Foundation's Edge

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Foundation's Edge (1982) is a science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov, the fourth book in the Foundation Series. It was written more than thirty years after the stories of the original Foundation trilogy, due to years of pressure by fans and editors on Asimov to write another,[1] and, according to Asimov himself, the amount of the payment offered by the publisher. It was his first novel to ever land on The New York Times best-seller list, after 262 books and 44 years of writing.

Foundation's Edge won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1983,[2][3] and was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1982.[4]

Plot summary

Five hundred years after the establishment of the Foundation, the Mayor of Terminus, Harla Branno, is basking in a political glow, her policies having been vindicated by the recent successful resolution of a Seldon Crisis. Golan Trevize, a former officer of the Navy and now a member of Council, believes the Second Foundation (which is almost universally thought to be extinct) still exists and is controlling events. He attempts to question the continued existence of the Seldon Plan during a Council session and Branno has him arrested on a charge of treason. Branno orders him to leave Terminus to search for the Second Foundation. As a cover, he is to be accompanied by Janov Pelorat, a professor of Ancient History and mythologist, who is interested in the location of Earth, the fabled homeworld of humanity. They are provided a highly advanced computer controlled 'gravitic' ship with which to carry out their mission. Branno also sends out Munn Li Compor in another similar vessel to follow and monitor Trevize.

On Trantor, Stor Gendibal, a rising intellect in the Second Foundation hierarchy, discovers a secret he reveals to Quindor Shandess, the current First Speaker — that the Seldon Plan, which the Second Foundation diligently protects and furthers along, is being manipulated by some unknown group, one possibly more powerful than the Second Foundation, and whose reasons for so doing are not known. (This group is dubbed the "Anti-Mules" by Shandess, as they seem to possess powers similar to the Mule but to be using them not to destroy the Seldon Plan, as the Mule did, but to preserve it.) Gendibal concludes that Trevize is a "lightning rod" sent out to locate and expose the Second Foundation. His ideas are not well received by the other Speakers, but he has the support of Shandess.

Trevize never intends to go to Trantor believing, that once at the library, Pelorat will never leave. Trevize and Pelorat discuss Pelorat's interest in Earth and its legends, and Trevize realizes that Seldon's phrase "at the other end of the Galaxy" (the phrase he used to describe the Second Foundation's location) could mean Earth. His logic being that Terminus (at the time of Hari Seldon) was the last planet to be inhabited (one end of the metaphorical galaxy)and, by definition, Earth was the first (the other end of the metaphorical galaxy). However, there is no planet named Earth in the galactic table of planets. Pelorat, through his previous research, established characteristics that Earth must have: a 24 hour day, a 365 day year, and a large satellite. Once again no planet on file has these characteristics, but the galactic table of planets is missing a lot of information about a lot of planets. Nonetheless, Pelorat has a guess. The table mentions a planet called Gaia which Pelorat discovered, previously, to mean Earth. Its exact coordinates are unknown but it is listed as being in the Sayshell Sector. Trevize decides that they must go to the Sayshell Sector to follow up on this lead.

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