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Extended Audio Sample Prelude to Foundation Audiobook, by Isaac Asimov Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,035 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Isaac Asimov Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Foundation Series Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9780307970602
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It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 2/19/2014

    " I love how fast the story moves, but one point in particular had me feeling quite strange. Hari Seldon gets a 'print book', which is more like an ereader, and Dors says its positively Stone Age. I was reading on my ereader at the moment and it seemed a bit surreal, since when it was written, there were no ereaders. I'm amazed at Asimov's conceptualizations of robots and ereaders and who knows what else that I haven't' read yet that has come true already. The story moves quickly and as a behavioral science person, I love how the hero is a 'psychologist/historian/mathematician'. It reads like interrelated short stories - which makes sense as Asimov was a great short story writer - but there are threads throughout the story attached to longer threads that span the entire Foundation series. Never a dull moment in these books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 2/13/2014

    " An adventure novel desguised as Science Fiction and a fun one at that. Hari Seldon delivers a paper at a math conference on the central planet of Trandor and finds that some very powerful players want his therotical ideas to be made possible so that it can help them politically. The rest of the book has him avoiding the Imperial government while trying to figure out if it he could take a theory and make it inot a useful reality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juusi | 2/13/2014

    " For some reason this has always been my very favourite Foundation book or at least a close tie with Foundation and Earth. I seem to like beginnings and endings. The structure of the book is that of a "road-movie" and while developing the plot Asimow let's us get to know the planet of Trantor. And I'm always fascinated with the concept of psychohistory which basically is just a sociology model stretched trough time. I think many sociologists would have loved to have a tool to put their ideas into use for 30 000 years at least. I wonder how much Asimow was really influenced by Communism and meritocracy as an answer to that threat? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taffnerd | 2/11/2014

    " Very engaging intro to one of the classic scifi series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Micheal Hay | 2/9/2014

    " Not what I was expecting. I don't know if I will finish the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elihu | 1/28/2014

    " Uh oh. I'm afraid this is going to lead to me rereading the entire Foundation series - could be worse, it could be Dune all over again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim Weakley | 1/28/2014

    " A much better work! You can tell that this was written very late in his career. It begins to tie together the three series of books by Asimov into a cohesive story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky Dooley | 1/19/2014

    " I think these books are going to be GREAT! It has set up to be an ineesting series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dean | 1/4/2014

    " Complex civilization development. Good background on Hari Seldon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Day | 12/17/2013

    " The best SF series ever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sven Kok | 12/6/2013

    " Leuk "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeroen De Dauw | 11/30/2013

    " Damn you Asimov! Took me two thirds of the book before I realized it. Should have know after reading the original books and Foundations Edge... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicholas Boving | 11/20/2013

    " Not as good as the earlier Foundation Books. The dialogue leaves something to be desired, but nevertheless a damned good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah P | 11/16/2013

    " Yet another great installment in the trilogy. It's definitely not a page turner, and is kind of episodic, but I definitely enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elden | 7/12/2013

    " The few books I have read from Isaac Asimov were great and this is no different. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in the Foundation series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 PaweÅ‚ | 4/4/2013

    " Not that good as I expected. But still managed to entertain and gave that "wow" at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Penzkover | 1/30/2013

    " Read aloud to Kenneth & Holly; read at least 3 times to myself over the years "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gina | 1/2/2013

    " not bad until the last 5 pages, i won't ruin it for any one but give me a break! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roshni | 6/28/2012

    " Not as good as the original three, but brings some interesting insight "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 4/30/2012

    " Fabulous! Can't wait to read all the other books in this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lmhill2 | 4/6/2012

    " I wasn't aware that Asimov wrote this prequel and Forward the Foundation before he died. I had read the entire series in my twenties. I enjoyed this book. Light read - makes me want to read the series again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Bever | 12/25/2011

    " so far this is my favorite book in the foundation series. im reading them in order so it does ruin some plots but i prefer chronological order. i would say one of the best asimov books out there that ive read so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurens | 10/15/2011

    " Pretty awesome but I've heard that it's quite different than the other foundation books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 9/24/2011

    " This has to be one of the best science fiction books that I have ever read. Really loved the adventures that Hari, Dors, and Hummin took. Never would have thought that Hummin was a robot, let alone Dors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik | 8/24/2011

    " More entertaining than Foundation because more happens and there's more explanation of how the universe developed to that in which the characters find themselves living. Still, too political. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Micheal | 8/21/2011

    " Not what I was expecting. I don't know if I will finish the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 8/20/2011

    " Back to normal for Asimov - still better-than-average. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryant | 8/12/2011

    " A very interesting read. Asimov is unique in his ideas a layout. Prelude is amazing in the fact that it keeps you interested despite the fact that most of the more intense and truth-discovering portions of the book take place within the last two chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 7/30/2011

    " So-so prequel that doesn't carry the same intrigue or suspense of the other Foundation novels. This one focuses all on Hari Seldon and his adventures over Trantor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neha | 7/30/2011

    " This is the best Sci-Fi book I have ever read. I, however, did not enjoy the writing of any of the other Foundation series books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 7/24/2011

    " Fabulous! Can't wait to read all the other books in this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Modesto | 7/10/2011

    " Gústame, sobre todo, a parte final. Do resto, quizais hai pasaxes excesivamente extensas ou exhaustivas de máis, malia que teñan un papel no desenvolvemento da historia. "

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About the Author
Author Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.
About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.