The Foundation series reading progress bar:

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God! I need to speed up my reading habit! That was the only reason why I bought Kindle. Although I did complete this part in last week of July but still I completed the first part of Foundation series in May. Took me 2 months to complete this one (thanks to the busy schedule and mindless gaming on my new rig). Nevertheless, I am back with my Nerd review for Forward the Foundation, the second part in chronological order of Sir Isaac Asimov‘s greatest sci-fi series.

Before I start penning down my thoughts about this book, here is the list of books in chronological order (which is best way to read through the series, though some may argue):

  1. Prelude to Foundation
  2. Forward the Foundation
  3. Foundation
  4. Foundation and Empire
  5. Second Foundation
  6. Foundation’s Edge
  7. Foundation and Earth

So if you read my last review about “Prelude to Foundation, you must know how I was blown away by the minute details and thoughts put in. Granted the book was written in 1988 (inspite the original foundation series being started in 1951), but still being a prequel written after 35 years, it was super-impressive. So naturally I had high-expectations from the successive part too. Well enough, it won’t be justice if I didn’t say it was equally awesome if not better.

Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov First edition original cover

Forward the Foundation – First edition cover

Forward the Foundation was published in 1993 as a bridge between the [tooltip text=”Prelude to Foundation”]prequel[/tooltip] and the existing [tooltip text=”#3,4,5 in list above” placement=”bottom”]original trilogy[/tooltip] for the time. This iteration is written in similar style as rest of the series i.e. it’s basically a novel with collection of several modules with some long time intervals in between. Due to this, one may find himself lost in between but I have a strong feeling of everything being connected throughout the series so I would suggest not to skip any part. It could very well be equivalent of Lydia’s Ricin in Breaking Bad, but your guess is as good as mine!

This book was the last Isaac Asimov ever wrote!

The book picks up around 8 years later on Trantor,after the events of Prelude to Foundation. It implies the progress Seldon has managed to do by developing his theory of psychohistory from hypothetical concept to practical application in Galactic events. We get to see a detailed view into Seldon’s personal life as he falls in love and marry Dors, adopting Raych as their son.

We also get to see Seldon affected by time and nature as he grows old which makes him agitated about the future of the Psychohistory which led him to speed up his study and research to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory to ensure the survival of humanity. The Galactic Empire’s decline accelerates during the second half of the book, as does the decline of Seldon’s physical health. Seldon worries about dying and losing those closest to him. He feels the age starting to have an effect on his body, making him slower and more dependent on others. He fails and makes mistakes. This full characterization of Seldon makes him into someone the reader would like to have as a good friend.

Seldon finally begins to unravel the secrets of psychohistory and he initiates a grand plan that will come to be known as the Seldon Plan, the road map for mankind’s post-Imperial survival.

However, with all that said, it was brilliantly plotted. Other places in the book excelled as well, but overall I was happy to get to the ending. The redemption of this book was the final part where psychohistory really developed. The ending hinted at a very interesting world for the Foundation series to begin in.

I have already started reading the “Foundation” (first book of the original trilogy) and my initial thoughts say that the original series which was written in 1940s has a much different feel about them. It’s hard to say how I feel about it at this point of time, but let’s wait until I finish that one and come back with another “Nerd review”. 😎