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Foundation and Dune


Edric O
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In the far future, humans have spread out across space. Their ancestral home, Earth, is long forgotten, and all human worlds are united under one great Empire. There are no aliens. But the Empire crumbles, and humanity is in grave danger. One man can see the future, and he creates a new order, led by his vision, which follows a path that will lead to humanity's salvation. Some time after this man's death, the path appears to be endangered by an unforseen enemy, but eventually this danger is (apparently) averted. The story ends in uncertainty, with humanity's eventual fate unknown.

Sounds familiar? This is the plotline of the Foundation series of novels by Isaac Asimov. It is also the plotline of the Dune series. There are important differences too, of course, but the similarities are striking. The Galactic Empire and the Imperium, psychohistory and prescience, the Seldon Plan and the Golden Path, the Mule and the Honoured Matres... Interestingly, the first Foundation trilogy was written over a decade before Dune, so if there is a relationship, Herbert took his inspiration from Asimov. Also very interestingly, the similarities don't really start to show in the Dune series until God Emperor. Perhaps Herbert took ideas from Asimov for his last three novels?

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I think definitively. Asimov is another genius at the same level as Frank Herbert. It could not be different, 'cause Asimov's bases for his books are based on history, and so are FH's bases.

In a sense we can say that Asimov depicts the exterior (political events, actions and so on), while Frank Herbert depicts the interior (all sorts of psychological and emotional paths).

They are absolutely complementar each others.

I'm glad that i'm not the only who saw the incredible similarities between the two ;)

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Was it written somewhere that Herbert's work was a reaction to Asimov's? Something like Asimov's view of progress, versus Herbert where humans are humans. I don't know what truth there is in this (I didn't read Azimov except an intro, so don't ask me).

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@Dawiduh

If you want to read Asimov's books, you have to be patient (pheraps even more patient than the FH's ones).

The books are slow, above all environmental, puzzlistic and very narrative, so you have to immerse yourself in it.

The most important thing is that if you want to understand Asimov's genious you have to read ALL of his books (and there are many), 'cause they are ALL interconnected each others, even if they seem so distant for the subject. I was blown out when i discovered this total interconnection.

So i suggest to read first the "Robot cycle" (there are 2 or 3 books), then the "Foundation Cycle" (including "Prelude to Fundation" and "Fundation Zero" these two for last), then all the rest.

I say only that in a total different book Asimov explains why in the Universe there are only humans ;)

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[rant]

Just think about Earth right now. If a story takes place in Mexico or the Carribean or anywhere in South America, Africa, or Australia or in most of Asia, not to mention Antarctica--you might get the idea that humans don't have any "high technology".

Wait, what?!

I think this is an absurd statement, take Antartica as an example. The tech that researchers take there is definatly "high tech", and resiliant. And I contest that Australia is "non-high tech".

[/rant]

It was an interesting read, crysknife.

I should really go and find a copy of Asimov's work. Sounds interesting.

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All of Asimov's novels fit in the same universe, yes, and they are interconnected, but that connection is not evident until you read Foundation and Earth.

I would suggest starting with the Foundation novels and reading them in the order they were written:

Foundation

Foundation and Empire

Second Foundation

Foundation's Edge

Foundation and Earth

Asimov's two prequels (Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation) give away too many things that you're not supposed to know when reading his earlier books. You should read them last (unless you like spoilers).

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Asimov's two prequels (Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation) give away too many things that you're not supposed to know when reading his earlier books. You should read them last (unless you like spoilers).

I agree with that but i strongly suggest, that before reading the "Foundation cycle", you read all the "Robot Cycle". You will be flashed when you'll read Foundation cycle later ;)

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I've been having this idea that maybe it is possible to write similar works without knowing other works exists. I mean, could it be possible that Herbert by coincidence wrote a similar saga as Asimov? I mean, consider all the thousands books that are out there, how can an author know that his works hasn't been "done already"?

Okay, maybe Dune wasn't, but still...

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R Daneel lived for... Thousands and Thousands of years (From Caves of Steel to the last book I think)

Idaho.. From Dune 1 (Well House Atreides if you wana count it, but I don't) To Chapterhouse and Beyond..

Both have huge stores of memories..

Hmm..

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R Daneel lived for... Thousands and Thousands of years (From Caves of Steel to the last book I think)

Idaho.. From Dune 1 (Well House Atreides if you wana count it, but I don't) To Chapterhouse and Beyond..

Both have huge stores of memories..

Don't forget Heinlein's Lazarus Long. He lived quite a long time, appezared in several books and stories, and if I remember correctly, may have even gone back in time and fathered himself....

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  • 3 weeks later...

In the Authors note at the beginning of " Prelude to Foundation" Asimov write's, "The books were not written in (perhaps)the order they should be read." Listed chronologically in terms of future history and not publication date:

"The Complete Robot"

"The Caves Of Steel"

"The Naked Sun"

"The Robots of Dawn"

"Robots and Empire"

"The Currents of Space"

"The Stars , Like Dust"

"Pebble In The Sky"

"Prelude to Foundation"

"Foundation"

"Foundation and Empire"

"Second Foundation"

"Foundations Edge"

"Foundation and Earth"

He did not include "Forward the Foundation" in the list as it had not been published yet. I would place it after "Prelude to Foundation".

I read the books in the following order:

1,2,and 3. Foundation Trilogy

4. "Foundation's Edge"

5. "Foundation and Earth"

6. "Prelude to Foundation"

7. "Forward the Foundation"

Either way they are all great books. After Asimov's death other author's have gone on to write more Foundation novels. Has anyone read any of the new one's?

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