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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Second Foundation

Copyright 1953 by Isaac Asimov

SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in 1969 and most recently on the 9th February 2003

This novel is really two novellas. In the first part, the Mule sends Han Pritcher and the "unconverted" Bail Channis on a final attempt to seek out the Second foundation.

In the second part, citizens of the First Foundation, led by the precocious Arcadia, strive to identify the Second Foundation and the latter struggles to protect itself.

Ho Hum.

Well that's not quite fair. The second part is substantially better, saved by the grace of the delightful Arcadia Darrel. It's a lovely, old-fashioned little mystery in which the protagonists try to puzzle out who are the secret Second Foundationers amongst them. However, it's not exactly weighty stuff.

Overall this series has been a bit of a let-down. "Foundation" was great, really rather exciting, but now I'm read this third volume - the furthest I've ever got - and the glitter has faded, as has my interest (and apparently as had Asimov's). This is great book for teenagers, or for young people who are new to SF, or simply for those who want to read a gentle classic.

Loaded on the 28th February 2003.
Cover of Second Foundation
Cover art by Stephen Youll