Read Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford Online

foundation-s-fear

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. It is the monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of psychohistory. Now, with the permission -- and blessing -- of the Asimov estate, the epic saga continues.Fate -- and a cruel EmpeIsaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. It is the monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of psychohistory. Now, with the permission -- and blessing -- of the Asimov estate, the epic saga continues.Fate -- and a cruel Emperor's arbitrary power -- have thrust Hari Seldon into the First Ministership of the Empire against his will. As the story opens, Hari is about to leave his quiet professorship and take on the all but impossible task of administering 25 million inhabited worlds from the all-steel planet of Trantor. With the help of his beautiful bio-engineered "wife" Dors and his alien companion Yugo, Seldon is still developing the science that will transform history, never dreaming that it will ultimately pit him against future history's most awesome threat....

Title : Foundation's Fear
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061056383
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 608 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Foundation's Fear Reviews

  • Steven
    2018-12-11 08:43

    This first entry into the Foundation (2) Trilogy by other authors is a mess. I would not have finished it except that I wanted to read the additional entries in the series. I had read reader reviews before I started this book, so I was prepared for it to have problems.There are three major strands in the story. One is the attempt by the Emperor to nominate Hari as first minister. Cleon knows of Hari's work on psycohistory. This story winds its way through the 578 pages and is a relatively cogent, and readable story for most people, I think. There is intrigue and violence and plots and counter plots all involved in Hari's attempt to be confirmed in the position.A second story involves simulated intelligences inside of computer systems named Voltaire and Joan of Arc. This begins in a big way around page 100 and continues on and off until the end of the book. I found this storyline uninteresting and distracting from the Foundation premise and story. I did not understand a purpose or point to this storyline. The author explains after another couple of hundred pages why the sims are important to the plot of this book. But by then I had lost all interest in them, and I think they could be removed entirely from the book, with no loss of coherence or plot development.The third major storyline involves Chimpanzees. This storyline about pans as they are called in the book starts around page 327. I was actually looking forward to this storyline since I had read that the author introduced them as a tool for Hari's development of psycohostory. Although we see a connection between the pan episodes and Hari's theory development, here again I found this storyline distracting and merely an interlude away from the main story. Again here is a major section, which I feel could have been completely excised with a resulting improvement to the plot flow.I give this book 3 stars, because of my strong interest in Asimov world and the other two entries in this trilogy. Also, as I mentioned I found one of the storylines interesting and worth my time. But if I did not have an ulterior motive in reading this book I would not have finished it, and it would have earned less stars from me. This is copied from my identical review in LibraryThing.

  • Calvin
    2018-12-06 10:02

    TLDR: don't bother reading this book. It's bad sci-fi, unnecessarily length, full of a poor story and poor science.I didn't like this book. I tried to like it. I rather enjoy the original Asimov trilogy, but I gave up on finishing Foundation's Fear.Reasons I didn't like the book: 1) Foundation's Fear contains a contrived argument between sims (artificial intelligences) who represent Faith and Reason. Joan of Arc represented Faith, and Voltaire represented Reason.2) Hari Seldon and Dors Venabili spend a significant length of time and pages on Panucopia. The recreational activity they take up is taking over chimpanzee bodies and controlling them via a form of digital mind control. The technology and this whole section seemed rather similar to the Avatar movie which came out years after the book and strikes me as being a potential source of inspiration for the movie. (Either that or "There's nothing new under the sun.") This in itself didn't wholly bother me, but they talk for pages and pages about the evolution of chimpanzees and what it may have to do with Hari's psychohistory theories.Meanwhile, they become trapped in the chimpanzee bodies while doing the mind control and an evil man on the planet is trying to kill them.At this point, I stopped reading the book. I'm glad I did. Looking at a summary of the book on Wikipedia reveals that I missed out on the Joan and Voltaire sims interacting with aliens who abandoned the physical world and took root in the Mesh (digital network) of Trantor.

  • Danielle
    2018-11-18 11:56

    So it took me over a month to get through this disaster of a book, and I ended up skimming some of it just to get through it. If you haven't read the original Foundation books, SPOILER ahead.The entire reason this book exists is to show, in detail, Seldon's ascent from academian to First Minister. There was an almost-interesting sidebar about how another species helped him form his theory of psychohistory. All in all, not a book worth reading.The first part of the book starts out good: it's reminiscent of Asimov's original, the characters are believable, and I was just generally excited about reading more about Seldon. (The author was somewhat annoying in that he kept restating things and practically beating me over the head with some ideas. Not as bad as Dan Brown does, but not far off.)That's where my love affair with this book ended and the hatred began. The next section delves deeply into new characters, "sims" (essentially computer-reproduced self-aware personalities) of Voltaire and Joan of Arc. BORING. Author rambles on and on and ON about what it's like to "live" inside the net. Philosophy abounds. It was like being dropped into a completely separate novel that didn't flow at all with the first part of the book. The author did bring the two sets of characters together by the end of the book, but it wasn't interesting and by that point I really just wanted the book to end! It was obvious where it was going and there was no need to have 40 more pages in the book. Someone get this guy a better editor.

  • Paul,
    2018-11-19 08:08

    Benford was given a tough task: trying to flesh out Hari Seldon's conception of psychohistory. Benford's answer is the scientist propaganda of our day: that humanity can be understood more deeply by looking at our simian ancestors. Benford did wrestle somewhat admirably with the idea of the self as a self-organizing, emergent property of the complexity of the brain and with emotions as endemic to all animals. However, Benford is not a very good writer, there were several times when I was simply unclear about who was talking to whom or what was going on. Plus, Benford's "solutions" including the idea of meta-knowledge, to psychohistory were not very insightful. And he didn't even set them up as insightful for Hari, which he could have done.Finally, Benford really doesn't have a feel for the characters. I haven't read the Foundation books in a long time, but I could still feel the difference between Asimov's conception of Daneel and Hari and Benford's. And the random introduction of aliens really doesn't fit the universe. And Benford's subtle nods to later Foundation novels are ham-fisted and overdone.All in all, it was an okay book, mostly because it made me want to read Asimov again.

  • Daniel McGill
    2018-11-30 10:08

    How can you write a tribute to one of the greatest works of science fiction by one of the greatest science fiction authors and start out by throwing his physics out the window and replacing them with your own? Don't bother reading this one.

  • JBradford
    2018-11-20 11:47

    I had not even known about the second Foundation trilogy until last month, when I became an instant fan of the author of the third book in the set — so much so that I purchased that third book after reading complementary comments about it about the Internet, but it occurred to me that it made no sense to read the third book in a trilogy before reading the preceding two, so I sought this one out at the library, despite the fact that I had noticed many of those reviewing comments expressing praise for the third book but seeming to have nothing but disdain for the first two. Now that I have read it and am ready to comment myself, I find myself absolutely befuddled at all the disparaging comments that have been made by other Goodreads readers about this novel. I am in fact more than tempted to rate this book at five stars, except that I keep finding myself giving as reasons for doing so things that have nothing to do with the content — such as that it is a brave new attempt to add onto an extremely popular and well-known work of the past. Something must be said about style, and I will admit that Benford’s style and pace seem a bit heavy at times. Actually, there is so much in this book that I think it needs to be read again in order to be properly evaluated … moreover, I am now convinced that, since this first book of the second Foundation trilogy apparently actually is conceived as a prequell to the first Foundation trilogy, that I must now go seek out that first trilogy (which have believed to be hiding somewhere in one of the bookshelves down in my basement) and reread it, and then read the next two of the second trilogy, and then come back to this one again, and perhaps to all of them.Some of the disparaging reviewers have complained that there is too much dialogue in this book. There is a lot of dialogue, but for the most part I found it very interesting dialogue. There is, for example, a terrific discussion in the second part (Section 13) about the distinctions between the soul, body, and ego — with the discussion made even more interesting by the fact that it takes place between a young scientist (who happens to have a hangover and is not quite willing to admit that he has an attraction to the female scientist who works with him) and a 1000-year-old artificial re-creation of the mind of one of our past philosophers, Voltaire. This is only a prelude to a longer debate that takes place between that same Voltaire and another even older artificial re-creation, Joan of Arc, with both of these re-created intelligences having been brought back from extinction purely for the sake of conducting a debate on the question of whether man-made intelligences have a soul (a question which takes on added significance in view of the fact that we also witnessed incipient love affair between two low-level mechanicals as another side plot). Voltaire, held up as the perfect example of the rational man, comes prepared to argue that the soul does not exist; Joan of Arc, the epitome of religious thought and feeling, is selected as his most worthy opponent … but these two artificial intelligences complicate the whole process by falling in love with each other. So what have these two and their discussion to do with the world as it existed before Hari Sedon created the foundation, you might ask — and the actual answer is … probably nothing much, except that it gives Benford an opportunity to tell us many things about life in the world of the pre-Foundation empire as well as to suggest that some of the thoughts that came out of this debate were crucial to Seldon’s developing concept of psychohistory.Similarly, there is a another extensive side plot in which Seldon and his rather remarkable wife take a “vacation” as a means of getting away from would-be assassins after a few attempts have been made on his life while waiting for the Galactic Council to approve the Emperor’s nomination of Hari as the new First Minister. This vacation includes a visit to the planet of Panucopia, where the local treat is a mental excursion that puts the intelligence of the tourists into the minds of primitive primates, which we can take to be the relatively undeveloped offspring of baboons. These excursions normally extend for just a few hours, but the long hand of the forces behind the assassination attempts reaches out even this far, and Hari and his wife find their mental selves locked into the bodies of two of these pan creatures, with no way to get back to their own bodies, which are locked away in the visitor center. Again, some of the disparagers have questioned what this side plot has to do with the story — and, again, probably very little, although Benford has Hari subsequently attributing his perfection of the psychohistory formula to some of the elements what he learned while living as a pan. In addition, Hari’s attitude toward life and the First Ministership clearly undergo a change because of this experience.To me, these and other subplots do not seem a distraction at all. It is part of the grand, sweeping view of life in the Galactic Empire of 25 million inhabited planets, spread out in a disk like expansion from the forgotten home planet of Earth, now lost in the mists of time and legend. It is an inherent impossibility to summarize all that humanity, but Bedford does so by focusing in on a few key characters with the empire around them merely constituting a backdrop. All authors do this, of course, and in my humble opinion Bedford does it very well. When I pick up a novel that supposedly takes place 10,000 or so years in my future, I expect to find certain things very different, but I also expect to find a reasoned portrayal of how humanity fits into that different life, and this novel does that very well, indeed. The novel entertained me, amused me (which is not at all the same thing), and informed me — what more would we want from a novel?It has been something more than 50 years, I think, since I read the Asimov’s first trilogy, and I have to admit that most of its details are more than fuzzy in my mind, which is another reason why I intend to go seek it out and read it again. I do not recall, for instance, that Hari was married to a robot — in this case, a rabbit who is charged with the particular task of protecting Hari so that he can develop his psychohistory theory. I also do not recall that R. Daneel Olivaw, one of Asimov’s greatest robot creations, was involved in that original trilogy. Whether old or new, however, I find these things portrayed in an interesting manner, and I found the novel increasingly interesting and tenacious as I went through it.

  • Peter Hutkins
    2018-11-29 09:08

    "is not canon" This book is written in a much different tone than that of Asimov's, and that takes a toll on the feel. By taking the Empire and Robot legacies and projecting onto it, I think Benford creates a distraction from the Asimov universe, not a development or refinement. It leaves me with the same slightly-betrayed feeling as if Turner Classic Movies produced a colorized spinoff called "Casablanca: the Paris years". This book contains complicated mishmashes of ideas and philosophical treatises (Spirit, souls, faith. Memes, logic, selves.) married with poorly described technology that seems weak advancement of our own (how many post-cyberpunk novels feature some sort of totally immersive Mesh/Web/Space where you can make things virtualize… just by thinking it! Equations in 3D space-- now they totally make sense! Wowsers!). Plot points happen and then pass (for reasons of "well, that had to be"). Dialogue… happens. Overall, not very engaging.

  • Pablo Fern�ndez
    2018-11-23 07:52

    La saga decae a un punto que no le hubiese deseado jamás ni a mi peor enemigo. Fundación no merecía esto. Y no por Benford, que escribe muy bien, simplemente no es Asimov. Nadie salvo su creador debería tocar una obra. Menos un clásico.

  • Karina
    2018-12-12 09:56

    The original series was so much better. I don't know what I don't like about this one: lack of action? or is it the things that the author introduces into this series: like computers, the Mesh, simulations, the theory of psychohistory... meh. don't know if I should keep on with the next books in this trilogy.

  • Michael
    2018-12-14 08:42

    I've never ready any Greg Benford, so I didn't know what to expect. I found that Greg Benford does not write like Asimov. I also found that that doesn't matter. If you're a fan of Asimov's Foundation series, as I have been since I first read it in high school, you will enjoy this book. It tells the story of how Hari Seldon came to be First Minister of the Empire. There is a lot of interaction between Hari and Dors, which I enjoyed. Bear writes with a playfulness that works well with the story. A good read.

  • Tim Weakley
    2018-12-02 05:01

    I really failed to get into this book. I understand that Benford wasn't trying to duplicate Asimov's style. It's just that as a work in this series it didn't grab me or add into the arc of the story. The entire aspect of the sims of Voltaire and Joan of Arc was not to my taste. The portrayal of Seldon and Daneel did not live up to the other books in the series even with a large gift of creative room for the author on the part of the reader.Maybe the other "extar books" will be better.

  • Chris
    2018-11-21 09:53

    Terrible continuation of the Foundation series. What was the point of this book? I'm still wondering months later. There are so many boring side discussions that have no relevance that I found myself skimming towards the end. The plot never really develops, and although I liked the ending, it left me wondering why Hari didn't just make it happen 400 pages earlier. Thoroughly unenjoyable, even to a big Foundation fan. I hear that the next two (Chaos and Triumph) are good though.

  • Mars
    2018-12-02 09:42

    The Seldon sections are pretty decent, but the entire Joan/Voltaire thing is unreadable drivel - my enjoyment of the book increased significantly around 75% in, after I just started skipping all the pieces about them, and I only wish I did this starting with page 1.

  • Bruce Jones
    2018-12-10 05:05

    Benford leads the trilogy with a smart, philosophic close look at Hari Seldon and the robots that make crucial moves in the Foundation era.

  • Frank
    2018-11-30 10:53

    amazingly true to the brand and to the original author. asimover than asimov.

  • Rhoda
    2018-12-12 04:57

    There were so many good ideas in this book, but I couldn't get interested in the plot until I was nearly 3/4 of the way done...then i stayed up all night to finish it.

  • EvilGeniusKant
    2018-12-05 10:06

    Vale, puedo perdonar el cambio en las físicas y la tecnología en una interpretación amplia de lo que fue la decadencia del imperio galáctico. Me gusta la idea de un Daneel más manipulador y oscuro. Me gusta la idea del fuego en la pradera y la política de Trantor sea quizás lo más interesante del libro.Pero los simulacros no tienen lugar alguno en esto. De pronto sacan toda esa tontería y me van a decir que los unicos que encuentran son los de ¿Juana de Arco y Voltaire? Es que ni siquiera con esta idea tan ridícula se atreven a hacer algo interesante, un simulacro de Calvin o alguien intentando copiar a Seldon, nada. Sólo se usan para que tengan la misma discusión por 3 libros. Lo peor es que en éste ocupan la mitad de la novela.

  • Manudo Mcmanus
    2018-11-22 12:52

    Cuando Benford se mantiene en la línea de Asimov el libro no está mal, pero creo que la caga al pretender introducir temas propios. Un ejemplo de esto sería el conjunto de capítulos de Voltaire y Juana de Arco, los cuales me parecen muy cansinos y me sacan de la lectura, además de que dan la sensación de pertenecer a una línea argumental metida con calzador. Y ojo, que la idea no es mala, pero no me encaja en esta obra.También esperaba que el autor desarrollara nuevas tramas en vez de revisitar y expandir unas ya vistas en títulos anteriores de la saga, pero bueno, el enfoque fue el que fue.Resumiendo, El temor de la Fundación es un libro interesante, pero fallido. Le falta historia y le sobran páginas.

  • Darryl
    2018-11-15 11:50

    Just having Foundation in the title can send chills down my spine in anticipation. Unfortunately, Benford seems constrained when writing in Asimov's universe. His strengths are when he moves away from the Trantor created universe. His weaknesses are trying to work with The Empire. Sometimes I enjoy Benford's hard science -- but in a Foundation novel? It just doesn't work, and isn't comfortable to read. Thank goodness the reviews for the next 2 prequels are much stronger -- its the only thing motivating me to continue this series...

  • Lendo Michel
    2018-12-15 07:56

    Das Buch inspiriert.Und zieht Dich hinein.Es war noch nicht ganz Gehirnbrand:Ideen, die das eigene Gehirn in heillose Aufregung versetzen und die Synpasen zu eigenen Feuerwerken zwingen. Das führt wiederum zu eigener wunder-barer Phantasie.Danke.Ich freue mich auf den nächsten Ritt im nächsten Buch dieser Triologie.Und Gregory Benford hat durchaus den Geist Asimovs übernommen vorsichtig das bekannt möglich einzubauen, so wie es Asimov tat. Nur weil es in seinem Roman noch keine Wurmlöcher gab, heißt ja nicht, dass er sie nicht eingebaut hätte, würde er heute noch leben.

  • John
    2018-11-16 04:42

    This a fun book to read if, like me, it's been long enough to forget the original great Foundation series, and the nostalgia that this inspires allows you to wallow in the Asimov universe. Set your expectations lower as this is not Asimov writing, and the meanderings and Deus Ex are part and parcel of escapism fiction.

  • Mark
    2018-12-12 05:08

    I enjoyed all of Empire and Robot stories that Asimov wrote over many years. When I found Foundations Fear, I had high hopes but did not like it. For years, my memory of how bad this book caused me to not continue the series. I finally decided to give Foundation and Chaos a chance. I'm glad I did. If you've read the Asimov stories, skip this book and start with Foundation and Chaos.

  • D.G. Underwood
    2018-12-10 06:51

    More philosophical than the original.This addition adds a philosophical bent and raises more questions than it answers. Very thought provoking. Recommended reason for those who enjoyed the original series.

  • Karlen
    2018-11-27 10:48

    Meh. I love Asimov, Foundation and have enjoyed other Gregory Benford books but this one did nothing for me. I agree with the other negative reviews and won't repeat their words.

  • Brian Jeffreys
    2018-11-24 04:47

    A poor representation of Azimov's master work. I slogged through the portions with Voltaire and Joan only to find more slogging was required.

  • Ray Hellwig
    2018-12-11 11:58

    I tried but gave up when out of nowhere a SIM named Joan of Arc enters the narrative. Supposedly Earth may only be a myth, but Joan and Voltaire exist. Nothing like the Foundation Trilogy.

  • Rob Markley
    2018-12-06 10:52

    I was reading this to get to Bear and Brin but I had good expectations of Benford too. However all three were only average in the end

  • Joshua Stager
    2018-11-27 12:43

    Between 3 and 4 stars. It contains a neat, and to my ear, very Asimov story that hits the right notes. I was troubled by the pacing, but that always seems to be a problem in SF novels.

  • Jen
    2018-12-01 04:45

    It appears that my forray into the Foundation novels is not at the close I had feared. It continues, just not with Asimov at the helm.And therein lies the problem.My original review of this book was simply going to read, "No. Just no." I decided to give my review readers a bit more.This book takes place in between the time when Hari Seldon marries Dors and creates the Mathist department at Streeling University and when he is installed as First Minister for Emperor Cleon. Notably absent in this tale is our lovely couple's adopted Dahlite son. As inconsistencies go, that is pretty much the most glaring one, except for the fact that everyone and their brother seem to know that Dors is a robot. Only she's not a robot anymore. She's a humaniform which both simultaneously is and is not a robot. Sort of like the question of the decay state of the radioactive particle in Schroedinger's box; or the life state of his cat. However, unlike the boxed cat, this one doesn't really work for me. I need Dors to be what Asimov clearly stated her to be - a robot - unless it serves the plot for her to be something else. And let me tell you, it doesn't serve the plot at all. So that is my first annoyance.My second annoyance comes from the lives of our two SIMs. They puzzle out their existence in a way that reads like very elementary, imprecisely worded philosophy. I have read a large amount of good philosophy in my day due to the fact that it is the career field of one of my parents, and while I am in no way drawn to it, I find that the result is that I do not suffer poorly done existentialism well. And this is poorly done existentialism. I have read better work (though in all fairness, I have also read worse work) in the final exam essays I am sometimes pressed in to helping to grade due to time constraints and the guilt of owing my parent for the fact that I was given life. To be at the average freshman intro philosophy student blue-book final exam essay level is not good enough to be publishing. And you know what, author? The book would have been absolutely wonderful and cogent without the tangents into existentialism. (If you haven't, author, I highly recommend that you hook up with your university's philosophy department and ask for reading recommendations. I have a feeling you will greatly enjoy Descartes and Wittgenstein.)My third annoyance comes from the fact that while I do find philosophy to be written as if by a perpetually distracted person who makes most of their arguments in the footnotes, I didn't like the distractions from SIM philosophy to be simply descriptions of morphs of visual representations in virtual space. It really interrupts things to have a character interrupt their own argument only to describe themselves as scaling up their representational size, or to grow a pair of wings, or to turn into a mountain, only to return to the philosophical diatribe. To what end was the interlude? To put some action into an otherwise monologue? Please don't.My fourth annoyance comes from the fact that while having philosophical monologues, the speakers sometimes do not finish their complete argument or thought. The speaker will trail off and say to his or her digital audience (though usually Voltaire to Joan), "You know where I am going with this, I am sure." And the audience member will respond, "Oh certainly I do," without further clarification. This is how things work in face-to-face dialog, but in face-to-face dialog there are a myriad of non-word clues that communicate intent and ideas; for an audience of readers this serves as nothing more than an indication that the author doesn't actually have a conclusion and it makes reading the preceding list of premises a waste of time.I did very much enjoy adventures on Panucopia. It reminded me a lot of the movies "Avatar" and "Surrogates". Those chapters definitely earned the novel its second star.

  • Roddy Williams
    2018-12-03 11:52

    This is the first in a posthumous trilogy sanctioned – if not instigated – by the Asimov Estate which is actually a prequel to Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation trilogy, one of the landmark SF works of the mid-twentieth century. It’s good to know that three tried and tested authors (Benford, Greg Bear and David Brin) have taken on what must be a daunting challenge. As good a writer as Asimov was, his best writing was completed in his early life and his later novels, which fed very much on his established work, were weak and uninspiring. In his later Foundation novels (such as Foundation’s Edge) he attempted to inject elements of his other work in order to conflate his themes and characters into one galactic history. Therefore, robots from his earlier novels and stories turn up in the Foundation civilisation as does the planet Gaia, which ultimately attempts to turn the galaxy into a vast living organism. This detracted from, rather than added to, the Foundation trilogy, and were additional complications with which these three authors had to contend. This novel does not seek to chart future development of the ‘psychohistorical’ plan which Hari Seldon, a scientist whose formulae have predicted the fall of the Galactic Empire, has set in motion. The focus is on Seldon himself, at a time when the science of psychohistory is still in its infancy. His wife, Dors, (as we know from Asimov’s later novels) is an advanced humanoid robot, sworn to protect Hari for the greater good of Humanity. A subplot involving the AI manifestations of Voltaire and Joan of Arc (who are resurrected to represent Reason and Faith in a debate about the rights of artificial intelligences) feels out of place in this novel. Admittedly, the AIs add much to the book’s examination of what it is to be human and their conversations (particularly the pompous and amusing rantings of Voltaire) are expertly created, but they read as if they do not belong in the Foundation Universe. They really deserved a novel of their own, in which to explore more deeply the concepts of Faith and Reason, made all the more interesting by the philosophical implications of their own existence as artificial people. Hari, against his will, is appointed as a candidate for First Minister, a position which the robots wish him to accept, believing the experience to be necessary for his better understanding of psychohistory. He acquires a dangerous political rival and escapes several assassination attempts before his enemy is vanquished. Benford’s ‘Seldon’ seems at odds with Asimov’s pacifist character and the tenet from the original trilogy ‘Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent’ (slightly reworded in this book replacing ‘last refuge’ with ‘diplomacy’) is flouted here. It is true that large sections of the novel are dedicated to Seldon’s analysis of the human condition and its drives, both on an individual level and that of the great masses of the galaxy.Violence is only one unchangeable aspect of humanity that that the scientist has to factor into his equations. However, there seems no reason why Benford could not have found a way for Seldon to expose and discredit his rival without recourse to violence. The Seldon narrative – which focuses on the detail of the galaxy, rather than Asimov’s broad overviews - is still very much in the Asimov style, but lacks the magician’s flourishes of the original. Asimov had a knack for posing problems and surprising the reader with unexpected, yet logical solutions. To have solved Seldon’s dilemma with his rival in the style of Asimov would have been both a tribute to Isaac and an improvement on what is a very weak denouement. As a sequel this is a decent effort, but adds very little, given that this one book is about the same length as the complete original trilogy. There is however an interesting afterword, in which Benford talks of Asimov, the Foundation Universe and the process by which he went about writing ‘Fear’.