Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov
Second Foundation Cover

Second Foundation


This isn't quite the post I thought I'd be writing when I started the book, I thought I'd be concentrating on the details of the plot or the characters. Instead there was a scene in the middle that shifted my perception of the overall arc in an unexpected way.

I've always thought of this book as ending the trilogy on an upbeat note - the Second Foundation has wrenched the course of the civilisation of the galaxy back on track to form the Second Empire in accordance with Seldon's Plan. The first section of the novel is about how The Mule was defeated and changed from a conquering dictator to a benevolent despot whose empire would fall apart after his death. The second section follows a group of Foundation citizens who are searching for the Second Foundation - they are tricked into thinking they've found & removed it. This is necessary for Seldon's Plan to come to fruition in part because it relies on the majority of humanity being unaware of the details of the plan. And also because "We still have a society which would resent a ruling class of psychologists, and which would fear its development and fight against it", in the words of the First Speaker of the Second Foundation. Which is a summary of the plot of this section of the novel.

Click the link below to read my full review.