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At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they retum to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!
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Isaac Asimov, world maestro of science fiction, was born in Russia near Smolensk in 1920 and was brought to the United States by his parents three years later. He grew up in Brooklyn where he went to grammar school and at the age of eight he gained his citizen papers. A remarkable memory helped him finish high school before he was sixteen. He then went on to Columbia University and resolved to become a chemist rather than follow the medical career his father had in mind for him. He graduated in chemistry and after a short spell in the Army he gained his doctorate in 1949 and qualified as an instructor in biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine where he became Associate Professor in 1955, doing research in nucleic acid. Increasingly, however, the pressures of chemical research conflicted with his aspirations in the literary field, and in 1958 he retired to full-time authorship while retaining his connection with the University. Asimov's fantastic career as a science fiction writer began in 1939 with the appearance of a short story, `Marooned Off Vesta', in Amazing Stories. Thereafter he became a regular contributor to the leading SF magazines of the day including Astounding, Astonishing Stories, Super Science Stories and Galaxy. He won the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula Award once. With nearly five hundred books to his credit and several hundred articles, Asimov's output was prolific by any standards. Apart from his many world-famous science fiction works, Asimov also wrote highly successful detective mystery stories, a four-volume History of North America, a two-volume Guide to the Bible, a biographical dictionary, encyclopaedias, textbooks and an impressive list of books on many aspects of science, as well as two volumes of autobiography. Isaac Asimov died in 1992 at the age of 72.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The First Galactic Empire was falling. It had been decaying and breaking down for centuries and only one man fully realized that fact.
He was Han Seldon, the last great scientist of the First Empire, and it was he who perfected psychohistory-the science of human behavior reduced to mathematical equations.
The individual human being is unpredictable, but the reactions of human mobs, Seldon found, could be treated statistically. The larger the mob, the greater the accuracy that could be achieved. And the size of the human masses that Seldon worked with was no less than the population of all the inhabited millions of worlds of the Galaxy.
Seldon's equations told him that, left to itself, the Empire would fall and that thirty thousand years of human misery and agony would elapse before a Second Empire would arise from the ruins. And yet, if one could adjust some of the conditions that existed, that Interregnum could be decreased to a single millennium-just one thousand years.
It was to insure this that Seldon set up two colonies of scientists that he called "Foundations." With deliberate intention, he set them up "at opposite ends of the Galaxy." The First Foundation, which centered on physical science, was set up in the full daylight of publicity. The existence of the other, the Second Foundation, a world of psychohistorical and "mentalic" scientists, was drowned in silence.
In The Foundation Trilogy, the story of the first four centuries of the Interregnum is told. The First Foundation (commonly known as simply "The Foundation," since the existence of another was unknown to almost all) began as a small community lost in the emptiness of the Outer Periphery of the Galaxy. Periodically it faced a crisis in which the variables of human intercourse-and of the social and economic currents of the time-constricted about it. Its freedom to move lay along only one certain line and when it moved in that direction, a new horizon of development opened before it. All had been planned by Han Seldon, long dead now.
The First Foundation, with its superior science, took over the barbarized planets that surrounded it. It faced the anarchic warlords who broke away from the dying Empire and beat them. It faced the remnant of the Empire itself under its last strong Emperor and its last strong general-and beat it.
It seemed as though the "Seldon Plan" was going through smoothly and that nothing would prevent the Second Empire from being established on timeand with a minimum of intermediate devastation..
But psychohistory is a statistical science. Always there is a small chance that something will go wrong, and something did-something which Han Seldon could not have foreseen. One man, called the Mule, appeared from nowhere. He had mental powers in a Galaxy that lacked them. He could mold men's emotions and shape their minds so that his bitterest opponents were made into his devoted servants. Armies could not, would not, fight him. The First Foundation fell and Seldon's Plan seemed to lie in ruins.
There was left the mysterious Second Foundation, which had been caught unprepared by the sudden appearance of the Mule, but which was now slowly working out a counterattack. Its great defense was the fact of its unknown location. The Mule sought it in order to make his conquest of the Galaxy complete. The faithful of what was left of the First Foundation sought it to obtain help.
Neither found it. The Mule was stopped first by the action of a woman, Bayta Darell, and that bought enough time for the Second Foundation to organize the proper action and, with that, to stop the Mule permanently. Slowly they prepared to reinstate the Seldon Plan.
But, in a way, the cover of the Second Foundation was gone. The First Foundation knew of the Second's existence, and the First did not want a future in which they were overseen by the mentalists. The First Foundation was the superior in physical force, while the Second Foundation was hampered not only by that fact, but by being faced by a double task: it had not only to stop the First Foundation but had also to regain its anonymity.
This the Second Foundation, under its greatest "First Speaker," Preem Palver, managed to do. The First Foundation was allowed to seem to win, to seem to defeat the Second Foundation, and it moved on to greater and greater strength in the Galaxy, totally ignorant that the Second Foundation still existed.
It is now four hundred and ninety-eight years after the First Foundation had come into existence. It is at the peak of its strength, but one man does not accept appearances--
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Book Description Paw Prints 2008-06-26, 2008. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 1439504598_abe_bn
Book Description Paw Prints 2008-06-26, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1439504598
Book Description Paw Prints 2008-06-26, 2008. LIBRARY BINDING. Condition: New. 1439504598 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1329802