Main indexether.netPhotosFunContact
TransmittersTeletextMHPTBSAstrohosts

ISAAC ASIMOV

THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY - AND MORE...

Isaac Asimov was born near Smolensk, Russia in 1920 but his parents moved and brought him to the United States three years later. He then grew up in Brooklyn where he went to grammar school.

His remarkable memory helped him finish high school before he was 16. He went on to Columbia University and resolved to become a chemist rather than follow the medical career his father had in mind for him. After a short spell in the army he gained his doctorate in 1949, qualifying as an instructor in biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine where he became an associate professor in 1955.

But the pressures of chemical research soon began to conflict with his aspirations in the literary field and he 'retired' to full-time authorship in 1958.

Asimov's career as a science fiction writer began in 1939 with the publication of a short story 'Marooned off Vesta' in Amazing Stories. After that he became a regular contributor to the leading SF magazines of the day including Astounding, Astonishing Stories, Super Science Stories and Galaxy.

He has won the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula Award once. With over 300 books and several hundred articles to his credit Asimov's output was prolific by any standards.

Asimov wrote in 1988:

"When I wrote Foundation, which appeared in the May 1942 edition of Astounding Science Fiction, I had no idea that I had begun a series of stories that would eventually grow into six volumes and a total of 650,000 words. Nor did I have any idea that it would be unified with my series of short stories and novels involving robots and my novels involving the Galactic Empire for a grand total (so far) of fourteen volumes and a total of about 1,450,000 words.

"You will see, if you study the publication dates of these books that there was a twenty-five year hiatus between 1957 and 1982, during which I did not add to this series. This was not because I had stopped writing. Indeed, I wrote full speed throughout the quarter-century, but I wrote other things. That I returned to the series in 1982 was not my own notion but was the result of a combination of pressures from readers and publishers that eventually became overwhelming.

"In any case, the situation has become sufficiently complicated for me to to feel that the readers might welcome a kind of guide to the series, since they were not written in the order in which (perhaps) they should be read.

"The fourteen books offer a kind of history of the future, which is. perhaps, not completely consistent, since I did not plan consistency to begin with."

The chronological order of the books in terms of future history (and not of publication date) is as follows:

1983
 

PUBLICATION
DATE

TITLE

REMARKS

1

1982

The Complete Robot

This is a collection of 31 robot short-stories published between 1940-1976 and includes every story in my earlier collection I, Robot (1950). Only one robot short story has been written since this collection appeared - that is Robot Dreams.

2

1954

The Caves of Steel

This 1st robot novel.

3

1957

The Naked Sun

The 2nd robot novel.

4

1983

The Robots of Dawn

The 3rd robot novel.

5

1985

Robots and Empire

The 4th robot novel.

6

1952

The Currents of Space

The 1st Empire novel

7

1951

The Stars, Like Dust -

The 2nd Empire novel.

8

1950

Pebble in the Sky

The 3rd Empire novel.

9

1988

Prelude to Foundation

The 1st Foundation novel.

10

1993

Forward the Foundation

The 2nd Foundation novel

11

1951

Foundation

The 3rd Foundation novel. Actually it is a collection of four stories, originally published between 1942-1944, plus an introductory section written for the book in 1949.

12

1952

Foundation and Empire

The 4th Foundation novel, made up of two stories, originally published in 1945.

13

1953

Second Foundation

The 5th Foundation novel, made up of two stories, originally published in 1948 and 1949.

14

1982

Foundation's Edge

The 6th Foundation novel.

15

1986

Foundation and Earth

The 7th Foundation novel

For the 25 years before he added to the series, his first three Foundation novels were known, obviously enough, as 'The Foundation Trilogy'. In 1973 the BBC Radiophonic Workshop under their producer David Cain produced a dramatised version of the entire three book series for BBC Radio 3. Production techniques were simplistic by the standards of today's radio dramas but the feat has never been attempted again, but as the series was recorded for Radio 3 at least it is in stereo and it has also been commercially released on cassette. The series had only its second broadcast repeat as part of the first month's programming on the the BBC's new digital service, BBC7.

 

BOOK

TITLE BBC R3 TX

BBC R4 TX

BBC7 TX

1

Foundation

Psychohistory and Encyclopaedia 5-Jun-1973

15-Aug-1977

28-Dec-2002

2

Foundation

The Mayors 12-Jun-1973

20-Aug-1977

29-Dec-2002

3

Foundation

The Merchant Princes 19-Jun-1973

27-Aug-1977

4-Jan-2003

4

Foundation and Empire

The General 26-Jun-1973

3-Sep-1977

5-Jan-2003

5

Foundation and Empire

The Mule 3-Jul-1973

10-Sep-1977

11-Jan-2003

6

Foundation and Empire

Flight From The Mule 10-Jul-1973

17-Sep-1977

12-Jan-2003

7

Second Foundation

The Mule Finds 17-Jul-1973

24-Sep-1977

18-Jan-2003

8

Second Foundation

Star's End 24-Jul-1973

1-Oct-1977

19-Jan-2003

Compiled, in part, from information included in Prelude to Foundation, published in the UK by Grafton (ISBN 0-586-07111-3)


mb21 by Mike Brown
Hosted by Astrohosts

Top