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Foundation Trilogy


The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov: A Summary

Author: Isaac Asimov


  • Introduction
  • Foundation
  • Foundation and Empire
  • Second Foundation
  • About the author

The Story Behind "The Foundation":

  • Context: Written against the backdrop of World War II, with the Axis powers making significant advances. Isaac Asimov, at the age of 21 and a graduate student in chemistry at Columbia University, had been writing science fiction professionally for three years.
  • Meeting with John Campbell: On August 1, 1941, Asimov was on his way to meet John Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, to pitch a new story. This meeting would mark the beginning of the Foundation series.
  • Inspiration: The series was inspired by Edward Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Asimov sought to create a science fiction story set in the future that mirrored the historical narrative of the rise and fall of civilizations.

This snippet provides a brief introduction to the themes and historical context that inspired Isaac Asimov's "The Foundation Trilogy." The series itself delves into the fall of the Galactic Empire and the efforts of Hari Seldon, a visionary mathematician, to preserve knowledge and minimize the period of chaos following the empire's collapse. Through the use of "psychohistory," a fictional science combining history, sociology, and statistical mathematics, Seldon predicts the fall of the empire and sets in motion a plan to shorten the ensuing dark age.

For a detailed exploration of the plot, characters, and Asimov's exploration of themes such as power, technology, and civilization, further reading of the trilogy is recommended.