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The Foundation Trilogy


Foundation first edition, 1951First edition
Novels in series ▽ Novels in series △

Original trilogy:

Foundation, 1951

Foundation and Empire, 1952

Second Foundation, 1953

Later sequels:

Foundation's Edge, 1982

Foundation and Earth, 1986

Later prequels:

Prelude to Foundation, 1988

Forward the Foundation, 1993

Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
Published as stories in Astounding Science Fiction magazine

First book publication
1951 (Foundation)

Literature form

Science fiction

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Foundation approx 70,500 words, trilogy approx. 220,000 words

On greatest lists ▽ On greatest lists △

Greatest Literature for The Foundation Trilogy

Greatest Novels for Foundation

Greatest Science Fiction for The Foundation Trilogy

Greatest American Literature for The Foundation Trilogy

Notable lines and passages

First lines

His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before. that is, not in real life.


The Galactic Empire Was Falling.
It was collssal Empire, stretching across millions of worlds from arm-end to arm-end of the mighty spiral that was the Milky Way.

Foundation and Empire

The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years.

"Prologue", Second Foundation

"Why did I do it?" asked Golan Trevize.
It wasn't a new question. Since he had arrived at Gaia, he had asked it of himself frequently.

Foundation and Earth


Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one?
A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty.

"Violence," came the retort, "is the last refuge of the incompetent."

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!


It is the invariable lesson to humanity that distance in time, and in space as well, lends focus. It is not recorded, incidentally, that the lesson has ever been permanently learned.

And there she was, age fourteen plus, weary enough for eighty plus, frightened enough for five minus.

The most hopelessly stupid man is he who is not aware that he is wise.

Second Foundation

My crime is that I have never labored to make myself popular — I admit that much — and I have paid too little attention to fools who are old enough to be senile but young enough to have power.

Foundation's Edge

Last lines

"Let my successors solve these new probolems, as I have solved the ones of today."


He left them, never looking back.

Foundation and Empire.