Foundation Author:Isaac Asimov For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future -- to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds i... more »n the Empire -- both scientists and scholars -- and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun -- or fight them and be destroyed.« less
The fiercely ambitious premise of the Foundation series is of a repository of knowledge set up as a candle in the dark, against the chaos pressing in on the crumbling edges of the imploding Galactic Empire.
Brilliant social scientist Hari Seldon has realized that the vast, ancient Empire which seemed "too big to fail" (as we might say) should actually be measuring its remaining lifespan on the scale of decades. The aftermath of this collapse will surely be the regression of humanity into barbarism for tens of centuries before civilization can hope to regroup. That is, unless a visionary were to try to establish a last bastion of science, to safeguard human knowledge for the purposes of rebuilding as soon as the dust has settled from the Empire's collapse.
Yet as the protection of the dwindling Empire is gradually withdrawn from Foundation, how will this small community of peace-loving scientists manage to hold off the ring of savage petty kingdoms that lust after the prospect of looting this desperate outpost of human knowledge?
The second half of the book is broken into a series of connected short stories describing activities of the different groups involved in Foundation's struggle for survival. One after another, they must confront a series of desperate crises with only their own ingenuity and the wisdom of the long-dead Hari Seldon to guide them.