epic sci-fi

Foundation - Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, is my reference work when it comes to epic sci-fi series. It's possibly the very best series ever written. It's full of political intrigue, and surprising plot changes.
The series is about a huge galactic empire, the story of a man predicting its failure, and trying to preserve its science, technology and culture by founding a colony. And about the exploits of that colony and its various representatives over the next hundreds of years after its founding. It's full of adventure, diplomacy, trickery, and the discovery of many worlds and their cultures. It's nothing like the TV-Series which is only minimally based on the books, the books are much much better. My suggested reading / listening order:

the original trilogy:

1. Foundation (1951)
2.  Foundation and Empire (1952)
3. Second Foundation (1953)

the sequels:

4. Foundation's Edge (1982)
5. Foundation and Earth (1986)

the prequels:

6. Prelude to Foundation (1988)
7. Forward the Foundation (1993)

3 more novels were written in the series by other authors, i did finish them, but they all failed to inspire me, and i will skip them when i read the series again.
I'm not listing them here, the authors are probably all accomplished sci-fi authors with their own audience, i just don't think they come close to capturing Asimovs writing style.
I will be adding series to my site, from authors that i do think are more in line with Asimovs wonderful writing style.

Asimov also tied his Empire and Robot series into the Foundation universe.

The Empire series are standalone novels in the Foundation universe, they don't follow the main Foundation story, but all are good stories nonetheless.
I wouldn't read them again in the "epic" context., but may read them again some day.

The Robot series however, is an epic series by itself, and it ties in heavily with the Foundation series as a prequel series to it.
I would recommend reading the Robot series after the Foundation series.