Foundation and Empire

Isaac Asimov
Foundation and Empire Cover

Foundation and Empire


Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire, his 1952 follow-up to Foundation, continues where the last story left off; about three hundred years into a (hopefully) 1000 year Dark Age after the fall of a Galactic empire and before the rise of the next Empire. The series focuses on a science called psychohistory, which suggests that with careful tending, this Dark Age can be a mere millennium, rather than the thirty-thousand years it would otherwise take for galactic civilization to rise again.

The second novel focuses on two key events in the rise of the foundation: first, in The General, the last attempt of the crumbling Empire's military arm attempts to destroy the young Foundation before it can gain more power, and; second, in The Mule, a mutant is born with the ability to control those around him, throwing the original psychohistoric plans entirely out the door.

As with the first novel, the stories are short, but the ideas are huge. This was a fast and fascinating read that had me waiting on tender hooks to read the final book in the original series, Second Foundation, as soon as I could.