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Foundation [series]

Influential sf sequence by Isaac Asimov (whom see for fuller discussion), initially a trilogy beginning with Foundation (May 1942-October 1944 Astounding; fixup 1951; cut vt The 1,000 Year Plan 1955 dos), in which Psychohistory predicts the fall of a Galactic Empire and points the way to a newer, more stable organization of galactic society. Asimov subsequently merged the Foundation universe with that of his Robot sequence (some say to the detriment of both), and the merged universe became to some extent a Shared World. Foundation's Friends: Stories in Honor of Isaac Asimov (anth 1989; exp 1997) edited by Martin H Greenberg comprises several homages, Orson Scott Card's "The Originist" being of particular note. There followed a new trilogy of Sequels by Other Hands: Foundation's Fear: The Second Foundation Trilogy (1997) by Gregory Benford, Foundation and Chaos (1998) by Greg Bear and Foundation's Triumph (1999) by David Brin. Donald Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis (in Far Futures, anth 1995, ed Gregory Benford as "Historical Crisis"; much exp 2001), an unauthorized and lightly disguised sequel to the original Foundation trilogy, is also of great interest for its vigorous debate with Asimov's psychohistorical premises.

The first series of a loose Television adaptation from Apple TV+, Foundation (2021), ran from September to November 2021 in ten instalments; a second series is to follow. Asimov's episodic storyline is considerably rearranged, often to the point of unrecognizability, and a number of sf devices not found in the original trilogy are introduced: for example, Black Holes, Clones, Genetic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Robots, a Space Elevator, Suspended Animation via Cryonics and Upload. [DRL]

see also: Series.

Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 18:10 pm on 19 May 2022.