Like Dune, these books by Isaac Asimov consider the workings of a vast intergalactic empire—although Asimov sets out to portray the collapse of this ancient civilisation, and the efforts taken to preserve its scientific knowledge and culture so as to ultimately enable the founding of a new empire. Asimov was reportedly inspired by Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as well as Arnold Toynbee‘s theories on the cycle of history. The original Foundation trilogy was published in the 1950s and are considered masterworks of science fiction; other authors have written books set in the extended universe with the permission of the Asimov estate. If you’ve never read them, the Foundation books are your perfect next step: it’s a series with enormous scope and ambition.
From our article Books like Dune