Title: Foundation and Empire
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publish Date: 1991
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Advanced Weapons, Space Travel, Spacecraft, Atomic Power, Alien Worlds, Mutants, ESP, Armed Conflict
The Foundation had a purpose. It could not fail according to the laws of Psychohistory that were perfected by the late, great, Hari Seldon.
The plan was for the Foundation to grow and become the bases for a new Galactic Empire, raised from the ashes of a dying Empire in only a thousand years. The plan was based on how the masses of people would react together when certain events occurred, and it was based on the psychology of those masses remaining constant.
But now, a threat has come into the galaxy. A threat that can affect the masses on a huge scale and the threat is defeating kingdom after kingdom… planet after planet. Now, the Foundation itself is poised to fall to that same threat.
The plan seems to have failed and the people that have believed in the strength of the plan for the rise of the Foundation to become the next Empire, have had everything they believed torn away by this strong and deliberate onslaught.
The Foundation must fall…
The Foundation was established over two hundred years ago in the periphery of the galaxy on a planet called Terminus. Isolated from the dying Empire at the core of the Milky Way Galaxy, it thrived and grew powerful, basically left alone by the Emperor.
Now word has reached the Imperial Palace of this powerful Foundation, and a strong, well-liked general of the Navy has set his sights on it. With his ships, he heads out to the edge of the galaxy to put this threat down and subjugate the upstarts.
But, with all of this going on, there is another, more dangerous threat to the Foundation growing and festering on a small planet near Kalgan.
This menace is merely a variable in the Great Plan developed by Hari Seldon using Psychohistory back in the days before the Foundation was established. The plan charted events based on the psychological reactions of billions of people to whatever occurs in the galaxy. It cannot chart individuals.
It also cannot chart things that affect how those billions of people react to particular events in their minds. It charts based on how they reacted in the past – in history.
This new hidden threat comes to light in a big way, and has the Foundation and its followers directly in its sights. And as world after world falls, the threat becomes more real each day, until the Foundation is attacked.
The Foundation may not survive…
Picking up this novel and reading it was like reading the next chapter in the previous book in the series. The transition between them is seamless and handled the same as the transitions between major time passages. Enough references to previous events to lend a streamlined main theme for the entire series up to this novel.
The use of ‘excerpts’ from the ‘Encyclopedia Galactica’ gives the impression to the reader that there is a basis in fact to what they are about to read. This was very effective and helped draw me into the story.