the central theme to each individual story, and connecting them is a running theme "Runaround", "Reason", and "Catch That Rabbit". Always under the direst of circumstances, they must figure out the malfunction of the robot before something terrible happens. Very entertaining stories.
Some of the other stories are about Dr. Calvin's personal experiences, such as "Liar" and "Little Lost Robot", but all fall back onto the laws as their basic theme, and whether or not humans will ever accept robots among them.
Once finished with "I, Robot", I very highly recommend the "Foundation" series, one of my favorite Asimov themes, along with the Robot Trilogy and another favorite, "Nightfall". Asimov has the gift of creating lively, likeable characters with a technical backdrop to his all-to-human stories, and always infuses a bit of humor into them.
Truly one of the great masters of Sci-Fi, Asimov is a must-read in my opinion, and "I, Robot" is a wonderful starting point.

"I, Robot" is the classic science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. It kicks off the best selling Robot/Foundation series, though when "I, Robot" was first published it was not intended to be a part of any larger series, nor were Robot and Foundation originally connected. While the format of "I, Robot" is loosely a novel, it is truly a collection of short stories that is bridged by a common thread and text that connects all stories together.

The tie that connects these stories together is Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist. At the start of the book, Calvin is retiring from her position at U.S. Robotics. A reporter is trying to get her thoughts on the history of robotics, but not the official position, more of her personal impressions. Calvin was at U.S. Robotics when the first truly "thinking" robots were released for sale and was at the forefront of figuring out why some robots were acting the way they were. The format of "I, Robot" is such that Calvin is essentially giving a little bit of background which moves into the short story, giving an episodic feel to the book.

As the stories move in chronological order, the reader is presented with the evolution of robots, starting with "Robbie", which deals with the relationship a little girl has with her robot, Robbie. Robbie was designed as a playmate for a little girl and her parents feel that she has become too attached to the robot and has forsaken real friends. Robbie is an earlier design robot: large, clunky, and without the ability to speak. The subsequent stories show the development of robots and include: a mind reading robot, a robot who does not believe it is possible that a human could create a robot, and one that may even end up ruling the world.

Through these stories, Asimov has set up the Three Laws of Robotics, which are:

1 - A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2 - A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3 - A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These Three Laws are the driving force within each of the stories. What is interesting here is that all of the stories are something of a "whodunit". Something is not working exactly right with a robot and it is up to Susan Calvin, or the team of Martin and Donovan to figure out why a robot is not working how it is expected to. Each time, it has something to do with the Three Laws and everything makes sense within the confines of the Three Laws: Calvin, Martin, and Donovan just have to figure out what.

The writing style here is simple, and easy to read. Despite the fact that there is little "action" happening in the stories, they move along quickly. These are stories of humanity and science and the robots seem to fit into both categories at the same time. "I, Robot" is rightly considered a classic of science fiction and these are simple little gems with a depth of complexity that makes everything fit together.

I highly recommend this as a starting point for Asimov, and Science Fiction, for that matter.
Asimov was a true visionary.

If you're looking for an indepth review of how Asinov would put together his short stories go to http://www.amazon.com/review/RPDE80CI9AUW8/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_1

GunnerMay, 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantabulous
I don't understand why some idiots compare the book and the movie.The book was written thousands of years before the movie and people bitch out the book because of the movie?!?If you don't like robots and/or science fiction, why oh why read any of it???WARNING : Whatever you do don't read StarShip Troopers!I can't stand poetry, do you see me reading poetry and blabbing on how much I hated it?Get a clue people.This is a great book.

I want to be robot psychologist whenI grow up ; )

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun stories! Easy read
I, Robot is a novel containing nine short stories. These stories are loosely related through the recollection of a robopsychologist named Susan Calvin. Most of these stories have recurring characters, though they each stand on their own. The first story, "Robbie", is really the only story that doesn't have any characters that show up in at least one of the other stories.

As most reviewers point out, most of these stories surround the 3 laws of robotics which are 1 - Robots cannot harm humans or through inaction let humans come to harm. 2 - Robots must follow human orders unless it violates first law. 3 - Robot must protect their existence as long as the first and second laws aren't violated.

Here's the list of stories and a brief caption - (the overall rating of this book is not an average of the ratings below)

"Robbie"- Young girl loves robot maid. Dad approves, Mom doesn't. (3.5 / 5)

"Runaround" - Robot sent to gather selenium to save the base, doesn't return. (3)

"Reason"- Robot soon to take over base refuses to believe robots are created by humans. (3.5)

"Catch That Rabbit" - Ore gathering Robot in charge of mini-robots (fingers) sporadically fails, starts dancing. (2.5)

"Liar!" - Herbie the robot can read minds, also happens to be a compulsive liar. (4)

"Little Lost Robot" - In anger a researcher tells robot to 'get lost', robot takes order literally. (3.5)

"Escape!"- Robot builds first hyperspace drive. Two Humans go on impromptu adventure. (3.5)

"Evidence" - Humanitarian lawyer running for mayor accused of being robot. Can it be proven? (4)

"The Evitable Conflict" - Machines reinterpret first law, how will this benefit humans? (3.5)

Most of these stories involve the laws of robotics and how the robots can have unforeseen behaviors by following the three laws to the letter. Most of these stories actually read like short mysteries.

What I do like about most of these stories is with a little lateral thinking you can actually figure out the solution to the problem at hand. However, a lot of these stories tend to feel a bit too structured around the answer to the mystery. Sometimes it seems like Asimov takes the easy way out, just to keep the mystery alive. For instance, in "Catch That Rabbit" the robots can communicate with each other silently, however, even the roboticists don't understand how they communicate so it becomes impossible for humans (who created the positronic brain in the first place) to intercept these communications. I'm pretty sure that robots who can communicate silently without the possibility of interception would not go into full-production in the real world, yet here it's used as a device to keep the mystery of why these robots sporadically become erratic alive. Plot devices like this are used throughout the book.

In the end I thought this book was quite good. Each story is between 30-40 pages, which is just enough for plot development but not too much to where the stories start to feel tedious. I'm going through the whole Robot, Empire and Foundation series and I started here, with I, Robot. I very much look forward to continuing this whole saga!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful science fiction collection
This is a nice collection of wonderful science fiction stories by Asimov. They are very well written: witty, filled with both humor and hints of hidden philosophical speculations (many of them are still topical and very modern, especially political ones). Delightful reading: the book which one will have a occasional desire to reread again.
... Read more

4. Second Foundation (Foundation Novels)
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553382594
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction.As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long.

After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins—destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule.But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism.The Mule failed to find it the first time—but now he is certain he knows where it lies.

The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only fourteen years old and burdened with a terrible secret.As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search.They too want the Second Foundation destroyed…before it destroys them.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (75)

3-0 out of 5 stars So So.
Read a lot of Asimov when I was young. He was a technical sci-fi writer. Never read the complete series so thought I'd get it now. Regrettably, the story is dated. Clearly "nuclear" was supposed to solve all our problems and create limitless, cheap energy. Just didn't suck me in the way it did when I was young and naive.

3-0 out of 5 stars On the Second Foundation

I read the book _Second Foundation_ and finished it a couple of weeks ago.I have sat on writing the review for the main fact that I will largely be antagonistic towards a series that is highly lauded and in fact won awards for being such a fantastic trilogy.I have not read, nor do I have plans to read, the surrounding books that prop up the universe that Asimov created for the Foundation series.The following review will look at all three books of the central series

First off, I have to give Asimov credit for looking at technology as an emancipatory element.Nuclear power in the series gives those who control it a wonderful command over the physical universe.Many of Asimov's contemporaries in the genre were much more pessimistic about the future of the technology and the human race.I am thinking here of apocalyptic thrillers and thought-exercises like Neal Schute's _On the Beach_. In spite of my own questions about the safety and the general possibility of the scaling down of nuclear devices in this way, I will give Asimov the benefit of the doubt (even if current nuclear power only generates electricity through mechanical conversion and I have no idea how you had power a spacecraft with hot atoms).

Nevertheless, this technological element is troubling.On one side, it is fantastic that in the future cancer has been beat: people still smoke and can carry around decaying atoms with no real ill effects.On the other hand, it is difficult to look at when Asimov was creating and not criticize him for missing the computer revolution.He was able to see nuclear devices shrink, but not electronic transistors.While this may not have been a problem at the time of creation, it sticks out that travelers were having to chart out their hyperspace jumps with slide rules and that a novel device is one where the physical object of a pen translates your speech to text sounds remarkably similar to Dragon Naturally Speaking, a software program that has been out for at least a decade.

This does not destroy the premise in the writing of Asimov here.We know that the empire lasted for 12,000 years, but we don't know what lead up to the founding of the Empire, how many galactic boom and bust cycles had to happen before generalized peace spread throughoutwhat is assumedly our Milky Way Galaxy.Asimov brings this question up briefly in the first installment by noting the debate about where human existence arose within those stars.I will accept, with reservations, the world Asimov builds here.

I will also accept the Seldin premise.With enough data points, and enough computing power, and the right mathematical model, you can assumedly predict the future. Although, without continued monitoring and readjustment of the model, your predictions would become more and more unreliable the further you moved from your zero-point.Thus, the existence of a second Foundation is not only a narrative nicety, but also a necessity for the working of any `Seldin Plan'.While I like the set-up, the resolution at the end of Second Foundation does seem more like a move that is too clever by half to reinstate the universal ignorance of the Second Foundation (236).The resolution as a whole left a bad taste in my mouth, but I swished it around and swallowed.

The structure of the series, as it covers over four hundred years of galactic history, is somewhat uneven.There are characters and whole time periods that exists but fail to engage me.The most exciting section, as a reader of narrative, is the section dealing with the character of the Mule.The reader spends the last half of the second book on a planet-by-planet chase on the run, and then we are treated with a twist (that I for one did not see).Although the second text closes with a little much explanatory monologue, this part feels like the high point of the entire series and the last book is just an unwinding of the consequences of the second book.

However, the troubling aspect here is that there is no reason for the existence of the Mule.Asimov goes through gyrations to show that there have been genetic mutations all along and his existence is an unpredictable outlier, but to me he just does not fit in the universe Asimov created.This mirrors the explanation given to the explanation of how the Second Foundation speaks, moving past speech into some form of platonic ideal of communication (106).Both feel unnecessary and unbelievable.Again, this is coming from a much more advanced scientific understanding of the world than the one Asimov had in the early 50s, but one thing that troubled me is that over the years there had been no evolution from our current state.There is no evidence for evolution that I saw except for a reference to a facial feature found on the women of the inner galaxy.I just have a sense that genetic drift would have happened quickly amongst the millions of planets with vastly different climates and ecosystems to the point where speciation would have happened.I am also assuming that interplanetary travel is relatively rare and limited to the upper classes.

No, apparently I am wrong and Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the final product of evolution excepting the Mule and he was the end of his line.The Mule's existence feels fake because he does come ex nihilo and did not have to climb what Dawkins would call Mount Improbable.I just cannot reconcile the Mule's existence with the lack of evolution elsewhere; it just poisons the well for me.While I am picking nits and I know it, writers of science fiction have a very high level of responsibility of to keep up the suspension of disbelief, as they are not just writing a world that they know but they are instead the creators and destroyers of worlds.

A final example of the previous concerns is found in the use of language.Language changes much faster than genes do, but there is no evidence of that in the series.Again assuming the isolation and the lack of a central entertainment and news distribution network to help standardize the language (although the newspaper of Tantor may have been published everywhere),the English language that somehow won out in the remote past and is the language of empire (again!) remains identical to a mid-twentieth century English spoken in America.For this, there are not tortured explanations why it happens.Even if it is necessary for storytelling ease, it is a structural brick of the world Asimov built that rings false.While this issue was on the edge of my consciousness for the series, Asimov point out the inconsistency in the last book, referencing a dialect of an isolated people (45), which shows that he was on some level conscious of the problem but chose not to engage in an explanation of the contradiction.

In the end, the books are interesting.I can see the interest in the worlds built by Asimov and marvel at the man's learning and prolific nature.However, his works are clearly a product of his time and the associated concerns of the time.While they may not be universally applicable, they can teach the reader much about the time they were written

5-0 out of 5 stars Foundation rocks. Read 'em all! Asimov is great.
I loved this series... couldn't put it down. I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves sci-fi.

5-0 out of 5 stars the ultimate future history
(This is about the entire trilogy)

This is one of the masterpieces of science fiction, and for unexpected reasons.

The premise: what if knowledge got so advanced that a scientist, Seldon, could discover how history works?And then realizes how HE can work history, and does.The irony is that (ignoring the first chapter, which was actually written at the end) the most powerful character is dead throughout the entire story.

Seldon's theory is based on the notion that individuals don't matter, and Asimov is realistic enough to stick to that throughout the story.Throughout, we see the characters that seem interesting -- shrewd Hardin, swashbuckling Marlowe (I kept visualizing the young William Shatner), rebellious Mule, adventurous Arkady -- then the point of view pulls back and you realize that their quirks really didn't matter in the long run.It's especially effective in the last section(SPOILERS!)Arkady tries to outwit the Second Foundation, and it's like Harry Potter fighting Voldamort -- then you find out at the very end that her supposed best friend was manipulating her like a puppet to put Seldon's agenda back on track.Heroism counts for nothing.

The most irritating flaw, and it's especially obvious at the beginning: it's amazing how little you SEE about the First Foundation.Not a single street scene.No mention of art until the "Visi-Sonar" pops up halfway through the trilogy.How do they dress?What do their buildings look like?What is Terminus's geography like?What do the stars look like at the edge of the Galaxy?The FIRST FOUNDATION's tecnocratic, minimalist culture is important, but you rarely get a feel for it except when the story requires something to be described.Flesh that out, and Asimov could have had a greater masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of compelling, highly intelligent, hard Sci-Fi
Asimov's breath-taking third installment of the Foundation saga is the best of the original trilogy, and that's far from a small claim.

Driven by various searches for the mysterious, fabled Second Foundation, this book invokes a fascinating cast of scientists, dictators, even future novelists all grappling with the predicted fate of the galaxy and it's obscure relationship to the enigmatic Second Foundation. The book is at once poetic and logical, and fiercely both. Asimov's passion for and ideas about his foundation concept are limitless and absorbing throughout - the twists and turns of the plot are mesmerizing - the lurking, shifting commentary on good and evil is fascinating.

A sequence involving The Mule in psychic combat with a rarely seen member of the Second Foundation is one of the most spellbinding chapters of popular fiction I've ever read.

The series on the whole is superb. The first, Foundation, is a wonderful bright, imaginative sequence which is, by turns, stirring, insightful and awesome for it's detailed world building.

The second book in the trilogy, Foundation and Empire slips ever so slightly for me in it's over-complex plotting (I'd still give it four stars), but sits well as a prelude to the events of this third installment. Somehow, in 'Second Foundation' the complexity flows effortlessly with the action and breakneck pace of the writing. The trilogy is resolved brilliantly, unpredictably and manages to fulfill readers, whilst alluding that there could potentially be so much more to enjoy in the Foundation concept.

Asimov's great achievement is that his scientific basis is so strong, one virtually achieves the pleasure of reading fiction and non-fiction simultaneously. He has the plotting mind of a detective novelist, opening small surprises for the reader gradually throughout the plot. The continuity of the novel's universe is immaculate and logical, a pleasure to read as one might admire the engine of a beautifully built machine. Yet at the same time, the characters are involving, though, by the nature of an epic text, they must be drawn quickly and vividly; by the terms of Asimov's genre, they are also a complete success.

It will be interesting to see if the Foundation books stand up to film adaptation, as has been canvassed recently in Hollywood rumor. Some of the concepts are so clever, they go far beyond the mere visual. I fear, that movies based on these novels will be so dumb ed down as to lose the quality which makes them unique.

Either way, in novel form, they are that rare perfect specimen of their genre - emotive and scientific, clever and utterly compelling; 'Second Foundation' is the jewel that completes a spellbinding achievement of epic science fiction writing. No futuristic fiction has yet topped it. ... Read more

5. Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Vol. 1
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 624 Pages (1990-10-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038541627X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The first book of the definitive three-volume collection of short stories by the prolific Isaac Asimov, whose tales have delighted countless fans for over half a century--a must for every science fiction bookshelf. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Compilation of Fantastic Short Stories.
Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite writers. I have enjoyed many of his books and many of his short stories. Foundation is my favorite book. On Spring break, while I was in Mexico, I decided to reread my favorite short stories of the book Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories Vol. 1. Here are my reviews:

Ugly Little Boy. In this story, a company called Stasis Inc. creates a way to bring things from the past into the future, albeit in a small "bubble". The first experiment brings a neanderthal boy and the story follows the relationship between the little boy and his babysitter.
The story is very good, using a cool idea to tell a heartfelt story.

The Dead Past. The book starts with this short story and what a way to start. This is my favorite Asimov short story. In the story, scientists have developed a device that can view the past. The government controls all research, hence one needs to get permission from the government to use the device. A historian gets frustrated from not getting the grant and thinks there is a conspiracy from the government to prevent researchers from using this device. It is clear there is a conspiracy, but the ending is very surprising and the explanation is very interesting. This is one of the stories that has had me thinking the most since reading it. I love it.

Breeds There a Man...?. This story is about a paranoid scientist who believes that we are all an experiment of higher beings and that this is the reason that human history goes through cycles of amazing intellectual growth followed by terrible calamities (From the Greeks to the Middle Ages, the Black Plague right after the Renaissance). The story itself, is very good, with interesting conversations between the important paranoid scientist and his psychologist. A memorable story.

The Last Question. This is Asimov's favorite short story. I didn't love it the first time I read it, but this time I liked it more. I can see why Asimov would consider it his favorite, as it does explore the interesting question of whether the universe is immortal, but I like other stories more.

Jokester. The ending in this story is quite shocking and in fact, I only reread the ending this part. The story is a nice joke about jokes.

Hostess. Asimov rarely writes stories involving aliens and this is one of them. I remember enjoying it very much when I first read it, and I enjoyed it very much again. Asimov does a very good job of mixing a mystery with science fiction.

Nightfall. The most famous of his short stories, considered to be the best science fiction short story of all time (although this was awarded in the 60s). The story is very good and I loved it the first time I read it. However, it wasn't as good upon rereading it. While I originally thought the story had interesting views of religion and science, this time when I read it, it seemed much more about science than religion. The science in it is really cool, considering how difficult it would be to discover the cosmos if one wouldn't have nights. How terrifying night would be, if you had seven suns that would keep the planet alight all year long. This is a great story, but not my favorite.

What I really love about Asimov is how his stories always make me think about some interesting concept. I love that his stories are logical and I like that his writing is straightforward and easy to understand.

3-0 out of 5 stars far out stories
most of the stories are too far out. there is good imagination, however his writing is not up to literary standards. I thought his stories would be based upon events or possibilies that might occur in the future- The stories about space travel were ok. this book is barely ok.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Asimov Science- Fiction story and what it does and does not give
Science- fiction stories in general and Asimov's as example are not, as I understand it, the greatest kind of Literature. They are too thin in their depiction of character and human feeling. What they are in essence is 'stories of ideas' and their great value is in the way they help us learn and think.
Asimov is considered one of the most original and greatest of writers in science- fiction.
I just read what is his favorite of all stories, and perhaps the most famous science- fiction story of them all, "The Last Question", In it the ultimate question the question of what will become of us all, what will happen to our universe is asked. There is no one set of characters, but rather successive skimpy characters placed in different locales and times. What begins on earth continues from locations on distant galaxies. The real question the last question is whether the universe will simply die, will follow the second - law- of themodynamics and disintegrate completely. After the time of our sun and the galaxies and after even the trillions of years in which there are no galaxies but only various forms of matter disintegrating the question is asked of the Artificial Intelligence which has been able to keep human existence going. The answer is a wonderful surprise. The story itself is an adventure in creating curiosity or perhaps better of building upon our own natural curiosity to provide an imagined answer.
Again as stories in comparison to more character rich and more feeling- rich stories these are not the greatest. But in exploring scientific questions in whetting our curiosity in leading us to 'think' in scientific terms these stories are in the first- rank.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning compilation
With having several of Isaac's top short historys, this books already is an excellent addition to any SF library, but with also other string of lesser known tales, this book is a pleasure to read.
I almost have no letdown with the tales, all been interesting to say the least. This is ubber gift for a geek (or the geek inside you).

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
A Complete Stories of Isaac Asimov book in one volume would have to electronic to be liftable, or have paper and print of the rice and really, really tiny variety.Hence the split-up and this volume.

Anyway, several of his best stories here, as well as some really ordinary, and even some humorous fantasy.

Call this volume a 3.25 for the amount of very average stories included, dragging down the rest, as far as quality goes.

Asimov collectors will of course like the sheer volume.

Complete Stories 1 : The Dead Past - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Franchise - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Gimmicks Three - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Kid Stuff - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Watery Place - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Living Space - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Message - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Satisfaction Guaranteed - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Hell-Fire - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Last Trump - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Fun They Had - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Jokester - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Immortal Bard - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Someday - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Dreaming Is a Private Thing - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Profession - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Feeling of Power - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Dying Night - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : I'm in Marsport Without Hilda - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Gentle Vultures - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : All the Troubles of the World - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Spell My Name with an S - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Last Question - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Ugly Little Boy - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Nightfall - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Green Patches - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Hostess - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Breeds There a Man? - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The C-Chute - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : In a Good Cause - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : What If - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Sally - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Flies - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Nobody Here But - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : It's Such a Beautiful Day - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Strikebreaker - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Insert Knob A in Hole B - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Up-to-Date Sorcerer - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Unto the Fourth Generation - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : What Is This Thing Called Love? - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : The Machine That Won the War - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : My Son the Physicist! - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Eyes Do More Than See - Isaac Asimov
Complete Stories 1 : Segregationist - Isaac Asimov

... Read more

6. The End of Eternity
by Isaac Asimov
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-01-05)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$10.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765319187
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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One of Isaac Asimov’s SF masterpieces, this stand-alone novel is a monument of the flowering of SF in the twentieth century. It is widely regarded as Asimov’s single best SF novel.


Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan’s job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs.


During one of his assignments, Harlan meets and falls in love with Noÿs Lambent, a woman who lives in real time and space. Then Harlan learns that Noÿs will cease to exist after the next Change, and he risks everything to sneak her into Eternity.

Unfortunately, they are caught. Harlan’s punishment? His next assignment: Kill the woman he loves before the paradox they have created results in the destruction of Eternity.
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Customer Reviews (66)

3-0 out of 5 stars End of Eternity
I thought it was a bit dragged out for Asimov. A lot of repetition of thoughts. very slow read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Technofiction review of End of Eternity
End of Eternity is a little-recognized Asimov gem.It's old, it's obscure, but it's a great read.

It was written in 1955, near the end of his first SF writing time, and it's first noticeable charm is his depiction of the relations between men, computers and information - this book tells well how people of the mid-1950's thought about these things, and it's surprisingly different from how we think about these things in the 2010's.

The story setting is the second charm.This is a time-travel story, but Asimov delightfully sidesteps most of the cleche's of time travel stories - it's not about interfering with a famous historical event, it's not about some hero or small team getting trapped in a strange time, it's not about some evil overlord conspiring to rule the universe through controlling time.

The setting is the existence of an alternate dimension that sits outside of time - Eternity -- and this dimension can be used to physically travel from one place in time to another - think of a really long subway with stations at each century of real existence.

Within this Eternity setting lives a monkish society - the Eternals - who watch the real universe and busy themselves with tweaking it to make life better for all of humanity - something they call making a Reality Change.This reality changing they do is very altruistic, but very secret.Their "cover" is temporal trade - they move goods between the centuries.

The third charm is telling about this setting as a love story.We follow the adventures of Harlan, a Time Technician, as he falls in love with Noys - something Eternals aren't supposed to do.His love makes him do crazy things, which he also isn't supposed to do - no surprise there.But Asimov has his impetuousness become key to the existence of Eternity itself!

The last third of the book is a combination of resolving how Harlan's actions will save or end Eternity mixed in with philosophic considerations about roles of free will, social planning, evolution, and human advancement. Heady stuff, and well handled.

All-in-all, End of Eternity, in spite of being fifty-year-old science fiction, is still a fun story.I heartily recommend it.

If you like this, you may enjoy some of my Technofiction stories. Here is a collection of short stories, including one time travel story: Team Macedonia.

Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric, Vol. 2

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
Excellent book.My first Issac Asimov book.And definitely will not be the last.Story is great, the ending is terrific it's a great if you like the thought and theory of time travel (thanks Back to the Future....)

3-0 out of 5 stars Is there Kindle edition really? If not, why?
I love this book. I read translated edition again and again.
After I bought a Kindle I tryed to buy Asimov books first, but almost all books has no kindle edition yet, at least in my country.
I wish I can buy and read them on my kindle as soon as possible.

5-0 out of 5 stars A time travel idea never copied
This is one of Asimov's best. Each chapter ends on a high (a la perils of Pauline) so that you want to keep reading. The time travel ideas in here are unique and very interesting. I don't think they've ever been copied!! It's an enjoyable read, and you've probably never encountered some of these ideas before. This is a very enjoyable, easy read ... Read more

7. The Currents of Space
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-09-28)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765319179
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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High above planet Florinia, the Squires of Sark live in unimaginable wealth and comfort. Down in the eternal spring of the planet, however, the native Florinians labor ceaselessly to produce the precious kyrt that brings prosperity to their Sarkite masters.

Rebellion is unthinkable and impossible. Not only do the Florinians no longer have a concept of freedom, any disruption of the vital kyrt trade would cause other planets to rise in protest, resulting in a galactic war. So the Trantorian Empire, whose grand plan is to unite all humanity in peace, prosperity, and freedom, has allowed the oppression to continue.

Living among the workers of Florinia, Rik is a man without a memory or a past. He has been abducted and brainwashed. Barely able to speak or care for himself when he was found, Rik is widely regarded as a simpleton by the worker community where he lives. As his memories begin to return, however, Rik finds himself driven by a cryptic message he is determined to deliver: Everyone on Florinia is doomed…the Currents of Space are bringing destruction. But if the planet is evacuated, the power of Sark will end-so there are those who would kill the messenger. The fate of the Galaxy hangs in the balance.
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Customer Reviews (33)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Kindle version is more expensive?
I will be following my simple rule.

Whenever the Kindle version is the same price or more than a new paperback
I will not be buying EITHER the Kindle OR the paperback version.

If enough people follow this simple guideline Amazon and the
author/publisher might just learn how to play nice.

(Hey what do you know, it's at the library!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Asimov's Intertwined Novel
This book was a really fun book to read. The science parts(a star exploding because of carbon currents in space) weren't all that interesting or complicated, but the political frenzy is everywhere. Every man seems to be suspected of being the mysterious criminal "X", but the one that is not suspected turns out to be the criminal- and for different reasons than anyone would imagine. But all that hassle about the criminal sidetracks them from the matter of real importance- the universe's most valued world, Florina's imminent destruction by the explosion of a prenovae star. The only way to find out how this breathtaking mystery, political and suspence masterwork by Isaac Asimov ends is to read the book- or buy the Kindle version, like I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping and well thought-out sceince fiction
While clearly science fiction by its setting, this novel also contains elements of detective novel, future history/social commentary, and espionage.The setting is an agricultural planet (Florinia) that yields a unique and highly valuable crop (a high-quality luxury cloth fiber), and the natives are exploited at a peasant/slave level by the rich and oppresive Squires from nearby planet Sark.Meanwhile, Sark is, due to its rich export, able to stave off conquest by the encroaching Trantorian empire.Within this setting, a scientist has discovered a danger to Florinia, but before he can alert officials, he is captured and his memory erased (with a sci-fi device) by an unknown party.The story begins with the scientist, renamed Rik, barely able to function and not knowing who he is, working amongst the Florinians and remembering things piecemeal.From here, the various sides are all trying to figure out what is going on, and struggling to get their hands on Rik, as he and his companions try to elude capture.Asimov keeps both the action and the ideas going to keep the reader interested, and creates a beleivable and sensible "world" and plot, without resorting to two-dimensional stereotypes or suspension-of-disbelief moments.Even the overlords come across as human beings, despite their reprehensible social system (one remembers even America's "founding fathers" included slave-owners).Everything makes perfect sense at the end, yet I didn't guess the truth before I read it.Although written over 50 years ago, the science-fiction aspects don't come across as dated (although the underlying science of Rik's belief of danger for the planet has been discredited, it was beyond my scientific knowledge until I looked it up).
Asimov's genius lies in the ability to tell an engrossing adventure story intelligently.Although well crafted, lthis IS a quick read - I'm surprised to find it listed only as an expensive hardcover; this is prime mass-market material; and at 200 pages each, they really should bind Asimov's three similar novels (this, "Pebble In The Sky", and "The Stars Like Dust" - not closely related, but all set in the same "universe" between his "Robot" and "Foundation" series) into one 600-page paperback!So, I suggest reading it, but (unless you like to collect hardcovers) pick up a used copy at a reasonable price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Threads
The elite of the galaxy are usually dressed in Kryt.It is the most beautiful fabric known.Its iridescent threads are nearly indestructible, and above all, it is so, oh so expensive.

It has made the sellers of Kryt fabulously wealthy.Its trade is controlled solely by one planet, planet Sark; a planet which lies outside of Trantor's expanding galactic empire.Other planets have tried and failed to grow it; it is not known why Kryt grows only on one planet.It doesn't even grow on planet Sark, but on a planet that Sark controls: planet Florina.

That is where you are: planet Florina.At first, you don't know that.In fact, you know practically nothing; somebody has blocked your memories, so much so, that you can't even speak.But a native woman takes you in, teaches you, gets you a job at the Kryt mill, and gradually your memories begin to seep in.And then one day - between bites on your lunch break - you remember something about your profession: you were a Spatio-analyst, one who collects and correlates data about the space between the stars.You are elated to discover who you were, but then - like a soaring fly that has been slammed with a flyswatter - you are crushed when you remember that millions of people are going to die!

I greatly enjoy almost everything that Isaac Asimov has written; 'The Currents of Space' is no exception.

I can make no comment on the physical quality of the book listed on Amazon, since my copy is a very old Fawcett Crest paperback; it is yellowed with age and exudes a faint musty smell.I wrote this review as a result of Amazon's suggestion; besides, it gave me an excuse to reread it after all these years.

4-0 out of 5 stars Action-packed far future detective thriller by one of the best writers of SF ever
In this story of a far-flung humanity, the planet Florina is subjugated by the planet Sark. But when a Spatio-analyst learns that the world of Florina is soon to be extinct, a web of political intrigue that will change the relationship between Florina and Sark begins.

The story itself is small-scale, focusing only on characters and not the creation of an epic. There are Rik, the psycho-probed stranger; Valona, the big millworker; and Myrlyn, the Florinan with a chip on his shoulder for his Sark overlords. The story is primarily a detective thriller set in space, as the three protagonists try to find Rik's tormentor and solve the puzzle of the end of Florina. The plot is uncomplicated in its progress, though fast-paced and quite entertaining. This is classic science fiction, just as the genre was finding its voice - a voice now defined by much of Asimov's work. This is a great narrative for new readers intimidated by Asimov's more complex //Foundation// novels. As well, those who like uncomplicated space opera that is part mystery and part political thriller will enjoy //The Currents of Space//.

Reviewed by
John Ottinger III ... Read more

8. Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts: 3000 of the Most Entertaining, Interesting, Fascinating, Unusual and Fantastic Facts
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 504 Pages (1992-10-25)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803893477
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Collection of unusual facts.Amazon.com Review
IsaacAsimov was unquestionably one of America's greatest scientificwriters--from his mind came the awe-inspiring Foundationtrilogy and the classic I, Robot. Ithardly comes as a surprise then, that the brain of Asimov wasoverflowing with facts, statistics, and millions of trivialtidbits. His Book of Facts comprises 3,000 of these littleinformation snippets. To organize this wealth of data are distinctsubject areas--ranging from chapters titled "Art" and "Medicine" tomore obscure ones such as "Salty Facts" and the amusing "StrangeRules, Laws and Customs."Did you know, for instance, that theTinguian people of the Philippines have a very unique way of kissing?They put their lips close to each other's faces, and then quicklyinhale. Or that in the Middle Ages the Europeans put their disobedientanimals on trial? Well, you know now!Asimov's Books of Factsimmerses the reader into a humongous vat of information. Asimov feedsthe brain. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Non-readers will devour this book
I LOVED this book.I tend to like worthless facts and this book is full of them.Very interesting indeed.My brother in law HATES reading and he read the entire book night by night before he went to bed and then started reading other books after that.It's fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legitimate!!
Great book!! Full of awesome facts that are very interesting at any time to read. Fun and great book to have!! I need to get more books like this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars NAFF
If there is one fact connected with this book that I would like to see confirmed, it's that Asimov had less to do with it than he let on at the time of its publication.

What it resembles is a magpie's nest. To a magpie diamonds and broken glass are much the same. I picked up a dog-eared copy of the book in my local second-hand bookshop because I have always valued Asimov highly as a source of information, intelligibly presented, on the ever-fascinating topics of physics and astronomy. Like his more gifted friend and rival Clarke, he is nothing less than a major educator of an era in these matters. That was what I had been hoping for here, but what I find is a load of jumble. There are some genuinely interesting and enlightening facts in the more scientific chapters, but the book has little else to be said for it.

It is not even much use a source of information for downmarket quiz-shows -- The Weakest Link comes to mind through some kind of association of ideas. There is no detectable plan or strategy for selecting the facts,but of course being who he is and self-concerned as usual Asimov sees fit to tell the world that some books of stories published under the name of Paul French are actually his, although they have been republished under his proper name anyway. Not everything is even factual, properly speaking. I don't wish to argue with the statements that Rilke was the greatest German lyric poet of his time, or that the Age of Reason ended with Voltaire, I say only that these are opinions not facts. Even where the matter is genuinely factual it is liable to be out of date, as is obviously the case with crime statistics; and if it's true that the Tasmanian Wolf is still found I should be overjoyed, but I very much doubt it.

I would not even recommend this book for children. If they get interested in some topic it seems to me that they should be encouraged to learn how to apply their minds to 'facts' and not swallow them uncritically. If asked who this book is suitable for I can only suggest the Rain Man.

3-0 out of 5 stars Asimov Didn't Write This
In his autobiography, "I, Asimov", Isaac makes it clear he did not write this book. It was put together by someone else, and his name was attached to it through some kind of contractual mumbo-jumbo. That being said, it is an entertaining book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Facts
I am a junkie for inconsequential facts. This book is full of them, although it also has many facts that we should know and perhaps don't. My only complaint is that it's not a paperback. I can't carry it around easily and read at lunch! I recommend it for other facts junkies. ... Read more

9. Asimov's Guide to the Bible: Two Volumes in One, the Old and New Testaments
by Isaac Asimov
Hardcover: 1295 Pages (1981-12-12)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051734582X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In Asimov's Guide to the Bible, Isaac Asimov explores the historical, geographical, and biographical aspects of the events described in the Old and New Testaments.Asimov's attempts to illuminate the Bible's many obscure, mysterious passages prove absorbing reading for anyone interested in religion and history.Amazon.com Review
Isaac Asimov thinks big; readers of his science fiction works are familiar with his grasp and mastery of scale and how the individual stories unfold within the epic work. In Asimov's Guide to the Bible he utilizes this skill to pare down and untangle the many intertwined threads of biblical history and mythology. He views this guide as a way to illuminate the world of the Bible by incorporating the secular aspects of history, biography, and geography into a deeper understanding. Asimov's Guide to the Bible is not a book to be read in continuum but an indispensable companion to any journey through the Bible. Situating the writers of the various books of the Bible in time and space, Asimov gives its writings context and also explains how that context has morphed with time. While some of his conclusions and "qualified speculations" may challenge certain traditional assumptions (for example, there is no reference in the gospels to Mary Magdalene as a prostitute; rather, she was a madwoman whom Jesus cured by casting out seven demons), his aim is not to tear it apart but to flush out some of its mysteries, give it a context that the average Bible reader can understand, and therefore make it more real. --Jodie Buller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

5-0 out of 5 stars For a Friend!
Bought this for a friend and he tells me he was very pleased with the item. It came in a very timely manner and was in the condition stated by the vendor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Biblical Criticism and Historical Guide
Dr. Asimov, famed for his encyclopedic learning, turns that knowledge to documentingHebrew and Christian scripture's secular context.This massive book painstakingly recreates the world and thought surrounding scriptural writing: was Eden a real place?When were the Israelites held captive in Egypt?Who were the Apostles?What do these strange, overused words mean?

Asimov approaches these questions not from a theological or exegetical perspective (he was a lifelong agnostic) but from the desire to grasp dated references.If you read scripture, you know it assumes prior knowledge few of us have.We don't know the geography, conflicting cultures, or language of the Holy Land.We need a guide to comprehend this complex world.

I keep this book at hand to reference while I read.Since the Bible lacks footnotes and cross-references, flipping around this book like an encyclopedia or travel guide clarifies much that stands murky.This isn't a book to read from cover to cover; this is a book to dip into like a buffet of knowledge where you can grab what you want or need, when you want or need it.

Not that this book is perfect.Asimov relies on a few theories that few biblical scholars believe any longer (the Israelites could not have been in Egypt as late as Ramses II, for instance).Since he doesn't cite sources, we struggle to tell at times whether a theory is popular scholarship, or Asimov's own pet speculation.Some methodological specificity would help.

But even with that caveat, I recommend this book for anybody eager to tell where the historical trail lies through scripture.Whether you want to understand God's path through a much repeated but little understood story, or if you just read the Bible as a cultural document (like Asimov), this book spells out much that would otherwise remain hidden.

5-0 out of 5 stars How can I add to this Mountain of Good Reviews
This man is so direct and honest about the bible, I can't help but laugh.He will not shy away from pointing out erroneous information and misinterpretations of the bible.While simulateously giving more relevant alternatives.I love this book and haven't read this much since I was seventeen.It really is a splendid companion to the bible.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I want to thank you for sending me Asimov's Guide to the Bible: Two Volumes, Old and New Testament.It is not cluttered with footnotes nor making erudite descriptions. His language is simple, direct and to the point.I have read the Torah -- the first five books-- and re-read the same to underline certain highlights.Yes, some of the things I read were too skimpy but in general I am very satisfied.Yes, I will consult other books for this or that problem, but I feel this book will always be close at hand.Thanks for the book.The sender was prompt.The book was clean.A good buy!Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars What really went on in Bible times!
If you would like to see the broader picture of what was going on in the world during the times reported in the Bible you should have Issac's report.I have this book in my library but when I could not locate it (Where did I put my glasses?)I ordered another copy from Amazon.I am happy with two copies because now I CAN LOAN ONE OUT!Jack Ackerman, Professional Speaker. ... Read more

10. Foundation and Earth
by Isaac Asimov
Mass Market Paperback: 528 Pages (2004-08-31)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587579
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The societies encountered along the way become arguing points in a book-long colloquy about man's fate, conducted by Trevize and traveling companion Bliss, who is part of the first world/mind, Gaia. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (95)

1-0 out of 5 stars I still have not received my purchase.
I ordered Foundation and Earth on July 28, 2010. I received the wrong book (Foundation and Empire) on August 6, 2010 and immediately notified the sender who said they would ship a replacement out immediately. It is now August 29, 2010 and I have still not received the book I ordered. I understand the book I ordered was ridiculously inexpensive, but that doesn't justify terrible service. If you could get the wrong book to me within a week, I don't understand why the correct order couldn't have been here within a week, though since you made the mistake I believe it should have been expedited. Very disappointed and still awaiting the book. Contacted seller a week ago and they said they could confirm it has been dispatched, but I still have not received it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dialog quality of Wheel of Time.
This book reminded me a lot of my experience reading the Wheel of Time books. The dialog is so tedious and repetitive that I found myself hating the characters and skipping any dialog that was obviously going to be a repeat of past discussions in the book. Remember hair pulling and dress straightening in the Wheel of Time books? There are plenty of similar irritating repetitive discussions in this book.

The first 3 books of the series are fantastic. The 4th (Foundations Edge) is decent and worth reading. This book should be avoided at all costs. Don't read it. It diminishes the events in the previous books and just made me angry.

The strangest thing is that the first books in the series were supposed to have been written from a successful 2nd empire after the 1000 years was over. I fail to understand how that could be the case if Gaia was really the endpoint.

For my own happiness I think I'll just pretend that the 2nd foundation was successful, Daneel's brain froze up well before he could succeed at his idiotic plan, all robots in the universe were destroyed by humans for being hopelessly stupid, and that Gaia ended up dying when its star suddenly went nova.

Gaia wouldn't notice it happening because its mode of life caused it to be too uninquisitive. With a whole planet working together you'd think they'd be at the forefront of scientific inquiry instead of being well behind the first foundation!

4-0 out of 5 stars The other side of the coin
This novel doesn't work very well as a standalone; you have to be familiar with the Trilogy, not only in terms of plot, but to get the proper emotional impact, because is the moodiest of all Asimov's novels.

Trevize is looking for Earth, so he is examining the oldest planets in the galaxy.Most of them have been positively presented in other novels; here we see them in decay, in different ways.Baleyworld/Comporellon was once mankind's newest world and a promise for the future; now it's the oldest inhabited world, lost in the past, and obsessed with wondering what went wrong.Aurora, a utopian world, has not only lost its human population but its ecology has gone feral. The Solarians have gone from being eccentric to basically turning inhuman, etc.

In Foundation you kept hearing about the decline of the Empire, but it was mostly a matter of plot.Here you FEEL the decline.

Things on shipboard aren't much better.Bliss and Trevize spend the first half of the novel arguing over ideology, and the last half arguing over Fallom; only their shared love and respect for Pelorat holds them together.

It's almost as if Asimov sensed death approaching and let the story reflect the loss of zest and life.

2-0 out of 5 stars Foundation and Earth:Falls Flat
Title: Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov.

Pages: 494.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 3 years.

Days spent reading it: 4 days.

Why I read it: I started reading the Foundation series a few years ago. I made it through the first 4 books and this was the next book in the series (in order of copyright).

Brief review:
Let me start off by saying, I LOVED the first 3 Foundation books, especially the first one (simply called Foundation). Isaac Asimov creates interesting situations that his characters must resolve, and they usually do so with interesting insights. Asimov wrote the first 3 books as a series of short stories, and they were later compiled into what became the Foundation trilogy. I would highly recommend those to anyone who enjoys a truly unique story.

Having said that, books 4 and 5 were different. Instead of being short stories, they were true novels. They stayed with the same characters the whole time. I personally think the characters are flat and boring. Asimov's strength is not characters but dilemmas. Unfortunately book 4 (Foundation's Edge) does not have enough dilemma in it, and almost turned me off from the rest of the series. I also really did not like how it ended. However, Foundation and Earth returned to Asimov writing more in short story format, even though he stays with the same characters, the story is revealed as they leapfrog from planet to planet in search of Earth.

I will not give away the plot, but it would say it was a decent story. Not the best in the series, but not as disappointing as Foundation's Edge. The conclusion felt a little awkward and forced. Asimov did some strange things with this series as it progressed forward. I think he wanted to make it seem like his writings as a whole were more planned out and connected than he originally intended. In the end it seems gimmicky. I'm sure there are some Asimov fans who enjoy the connections, but I would not number myself among them.

Overall, I would recommend this book to the fans of the Foundation series, but slugging through Foundation's Edge along with Foundation and Earth means reading nearly 1,000 pages of frankly sub-par Asimov. For reader's interested in something truly unique--check out Foundation, it really is superior. But realize that the first book (which is awesome) is the best it gets.

Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Flat.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great potential, but Gaia killed this series . . .
Very disappointing. Sure, it's readable, but also laughable. The story of finding Earth should have been fantastic, but instead meandered all over the place and seems to be a waste of time. There are a few good parts, mostly for those readers familiar with the Robot series, but the entire book is sadly a disappointment. This decline started with the introduction of Gaia in the previous book, when the whole series got derailed and never got back to what it was.

Spoilers ahead!

Who else was absolutely convinced that Golan Trevize would turn out to be a robot? For most of this book, that seemed to be the great 'mystery' that would be unveiled. It turned out to be false, but Trevize's ability to merge perfectly with the ship and his basic wooden personality had me willing to bet he was definitely, positively a robot. The guy was unreal. He did not respond at all to the nubile girl on board the ship, he let the old guy have her. Er, not likely, especially as he constantly referred to how horny he was and how long it had been, ect. . .

The series officially jumped shark with the introduction of the planet Gaia and never recovered. How could the search for Earth be so pointless? They spend most of the book running from one planet to another and barely escaping alive from each one - it gets a little repetitive. When they finally achieve their goal, it's very disappointing! And none of the larger issues are resolved. What happens at the end of 1000 years? Did the two Foundations achieve their purpose? Apparently, Asimov lost his way and we never find out if the Foundation was effective or not. The story of finding Earth had great potential, but the reader is left hanging at the end wondering what will happen at the 1000 year mark, the point at which the Foundation was supposed to prevent the Dark Ages extending to thirty thousand years.

This book was mostly fluff and the silly interactions between the nondescript Trevize and the silly lovers: Gaia girl and the old librarian. This part of the story seems to have been a fantasy of Mr Asimov's . . . The 'surprise' at the end was a total rip off and an excuse not to carry the ideas begun in the first book to their final conclusion. Instead we are left with Gaia on a galactic scale . . . ... Read more

11. S as in Zebatinsky
by Isaac Asimov
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B003AQBC5S
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Marshall Zebatinsky was embarrassed. He, a nuclear physicist, visiting a numerologist in the hopes of furthering his career―to be famous. Was he so desperate for advancement that he would resort to the superstition, or worse fakery, of a numerologist? It was at his wife urgings and now the numerologist has told him that by changing one letter in his name all his dreams would come true.
This story originally appeared in Star Science Fiction magazine in 1958.It later appeared in the story collection, Nine Tomorrows, with the title “Spell My Name With an S”.Asimov's frustration with people misspelling his name as “Azimov” was the germ of the idea to the story.
... Read more

12. The Complete Stories: v. 2
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 464 Pages (1995-01-09)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$7.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0006480160
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The second volume in an extraordinary collection published shortly after the author's death. In these twenty-three stories, Asimov's vivid awareness of the potential of technology is translated into human dilemmas.The definitive collection of short fiction by Isaac Asimov, supreme master of the science fiction genre continues with Volume Two of the Complete Stories. The Good Doctor was always ahead of his time and his work stands today as the clearest expression of our collective hopes and fears for the future. But the ever-expanding popularity of his stories with young and old readers alike is explained by their wit, zest and human interest.Within this volume are stories often voted among the best science fiction stories of all time. In these stories Asimov's vivid awareness of the potential of technology is translated into human dilemmas that are more relevant today than ever before. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars quick reminder
If you already have
'Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Vol. 1'
(Paperback: 624 pages /Publisher: Broadway;/ISBN-10: 038541627X /ISBN-13: 978-0385416276 ), you need not buy this.
This book is just the latter half of Broadway edition.

Do not mistake this book for Real vol 2(ISBN-10: 0385420781
ISBN-13: 978-0385420785). ... Read more

13. Robots and Empire
by Isaac Asimov
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (1994-01-10)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$8.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0586062009
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Isaac Asmiov's classic novel about the decline and fall of Solaria.Gladia Delmarre's homeworld, the Spacer planet Solaria, has been abandoned - by its human population. Countless robots remain there. And when traders from Settler worlds attempt to salvage them, the robots of Solaria turn to killing...in defiance of the Three Laws of Robotics.Pax RoboticaLong ago, Gladia's robots Daneel and Giskard played a vital role in opening the worlds beyond the Solar system to Settlers from Earth. Now the conscience-stricken robots are faced with an even greater challenge. Either the sacred Three Laws of Robotics are in ruins - or a new, superior Law must be established to bring peace to the galaxy. With Madam Gladia and D.G. Baley - the captain of the Settler traders and a descendant of the robots' friend Elijah Baley - Daneel and Giskard travel to the robot stronghold of Solaria...where they uncover a sinister Spacer plot to destroy Earth itself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Asimov reels me back in
Robots and Empire is the final novel in Asimov's robot universe. Though I haven't read the Empire or Foundation novels (at the time of this review), it is quite clear that Robots and Empire fills in some gaps from his previous works and links the Robot novels to the Empire and Foundation novels. Asimov also strays from the 'whodunit' platform and instead creates a more complex story where we already know who the 'good' and the 'bad' guys are.

Please note that this review might contain spoilers from previous novels -

Robots and Empire takes place some 200 years after the death of Elijah Baley. Amadiro, who is the head of the Robotics Institute is still quite peeved at Elijah and, well, Earth in general. With the help of Amadiro's new right-hand man Mandamus they devise a plan to destroy Earth. R. Daneel Olivaw and Giskard together must try and stop this. Although Elijah Baley doesn't play a role in solving this problem he does come alive through the recollections of other characters.

Robots and Empire was a nice surprise. For me the previous novel Robots of Dawn was the weakest in the series, however in my opinion Robots and Empire might just be the strongest. What I like most about this book is that Asimov breaks away from the murder mystery plotting and instead creates a sprawling story where we get to follow multiple threads. Asimov does a masterful job weaving these threads together. This book spans over 450 pages, which is quite long for an Asimov book, however the story moves at a break-neck pace so it goes by very quickly. Robots and Empire is considerably more complex than the other robot novels are as far as plotting, though it is still an easy read.

One of my few complaints surrounds a robot character Giskard. Giskard has the ability to read and manipulate human emotions. The problem is that he is used all too often to get characters out of sticky situations. He's almost a walking, talking deus ex machina. The other complaint I have is that Asimov can get a little repetitive, which may account for some of the extra pages.

Though I do have a few complaints on the whole this novel is quite good and is probably my favorite in the series. I highly recommend it! But you must read the other Robot novels to get the most enjoyment out of this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully done.
I really enjoyed it.It's got great pacing and interesting characters and worlds.He was a master world and society builder. And of course it had Asimov's wry humor.Asimov's sci-fi always has an instructive quality as well.In his autobiography he says he enjoyed writing nonfiction more than fiction and this helps give his sci-fi a unique quality, as if it's grounded in real science, much more so than for other writers.

Possible Spoiler Alert:

An interesting note is that he used Three Mile Island as the symbol of nuclear disaster since the book was published in 1985, before the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another future for mankind
Part of the Robot and Empire series, by Asimov. Begins on an overcrowded and environmentally-challenged Earth. The population lives almost entirely underground and suffers from agoraphobia when exposed to the open landscape. This is also the profile for the protagonist of the book, the previous Asimov-hero and policeman Elijah Baley.

This book follows Baley on his second trip into outer space, to the Earth's first-settled Spacer world, Aurora. As with his first space trip, Baley must unwind a web of daunting intrigues to solve a crime, this one of roboticide committed on Aurora. If he is successful he will pave the way for Earth's further development of space. If not, mankind's expansion throughout the universe will grind to a halt.

Asimov uses a successful formula of crime, investigation and solution around which to entwine his streamlined thoughts of humanity's constant need to explore and tame the unknown.

Another great Asimov view of one of mankind's possible futures.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ties Robot and Empire series together
Asimov did a great job with this book, written in 1985, to tie up the Robot series of books, and lay the groundwork in as smooth a transition to the Empire books as possible without being too revisionist (with regards to the Earth).Not bad considering that the books, which would later be grouped together as the Empire novels, were written about 30 years earlier.This book has a fast pace and a smooth flow, and I would recommend it to any fan of Asimov's, especially those who enjoyed Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and The Robots of Dawn.

5-0 out of 5 stars How the Robot Casaer's began. (Giskard then Daniel)
Daniel replaces Giskard as the new mind reading robot.Giskard was the first robot Casaer and Daniel has become the second.

The zeroeth law allows Robots to interpret humanity according to psychohistory.Giskard can violate the three laws of robotics, if the urgency to save humanity exceeds the directives of the three laws. The first three laws presuppose humanity possesses the higher morality and knows best their future.The zeroeth law enslaves humanity to the mind altering capabilities of Giskard and now Daniel.

A Robot can kill and maim and destroy.Giskard destroyed the female robot, whose intent was the destroy Gladia Solaria.Next, Giskard altered the neural pathways of Vasilia Aliena when she attempted to take possession of Giskard.Self defense rational was a high enough reason too forfeit the first three law of Robotics.Next, Giskard tampers with Amadiro brain and allows Mandumus (a descendant of Elijah Baley) too using the nuclear intensifier to radiate the earths crust and force earth people to migrate out into space over the next twenty decades.Giskard's actions shutdown part of his positron brain because of irreconcibile problems associate with the immoral act.Giskard can not divorce himself from the pain and suffering caused from the plot.Giskard then transfers his mind reading ability to Daniel.Daniel becomes the new robot emperor.

The sneaky Elijah Baley had a child with Gloria Solaria. The descendants settle a world called Baley World. Robots think humans are Solarians.Settlers and Spacers are not consider humans. Gloria visits Baley World with her lover, D.G and speaks Solarian to them.Gladia is the daughter ofFastolfe.Fastolfe developed two positronic robots, one being Daniel. Fifty humanoid robots were built by Fastolfe, but all deactivated.

Mandumus descends from Elijah Baley and equally immoral.Mandumus joins Amadiro and tell him of his plot to rid the world of humans.Mandumus wants the humanoid robots reactivated.Amadiro took the director of Robotic Institute position from Fastolfe.Amadiro plans to use the nuclear intensifier, at three mile Island, to destory the earth's crust resulting in mass genocide.Giskard damages Amadiro's brain, and carries out an alternate strategy, force exodus.
... Read more

14. The Robots of Dawn
by Isaac Asimov
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (1994-03-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553299492
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Called to the Spacer world to solve a case of roboticide, New York City detective Elijah Baley teams up with humanoid robot R. Daneel Olivaw to prove that the prime suspect, a renowned roboticist, is innocent of the crime. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine finale for Elijah Baily mysteries
After "The Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun", "The Robots of Dawn" is the third and final murder mystery pairing the duo of the agoraphobic Earth detective Elijah Bailey with his humaniform robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw.

In "The Robots of Dawn", the detectives run into yet another seemingly impossible mystery, but this time the mystery is not that the murder seemed impossible for anyone to have committed, but seems impossible for one man to have NOT committed, even though that man seems incapable of murder. The mystery is set on the capitol of the Spacer worlds, Aurora. Although the society on Aurora is much more normal than the skewed and unhealthy psychology in "The Naked Sun", the spacer residents are still not too happy about being in contact with a "dirty, germ ridden Earthman" ... although most are polite about it.

Asimov ends the book with an action and a concept that knocks long time readers of his robots novels on their respective ears. When I put this book down I turned to my wife and said "That's the best book I've ever read. It might be the best book ever". I'm sure I was caught up in the moment, but that was how profoundly I was affected by the events and the single important concept that wrapped parts of this mystery up. You'll remember R. Giskard long after you're done with reading this book.

I think I'll read it again right now! ;-)

4-0 out of 5 stars I don't like hating the main character...
Well, this book is just as good as the first two, except the main character does something in this book that makes me absolutely hate him. I don't like hating the main character of the book I'm reading, especially after I've come to love him so much in the first two books. It made me angry.

5-0 out of 5 stars asimov, science fiction, novel
Excellent merchandise and service.Pleased to find this novel that I have wanted for a long time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some Great, Some Not So Great
Robots of Dawn is now the most personal of Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation universe for me. Parts of this book are grand indeed! However, parts fail miserably. I'll get to that in a sec -

Once again we have a murder mystery for Elijah Baily and R. Daneel Olivaw to unravel, this time on Auroria, home-planet of R. Daneel. Dr. Fastolfe is prime suspect of 'roboticide' by causing a mental freeze-out on Jander Panell, the only other humaniform robot in existence (the other of course being R. Daneel). As we know from Caves of Steel, Dr. Fastolfe is the most brilliant roboticist known, and the creator of the humaniform robot. It is of prime urgency that Elijah prove to the Chairman of Auroria that Han Fastolfe is innocent. This is not only in the interest of Han and Elijah, but for the interest of Earth and humanity.

Certain qualities of this book are excellent. For instance Asmimov crafts dialog between characters masterfully. The dialog is powerful, engrossing, commanding. Some people may complain about this book having too much of it, but for me Asimov pulls it off with such force and drive that I feel like reading it forever, often into the wee hours of night.

There are aspects of this book that I just didn't like. I love Asimov for the same reason I love a good Pixar movie, it's innocence. Other works of Asimov are very G to PG type material and with Robots of Dawn things change. It just doesn't feel right. Don't get me wrong, I love dark novels, I'm not prude or goodie-goodie at all so it's not an issue of personal hangups, it's more an issue of just feeling like Asimov is trying too hard to be edgy and an author of his caliber just doesn't need to go there.

Some of the ideas explored here are infidelity without guilt, um... self-serving sexual satisfaction, sex with robots and sexual tensions between a father and his own daughter. I don't have a problem reading about these ideas, I just have a problem with Asimov writing about them if you know what I mean.

The other problem I have is that some of this book feels a bit forced. I can tell where Asimov is force-fitting pieces so that he can tie this whole universe together. The investigation that Elijah goes on itself is well done but certain plot devices used with a character named Giskard are a bit too convenient and a bit corny in my opinion. I wont delve into that because it would be impossible to do so without giving away major spoilers.

I hope as I move forward in the Robot/Empire/Foundation series Asimov goes back to just great writing with innocence. I'm reading these books chronologically (with the exception of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation, those will be last) so hopefully when I move to the Foundation books and his other earlier works they stay consistent with the Asimov's style that I've now come to know and love.

Oh well, I'll get over it. I know Asimov's potential and this may just be one of his rare duds for me. I give this one an optimistic 2.5 (rounded to 3 for Amazon). I still very much look forward to reading more Asimov.

1-0 out of 5 stars Condition of the Book
The condition of the book was not "Good" and totally unacceptable. I would not purchase from this seller again - it is a library book! The name of the library is stamped on it, the bar code (on the front cover) was blacked out (so nice) and the library codes on the spine was "X'd" out. Paperback books sold at libraries are $.50- $1.00 and that's what this book (that I paid over $5 for is worth! It's going back and, as previously stated, I would never buy from this seller again. ... Read more

15. Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space
by Isaac Asimov
Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (1992-11-23)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449220591
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A wide-ranging exploration of our universe -- from "what makes the wind blow?" to "how was the moon formed?" -- in questions-and-answer format, written in vintage Asimov style. "A fine introduction to modern astronomical theory." -- LIBRARY JOURNAL
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great writer
Asimov was prolific and I've read many of his sciencetainment books and they're all great.This one is no exception.Even the outdated books are great reads.This is the kind of book, and Asimov's others like it, that are great for filling up a young'uns library; or, if you haven't read them yourself, to put on your reading list.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straightforward answers to questions you may not spend enough time asking
A lovely romp though the science of Earth and space. Great for people of all ages. While answering simplistic questions, Asimov brings much more complex ideas and thoughts to light. I must admit, when I began reading this, the material seemed old-hat, (the book is rather out-dated now) but Asimov had a way of explaining things as they were in the early 90's that keeps you from putting the book down. He not only writes what was happening (which so many current writers do) but adds in the little details of the who, when, how, why, and some times even a bit more.

Asimov links ideas through time and provides many "aha!" moments through out the book for readers. The science etymology alone (which is delightfully peppered through out this book) is reason to give this guide a read.

A little tip for readers:
Do check out NASA's website and image site upon reading this book. I found it very exciting to read about the science of the 90's and scientists' ideas of how things may be and then be able to jump forward in time to today and see what we've uncovered about the mysteries of the universe since! For a simple example, as of the writing of this book, extra-solar planets had not been detected, but Asimov wrote about the evidence pointing to their existence. Today we've uncovered MANY such planets. Very neat ^_^

Also, check out Carl Sagan's works. "Pale Blue Dot" is beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for All Ages
This is a very well-written book, suitable for all ages.Asimov is an entertaining teacher of the basic facts about Earth and space (e.g., the Earth is round, it rotates about its own axis, it revolves around the Sun).But, what is even more important, he is a master at describing the thought processes of the various philosophers and scientists who established these facts in the face of traditional beliefs (e.g., the Earth is flat, it is unmoving, the Sun goes round the Earth).

It is thus a wonderful book for anyone who would like to learn how to determine the truth in this age of fundamentalism and conflicting claims posted on the Web and propagated by e-mails.The desire and the ability to think clearly and logically have always been rare commodities -- and have become even more uncommon today, even in technologically advanced communities such as the USA.

The book costs less than $7, which makes it a great stocking stuffer.But it is worth more than $70, or even $700.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Read (as usual) -- but a bit simplistic
Asimov's writing is in tip top form -- clear,straightforward, and with his sense of wit that is always present.

However, some of the questions are pretty elementary for most of his fans -- e.g., why does the moon go through phases, what is the future of our sun, what are tides...

Important questions, to be sure, but, not as engaging on his writings concerning the beginning of the universe, the atom, or measurements.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Reference Book or for Kids, But...
This is hardly the best Asimov non-fiction out there.For the adult reader, I'd recommend any collection of his SF&F articles.I have this book and I've read most of it (this is coming from someone who's read at least 70 or 80 Asimov books), but I wouldn't strongly recommend it.If you're really interested, try your local library or used bookstore.Save your money for some of Asimov's better works. ... Read more

16. Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor
by Isaac Asimov
Paperback: 448 Pages (1991-02-04)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395572266
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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640 jokes, anecdotes, and limericks, complete with notes on how to tell them, from America's leading renaissance man. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another unique resource from Asimov
Fantastic book.As a compilation of jokes, it's not necessarily the funniest (although all these sorts of things tend to be hit-and-miss) but that may also be because I tend to read a lot of humour and have seen some of these before.On the other hand, the strengths of this book are not necessarily in the humour alone, but in a couple of unique aspects you won't find elsewhere.Namely, the jokes are all clean - the level of profanity is extremely minimal, which is a rare thing indeed.Despite this the humour level is maintained.The other unique aspect is that Asimov provides an analysis of jokes and joke-telling that is again rare to find in any other publication.Both of these take the book from being merely funny to being an invaluable resource for the humour connoisseur.

4-0 out of 5 stars It7s rather tiresome for me, but amazing.
As a foreigner, it is rather difficult to grasp every meaning of his joke. This book was challenging but really funny and nice to preserve.I have already read through this in paper back, but I really want to have it in kindle edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE book on how to tell jokes
This not only shows you the great jokes of all time,
but also HOW to tell the jokes, with examples and samples.
Isaac Asimov does it again.
For everyone who loves telling jokes, this is THE book to get.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny Stuff
I have an older edition of this book...it is priceless. I enjoy it whenever I need a break - keep it at work.We all need humor, and Asimov had the kind of quirky sense of humor that enriches our lives....get this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jokes with a purpose and a lack of meanness
In an age where humor is often laced with profanity or based on the ridicule of others, it is very pleasant to find a collection that is largely clean and often cerebral. This book contains a recollection of Isaac Asimov's favorite jokes along with instructions on how to deliver them. While Asimov is well-known as a prolific author, he was also a very funny man, possessing a sense of comedic timing that helped him earn hefty fees as a speaker.
While the jokes are good, it is clear that many of them would have to be delivered in the right manner to be funny. As you read Asimov's commentary, it is not difficult to imagine someone telling the story to maximum effect. Therefore, the book could also be used as a source for material as well as a primer on how to deliver an ice-breaking joke at the start of a public speech.
Isaac Asimov was a very talented man, capable of writing well about anything. His sense of humor was highly developed, something that is obvious from this book. I enjoyed it immensely and have occasionally used some of the jokes in my classes ... Read more

17. The Earth (Isaac Asimovs 21st Century Library of the Universe, the Solar System)
by Isaac Asimov, Richard Hantula
Paperback: 32 Pages (2004-03)
list price: US$15.98 -- used & new: US$7.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591021774
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An up-to-the-minute examination of the miraculous place we call home.Topics include Earth's origins, evolution, composition, waters, atmosphere, and magnetic field.Young readers will also learn about earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, global warming, the ozone layer, and the necessity of treating our fragile planet with care. ... Read more

18. Understanding Physics, 3 Volumes in One: Motion, Sound & Heat; Light, Magnetism & Electricity; The Electron, Proton & Neutron (v. 1-3)
by Isaac Asimov
Hardcover: 768 Pages (1988-06)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$27.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0880292512
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Dr Isaac Asimov, famed science fiction writer and science popularizer, presents an introduction to the complexities of modern physics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly undated
This book was written in the 1960s but is surprisingly up to date.As I was remarking to my nephew, we still don't know where all the anti-matter is.

I'm giving less than five stars because this edition had several pages out of sequence, which makes for an unnecessarily confusing reading experience, to say the least.Sad that what is arguably Asimov's non-fiction science magnum opus should be preserved in this fashion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Everyman's Guide to Physics
Isaac Asimov was a great science fiction writer.But what he was even better at was non-fiction, and his superlative ability to explore science for the non-scientist is on grand display here.Nothing in this book is over the head of the average reader, but what this book does is provide a strong, fundamental understanding of physics as well as entertaining context for the great discoveries of the modern era.

There are not many physics books I can recommend for sheer entertainment and reading pleasure.This is one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Best Physics Books Written!
I used this through high school and college a few years back.Even research physicists consider this book one of the best straight forward discussions of the subject.Written by the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov....."I Robot" and other books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Education in plain language
Everyone knows Asimov was "the man" of Physics and other hard sciences but what makes him stand out to me is that he can communicate in plain english.Lots of people can understand quantum mechanics, very few can explain them in language every man can understand.

This book does just that.I used it as a supplement to all Physics text books in college, when I was unable to catch on to what the book was trying to explain.Asimov has yet to let me down, and though Physics class is long gone, I still refer to and enjoy reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A dilettante's delight!
These three volumes in one are an easy-reading, chatty introduction to the world of physics. Asimov's inclusion of the historical background along with the development of specific concepts contributes to its readability. Asimov also keeps scientific jargon and mathematical equations to a minimum. I can't speculate on the value of "Understanding Physics" to the serious student of physics, but for a dabbler who wants to know more about how things work, or to have a handy reference, it is ideal. ... Read more

19. Nightfall and Other Stories
by Isaac Asimov
 Paperback: Pages (1969)

Asin: B000NV8OU4
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20. The Mammoth Book of Golden Age SF: Ten Classic Stories from the Birth of Modern Science Fiction Writing
Paperback: 512 Pages (2007-01-24)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$3.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786719052
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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The Golden Age of Science Fiction, from the early 1940s through the 1950s, saw an explosion of talent in SF writing, including authors such as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. Their writing helped science fiction gain wide public attention, and left a lasting impression upon society. The same writers formed the mold for the next three decades of science fiction, and much of their writing remains as fresh today as it was then.
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars SHOULD BE TITLED: "HERE'S MY WORST"
I am a golden age sci fi fan but I must warn you away from this misbegotten tome. I tried, I really did, but there was not one story here worth my time. It's like the authors were asked to pick their worst stories.

Killdozer is the worst with its dated slang and 40's mentality and, oh yeah, the alien is a rock. That's right, a rock.

Nerves is a story about doctors and radiation sickness before they knew what it was, what caused it or what cured it. Wordy, drawn-out and no action or characters worth reading about.

Giant killer is about rats in a spaceship. Yup, rats deformed by radiation. If you like deformed rats you'll find it a moving read.

"With Folded Hands" is the pick of the litter. That's why they saved it til last I guess.

Most are extremely dated. The A bomb was a big thing at the time and it was considered sexy to write anything, no matter how bad, about it at the time is my guess. Ignorance and lack of imagination was no impediment to publication it seems.

There are some excellent collections out there from the golden age. Just look up any book by the New England Science Fiction Association. amazon's got dozens.

But this collection deserves the darkest obscurity. ... Read more

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