Foundation's Edge (Foundation Series #4)

Foundation's Edge (Foundation Series #4)

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by Isaac Asimov
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780898452112
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/01/1990
Series:
Foundation Series, #4
Edition description:
Abridged

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Prologue

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--

Copyright 1991 by Isaac Asimov

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Meet the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation Series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned pver 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decasdes. He died, at age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 20, 1920
Date of Death:
April 6, 1992
Place of Birth:
Petrovichi, Russia
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
Columbia University, B.S. in chemistry, 1939; M.A. in chemistry, 1941; Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1948

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Foundation's Edge 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isaac Asimov, who had made an intermission of more than 3 decades to write the fourth title of the Foundation series, did not expect "Foundation's Edge" to become his first bestseller and above all, to win the Hugo award. I've read this book in English and in Spanish and I could not find a single imperfection; it is just a one of the most wonderful science fiction books written by Isaac Asimov. This story, which protagonists are Golan Trevize and Janov Pelorat, begins in the middle-age Terminus. There, Trevize is sent to the outer space to find the Second Foundation, for his friend Munn Li Compor had betrayed him by reporting the authorities that Trevize supported the belief that the 2nd Foundation still existed. In the spaceship, he meets his companion, the historian Janov Pelorat, an old man looking for traces of the legendary Imperial Library. The Second Foundation, dealing with squarrels among themselves, decide to send Stor Gendibal to prove his strength and return as a glorious First Orator. Intrigues about the identity and location of the Earth and the mysterious Gaia foreshadow the great decision Trevize has to make for the fate of the Galaxy: Terminus (1st Foundation), Trantor (2nd Foundation), or the living-conscience planet Gaia?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wierd
Lulo More than 1 year ago
Personally I think that this and Foundations and Earth are the best books in the saga
Theodoric47 More than 1 year ago
As a long time Asimov fan, it had been a while since I had read the Foundation series. With the handy portable e reader I once again immerse myself in his detailed galaxy and his interesting characters. Well worth the revisit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the next epic challenge to returning to chaos instead of the Seldon plan for the new Empire. Has the First Foundation become too skilled and able to forcefully remove the Second Foundation from its apparent hiding place? Will the new technology cause the Plan to forestall and allow the First Foundation to become the New Empire before the appointed time. Asimov, once again, creates a riveting sequel in this series of a galactic empire being "reborn" or "remade" into a more productive form after the demise of the prior empire. See if you may discern the end prior to finishing! The Second Foundation may have a hand in inhibiting you! Ha ha ha!
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