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Mine,without a doubt, is the Foundation books.
The Foundation Series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. There are seven volumes in the Foundation Series proper, which in its in-universe chronological order arePrelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire,Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and Foundation and Earth.
The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology(analogous to mathematical physics). Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone on a small scale. It works on the principle that the behaviour of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy, which has a population of quadrillions of humans, inhabiting millions of star systems). The larger the number, the more predictable is the future.
Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. Seldon's psychohistory also foresees an alternative where the intermittent period will last only one thousand years. To ensure his vision of a second great Empire comes to fruition, Seldon creates two Foundations—small, secluded havens of all human knowledge—at "opposite ends of the galaxy".
The focus of the series is on the First Foundation and its attempts to overcome various obstacles during the formation and installation of the Second Empire, all the while being silently guided by the unknown specifics of The Seldon Plan.
The series is best known for the Foundation Trilogy, which comprises the books Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. While the term "Foundation Series" can be used specifically for the seven Foundation books, it can also be used more generally to include the Robot series (four novels) and Empire series (three novels), which are set in the same fictional universe, but in earlier time periods. If all works are included, in total, there are fourteen novels and dozens of short stories written by Asimov, and seven novels written by other authors after his death, expanding the time spanned in the original trilogy (roughly 550 years) by more than twenty thousand years. The series is highly acclaimed, winning the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966.
Dragons of Pern should get a mention. So should the books [series?] by Arthur C Clarke.
But I agree on Foundation being my favourite series.
It would have to be one of Jack Vance's series... perhaps the Alastor Cluster books, which form a loose series in the sense that they are all based on the same galactic setting.
I haven't read Dragons of Pern,but AC Clarke was futuristic genius. Just think of 2001 A Space Odyssy. Good choices.
The Foundation Trilogy is the greatest SF series ever. Wouldn't it be great if someone made a TV series based on it. If so I hope it would be something done for BBC because the American TV guys manage to screw everything up!
Piers Anthony,must have 50 books. He used collaberate,with others a lot. Didn't he write with Larry Niven,a couple,of times?
Dune is a legend.
You're too right. There were a couple,of movies,but no one ever heard,of them.
What about E.E. Doc Smith,and the Grey Lensman series? I loved that as a kid.
Not a big fan of Asimov. I respect the heck out of him and acknowledge his contributions to the genre. He had some great ideas but his prose was often stiff and not very engaging. I would easily take Frank Herbert's Dune over Foundation as my top choice. Henry Gibson's Sprawl series is aces, and Neal Stephenson is fast becoming another favorite of mine.
I would put GRR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire ahead of all of that, even though it's not what we think of as sci-fi.
All great choices! There were two books featuring Lazarus Long, by Hienlien,but they were seperated by 25 years. Does that count as a series?
Pulman's His Dark Materials trilogy is the best thing I have read for 20 years. Agree that the Foundation trilogy is terrific - the novels he addded later are not of the same calibre.
I read somewhere,that he wrote them,because so many fans wanted more,but that he felt the story was complete,after the 3rd.Plus, by then he was a science fact author. But his publishers wanted another Foundation book,or Robot novel.
And,of course, there's the Notebooks,of Lazarus Long.
Since I already was a fan of Sir Richard Francis Burton I enjoyed his being brought back to life in the Riverworld series written by Philip José Farmer (1918-2009).
Is Riverworld,the one,where the river,is a time traveling device? Richard Burton was an explorer right?
Yes, he was an explorer. The premise however, which is not discovered until a few books in, is that some alien civilization has been storing everyone's memories and making copies (in Burton's case, many, which is part of the fun of book 1) of their bodies to inhabit a giant planet.
Couldn't be the dates are wrong,maybe a relative?
Dune is excellent. A very epic series.
I am reading the Foundation series now (except I lost the fourth book. Guess I'll have to buy another copy.)
Foundation and Dune are always the two that pop up. I've read them both and while Foundation is more accessible, I prefer the idea in Dune, that man must adapt to his environment, much more credible than Foundation's idea that science can predict the future. The problem seems to be Herberts subversive idea of building up Paul as a super hero in Dune only to tear him apart in Dune Messiah and saying that mankind must not depend on a supernatural being to save them. Most readers can't get with that and abandon the series there.
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