Foundation Feature

Promotion image for Apple TVs Foundation series.  In a mountainous landscape, a person holding a gun is silhouetted against a purple sky.  A diamond-shaped object hovers in the distance, its bottom glowing with white light.  In the foreground, golden text reads "FOUNDATION", with a white apple TV+ logo hovering above.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation saga is getting a TV Series!

The Foundation series is one of the most, well, foundational series in the genre of science fiction.  Asimov's epic saga follows a mathematician's prediction of the Galactic Empire's collapse, and the grim fallout of this treacherous prediction. 

Book cover: Foundation. Cover art features a black and white drawing of a spiral galaxy with the title and author in red, accompanied by the yellow text: An interplanetary novel.
First edition dust jacket of Foundation

Foundation was first published in the 1940s, as a series of eight short stories.  These stories became the original Foundation trilogy, with Asimov later publishing prequels and sequels.  Today, the series has grown into an iconic sci-fi classic, with impacts within literature and beyond (with figures like Martin Seligman and Elon Musk citing the book as influential to their lives and careers).

However, with all its cultural significance, the series has never been adapted for the screen—until now!  After two stalled film productions from two different companies, the iconic series is getting a TV series on Apple TV!

The first episode of the series comes out TODAY, so if you have an Apple TV+ account, make sure to check it out!  (If you don't, Apple TV+ has a week-long trial, so you can get a sneak peak of the series for free).

Want to read the books first?  Or maybe you just prefer reading to watching?  Check out all of Isacc Asimov's Foudnation novels below!  The Foundation books are sorted by publication date, with some additional novels at the bottom.  If you want to see all the books in the diegetic order of the Foundation universe, check out the timeline at the bottom of the page.

Happy reading (or watching)!


 

The Foundation Trilogy

Published in 1951, 1952, and 1953, these books span almost 300 years!  They begin with the trial of mathematician Hari Seldon, who has been accused of treason for his prediction of the Empire's fall.

Book cover: Foundation

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Book cover: Foundation and Empire

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Book cover: Second Foundation

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Like the show?  Get the TV Series Tie-In Edition of Foundation:

Book cover: Foundation: TV Show Tie-In Version

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The Sequels

Following the success of the first three books, Asimov published Foundation's Edge in 1981, and followed it up in 1986 with Foundation and Earth.  In Foundation's Edge, Asimov began the project of uniting the Foundation universe with his other series, making a single, unified timeline.

Book cover: Foundation's Edge

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Book cover: Foundation and Earth

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The Prequels

Published in 1988 and 1993, these are the final Foundation books that Asimov Published.  Prelude and Forward follow Seldon's development of psychohistory, the method through which he predicts the future.

Book cover: Prelude to Foundation

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Book cover: Forward the Foundation

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Can't Get Enough?

Asimov has written a number of other stories set in the Foundation universe!  If you've read and enjoyed the Foundation series, check out these other titles of Asimov, giving glimpses into the past and future of Asimov's universe.

 

The Galactic Empire Series

Explore the beginnings of the Galactic Empire, long before the Foundation series.

Book cover: The Stars, Like Dust

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Book cover: The Currents of Space

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Book cover: Pebble in the Sky

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Other Novels

Asimov has written many other novels and short stories in the Foundation Universe.  Plus, his universe has been further fleshed out by other writers!  Below are three books set in the Foundation universe, but not part of the main story. 

I, Robot is the first book in the Robot series, beginning his story of robot intelligence.  Nemesis is a standalone novel set early in the timeline, following the migration of a space colony.  The third title, The End of Eternity, bends time as it follows the Eternals, beings who guard the universe's timeline (like in the new Disney+ series Loki).  While this final book doesn't exactly fit into Foundation's timeline, Foundation's Edge suggests that the universe of The End of Eternity has been destroyed, giving way to the universe of Foundation.

Book cover: I, Robot

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Book cover: Nemesis

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Book cover: The End of Eternity

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The Timeline of the Foundation Universe

Generally, the diegetic order of Asimov's series is: Robot series, Galactic Empire series, Foundation Prequels, Foundation Trilogy, Foundation Sequels.  For a more in-depth timeline of Asimov's universe, see the table below.  Contains mild spoilers.

20-21st centuries C.E. Start of interstellar space travel. I, Robot
23rd century C.E. Rotor colony moved to the nearby Nemesis system. Nemesis
33-38th centuries C.E. Space expansion, robot conflicts. Robot series
114-125th centuries C.E. Shifting galactic politics, Trantorian Republic of five worlds becomes Trantorian Empire. The Stars, Like Dust, The Currents of Space
12500 C.E, 1 G.E. Trantorian Empire becomes the Galactic Empire, inception of Galactic calendar.  
1st century G.E. Time travel mixup, rebellion against the Empire. Pebble in the Sky
120-121st century G.E. Birth of Hari Seldon, trouble in the empire, Seldon develops psychohistory. Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation
121st century G. E. Seldon put on trial, Foundation exiled to Terminus. Foundation
12067 G.E, 1 F.E. Beginning of the Foundation Era calendar.  
1st-2nd century F.E. Seldon dies, a planet's secession causes trouble, Foundation gains influence. Foundation
2nd-4th century F.E. Conflict between Empire and Foundation, rise of the Mule. Foundation and Empire
4th century F.E. Second Foundation established. Second Foundation
5th century F.E. Conflict between First Foundation, Second Foundation, and Gaia.  Golan Trevize makes a big choice. Foundation's Edge
5th century F.E. Trevize journeys to Earth, looking for answers. Foundation and Earth

 

Looking for something else?  Check out all the titles from Isaac Asimov.

 

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