Forward the Foundation

Forward the Foundation is a novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, published posthumously in 1993. It is the second of two prequels to the Foundation Series. It is written in much the same style as the original novel Foundation, a novel composed of chapters with long intervals in between. Both books were first published as independent short stories in science fiction magazines.

The parallels between Hari Seldon and Isaac Asimov found in this book— the last one written by Asimov before his death— and the focus on Hari Seldon as he grows old and dies, strengthen the idea that Asimov considered Seldon his literary alter ego. Critics such as Josh Wimmer and Alasdair Wilkins have regarded many of the opinions and viewpoints expressed by Seldon in this book as autobiographical. Thus, a detailed reading of Forward the Foundation can shed light on Asimov's inner thoughts at the end of his life.[2]

Like other previous science fiction works by Asimov, the book was a commercial success, becoming a New York Times bestselling work.[2]

Forward the Foundation
Forward the Foundation cover
Cover of the first edition
AuthorAsimov, Isaac
Cover artistBob Larkin[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Foundation Series
GenreScience fiction
PublisherDoubleday
Publication date
April 1993
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages417
ISBN0-385-24793-1
OCLC29849055
Preceded byFoundation's Fear 
Followed byFoundation and Chaos 

Plot

Forward the Foundation continues the chronicles of the life of Hari Seldon, first begun in Prelude to Foundation. The story takes place on Trantor, and begins eight years after the events of Prelude to Foundation. It depicts how Seldon develops his theory of psychohistory from hypothetical concept to practical application.

In the latter years of the reign of Emperor Cleon I, Seldon is dragged into the world of galactic politics as Cleon's somewhat unwilling First Minister, after the resignation of his predecessor, Eto Demerzel (whom Seldon knows as the robot R. Daneel Olivaw). After the Emperor is assassinated, a military junta takes over for a disastrous decade. Seldon steps down from his government position and resumes leadership of the psychohistory project.

Seldon and others, most notably Yugo Amaryl, finally develop psychohistory to the point that he can initiate what will come to be known as the Seldon Plan, the road map for drastically shortening the interregnum between the First and Second Empires.[3]

Gradually, Seldon loses all those who are close to him. Seldon's consort Dors is killed (or rather destroyed) in an internal plot by an ambitious member of Seldon's own group. His adopted son Raych emigrates with his wife and a daughter to Santanni, though his elder daughter Wanda remains with Seldon. When a rebellion against the Empire breaks out, Raych sends his wife and daughter away on a starship, but he remains behind to defend his university and is killed, and the starship is never seen again. Yugo Amaryl, the second best psychohistory researcher (after Seldon himself), dies in middle age, worn out by his work. Except for his granddaughter Wanda, Seldon is alone in his fight to keep the project going in the face of the Galactic Empire's accelerating decline and lessening government support.

Wanda turns out to be what Seldon calls a "mentalic": someone who can read minds and actually influence people. (Seldon suspects that her father Raych's great likeability is a subconscious use of the same power.) They are able to find a few other mentalics, enabling Seldon to set up a second guardian for the Seldon Plan. Eventually, he sends Wanda and the others to another star system to establish the Second Foundation in secret. While the public First Foundation concentrates on the physical sciences, the hidden Second's psychohistorians will develop the mental ones.

References

  1. ^ "Publication: Forward the Foundation". Isfdb.org. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Josh Wimmer; Alasdair Wilkins. "In which a great work is finally completed: Isaac Asimov's Forward the Foundation". Io9.gizmodo.com. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  3. ^ Isaac Asimov. Forward the Foundation. Spectra. January 4, 1993. ISBN 0-553-56507-9

External links

Cleon I

Cleon I is a character in the fictional universe of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. He was the last Emperor of the Entun dynasty (11,988 GE – 12,038 GE in the timeline of the novels). He was Emperor of the Galactic Empire when Hari Seldon first arrived on Trantor. He succeeded to the Imperial throne in 12,010 GE at the age of twenty-two following the death of his father, Stanel VI, who was fortunate enough to escape the roughly one-in-two chances of assassination faced by the last century of Galactic Emperors.

Asimov portrays Cleon as an amiable man, no longer enthusiastic about the trappings of office, eager to treat others as his equals and yet not capable of conversing comfortably—or even understanding their motivations. In his genial but misguided well-wishing, he is similar to the portrayal of Austrian emperor Joseph II in Amadeus (a film which Asimov admired), although he is not very similar to the historical Joseph II.

Dors Venabili

Dors Venabili is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. She is a good friend, protector and later wife of Hari Seldon, the primary character of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. At face value, Dors is a woman two years younger than Seldon, in her own words not very good-looking. She tells Seldon that she is a historian from Cinna, and, before her involvement in The Flight, Dors taught history classes at Streeling University on Trantor.

Dors has been assigned the task of protecting Hari Seldon by Chetter Hummin (one of several aliases used by R. Daneel Olivaw) who takes an initial interest in Hari Seldon's psychohistory research. Over the course of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation she shows an obsessive concern for his safety and earns the nickname "The Tiger Woman" for the ferocity with which she is willing to defend him, and her accuracy, reflexes, and skill (all thought to be superhuman to the point of feline). Despite that, throughout her lifetime protecting Seldon, she was always reluctant to harm opponents in the course of protecting her husband. This is a result of her being bound by the Laws of Robotics.

Toward the end of Prelude to Foundation, Hari reveals his suspicion that Dors is a human-appearing robot working with R. Daneel Olivaw on his mission to protect mankind. (Clues that reveal Dors' true nature include her learning to master a weapon skillfully and immediately after watching a gangster use it just once.)

A talk with Dors pretty obviously confirms his supposition, even though the word "robot" is not spoken here. Still, the issue has no apparent effect on Hari's love for Dors, and even though she concludes the talk "So you see, Hari. [sic] I'm not really what you want," he is unperturbed, thinking about his protectress and future wife in love.

Dors tries to help Seldon also as a historian. Their talks on the former Kingdom of Trantor make Seldon consider the planet as a provisional model for the then still very immature psychohistory.

Together with Seldon, Dors raises Raych, whom they encounter as a 12-year-old boy while in the Dahl sector of Trantor.

Dors dies in Seldon's arms after being his spouse for 28 years, apparently as a result of both the EM damage inflicted during the attempt on her life by a traitor in Seldon's ranks, Tamwile Elar, and a violation of the First Law of Robotics as Dors kills Elar in defense of the Psychohistorical Project, thus essentially choosing to follow the Zeroth Law and suffering a fate similar to that of R. Giskard Reventlov. When dying, Dors confesses to Seldon that thanks to him she felt like a human being.

In the original Asimov books, it is unknown if Dors has been repaired after the damage. In the epilogue of Forward the Foundation, Seldon's last word was "Dors!", yet it is not specified, if he met her, or if it is only an exclamation of a man longing for his dead spouse. Dors reappears only in The Second Foundation Trilogy, after her apparent death, having been repaired by Daneel. She is originally assigned new duties, but has difficulty adapting to them. Having been built for the specific purpose of caring for Hari Seldon, her absence from his life and her knowledge of his impending death give her new perspective on Daneel's orders. Eventually, she leaves his service entirely, and it is implied that she takes up with the robot Lodovik Trema, but only after one final visit to her husband, whose last recorded word was her name.

Foundation and Earth

Foundation and Earth is a science fiction novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, the fifth novel of the Foundation series and chronologically the last in the series. It was published in 1986, four years after the first sequel to the Foundation trilogy, which is titled Foundation's Edge.

Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development

The Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development (FORWARD) is a British NGO, founded in 1983 by Efua Dorkenoo, that supports women who have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM) and tries to eliminate the practice.

Foundation series

The Foundation series is a science fiction book series written by American author Isaac Asimov. For nearly thirty years, the series was a trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Asimov began adding to the series in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation. The additions made reference to events in Asimov's Robot and Empire series, indicating that they were also set in the same fictional universe.

The premise of the series is that the mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second great empire arises. Seldon's calculations also show there is a way to limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To ensure the more favorable outcome and reduce human misery during the intervening period, Seldon creates the Foundation – a group of talented artisans and engineers positioned at the twinned extreme ends of the galaxy – to preserve and expand on humanity's collective knowledge, and thus become the foundation for the accelerated resurgence of this new galactic empire.

Gaal Dornick

Gaal Dornick is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. He is the first character mentioned in the Foundation series, appearing in the first chapter of Foundation, describing his meeting with Hari Seldon. He became Seldon's biographer. He makes appearances in several other stories of the Foundation series, including Foundation's Triumph.

Hari Seldon

Hari Seldon is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. In his capacity as mathematics professor at Streeling University on the planet Trantor, Seldon develops psychohistory, an algorithmic science that allows him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. On the basis of his psychohistory he is able to predict the eventual fall of the Galactic Empire and to develop a means to shorten the millennia of chaos to follow. The significance of his discoveries lies behind his nickname "Raven" Seldon.

In the first five books of the Foundation series, Hari Seldon made only one in-the-flesh appearance, in the first part of the first book (Foundation), although he did appear at other times in pre-recorded messages to reveal a Seldon Crisis. After writing five books in chronological order, Asimov went back with two books to better describe the initial process. The two prequels—Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation—describe his life in considerable detail. He is also the central character of the Second Foundation Trilogy written after Asimov's death (Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford, Foundation and Chaos by Greg Bear, and Foundation's Triumph by David Brin), which are set after Asimov's two prequels.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation" series; his other major series are the "Galactic Empire" series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, with Foundation and Earth (1986), he linked this distant future to the Robot stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction novelette "Nightfall"; in 1964, it was voted the best short science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. He wrote on numerous other scientific and non-scientific topics, such as chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, history, biblical exegesis, and literary criticism.

He was president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.

List of Foundation series characters

This is a list of characters in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

List of Foundation universe planets

This is a list of Foundation universe planets featured or mentioned in the Robot series, Empire series, and Foundation series created by Isaac Asimov.

List of science fiction novels

This is a list of science fiction novels, novel series, and collections of linked short stories. It includes modern novels, as well as novels written before the term "science fiction" was in common use. This list includes novels not marketed as SF but still considered to be substantially science fiction in content by some critics, such as Nineteen Eighty Four. As such, it is an inclusive list, not an exclusive list based on other factors such as level of notability or literary quality. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title, ignoring the leading articles "A", "An", and "The". Novel series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is none, the title of the first novel in the series or some other reasonable designation.

List of works published posthumously

The following is a list of works that were published or distributed posthumously.

Nemesis (Asimov novel)

Nemesis is a science fiction novel by American writer Isaac Asimov. One of his later science fiction novels, it was published in 1989, three years before his death. The novel is loosely related to the future history into which Asimov attempted to integrate his science fiction output by connecting several ideas from earlier and later novels, including non-human intelligence, sentient planets (Erythro), and rotor engines (Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain).

Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation is a novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1988. It is one of two prequels to the Foundation series. For the first time, Asimov chronicles the fictional life of Hari Seldon, the man who invented psychohistory and the intellectual hero of the series. The novel was nominated for the Locus Award.

Psychohistory (fictional)

Psychohistory is a fictional science in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people, such as the Galactic Empire. It was first introduced in the four short stories (1942–1944) which would later be collected as the 1951 novel Foundation.

R. Daneel Olivaw

R. Daneel Olivaw is a fictional robot created by Isaac Asimov. The "R" initial in his name stands for "Robot," a naming convention in Asimov's future society. Daneel appears in Asimov's Robot and Foundation series, most notably in the novels The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire, Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation and Earth as well as the short story "Mirror Image". He is constructed immediately prior to the age of the Settlers, and lives at least until the formation of Galaxia, thus spanning the entire history of the First Empire, the Second Empire run by the Second Foundation, and finally the group consciousnesses of Galaxia, although this last is uncertain as no book about this was ever written.

Second Foundation

Second Foundation is the third novel published of the Foundation Series by American writer Isaac Asimov, and the fifth in the in-universe chronology. It was first published in 1953 by Gnome Press.

Second Foundation consists of two previously published novellas originally published in Astounding Magazine (with different titles) between 1948 and 1950, making this the third volume in Asimov's Foundation series. Decades later, Asimov wrote two further sequel novels and two prequels. Later writers have added authorized tales to the series. The Foundation series is often regarded as one of Isaac Asimov's best works, along with his Robot series.

The term also describes the organization by that name which is the focus of the book. The organization's existence (and nothing more) had been revealed in Foundation, searched for in Foundation and Empire, and makes brief appearances in this novel. It would not be described in detail until Foundation's Edge.

Wanda

Wanda is a female given name of Polish origin. It probably derives from the tribal name of the Wends. The name has long been popular in Poland where the legend of Princess Wanda has been circulating since at least the 12th century. In 1947 Wanda was cited as the second most popular name, after Mary, for Polish girls, and the most popular from Polish secular history. The name was made familiar in the English-speaking world by the 1883 novel Wanda, written by Ouida, the story line of which is based on the last years of the Hechingen branch of the Swabian House of Hohenzollern. In the United States, Wanda attained its highest popularity in the year 1934 peaking then at No. 47 on the list of names most frequently given to female infants. The name is popularly interpreted as meaning "wanderer."

Yugo Amaryl

Yugo Amaryl is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Amaryl, along with Hari Seldon, worked on psychohistory until his death at age 52.

Asimov fleshes-out the character's origins in Prelude to Foundation (1988). Amaryl was born on Trantor in the Dahl sector. He worked as a "heatsinker", one of many people tending the vast subterranean operations that generate energy from heat in the deep recesses of the planet. The work was hard, hot and did not require great intelligence. These menial workers tended to be ostracized by those not forced to work underground.

Amaryl managed to discover and study mathematics with the help of a friendly librarian. He met Seldon when the latter visited the heatsink complex out of curiosity whilst fleeing from Eto Demerzel and living in Dahl. Seldon immediately recognized and fostered Amaryl's innate mathematical abilities and was able to get him into University. He eventually gained a doctorate and became Seldon's closest and most trusted co-worker. Amaryl's devotion to his work would be his undoing, giving him an early death from overwork.

Yugo Amaryl…..Physicist and Mathematician. He is in the position after Seldon in his Psychohistorical contribution for Future Developments. Himself……

He started his life dramatically in Dahl Sector more than his contribution in Psychohistory. He had born in extremely poor in Dahl Sector of Trantor. His life may pass as a very simple person, if unfortunately he did not meet with Hari Seldon………

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