Foundation Universe

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Established in a serie of books by Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Series. The Foundation Universe was estabished in Asimov's first published novel, Pebble in the Sky, although Foundation takes place about 10,000 years later and that is what the Foundation series of books tells about.

The Foundation series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. For nearly thirty years, the series was a trilogy: Foundation?, Foundation and Empire?, Second Foundation?. It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. 

Then, at some unknown date Asimov decided to merge the Foundation/Empire series with his Robot series. Thus, all three series are set in the same universe, giving them a combined length of 15 novels, and a total of about 1,500,000 words. The merge also created a time-span of the series of around 20,000 years.~~

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 also foresees an alternative where the interregnum will last only one thousand years. To ensure the more favorable outcome, Seldon creates a foundation of talented artisans and engineers at the extreme end of the galaxy, to preserve and expand on humanity's collective knowledge, and thus become the foundation for a new galactic empire.

Pebble in the Sky? became the basis for the Empire series. The Galactic Empire series (also called the Empire novels or trilogy) is a science fiction sequence of three of Isaac Asimov's earliest novels, and extended to one short story. They are connected by their early place in his published works and chronological placement within his overarching Foundation Universe, set around the rise of Asimov's Galactic Empire, between the Robot and Foundation series to which they were linked in Asimov's later novels.

Most of Asimov's robot short stories, which he began to write in 1939, are set in the first age of positronic robotics and space exploration. The unique feature of Asimov's robots are the Three Laws of Robotics, hardwired in a robot's positronic brain, with which all robots in his fiction must comply, and which ensure that the robot does not turn against its creators.

The stories that is now called the Robot Series were not initially conceived as a set, but rather all feature his positronic robots — indeed, there are some inconsistencies among them, especially between the short stories and the novels. They all, however, share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Some of the short stories found in The Complete Robot and other anthologies appear not to be set in the same universe as the Foundation Universe. "Victory Unintentional" has positronic robots obeying the Three Laws, but also a non-human civilization on Jupiter. "Let's Get Together" features humanoid robots, but from a different future (where the Cold War is still in progress), and with no mention of the Three Laws. The multiple series offers a sense of completeness, because all of its works are interconnected in some way.

Asimov later integrated the Robot Series into his all-engulfing Foundation series, making R. Daneel Olivaw appear again twenty thousand years later in the age of the Galactic Empire, in sequels and prequels to the original Foundation trilogy; and in the final book of the Robots series — Robots and Empire? — we learn how the worlds that later formed the Empire were settled, and how Earth became radioactive (which was first mentioned in Pebble in the Sky).

The Stars, Like Dust? states explicitly that the Earth is radioactive because of a nuclear war. Asimov later explained that the in-universe reason for this perception was that it was formulated by Earthmen many centuries after the event, and which had become distorted, due to the loss of much of their planetary history. This work is generally regarded as part of the Empire series, but does not directly mention either Trantor? or the Spacer worlds. One character, however, is seen with a visi-sonor, the same musical instrument that is played by the clown Magnifico in Foundation and Empire. Based on details from the novel, such as Earth still being mostly habitable and the absence of a unified galactic government, it probably would fall during the early formation of the Empire.

Foundation Universe Worlds

All Foundation Universe Books

Books by Isaac Asimov

The Galactic Empire series

Pebble in the Sky? (1950)

  • Magazine Appearances:
  • Pebble in the Sky (Complete Novel) (1950)

The Stars Like Dust?
(vt The Rebellious Stars) (1951)
The Currents of Space? (1952)

  • Magazine Appearances:
  • The Currents of Space (Part 1 of 3) (1952)
  • The Currents of Space (Part 2 of 3) (1952)
  • The Currents of Space (Part 3 of 3) (1952)

Triangle? (1961)
"Blind Alley" (1945), a short story also set between the Robot and Foundation series

The Robot series

I, Robot? (1950) C
The Caves of Steel? (1954)

  • Magazine Appearances:
  • The Caves of Steel (Part 1 of 3) (1953)
  • The Caves of Steel (Part 2 of 3) (1953)
  • The Caves of Steel (Part 3 of 3) (1953)

The Naked Sun? (1957)

  • Magazine Appearances:
  • The Naked Sun (Part 1 of 3) (1956)
  • The Naked Sun (Part 2 of 3) (1956)
  • The Naked Sun (Part 3 of 3) (1956)

The Complete Robot? (1982)
The Robots of Dawn? (1983)
Robots and Empire? (1985)- Also book no. 8 in the Foundation

Foundation series

1 Foundation? (1951) C
2 Foundation and Empire? (1952)
3 Second Foundation? (1953)
4 Foundation's Edge? (1982)

  • Magazine Appearances:
  • Foundation's Edge (Chaps 1 & 2) (1982)

5 Foundation and Earth? (1986)
6 Prelude to Foundation? (1988)
7 Forward the Foundation? (1993)