The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov
Illustrated by Gregory Manchess
With an Exclusive New Introduction by Brandon Sanderson
“The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.”
Conversation Tree Press will be publishing a letterpress-printed, limited edition of Isaac Asimov’s groundbreaking Foundation Trilogy—Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. We are proud to be collaborating with Gregory Manchess, who will be providing the artwork for all three volumes, and Brandon Sanderson, who will be writing an exclusive new introduction for the first book.
Asimov’s seminal trilogy is a cornerstone of science fiction literature. Set in a far future where humanity is spread across the galaxy under the rule of the Galactic Empire, it introduces the theory of “psychohistory”—a method of predicting the future of large populations using a combination of statistics, history, and sociology.
Hari Seldon, its developer, uses it to foresee the imminent collapse of the Empire and the onset of a 30,000-year dark age. In an effort to shorten this period to a mere 1,000 years, he urges the establishment of the Foundation to create a repository of human knowledge and scientific advancement.
Acclaimed for its imaginative scope and exploration of themes like determinism, free will, and the cyclical nature of history, the trilogy has been highly influential in both literature and popular culture, winning the one-time Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” in 1966 and recently coming to life in spectacular fashion as an Apple TV series.
For the first book, Gregory is contributing eight full page pen-and-ink portraits which will be printed letterpress, along with five oil paintings which will be reproduced as double-page spread interior illustrations. One additional painting will be featured on the cover boards of the Standard copies (not as a dust jacket), and included as a sixth interior illustration for the Deluxe and Lettered copies.
Brandon, a fan of Asimov and his world-building, is writing a new introduction to be included in the first volume—Foundation.
About Our Edition
Each book in the trilogy will be published individually in three states—Standard, Deluxe and Lettered—with Foundation opening for pre-orders later this year. Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation will follow in 2025 and 2026, respectively. They will all feature:
- Letterpress printing on luxurious paper, upgraded on the Deluxe and Lettered states.
- Durable, Smyth-sewn bindings with a ribbon marker and head and tail bands.
- Premium binding materials, upgraded on the Deluxe and Lettered states.
- Handmade slipcases included for the Standard and Deluxe, with a unique, hand-crafted enclosure for the Lettered.
- Hand-binding at the Deluxe and Lettered states.
We have started designing and crafting fully functional prototypes of all three states and will have pictures of each available before pre-orders begin.
Availability and Waitlist for Foundation
We are opening up a waitlist for all Standard copies and Deluxe copies #151 and above of Foundation so that we can do our best to ensure we have copies available for everyone who would like one. When pre-orders open later this year, purchase links for those books will first be sent to those who filled out the form, with remaining copies released to the public after.
Please note: All Lettered copies and Deluxe copies #1-150 of Foundation will be offered to collectors who bought those letters/numbers of the book published immediately before Foundation, at the time Foundation opens for pre-orders. This is part of our “rights” system that we offer collectors as thanks for supporting the press, and to allow them to match their letters/numbers. Read more about how this works in the FAQ at the bottom of this page.
About the Author and Contributors
Isaac Asimov was an iconic figure in science fiction, born on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia, and later emigrating to the United States. He 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 more than 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, Galactic 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 decades. He died in 1992.
Gregory Manchess is an award-winning painter and illustrator renowned for his diverse artistic achievements. He has produced artwork for a wide range of publications, books, magazines, national advertising and several commissions for the US Postal Service. Manchess wrote and illustrated a ‘widescreen novel’ Above the Timberline, which received excellent reviews and was exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum. The Coen Brothers showcased Gregory’s work in their film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
He has been honored with the Hamilton King Award by the Society of Illustrators in New York and is recognized in historical publications about American illustrators.
Presently, Manchess is an active lecturer at universities and colleges, conducts painting workshops, and teaches at various institutions including the Illustration Master Class in Savannah, GA, and online with SmArt School.
Exclusive New Introduction by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is the multiple #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn® series and the Stormlight Archive® series. In 2013, he won the Hugo Award for “Best Novella” for The Emperor’s Soul, set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris. Brandon also ran the #1 Kickstarter of all time in 2022 for his four Secret Project novels, breaking multiple records by earning over $41 million across 185,000 backers.
In addition to epic fantasy, Brandon has published several New York Times bestselling books aimed at young adults including the Skyward series, The Rithmatist, the Reckoners trilogy, and the middle-grade Alcatraz series.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will Foundation be published?
Foundation, the first book in the trilogy, will open for pre-orders in the second half of this year. Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, will be published in 2025 and 2026 respectively.
Will all three books be printed letterpress?
Yes, all three books will be printed letterpress.
How many Standard and Deluxe books will be produced?
Those numbers are being determined and will be confirmed before pre-orders open. If you’re considering a copy please submit the waitlist form as we finalize numbers.
Are the Standard books numbered?
No, the Standard books are not numbered. The Deluxe books are numbered and the 26 Lettered books are inscribed A-Z.
How many Lettered books will there be?
There are going to be 26 Lettered books and this number will not change.
Will there be second printings?
No, there will be no second printings of any state of any of the three books.
Can limitations increase for a particular state after pre-orders open?
No, the limitation for the Standard and Deluxe states will be set and made public before pre-orders open, and will not be increased. The limitation for the Lettered state is already set to 26 copies and will also not be increased.
Will different states—Standard, Deluxe and Lettered—include different artwork?
Every state will include all of Gregory’s line artwork printed letterpress and oil paintings reproduced in full colour.
Will slipcases or enclosures be included with the book or will they need to be purchased separately?
Slipcases will be included with all Standard and Deluxe books. The Lettered books will include a specially crafted enclosure.
What will the books look like?
We always design and craft physical prototypes of our books before opening pre-orders so collectors can see what the finished books will look like, or very close to it. The final books may differ slightly due to material availability or refinements heading into final production.
Will these editions be signed?
Gregory Manchess will be signing all copies. Brandon Sanderson will not.
What are ‘rights’?
Having ‘rights’ means that you will have the first right of refusal to purchase the next title published by the Press during a private pre-order window that is only available to rights-holders. Rights-holders who purchase the next published book will have their number or letter matched with the previous book.
For example: if you own the Deluxe #110 of Foundation, you will receive an email with a private link to order Foundation and Empire when it is open for pre-order, and we will ensure your number matches.
Which books will have rights?
Because this is a trilogy, all copies of Foundation—Standard, Deluxe, and Lettered—will have rights to purchase a copy of Foundation and Empire during a private pre-order period when the second volume in the trilogy is ready, with numbers and letters matched in the case of Deluxe and Lettered copies, respectively. Likewise, every collector who purchases Foundation and Empire will have rights to purchase a copy of Second Foundation when it is ready.
Note: We will facilitate the transfer of rights for Deluxe and Lettered copies of books one and two of the trilogy, Foundation and Foundation and Empire. Transfer of rights for Standard copies will not be possible.
Will The Foundation Trilogy have its own rights track?
Yes, all copies of Foundation will give rights to Foundation and Empire, which will in turn give rights to Second Foundation.
This means everyone who purchases a copy of Foundation will have access to a private preorder period to purchase a copy of the second book, and likewise for the third. Numbers and Letters will be matched (Standard books are unnumbered).
Collectors will not have to purchase the other non-Foundation books published between Foundation and Foundation and Empire, or between Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, to retain those rights.
Are rights transferable?
Because this is a trilogy, we will, for the first time, facilitate the transfer of rights for Deluxe and Lettered copies of the trilogy only. Rights for Standard copies will not be transferable.
More information on transfer of rights will be available before pre-orders open.
Will I have to buy the books published between Foundation and Foundation and Empire to keep my rights?
No, because it is a trilogy, if you buy Foundation and skip the subsequent books published by the Press, you will still have rights to a matching copy of Foundation and Empire when it opens for pre-order.
Will you be publishing the other Foundation books?
We only have plans to publish the original Foundation Trilogy at this time.
Does adding my name to the Standard or Deluxe waitlist guarantee me a copy?
No, but we will do our best to make that happen.
Is Foundation the next book to be published after Flowers for Algernon?
No, the next book from the press will open for preorders in February, and it is not Foundation. Foundation will open for pre-orders in the second half of this year.
I have Deluxe/Lettered rights from my purchase of Flowers for Algernon, will this allow me to preorder Foundation later this year?
Flowers for Algernon rights allow rights-holders an opportunity to pre-order matching Numbered/Lettered copies of the next book from the Press, which will be announced in February, and is not Foundation. If those rights rights are exercized for every book leading up to Foundation, then you will be able to pre-order Foundation during the private pre-order period.
If you’re considering a copy of Foundation and plan to exercize your rights all the way up to Foundation, please add your name to the waitlist to that we can gauge numbers inclusive of all rights-holders.
I have rights from Deluxe/Lettered Flowers for Algernon, should I add my name to the waitlist?
Yes, even if you’re currently a rights-holder and you’re considering a copy of Foundation, please add your name to the waitlist so we can gauge interest and decide on the final print run (inclusive of the 150 Deluxe rights copies).
Current rights-holders have rights to the next book published by the Press, which will open for pre-orders in February.
If those rights rights are exercized for every book leading up to Foundation, then you will be able to pre-order Foundation during the private pre-order period.