Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1993)

Isaac Asimov wrote a huge amount of science fiction over the years, and is known for many of his books such as the Empire Series, and most famously for the Foundation Series. The 3 main Foundation books were the 'Foundation', 'Foundation and Empire', and 'Second Foundation'. It was later, in order to try and fill more details, that Asimov wrote more books for the Foundation, that include books that were both prequels and sequels. The last such book that he wrote was called 'Forward the Foundation', and was released in 1993, a year after Asimov died. Forward the Foundation was a sequel to 'Prelude to Foundation', carrying on with the story of Seldon's search for how to develop the story of psycho-history.

In end of Prelude to the Foundation, Hari Seldon learns that Otto Demerzel, the powerful advisor to the Emperor 'Cleon 1' is actually a robot. He solicits Demerzel's help for continuing the research into psychohistory, and Forward the Foundation continues into that effort, and is meant to show 4 different time stages in Seldon's life. The novel starts 8 years from the end of Prelude to Foundation, as Seldon gets more involved in politics, helping Otto fight off attempts, and then moves a further 10 years down the line. Demerzel has vanished, and Seldon is now First Minister. However, after the assassination of Cleon 1, Seldon slowly starts losing his family members. His wife, Dors, is killed when trying to save him from an assassination attempt, his adopted son (the 12 year he met in Prelude to Foundation) dies elsewhere in another violent act, his assistant Yugo Amaryl dies of over-work, and it is left to Seldon and his grand-daughter Wanda to try and set a process in place to guide events when Seldon is no more. And so starts the story of 2 different Foundations, one of the physical base, and the other, a society of mentalics.

Forward the Foundation (1993) by Isaac Asimov

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