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Foundation Series, Isaac Asimov (1951)

Even in space, it’s the smart ones who survive

Matthew Fishbane
September 17, 2013

Isaac Asimov’s 1950s Foundation Series is a cosmological multitome text about a vast plan to shorten a coming intergalactic 30,000-year dark age to a mere millennium, thanks to a secluded priesthood of “Encyclopedists” tasked with preserving all human knowledge. (Things don’t go as planned.) Hari Seldon has the visionary intelligence to create technology, trade, and a powerful antagonist known as The Mule—but universes, we learn at Foundation’s Edge, live and die like organisms, empires, and great religions. Only the Russian-born Jewish Mensa/humanist biochemist turned sci-fi master—Isaak Yudovich Ozimov, later Asimov, namesake of a crater on Mars—had the psychic loom sturdy enough to hold the warp and weft of such a staggering fabric.

Matthew Fishbane is a senior editor at Tablet Magazine.

Matthew Fishbane is Creative Director at Tablet magazine.