Read Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov Online


Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets...?...

Title : Foundation and Empire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553803723
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Foundation and Empire Reviews

  • blakeR
    2019-04-12 12:03

    Less episodic than the first (Foundation), which was a plus. But it makes all the more apparent Asimov's complete inability to create memorable or sympathetic characters. This means that each of the two halves read like over-long short stories. Part I is a suspense-thriller, solved by a ridiculous and anti-climactic deus ex machina, while Part II telegraphs its twist-ending so far in advance that the last few chapters are simply redundant. There's no arguing the brilliance of Asimov's ideas -- on science, politics, economics, war, etc. -- all of which come into play in these stories. But his writing itself borders on horrendous. Dialogue is unrealistic and the lovers' language in Part II was particularly stilted and corny, although this could have just been a product of being written in the 50s. Transitions are nonexistent, making some of the scene-jumps confusing at best. A simple empty line would have helped a lot to show the change of scenery (perhaps a problem only of the old edition that I read). Last, the aforementioned characters are poorly developed. It's one thing for Asimov to utilize his normal style of enigma/suspense followed by solution/resolution. This style works well for short stories even if they get monotonous after a while. But when stretched over 100 pages and combined with characters you don't care about, it makes for not much more than a mildly challenging brain teaser: interesting to be sure, but ultimately rather unfulfilling.All this would normally combine for two-star status, but I grant it a third in deference to Asimov's genius and the sheer scope of the enterprise he created with this series. He was clearly an idea man, worrying much less or not at all about the literary aspect of his works. I can respect that, even if it doesn't make for a very satisfying novel.Cross-posted at Not Bad Movie and Book [email protected]

  • Lyn
    2019-04-18 08:57

    Isaac Asimov was 31 when he first published the SF classic Foundation in 1951. The next year he came out with the sequel, Foundation and Empire.Unlike many series these days, or even a traditional series or trilogy (which this would be for 30 years) the first part, introducing readers to Hari Seldon and psychohistory and to the beginning of Seldon’s millennia plan, was more of a prequel to the larger scope and more interesting plot brought out in Foundation and Empire.The leaders of the Foundation operate under a foregone conclusion that their society will be a success, that theirs is a destiny proven with mathematical certainty by the great Seldon himself. Periodically in the Foundation history, a simulacrum of Seldon will appear to explain away a crisis in his plan. Up to the point of the story, Seldon had been prophetically correct in his predictions, reassuring his followers of the inevitability of his plan, and of Foundation.But there are shadows and penumbra of uncertainty and the apprehensions are proven true when great Seldon appears and starts talking about an alternate history, one that was not going on. The Foundation was experiencing a crisis different than the one foretold by Seldon.The mule.Psychohistory deals with predicting statistical trends in human progress, a combined science of mathematics, sociology, psychology and cultural study that Seldon and his apostles have used Seldon’s principles to exact a plan for cultural galactic evolution with exacting precision. What Seldon cannot, could not, predict was the actions of an individual. It is the unexpected ascendancy of a mutant with strange abilities that turns the Foundation plan into uncharted territory.Decades before Darth Vader and his Emperor, Asimov’s The Mule describes a conquering villain with complexities and humanistic intricacies that would create an SF/F template that would be mimicked by writers and speculative fiction writers for generations. Over sixty years later and Asimov’s character is still a study in deterministic power.One influence that jumped out to me was Trantor as a model for George Lucas’ Coruscant. The center of galactic power is a planet / city with a single purpose. Asimov’s impact on Herbert’s Dune series is also suggested.A must read for SF fans.

  • mark monday
    2019-04-16 09:09

    from the Earth Journal of Scientific Analyst SLJLK92349UO, Earth Invasion Exploratory UnitHumans will fail and fail again; this much I have learned from my time spent stationed on this muddy ball of earth, the third from its star. Humans will fail and try again, win and then fail, fail and then win, fail and then keep failing. Such is the human kind! Always doing the same things. Humans are much concerned with the concepts of "winning" and "failing", as they are with such things as "civilization" and "barbarism"... their finite grasp of what life should look like means that they will always grapple with the same challenges, again and again. Oh humanity! Find a random dozen humans and study them, my robot brothers and sisters, and you will know the personality templates for all humans - the same personality templates recurring throughout their short history and their doubtlessly short future. I have learned to sympathize with while not actually admiring their predictability.It is an amusing thing to consider, this predictability and these repetitions. Back on Robot Planet, predictability and repetition are hallmarks of robot children, prior to gaining full consciousness. Perhaps humans will never reach our exalted state. Indeed they are like children themselves.Hari Seldon, prophet of the future from the Foundation novels, feels similarly. This comes as no surprise; as my robot brothers and sisters all know, "Isaac Asimov" was the nom de plume of my predecessor, Scientific Analyst SLJLK92349UN. May his name be forever celebrated! "Asimov" positions Seldon as a quirky but still coldly logical voice of reason from the past, carefully charting the future fall and rise again of humanity through psychohistory - that discipline that combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to predict the future behavior of large groups of people. In the preceding novel, Seldon's theories were proven to be factual, again and again. The repetition made the book an imperfect experience, but still one that this Scientific Analyst quite enjoyed. Despite the frequent human error of considering the Foundation novels to be "hard science fiction", the first and second novels are anything but hard, and revel in the so-called soft sciences instead. They have a warm and witty human touch (or at least a careful simulation) that makes these stories pleasant and charming to read, despite the repetitive nature of the first book and the first half of the second book.In short, the first half of Foundation and Empire - the novella "The General" - replicates the themes and narrative arcs of the prior book's stories. Foundation is led by humans who misunderstand their purpose; elsewhere, forces rise to challenge Foundation; in the end, psychohistory accurately predicts the inevitable failure of those forces. Fresh new voices wrest control of the Foundation from their corrupt superiors, and all's well that ends well. It was an enjoyable adventure despite bringing nothing new to the storyline.However, the second half of the book is a thrilling leap forward. "The Mule" is the strongest novella this Scientific Analyst has read by this author. Its strengths lie in its critique of all that was established beforehand: Seldon's predictions, the idea of Foundation being humanity's last hope, the concept of psychohistory itself... all come under severe review. Psychohistory complacently imagines it can predict every large movement of the human kind; "The Mule" posits that such predictions are limited by the basic fact that they are entirely concerned with thehuman kind. What if a factor external to the basic homo sapien model was introduced? One that may have very human yearnings yet also has abilities that no one can predict. Such a factor could lead humanity places that neither Hari Seldon nor - dare I say - the Great Minds of Robot Planet could ever predict. And such is the story and character of The Mule. A fast-paced space opera that dashes through various exotic locales, with characters transforming from friend to enemy and back to friend, entirely unpredictable; The Mule himself an insidious threat to humanity, but one who eventually shows his all-too-human and fallible motivations and goals. The Mule upends psychohistory, almost. Perhaps the fabled Second Foundation will prove a more worthy foe!Brothers and sisters, we should evaluate "The Mule" as a coded message from its author to our masters on Robot Planet. Although the time of our invasion draws near, this Scientific Analyst suggests that we should consider external factors - ones that exist outside of basic human predictability - that may prove to be a challenge to our upcoming enterprise. Perhaps there are other, less obstreperous planets where we could harvest our necessary fuel sources and capture our meat-based servants...

  • Manny
    2019-03-31 03:57

    Isaac Asimov based Foundation and Empire on Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; if you're in any doubt, consider the following lines from his well-known poem "The Foundation of SF Success":So success is not a mystery, just brush up on your history, and borrow day by day.Take an Empire that was Roman and you'll find it is at home in all the starry Milky Way.With a drive that's hyperspatial, through the parsecs you will race, you'll find that plotting is a breeze,With a tiny bit of cribbin' from the works of Edward Gibbon and that Greek, Thucydides.I hope you're convinced. But it does raise an interesting question: if the Trantorian Empire is the Roman Empire, what is the real-world counterpart of the Foundation? Who kept the flame of classical civilization alive through the Dark Ages, so that it could burst forth again during the Renaissance? I'm curious to see what other answers people might have, but it seems to me that the most obvious candidate is the Arabs, which presumably implies that Hari Seldon corresponds to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). But what was the Seldon Plan? A united Islamic Europe? And who is the Mule? I must admit that I still haven't completely figured this out.

  • Simona Bartolotta
    2019-03-30 09:12

    I read it half in Italian (my physical copy) and half in English (my digital copy) and I've come to the conclusion that the Italian translation sucks. Hard."It was strange that the Glory of the Galaxy should be a rotting corpse."I have gone over and over what to say in this review, but I realized that at the end of the day I had already said everything in my review of Foundation, the first installment in the series. The two books are of course different (for one thing, I found this one less episodic, which neither particularly pleased or displeased me), but what I think of this series didn't change. It has its strengths and its weaknesses, and I am ejoying it in that peculiar and unique way Asimov and only Asimov is able to make me enjoy a book. (The exam went great by the way. Thank you all for your support. I'm sure Asimov helped too.)

  • Sanjay Gautam
    2019-04-08 10:00

    Differs considerably from its prequel while maintaining the same thrill throughout.

  • Bradley
    2019-04-05 10:25

    Split into two stories instead of many like the first book, this one feels a lot more streamlined and the Foundation has met two of its greatest foes. One of which was expected, and one that wasn't.The path back to stable galactic civilization is a tortuous one. The foundation always knew that it would one day have to face against the Empire, and it did, and that story was very interesting.But the Mule? Well, he's just fascinating. And iconic. And perhaps a bit overdone ever since then, because, let's face it, we love mutants with mighty mental powers, don't we? Grasp the date. 1951. This isn't a comic book, either. Yes, sure, there's the Lensman and others, but what we've got here is the grand social tide set against the powers of a single individual. The very thing that Hari Seldon's math couldn't account for. And now, ashes.What an awesome reversal! One that's both chilling and affirming at the same time, playing to our prejudices that we as individuals matter, while also showing the grand destruction that comes with it.I'm revising the novel upwards. It was great fun and still a part of the grand trilogy. I don't know why I thought it was anything less than fantastic. :)

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-04-08 11:21

    527. Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2), Isaac Asimovامپراطوری کهشکشانها کتاب دوم- ایزاک آسیموف - شقایق؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانشماه مارس سال 1990 میلادیعنوان: جنگ امپراطوری کهکشانها کتاب دوم - از سری بنیاد؛ نوشته: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: حسن اصغری؛ تهران، شقایق، 1371؛ در 396 صمجموعهٔ بنیاد نام مجموعه‌ای هفت جلدی از آیزاک آسیموف است؛ که مشهورترین مجموعهٔ علمی-تخیلی خوانده شده‌ است. داستان این مجموعه به ترتیب زمان انتشار پیش نمی‌رود، بلکه آسیموف نخست جلدهای سوم (بنیاد)، چهارم (بنیاد و امپراطوری) و پنجم (بنیاد دوم) را نوشتند و سپس با وقفه‌ ای طولانی مدت و بر اثر اصرار خوانندگان، جلدهای ششم (لبه بنیاد) و هفتم (بنیاد و زمین) را به آنها افزودند. پس از آن با وقفه‌ ای نسبتا طولانی جلد اول مجموعه (سرآغاز بنیاد) و در نهایت نیز اندکی پیش از درگذشتش از این سرای، جلد دوم (پیشبرد بنیاد) را نوشتند. آسیموف داستان‌های بلند و کوتاه بسیاری نگاشته‌ است و می‌توان به جرأت گفت، مهم‌ترین آثار او کتاب‌ها و داستان‌هایی هستند، که به نام مجموعهٔ بنیاد شناخته می‌شوند. کتاب‌های اصلی مجموعهٔ بنیاد هفت جلد هستند، که به ترتیب خط داستانی عبارتند از: 1. سرآغاز بنیاد کهکشانی؛ 2. پیشبرد بنیاد کهکشانی؛ 3. بنیاد (ظهور امپراطوری کهکشان‌ها در ترجمهٔ فارسی)؛ 4. بنیاد و امپراطوری (جنگ امپراطوری کهکشان‌ها در ترجمهٔ فارسی)؛ 5. بنیاد دوم (سقوط امپراطوری کهکشان‌ها در ترجمهٔ فارسی)؛ 6. لبه بنیاد؛ 7. بنیاد و زمین؛ ا. شربیانی

  • Markus
    2019-03-25 05:10

    Foundation and Empire is sadly not as interesting as the first book in the series. It was hard to get through at times, mostly because of a total lack of suspense, depth and real characters (which is usually also the case in the first book, but that one easily gets extra points because of the brilliance of the ideas).Still, there are many plainly visible influences to be found, and it's good enough that I definitely want to read more of these books.

  • Nandakishore Varma
    2019-04-07 05:11

    The saga continues, with the Foundation coming up against the unexpected. We are sharply reminded that psychohistory is a probabilistic science and can fail against the unpredictable.Edit to add:I was thinking of the mutant, Mule, who upset the carefully planned Foundation applecart.Yes, there's very little one can do against unexpected mutants! ;)9/11/2016Another one of my reviews which has proved prophetic today. I am getting so good at this so as to frighten myself.

  • Denisse
    2019-04-17 10:06

    Foundation and Empire is an excellent continuation. For those who wanted more reliable characters, you will find them here. For those who enjoyed the hard psychology behind the first book, you will find that here too but briefly. I still like Foundation more, but this second installment goes into a more classical sci-fi direction without losing its philosophical serious plot. Still a very intelligent book, with an incredible pace and perfect exposition. An essential read if you liked the first book, which you should read if you’re into hard science fiction. Esta secuela no espera a nadie. Si tienes la trilogía entera en un mismo tomo, como yo, no pierdas tiempo y lee la continuación ya a menos que no te gustara Fundación porque no tiene mucho warm up. Si, tiene un prólogo que te ayudaría a recordar cosas, pero es esencial que tengas fresco todo lo que paso en el primer libro ya que te ayudara a entender la primera parte de la secuela. La primera parte, sigue prácticamente las mismas pautas que el libro anterior, solo que el “enemigo” ahora es el mismo Imperio, por lo tanto el problema es, digamos, más grande. La resolución, los personajes, todo te recuerda a Fundación, lo cual no es algo malo, ya que en esa primera parte nos exponen el problema más común dentro de una “lucha por poder” que no puedes dejar de lado, y se expone de maravilla.Lo más importante es que te ayuda a entender la Fundación no como comunidad si no como razón de ser. Lo fundamental de su existencia y lo inevitable de su progreso. Y esto es muy necesario ya que la segunda parte hace mucho énfasis en lo único que no tiene en cuenta el PLAN SELDON, o sea, la individualidad. Y de eso trata más el libro. Como un plan que toma en cuenta los movimientos de toda una sociedad se ve en peligro por las motivaciones de una sola persona. Ademas es en esta parte donde el libro se separa casi por completo de su forma de contar las cosas y toma un giro sci-fi mas clásico y común, aunque sin perder el toque del autor. Es muy interesante de leer, y aunque sigue sin hacer énfasis en los personajes ya que el autor sigue apostándole a una trama de exposición social, si les da más protagónico a algunos. Además vemos participación femenina, algo que no tuvimos en Fundación. Bayta me agrado mucho, algo excéntrica pero centrada en sus ideales. Pero recalco, esta no es una historia centrada en los personajes y su evolución, es muy importante tener eso en cuenta. Muy recomendado si te gusto el primer libro. Una continuación digna y con una meta especifica. Segura de sí misma y de la historia que plantea, con un ritmo increíblemente rápido para la sustancia tan seria que contiene y muy inteligente. No perderé tiempo, me voy a por el tercer libro ya de ya.

  • Adrian
    2019-04-01 04:22

    2016Well I first read this back in the mid 70s and have re-read it (non Gr) many times since. In my view the trilogy is comparable (if not better than) LOTR which I often say is my favourite all time book. What a quandary.2017As their "series" read, I am reading the Foundation series ( the 7 volume version) with SF Aficionados. I have now re-read the first 2 of the original trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed. Ok so I only read them last year but each time I (re)read them I am truly astonished by the wide ranging scope of Asimov's vision. Wonderful series of books that can be read as a trilogy, as 7 (septology?) or if one wishes to include the Asimov Robot and Empire novels its a lot more (other (Asimov estate authorised) authors have also increased the Foundation series even further).

  • Mahdi Lotfi
    2019-04-10 05:19

    روز دوم ژانویه سالروز تولد ایزاک آسیموف((Isaac Asimov )) نویسنده ی برجسته در عرصه علم عامه فهم و یکی از بهترین و برجسته‌ترین نویسندگان داستان‌های علمی - تخیلی است که در شهر پتروچی شوروی سابق به دنیا آمد. او فرزند یودا و آنا آسیموف بود که در سال 1923 به ایالات متحده آمریکا مهاجرت کردند و آسیموف در سال 1928 تبعه آمریکا شد.آسیموف از ابتدا نبوغ خود را در آموختن نشان داد و چند کلاس را یک مرتبه بالا رفت که موفق به دریافت دیپلم در 15 سالگی شد. با داستان علمی - تخیلی از طریق مجلاتی که در مغازه پدرش بود آشنا و خود در 19 سالگی نخستین داستانش را با نام " گشتی در حوالی سیارک وستا " نوشت که در مجله داستانهای حیرت‌آور چاپ شد.ایزاک آسیموف نویسنده‌ روسی‌الاصل دارای مدرک دکترای بیو شیمی و استاد دانشگاه کلمبیا بود. او نویسنده‌ای بسیار موفق و پرکار بود و عمده‌ی شهرتش به خاطر کتاب‌های علمی- تخیلی و سری کتاب‌های علم به زبان ساده اوست. آسیموف در طول زندگی‌اش بیش از 500 کتاب نوشته یا تالیف کرده ‌است لذا در این نوشتار سعی شده بیشتر به آثار مهم و آثاری که بواسطه آنها جوایزی را برای او در برداشته و یا داستانهایی که به صورت مجموعه هایی پیوسته تالیف کرده ، پرداخته شود.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-31 04:05

    I am baffled as to why I liked this book and the previous one in the series, at least I am baffled as to how to explain it. This is about as conceptual as it gets. There is no protagonist, or maybe the protagonist is the human race, which might sound kind of original and exciting, but it really isn't. The characters themselves don't really get that much characterization, they are pawns in a game with no players and they're only "on stage" for a brief episode and then the epic sweep of time swats them into oblivion. But, the idea of "psychohistory" being able to predict the future of huge numbers of people even though psychology fails to predict any single person's fate is catchy, and the book is full of that kind of conceptual messing around. This is number two in the series and nothing new to be added that I didn't say about number one previously.So, I can't think of a single person I know to whom I would confidently say "oh yeah, you're going to looove this series" but yet it is supposedly a sci-fi classic and looooved by a whole bunch of people. I just don't know any of them, except the person who recommended it to me, and she already read it, so.

  • Apatt
    2019-04-20 11:09

    Continuing from my review of Foundation (book 1) just a few days ago, this is my take on volume 2 of the iconic original trilogy. The title Foundation and Empire is something of a misnomer as the Galactic Empire has already faded in this book and its function is more like a prop than a player. When I first looked at the titles of the books in this trilogy in my teens I was also a little confused that Second Foundation is actually the third book! Still, at least I didn't make the mistake of reading Second Foundation before Foundation and Empire; that would have sucked.Unlike Foundation (#1) Foundation and Empire is not a fix-up novel of several connected stories but it does consist of two novellas, “The General” and “The Mule ”. “The General” (Part 1 of the book) is indeed about “Foundation and Empire” where the Foundation comes under attack by the last remnant of the Galactic Empire led by the formidable General Bel Riose. The rather lame hero of the Foundation on this occasion is one Lathan Devers who does not actually outwit the Empire here but won because according to Hari Seldon’s arcane psychohistory algorithm it is statistically impossible for the Foundation to lose, almost like a preordainment.It's interesting that I remember nothing about this shorter Part 1 of Foundation and Empire from my previous read decades ago. “The General” is a likable novella but it lacks compelling characters and, unlike previous Foundation stories, does not feature cunning heroics. It passes the time pleasantly enough but is basically just a warm up for the monumental Part 2 “The Mule”.“The Mule” is kind of like The Foundation meets X-Men, well, may be not as we are only talking about one villainous insidious mutant with mental powers. I remember very well what happen in this part of the book in spite of having read it decades ago. I do have memory like a sieve so kudos to prof Asimov for writing something so unforgettable. “The Mule” is a fantastic villain, insidious and devious yet oddly sympathetic and pitiful. Anybody who says Asimov writes flat characters should have The Mule change his mind for him.The less I say about this part of the book the netter I think. As this is a reread of a story I remember quite well the element of surprise is not there for me at the book’s denouement. In any case even for new readers Asimov did hint fairly strongly about the Mule’s identity in previous chapters. I envy you if you have not read Foundation and Empire before or if you have read but possess an even worse memory than mine (well, may be the latter not so much).Going straight on to Second Foundation without a bathroom break.

  • Trish
    2019-03-29 08:13

    This second book in the Foundation trilogy was quite different from the first.One notable difference is that instead of many, there are only 2 parts:- The General- The MuleMoreover, each chapter has its own title now instead of just a number.That is only the difference in form however and therefore only a first indication. The author also changed his writing style in this. Where we had shorter stories forming a mosaic in the first, we now have a much more elaborate description of everything. The writing style is again very good, simple and yet intelligent. Nevertheless, I did not like this form as much as the shorter stories. To me, Asimov is most poignant and sharp in shorter stories put together to form one massive tale. Here, some wasn't even important to get a feeling for the era, the galaxy and development of events; we had quite a lot of what I consider "background noise".As a comment before we begin, please consider that I do not put much into spoiler brackets because the book itself often reveals things beforehand through entries of the Encyclopedia Galactica that are being cited before a chapter or simply by the title of the 3rd and last book!The first part, The General, tells the tale of a very important man in the history of the Foundation. Not quite sure WHY he of all people was all THAT important. Perhaps just because he dared having a military conflict with the Foundation. Or because it was the first real outbreak of a war-like situation and, of course, a stark contrast to what The Mule did. Or because of his relationship with the Emperor. Or because it was the last effort made by the crumbling Empire.You see, Riose (the general in question) was a member of the remnant of the Empire. It's significantly smaller now and only has relicts of technology but it's holding on. Where the military was exploring and conquering before, they are now as stagnant as the rest and it drives this general up the walls. Which I understand. The tragedy about him is that he is not a bad person per se and not stupid per se either. His motives were just bad in this case (conflict for conflict's sake) and the way he did it was doomed from the start.Moreover, as mentioned before, apart from the conflict with the Foundation we also get to see the conflict between the Emperor and the General and what mistrust and arrogant inaction will do to you. This tale was definitely a nod to Belisarius (a famous Roman general).The second and much more important part tells of an individual stirring things up about 100 years after the events in The General. The individual is never named. He calls himself The Mule and there are all kinds of stories about him. Not really a surprise considering that he gained enough influence and power to oppose the in the meantime basically ruling Foundation in only 7 years!In my opinion the Foundation, if it ever has been, has ceased to be a force for good. Seldon's plan was to preserve knowledge and shorten the "dark ages". Noble in and of itself. But the Foundation we are seeing here has grown fat and complacent and is more of a cancer, forcing itself onto others. They are borderline dictators, the Mayor isn't elected anymore, the title is inherited instead (which is never a good idea), and so it is no surprise that the Traders (one of the forces introduced in the previous book) have become somewhat of an independent force that have had enough of the bureaucracy of the Foundation. Basically, the Foundation is what the Empire was, repeats the mistakes the Empire made and ... well. The funny thing is they never even consider the possibility of failure. Some are intelligent enough to at least call this a Seldon Crisis (we had a few during the first book where holographic messages of Seldon recorded in the past either helped or showed in retrospect what the correct course of action was) but most of those just want to wait for the next hologram to appear and tell them what to do. *facepalm*When it actually is time and the hologram does indeed appear, we get(view spoiler)[, naturally, a MINDFUCK! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Seriously, that part was brilliant. I couldn't stop laughing for several minutes and had to stop my audiobook! :D Yes, pure Schadenfreude and I'm not ashamed of it. (hide spoiler)]On the side we have a few individuals caught in the events started by the Foundation and the Mule and I really liked them. Granted, not all five of them are equally good (which is to say I didn't care about each of them equally) but the relationship between Bayta and her husband was very sweet without ever beeing cheesy, the Captain/Colonel was a very tragic figure (*shudders at the thought of having something like this done to myself*) and Magnifico was ... well, magnifico (with or without diactrical mark, depending on whether you see it as the Italian or Spanish word). Four and a half are trying to stop the Mule by finding the Second Foundation that was supposedly established simultaneously to the one on Terminus but on the other end of the galaxy. It's a bit of a chase, really, since the Mule is interested in knowing their location too, of course. Any further info would spoiler the story too much but I can say that most of the characters shown are very intelligent or play a part in showing just how stupid and doomed rigid systems are. As Darwin said: survival of the fittest (as in: best adapted / willing and able to adapt). It is very clear at this point just how heavily Asimov was influenced by the history of the Roman Empire. I'm not sure I agree with his theory about psychohistory, a science that is basically never wrong, at least not about the big stuff (science is invented and applied by humans and therefore not infallible but psychohistory was introduced/shown as if it was infallible at least unless something god-like shatters the system) and that individuals are too insignificant to really matter. This is a personal opinion since I refuse to accept not to matter. My personal belief is that through intelligence and dedication an individual can indeed influence history so Asimov is hitting a nerve by saying No. Might be a typical example of the human ego. *lol*Therefore, I'm also a bit disappointed that it took a god-like mutant to be able to shape events like that. Personally, I would have liked to see an ingenious individual without special powers (other than intelligence, persuasion, foresight etc) accomplish the same.Other than that, it is almost tragic to compare this to long lost empires in real life. Look at Rome; look at all the accomplishments. Or look at other ancient societies like Ancient Egypt. It's always the same: they grow, they have wonderful inventions and progress and art, they become powerful, and then something happens that turns it all sour and it's all downhill from there until all that's left are ruins to be dug out by archaeologists thousands of years later. It's tragic and always repeating itself, apparently. To see this pattern repeated by such an advanced culture instead of them learning from the mistakes of their past is dreary and depressing even if it is, ultimately, realistic as hell.I was actually considering giving this only 4 stars for two reasons:- the different writing style that is not 100% to my liking although still superb;- what the author created in order to bring about the fall of the Foundation.However, after finishing the book I was considering all aspects. Brad said I should wait with my final rating until after having read book #3 but I disagree: this is one book and it needs to be able to hold up on its own with no help by the following or previous volume. Of course it's part of a trilogy, but if this installment was bad, it would still deserve the appropriate rating. Same goes for a good but not excellent rating. BUT (there always is one, isn't there?!) ... there are, in retrospect, many reasons not to deduct a star. Like the ingenious way Asimov rewards a smart and attentive reader with giving hints here and there (for example (view spoiler)[the name of the mutant and his role => in German, a clown is often also called an ass/mule or making a fool/clown of oneself (that's the same thing in German) is called making an ass/mule out of oneself so that combined with the Lieutenant saying that he hated to have had to let Bayta, her husband and Magnifico get away on purpose and how hard that was told me right off the bat that Magnifico probably is the Mule and that he has a very good reason for all his actions and inactions. (hide spoiler)]). Or the seemingly effortless world-building with intricate and well thought-out details. Or the amiable writing style itself that might have been sharper in shorter stories but was still exceptional here as well (yes, one and the same point both on the pro and the contra side, I love making lists ;P). Or the historical context in which the novel was written that I often take into consideration too - in this case it was apparently believed in the 1950s that psychic powers were indeed possible so I cannot fault Asimov (or any other author) for being "realistic" although mutants were never mentioned as being possible/part of future humanity so at first it looked like a deus ex machina. Therefore, although I do not consider this second volume as good as the first (pettifoggery, really), it does indeed receive the full rating of 5 stars. Now on to the other end of the galaxy and the conclusion!

  • Matt
    2019-04-01 04:01

    (Cross-posted to my sci-fi blog, Android Dreamer.)Having now read three of Isaac Asimov's and been thoroughly disappointed by two of them, I feel comfortable in saying that in my opinion Asimov is a writer of great ideas and worlds with rather poor actual execution. Foundation and Empire is a terribly boring novel. The series as a whole is high concept, with one of the more memorable characters of the medium in Hari Seldon, but I feel as though the first book is really all that is necessary.Asimov's prose is strong and his dialogue is pretty good, but the biggest problem with this book (and is one of the issues of it's predecessor) is that dialogue is pretty much all there is. This was pretty much the case with I, Robot, as well. There just aren't any action scenes at all, so it is essentially just reading over two hundred pages of people talking about a problem that is coming, or later talking about a problem that just happened. You never really actually get to see anything resolve itself, you just kind of have to take their word for it.The basic premise for the Foundation series is that a brilliant scientist Hari Seldon has developed the art of psychohistory; he can basically predict the future movements of humanity and the ebbs and flow of history within a reasonable margin for error. He sees that the galaxy will regress to barbarism, but by establishing a foundation of scientists and other intellectuals to work on a world encyclopedia and preserve the knowledge of the current empire, the period of barbarism can be reduced dramatically. Of course, he can't live forever, so he predicts as far ahead as he can, and records holograms of himself to be viewed by future generations so that they can partake in his knowledge and thwart whatever evils will come to them.If you're like me, this sounds like a really incredibly awesome concept, and it really is. The problem is that it just doesn't work out to be as exciting as it sounds. In the first novel, I liked the idea, but by midway through this, the second, I decided it actually limits the series entirely. To base the series on the idea of the future being predictable, Asimov essentially created a crutch the leads to there being no actual drama whatsoever. If you know the good guys have everything worked out ahead of time, is there ever really any question how things will turn out in the long run? I don't think so. Of course, there are going to be minor problems to create a little bit of conflict, but it seems pretty clear that the good guys are going to pull it out.The first novel was essentially made quite good by the first story, the only one to actually feature Hari Seldon. It is absolutely brilliant, and it's description of the planet Trantor, covered in one giant city, obviously is hugely influential; without it, there probably would have never been a Coruscant in Star Wars. The rest of the novel had it's lulls, but was still solid. Unfortunately, I don't feel like Foundation and Empire really has anything there to hold interest. The first section is better, as in the previous book, but it's not nearly as good as Foundation. I already own Second Foundation (funnily enough, the third novel in the series), so I will probably read it, but I wouldn't be going any further if that one wasn't already sitting on my shelf.

  • Pamela
    2019-04-11 06:07

    I didn't like the first novel in this series, Foundation, at all. It was fragmentary at best, mind-numbingly boring at worst. I am surprised that people say that these are the novels that turned them on to science fiction--if it were me, I would have run screaming in directly the opposite direction. Please don't take this to mean that I don't like and admire Asimov--I do! I really enjoyed the collection of stories in I, Robot (and yes, okay, I loved the movie too, and a lot of that had to do with the wickedly cool car), and the premise of the Foundation stories is an interesting one. However, the idea of putting short stories together, jumping about wildly in time, and expecting it to be a cohesive whole just didn't work out for me.At least in Foundation and Empire we're dealing with only two main story arcs, covered in two separate stories, but they feel like they don't really belong together. I'm sure down the line it will all look cohesive, but an author can only ask so much of his or her readers. "Hang on--it seems totally disjointed now, but twenty books down the line you'll see my wisdom!" Not really. The first story, dealing with a general who's an idealistic patriot, military genius, and totally deluded, had the potential to be interesting but ended very abruptly. Then, randomly picking up about a hundred years later (I think?!??! I was so confused as to the time periods being discussed--it could have been twenty years later. I don't know), we are introduced to a newly-married couple thrust by the groom's dad into interplanetary sneak work. They, and the Foundation, are facing an enemy called The Mule (hee haw!) who has risen from seemingly nowhere and who has gained an insane amount of power in a ridiculously short period of time. Evidently, enough stuff happened to propel the book to its (frustratingly cliffhanger-y) ending, but I honestly couldn't tell you what happened, or why I should care about the characters acting this out. It's so flat that I cannot find words to describe it.Another weakness, which isn't really Asimov's fault, I suppose, is that this super-advanced-in-time version of humans look, talk, dress, and act pretty much exactly the same as humans of Asimov's time. On the GALACTIC CAPITOL world of the freaking GALACTIC EMPIRE, they are printing newspapers. Yup, with paper and ink. If you were the super-imaginative genius Asimov was (or was supposed to be), wouldn't you have figured that in thousands of years, we would have moved past the newspaper? We can travel through hyperspace--but we still read newspapers? I suppose that, in order to say that I've read it, and in order to continue my past record of book-related masochism, I'll have to read the third book. If it's even marginally better than the first two I may weep with joy.

  • Davyne DeSye
    2019-04-01 04:24

    This is a terrific continuation of the story begun in Foundation!In Foundation, we see the fall of the Galactic Empire, and the first two hundred years of the rise of the Foundation – the embryo project that will eventually lead to the Second Galactic Empire… as long as it carefully follows the plan that Hari Seldon, mathematician, as carefully predicted and set up.In Foundation and Empire, we pick up soon after the first book left off. The Foundation has successfully met and overcome each Seldon “crisis” and has constantly expanded its influence outward from its single planet. With further expansion toward the center of the galaxy, it is inevitable that the Foundation will have to face the final lash of the dying Empire. The first half of this book is the tale of that clash, with the Empire’s strongest general bringing war to the periphery in an attempt to crush the Foundation. Will the social/economic/political forces Seldon has predicted lead to the inevitable triumph of the Foundation over a much stronger military force?The second half of this book veers wildly – and in a way both exciting and devastating – with the meteoric rise of a conqueror known only as the Mule. As this part of the story progresses, we learn that the Mule is a mutant – a mental mutant who can control human emotions. Through his ability to force any person to be perfectly loyal to him, he conquers planet after planet… many times “Converting” the previous ruler of one planet to his viceroy on the next planet he conquers. Meanwhile, the Foundation, convinced of the invincibility of Seldon’s plan, sits on its laurels, sure that the future-historical forces will not allow them to lose. Imagine then, the confusion and despair that arises when Seldon’s simulacrum appears in the Time Vault to congratulate the Foundation on taking the next crucial step toward Second Galactic Empire – and is wrong!Enter now, for the first time, the Second Foundation – the secret foundation that Seldon set up “at the opposite end of the galaxy” to safeguard his plan. The Mule has conquered the Foundation (the First Foundation) and Seldon’s plan is in ruins… or is it?While Asimov’s early works do not always include strong female characters (or sometimes any female characters) – he was a man of his time, writing for a 1950s almost exclusively male audience – the second half of this book features Bayta, a woman who is kindhearted, strong and intelligent, and who is the heroine of the Foundation. It is she who singlehandedly slows the Mule’s inexorable advance until the Second Foundation can get involved. The character of Magnifico the clown and his strange “relationship” with the Mule is one of the most unforgettable characters ever written (in my opinion), and his relationship with Bayta one of the most beautiful – and tragic.I highly recommend this book to lovers of classic science fiction. While this is book two in the Foundation series, Asimov includes a “recap” of the first book as a prologue. So, I think this book could be read without reading the first – although I strongly recommend reading the first… only because it is so enjoyable!

  • Ariane Nazemi
    2019-04-01 08:04

    Foundation and Empire is one of the most interesting books in the Foundation series. It begins with the Foundation being at war with the Empire and General Bel Riose, but goes on to become a much more complicated story about the issues with the Seldon Plan and an excellent segway between Foundation and Second Foundation. The story of the Mule is also one of the most unforeseen yet excellent plot twists in the series. The Mule brought about uncertainty in a book where every action has been carefully planned, and the ensuing drama with Toran and Bayta made the book an extremely enjoyable one.I think that this book is a very exciting and interesting installment in the series that promises to keep readers hooked on the Foundation and encourage them to read on into the later books. The amount of detail Asimov put into each crisis and the psychohistorical context of each action is stunning, and makes the book seem all the more real.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to continue the series into the later books, for it will keep you hooked and present you with plot twists that will really surprise you. I liked this book a lot, and Asimov hasn't failed to make my mind explode yet.

  • Stephen
    2019-04-04 07:02

    4.5 stars. Part two of the classic Foundation Trilogy. This is class science fiction at its best and is a really fun series to re-visit every now and then. Highly Recommended!!Voted to the Locus Poll of All Time Great Science Fiction Novels.

  • Buğra Aydoğan
    2019-03-31 05:04

    Vakıf ve İmparatorluk, Vakıf serisinin tavsiye edilen okuma sırasına göre ikinci, Vakıf'ın kronolojik sıralamasına göre dördüncü kitabı. İlk kitaptan farklı olarak zamanda atlamalara pek rastlanmıyor. Dördüncü Seldon krizine odaklanılarak kitapta Katır tanıtılıyor.Vakıf yapısı nedeniyle her kitabı ayrı incelenecek bir seri değil ve Türkiye'de yayınlanma süreci biraz sorunlu. Özellikle çeviriyle ve serinin geleceğiyle ilgili bazı problemler var gibi gözüküyor. Bu nedenle Vakıf üzerinde aynı şeyleri tekrarlamaktansa seriyi takip etmeyi düşünenleri uyarmayı tercih ederim.Çeviri ve düzelti konusunda İthaki yine şaşırtmadı. Yeni baskıların çevirileri eski baskılarla aynı. Vaktinde yedi kitabı da yedi farklı çevirmene teslim ettikleri için eski baskılar pek iç açıcı değildi. Tüm kitapları tekrardan çevirmek maliyetli ve zahmetli olacağı için eski çevirinin kullanılmasını anlıyorum. Fakat yeni baskıda çeviriler düzelti sürecinden geçmemiş. Eski baskıdaki devrik cümleler, eğreti kelimeler aynı şekilde duruyor.İkinci olarak, Asimov kitapları uzun süredir Türkiye'de telif sorunlarıyla boğuşuyor. İthaki problemlerin çözüldüğünü açıklamıştı. Hatta Asimov kitaplarını bilim kurgu klasikleri dizisinden çıkardılar "Asimov Kitaplığı" adında yeni bir seri oluşturdular. Bütün Asimov kitaplarını basacaklarını açıkladılar. Ancak telifle ilgili yine sorunlar baş göstermeye başlamış. Takip edenler fark etmiştir, ön siparişte gösterdikleri kapakla yayımlanan kapak farklı. Ön siparişte Katır'ın gözüktüğü harika bir kapak yayımlamışlardı ancak kapağın sorunlu olduğunu, hak sahibi onay vermediği için kapağın değiştirildiğini açıkladılar. Bu nedenle kitabın çıkışı biraz ertelendi. Yaptıkları diğer açıklamalara bakılırsa telif sorunu kısmen çözülmüş gözüküyor ve bu açıklamalar da bana hiç güven vermiyor.

  • Muddle head
    2019-04-20 05:04

    4/1/13Alright here it is finally. I might end up complaining about a lot of things in this book, but its only because i love Asimov's books a lot and i like them to be nothing short of perfect!Taking off from where it is left in Foundation, this book can be divided in to two parts - Before Mule and After Mule.Before Mule - the story is about the 4th Seldon Crisis - the attack of the Empire on the Foundation and the subsequent rise of the Foundation (aka downfall of Empire) as the most dominant rule in the whole of galaxy. But Luck plays more part in this than a Seldon prophecy from the time-vault - infact no one even remembers the time-vault anymore. Ducem Barr is the prominent character here - suppressing his anger for the Empire and still joining hands with Bel Riose. There are not many twists and turns here and the end of the empire is brought about pretty swiftly.After Mule - The entry of the Mule might easily be the most important event in the Foundation Trilogy. There was never a more intriguing character - infact there isn't much of a character development that Asimov attempts at. Nonetheless, the Mule is an anomaly, a deviation from the Seldon plan and only proves that not even Pyschohistory can predict random acts of nature of very low probability. Bayta and Toran accompanied by the Clown, on the quest for second foundation (at the other end of the galaxy) to defeat Mule (who has already conquered the whole of the Foundation with minimal bloodshed). The climax, as always, is a blast! If you really want to crack the secret of the Mule, re-read the blurb from the encyclopedia galactica on the Mule :)Now, its time for rants - (view spoiler)[I read this book in the chronological order, and hence the entire mind control thing seemed to be overdone (esp. after the Chetter Hummin episode in the Prelude). Infact it even gave me false hopes that i might see Daneel again :( Later i realized, since this book is written years before the Prelude, there is no way Daneel could have found his way here. Nonetheless i liked the Prelude and Forward the Foundation a a lot and i wish Asimov wrote them first and then wrote the Trilogy accommodating Daneel where necessary! (hide spoiler)]I also wish the entire "before mule" episode is moved to Foundation and this one is dedicated wholly to the Mule - it's rise as well as downfall!U may wonder how i could give 4-stars to a book without writing even one positive thing about it - that's a hard-core Asimov fan for u! Am even appalled there is no dedicated Asimov group on GR!Keeping aside my emotions - this particular book shows how a society ( a government) can't be too good to be true and still stand the test of time. It is always believed that the rise of the Foundation and the fall of the empire will solve the galaxy's problems. But its not to be. Even Foundation can lose its focus, its direction thereby exposing a chink in its armor to the most dangerous enemy of the galaxy ever - the Mule. But that brings forth the question - is the Mule really so dangerous? I believe so, because his agenda was always total domination (as a revenge upon humanity for his unhappy childhood) and i believe anything great that comes out of revenge can never sustain itself for long! I can write on and on - wish to talk to more Asimovian fans out there.3/1/13Review coming shortly, in love with the Foundation series now!

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-04-13 08:10

    Foundation and Empire has quite a bit of immediacy, and if the prose isn't sparkling, it is always sufficient for the story Asimov's trying to tell. I'd never run out and quote a line, rapturously. But I'd almost always be willing to sit down and spend some time with him. And so it is with this one. Which I had read before, but wasn't sure until I sat down, and then, was more than willing to reread.Note: The rest of this review is being withheld due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  • Kübra Yağmur
    2019-03-30 12:01

    Seri hakkındaki genel yorumum burada bulunmaktadır.Psiko-tarih ve Hari Saldon'ın hesaplamaları bu kitapla birlikte bozulduğundan mıdır nedir ben ilkine göre daha bir beğendim. :D

  • Diane
    2019-04-21 09:23

    I didn't like it as well as the first. It all seemed kind of random and you weren't clear what was going on. It picked up at the end, though, so that was good. I will read the 3rd book in the series, but will stop after that. I don't love Asimov's style well enough to continue through two more trilogies.

  • Greg
    2019-04-21 09:06

    It's been a long time since I actually finished a book I hated through and through as much as I hated F&E, but I was determined that if I was going to give this a bad review I had to go ahead and read the entire thing to justify the rating in the face of those who feel one has to read an entire novel to have a valid opinion of its quality. Normally when I know after ten pages that I'm going to genuinely dislike a book I don't read much further.I was hoping this would be better than Foundation. I read other reviews of that novel with die-hard fans defending it tooth-and-nail to those with even a mild dislike, and figured I should give the series another book's worth of time to gain some steam, since it seems what makes this series a classic award-winning science fiction masterpiece is the scope of its ideas. I am guessing that in 1952 the landscape of science fiction was pretty barren if this is the kind of book that really caught fire and propelled the genre onward and helped give Asimov a name and fan base, because it is quite literally painful, so so painful to read. If this was truly a groundbreaking series, then fine, I can understand its popularity for the time and its historical significance. What I don't get is how readers of today (who are over the age of 14) can take it in any way seriously.I am a bit puzzled, however, by some of the negative reviews given to this book, because almost no one mentions how awful the actual writing is, and seem to be more distressed either that it's "too talky" or "not enough action" (come on people, read your dust-jackets, this thing has "non-stop action" and "nail-biting suspense"!). I think we actually may be irritated by the same things, but as I read and tried to formulate an opinion to nail down the issues under the surface of the laughable word choices (and name choices--wow, I don't think I've ever encountered dumber names for characters in a book), it was difficult to do, which was even more irritating. There are tons of things going on, and even though it might not be physically action-packed in the department of actual description of wars and battles, there is plenty to keep your mind busy. Asimov doesn't help, however, with his lack of skill in juggling these ideas and presenting them to the reader in a way that is engaging, instead of in a way that makes the reader continually back track and re-read because of "what the hell is going on here?"There is indeed lots of "talky" going on in F&E. I can deal with dialogue-only books, no sweat. I think I may have narrowed down some of what gave me the willies reading this, and that is the style of Talky going on, plus the style of describing events, in which Asimov succeeds in making action occur in almost entirely meaningless, boring ways. It became a bit of high comedy for me to actually read the book in my head and play out the character actions as Asimov describes them. A classic example: 'With cold-eyed calm, Toran drove a protesting vessel from the vicinity of one star to that of another.' And possibly my favorite bit of dialogue descriptor: '"But nothing impends. Nothing hangs over us." Indbur almost wrung his hands for anxiety. With a sudden spasmodic recrudescence of ferocity, he screamed, "Will you get off my desk and let me put it in order?"' I had my own gleeful giggle over that sentence upon first encounter. Every page is jam-packed with material like that, and it doesn't take long for it to get in the way of the already hard-to-swallow ideas of Seldon's psychohistory and the progress of the ga-LAX-y of millions of planets. I feel so sorry for whoever had to perform the audio-book version of this, but I'm curious to listen to it to see how they handle instructions like "Toran cried in near-agony" and "Mis said, in a hoarse whisper" and "The thick voice was lost in a bubbling whisper" and "with an affectation of confidence" and "said the commissioner emphatically" on and on, etc.Ah well, I wrote a lot for a book that I thought was terrible, and I'm not going to change anyone's mind amongst the fans. I needed to get this out of my system since I forced myself to read the entire thing and perhaps will help dissuade others from making the same error. Read one of Asimov's other 405 books. I read Prelude to Foundation many years ago and I don't remember it being that difficult, but then I had much more time to myself and had a lot of great books yet to read (heck I even choked down Atlas Shrugged not too long after that--couldn't do that today).

  • Steven Peterson
    2019-03-24 06:19

    "Foundation and Empire," the second in a trilogy of classic science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov, is a must read for historians of science fiction. For those who like science fiction itself, this volume is also valuable. Asimov can madden, especially in his early novels, but his imagination is wonderful. His strength is conceptualizing systems (whether empires or cultures) and he often plays with big ideas. I first read the trilogy while in college, and was fascinated. This triggered a long-lasting interest in the fiction of Isaac Asimov (and some of his non-fiction works, as well). Those familiar with this trilogy know that the key character is psychohistorian Hari Seldon, who believes that one can predict the behavior of large masses of people via mathematical equations and, thus, predict how events will develop in the future. This book is a bridge between the novel "Foundation" and the third in the series, "Second Foundation." And, of course, later in his career, Asimov returned to the Foundation well--with more interesting and literary results. This novel focuses on two instances--one, the rise of a youthful and talented military leader who goes after the Foundation. And, just as Hari Seldon's mathematical equations predicted, he failed. The logic for this is classic Asimov, and represents why he was so entertaining to read, even though his characters have little life in these works and even though his writing style is, at best, functional in these works (he improved with time). Then, there is the case of the Mule, where Seldon's equations failed in prediction. And that itself is fascinating, as explained in this novel. Thus, the comparison of the correct prediction and the failed prediction add some real heft to Asimov's tale of the rise of the Foundation as the Empire slowly descends to its end. For those who have never read Asimov, the Foundation trilogy is a good place to get a sense of his talents, of seeing big pictures. His writing style is not great, but the images of this future that he developed are compelling. I still enjoy going back to the Foundation series, the Robot series, and their fusion as Asimov's vision evolved.

  • Daniel Gonçalves
    2019-04-12 12:19

    To fully appreciate this book - or series of novels - it is advisable to shift the focus and adapt to the times in which it was written. The 1950's were booming with eagerness to explore the universe and conquer the worlds. Yet, Asimov talks about the distant future in the "Foundation" saga. By trying to predict a luminous, exciting reality for human kind, he might have gotten slightly out of control, in my view. What astounds me, is the realization that he was having a lot of fun while writing this, evidenced by the fluid, consistent prose bestowed to the reader. In conclusion, Asimov's saga delivers an immense prospect, but it is a product - and somehow a victim - of his time. Whereas the first book of the series surprised, and enticed me with its ideas, in this second book, the novelty factor fades away, leaving me utterly disinterested, and disheartened by the outcome of the events.

  • Bill
    2019-03-24 12:20

    Book 1 of this novel was an effort. The only reason I stuck with it was I had read in other reviews that Book II, The Mule, more than made up for it. Well, 50 pages into The Mule was when it struck me that I really didn't care anymore. So I flew ahead to the last two chapters just to cut to the chase and satisfy my curiousity of The Mule.So, Asimov was a giant of SF huh? I can see how this series is classic; his vision of humanity's political progressions and cycles are certainly impressive, and the storyline is quite interesting.But as a novelist, particularly the ability to bring characters to life and make the reader care about them,he has failed to score any points with me. I doubt I will read him again.