Foundation and Chaos

Foundation and Chaos (1998) is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear, set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe. It is the second book of the Second Foundation trilogy, which was written after Asimov's death by three authors, authorized by the Asimov estate.

Foundation and Chaos
FoundationandChaos
The Second Foundation Trilogy: Foundation and Chaos
AuthorGreg Bear
Cover artistJ.P. Targete
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Second Foundation Trilogy
GenreScience fiction
PublisherHarper Prism
Publication date
February 1998
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages352
ISBN978-0-06-105242-2
OCLC37993248
813/.54 21
LC ClassPS3552.E157 F65 1998
Preceded byForward the Foundation 
Followed byFoundation's Triumph 

Plot summary

The novel is the second part of The Second Foundation Trilogy and takes place almost entirely in the same time frame as "The Psychohistorians," which is the first part of the novel Foundation. In addition to telling a more expanded version of Hari Seldon's confrontation with the Commission of Public Safety it also interweaves R. Daneel Olivaw's struggle against a sect of robots who oppose his plans for humanity.

While covering the same period as in Asimov’s “The Psychohistorians,” Foundation and Chaos focuses more on paternal superrobot R Daneel Olivaw than on Hari Seldon. Olivaw’s 20 millennia of machinations and contrivances are questioned by “Calvinian” robots who do not observe Olivaw’s Zeroth Law (“No robot may harm humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm”) developed in Asimov’s Robots and Empire. Olivaw’s actions dampen human intellectual growth and variation until the human species matures. The novel’s primary issue is whether Olivaw’s ends justify his means. Does the ancient Auroran robot really serve humanity’s greater good? Should Olivaw decide this for himself?

Seldon seems unaware of Olivaw’s role in perpetuating brain fever and other dampeners. But Seldon would probably approve, considering his quarantining of the New Renaissance worlds when Seldon served as Imperial 1st Minister.

Foundation and Chaos portrays the rise of mentalics (telepaths who can influence other’s thoughts) such as Wanda Seldon and Stettin Palver, who will form the Second Foundation. Twisted rogue mentalic Vara Liso even foreshadows the mutant Magnifico’s spectacular rise 310 years later. Powerful Public Safety Commissioner Linge Chen again plays a prominent role as the true Imperial power behind fatuous playboy Emperor Klayus. Reconstructed superrobot Dors Venabili reappears as well.[1]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Bear, Greg. The Second Foundation Trilogy: Foundation and Chaos. HarperTorch. February 1998.
1998 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1998.

Foundation's Triumph

Foundation's Triumph (1999) is a science fiction novel by David Brin, set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe. It is the third book of the Second Foundation trilogy, which was written after Asimov's death by three authors, authorized by the Asimov estate. Brin synthesizes dozens of Foundation-Empire-Robots novels and short stories by Isaac Asimov, Roger MacBride Allen, and authorized others into a consistent framework. Foundation's Triumph includes an appendix chronology compiled by Attila Torkos.

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.

Greg Bear

Gregory Dale "Greg" Bear (born August 20, 1951) is an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), artificial universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and Darwin's Children). His most recent work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe. Greg Bear has written 44 books in total. Greg Bear was also one of the five co-founders of the San Diego Comic-Con.

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 book series bibliography

This is a bibliography of books by Isaac Asimov organized by series chronologically and by series timeline (i.e. prequels first).

See also Isaac Asimov bibliography (chronological), Isaac Asimov bibliography (alphabetical), and Isaac Asimov short stories bibliography.

Three Laws of Robotics

The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or known as Asimov's Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround" (included in the 1950 collection I, Robot), although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws, quoted as being from the "Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.", are:

First Law – A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law – A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law – A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.These form an organizing principle and unifying theme for Asimov's robotic-based fiction, appearing in his Robot series, the stories linked to it, and his Lucky Starr series of young-adult fiction. The Laws are incorporated into almost all of the positronic robots appearing in his fiction, and cannot be bypassed, being intended as a safety feature. Many of Asimov's robot-focused stories involve robots behaving in unusual and counter-intuitive ways as an unintended consequence of how the robot applies the Three Laws to the situation in which it finds itself. Other authors working in Asimov's fictional universe have adopted them and references, often parodic, appear throughout science fiction as well as in other genres.

The original laws have been altered and elaborated on by Asimov and other authors. Asimov himself made slight modifications to the first three in various books and short stories to further develop how robots would interact with humans and each other. In later fiction where robots had taken responsibility for government of whole planets and human civilizations, Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:

A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.The Three Laws, and the zeroth, have pervaded science fiction and are referred to in many books, films, and other media, and have impacted thought on ethics of artificial intelligence as well.

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