Isaac Asimov's Foundation series - which books, what order?

NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
When I was in the 7th grade, I read Asimov's Second Foundation. I loved it, but found it confusing because I had never read the previous book(s). I would like to read the Foundation series. So, with that said:

Are there any books I should avoid? IIRC, some of the later books are side stories and/or aren't entirely written by Asimov himself.
Can anyone point me to the correct order to read them in, in terms of plot chronology?


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  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    As far as the plot goes, the order is like this: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and Foundation and Earth. These are all of the titles written by Asimov himself and I'd stick to them, I've heard the ones written by other authors aren't that good.

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  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    Book Chronological order would be: prelude, forward, foundation, foundation and empire, second foundation, foundations edge, foundation and earth.

    preulde,forward, and foundation follow Harry Seldon and his creation of the foundation.
    empire and second foundation follow how the foundation survives and grows and jumps forwards a lot of generations.
    and then edge and earth follow one of the foundation members and his search for who is really in control of everything.

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  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    Edge and Earth get really weird. But the core three, Foundation/Empire/Second, are unrivaled in science fiction.

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    Agreed, Captain Marcus. Personally, I'd suggest just reading them in the order they were written. I've read the whole series a couple of times over the years, and I can't think of any reason to read them in another order.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Awesome :) Thanks, guys!

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation. The original short story collections, basically. The ones written later by Asimov or ghost written by others are execrable.

    V1mGreat Scott
  • Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    The original trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) are the heart of it and the best. I personally liked Prelude and Forward, but I can't honestly say they were great.... they are good for extra information / what Asimov was thinking.

    The non-Asimov books ranged between OK and bad. I haven't read Foundation and Earth so I can't comment, but I've heard it's different in feel from the other books.

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  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    IMO the only good books are Foundation and the first part of Foundation and Empire. Second Foundation was OK.

    I used to be really into these books but Foundation is the only one I still come back to.

  • jurassicbondjurassicbond Registered User regular
    The original trilogy are the best ones. Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. The prequels and sequels aren't that great even those written by Asimov. If you want more Asimov after reading the original trilogy, I highly recommend the Robot/Elijah Bailey books. I, Robot; Caves of Steel; The Naked Sun; The Robots of Dawn; and Robots and Empire.

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