Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Summary
  1. The discovery of the Second Foundation and its impact on the Foundation and its citizens is played out
Key Takeaways
  1. The Mule is searching for the elusive Second Foundation with the intent of destroying it. The Second Foundation is far more powerful than The Mule expected. A leader of the Second Foundation, the First Speaker of the Second Foundation, telepathically modifies the Mule to make him not care about finding the Second Foundation.
  2. A few decades after the Mule’s death by natural causes, the members of the First Foundation are now fully aware that the Second Foundation is out there. The Foundation has an ongoing conflict with the Mule’s former imperial capital at Kalgan and the ensuing war is won by the Foundation
  3. After inventing a “Mind Static device” that jams telepathic abilities while simultaneously causing telepaths great pain, the Foundation finds and locates telepaths on Terminus, “at the other end of the galaxy” from the first Foundation, also at Terminus, since, as Arcadia puts it, “a circle has no end.” Thus, they declare the Second Foundation destroyed after finding roughly 50 “mentalic” agents on Terminus.
  4. The Second Foundation was actually located on Trantor, at the center of the galaxy. It was called Star’s End due to the ancient saying, “All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end.” The location was also said to fit the “other end of the galaxy” location, since the galaxy is, in fact, not a disc, but a double spiral–and from the edge, the other end of the spiral lies at the center.
What I got out of it
  1. Really enjoyed this series and would recommend to anyone who enjoys space, travel, sci-fi

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Summary
  1. The series is about the people on these many different worlds who are all part of the ride towards the Second foundation and their worlds, lives, victories, and losses.
Key Takeaways
  1. Hari Seldon foresaw the fall of the Empire and to try to lessen the time of destruction and darkness, created two Foundations – one at each end of the Galaxy. The two would eventually merge, creating a new, stronger Foundation – the Second Foundation.
  2. Bel Riose is a soldier who only likes fighting for the Empire and travels the Galaxy in search of worlds to conquer. He finds little resistance and claims new planets for the Empire, but is told that Seldon’s Plan predicts that the Empire will not succeed. The Emperor of the Empire, Cleon II, fears that Riose is amassing troops for a civil war to overthrow the throne and hauls him home to be executed. Riose is stopped, and the Foundation “wins,” making Seldon’s prediction true
  3. The next “Seldon Crisis” occurs a century later when a scientist named Ebling Mis figures the date of Seldon’s next prediction. Seldon’s prediction includes the advice to “compromise” with the Traders who are currently in an uprising against the Foundation. A member of the Traders, Randu, is present and admits that the Traders had planned a revolt but were sidetracked when the Mule began attacking the Empire and the Foundation. As it became evident that the Mule was succeeding in his quest for Galaxy domination, the Traders put their resources into fighting the Mule instead. No sooner do the people realize that Seldon’s prediction is true than the Mule attacks Trantor where they are gathered to hear the prediction. The Mule is a mutant, able to control emotions. His forces seldom have to do battle as the Mule transfers a sense of helplessness onto the people, which causes them to typically give up without a fight.
  4. Upon a request from his father and uncle, Toran and Bayta travel to the resort planet, Kalgan, where they are to search for the Mule in an effort to join his forces with those of the Traders against the Foundation. They believe their quest fails though they take in Magnifico, a clown who was once an entertainer for the Mule. They will later learn that Magnifico is actually the Mule and that he hopes they, along with Mis, will discover the location of the hidden Second Empire so that he can defeat it and rule the Galaxy.
  5. Bayta finally puts it together, realizing that they narrowly escaped several times when the Mule’s forces were near, and that it was simply too much of a coincidence to be believed. She kills Mis before he can reveal the location of the Second Foundation and says that she’s figured out that Magnifico and the Mule are one and the same. It’s then that the Mule says that he hasn’t interfered with Bayta’s mind, because she liked him without his interference and that he relished that novelty. Because of that, he didn’t realize her intentions before she killed Mis, eliminating the possibility of the Mule finding the location of the Second Foundation from the scientist. Vowing to travel until he locates it, Magnifico leaves Bayta and Toran unharmed
What I got out of it
  1. Really fun book that I enjoyed reading

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Summary
  1. Gaal Dornick travels to the Galactic Empire’s capital to work with Hari Seldon on a branch of mathematics called psychohistory. Seldon predicts that the all powerful Galactic Empire will fall in three centuries, bringing with it a Dark Age
Key Takeaways
  1. The Encyclopedists – the mayor of the first Foundation, Salvor Hardin tries to convince his Board of Trustees that running the planet is more important than completing Seldon’s Encyclopedia Galactic. Hardin plans to overthrow the leadership when he receives a message from Seldon appears, revealing that the encyclopedia was a trick and Hardin has to take over the Foundation and fulfill Seldon’s real plan.
  2. The Mayors – a political group called the Action party has risen to power and is trying to impeach Hardin. Hardin outmaneuvers his enemies by convincing them that the Foundation’s religious group doesn’t support the war
  3. The Traders – Limmar Ponyets is sent to rescue Eskel Gorov and decides to trade gold instead of technology. He invents a transmutation machine and trades Eskel in exchange for the machine. Ponyets  recorded the exchange and blackmails Pherl into letting them walk away with treasures
  4. The Merchant Princes – Hober Mallow heads to Korell to investigate some missing ships but ends up establishing trade with the planet. After visiting Siwenna, Mallow returns to the Foundation, is tried for and cleared of the death of the religious missionary, and elected mayor. Korell later attacks the Foundation but Mallow anticipated this and made Korell so dependent on the Foundation that Korell’s economy collapses and the Foundation wins the war without even trying.
What I got out of it
  1. A brilliant, fun read which is hard to believe Asimov wrote up over 60 years ago