Foundation and Empire

Isaac Asimov
Foundation and Empire Cover

Foundation and Empire: The best of the trilogy


Two novellas: "The General" about Charlemagne-wannabe Bel Riose and his attempts to destroy the Foundation, and "The Mule" about newlyweds Toran and Bayta, who get wrapped up in political scheming and inadvertently adopt the strange clown Magnifico, who is on the run from the mysterious conqueror The Mule.

By the Great Seldon! Asimov adds bits of flesh to his skeletal storytelling in this installment. "The Mule" rescues the series by introducing interaction between more than two characters, and the female protagonist, Bayta, proves that vintage science fiction can support intelligent and important female characters. The story's twist is as obvious as an ATOMIC reaction, but I was still surprised by the way it was revealed. Totes worth the read, folks.