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Literature / Foundation and Empire

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At the end of two hundred years, the Foundation was the most powerful state in the Galaxy, except for the remains of the Empire, which, concentrated in the inner third of the Milky Way, still controlled three quarters of the population and wealth of the Universe.

It seemed inevitable that the next danger the Foundation would have to face was the final lash of the dying Empire.
—"Prologue"

Foundation and Empire is a collection of two Foundation Series stories edited into a cohesive Novel for Gnome Press publication in 1952. Reprinted many times since, Ace Books used the title The Man Who Upset the Universe for their printings.

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Unlike the previous book in The Foundation Trilogy, both stories within feature plenty of space adventure and daring escapes. Most of the space battles still take place off-screen, but Dr Asimov is exploring with more of the adventure style storytelling that characterizes The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr, another of his series that combines Puzzle Thriller and Action-Adventure.

Foundation and Empire works:


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Foundation and Empire provides examples of:

  • Billed Above the Title:
    • Gnome Press's cover from 1952 (with a red background) includes a Tagline above the title, "A new science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov".
    • Ace Books's The Man Who Upset the Universe cover from 1963 includes a Tagline above the title, "Isaac Asimov's greatest science-fiction novel".
    • Panther's cover from 1964 listed Dr Asimov's name first, then the title in All Caps, and then a Tagline. Isaac Asimov is in font twice as large as the other two, although all three combined take up less than a quarter of the space on the cover.
    • Panther's cover from 1965 listed ASIMOV first, then the title at one-third the size, and followed by a Tagline in font slightly smaller than the title. All three combined take up about a quarter of the space on the cover.
    • Avon's cover from 1966 listed Isaac Asimov first, then the title (with FOUNDATION three times as large as the rest of the title).
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    • Heyne's cover from 1966 has a Tagline first, then Isaac Asimov, and then the title, placing the title of the work roughly one-third of the way down the cover.
    • Panther's cover from 1969 listed "asimov" first, at roughly three times the font size of the title.
    • The French translation of 1974 listed both the author and the title in small font on the same line at the bottom of the cover, giving the author's name first.
    • The French translation of 1976, by Denoel, puts Isaac Asimov's name first, then the title of this book.
    • Panther's cover from 1979 puts "asimov" at the top of the cover (just under Panther), and three times as large as the title.
    • Del Rey's cover from 1983 lists the title beneath Dr Asimov's name, making the two lines of the title combined just as large as his first name, and his last name is larger than both of them combined.
  • Dedication: This book is dedicated to Mary and Henry because of how they willingly persevere with him.
    To Mary and Henry
    For Patience and Endurance
  • Market-Based Title:
    • The 1974 Italian translation (by Oscar) for Foundation and Empire is "Il crollo della Galassia Centrale", which roughly translates in English as "The collapse of the Central Galaxy".
    • The 1977 German translation (by Heyne) for for Foundation and Empire is "Der galaktische General, which roughly translates in English as The galactic General''.
  • The Namesake:
    • The title derives from the first conflict of the book, the conflict between General Bel Riose of the central Galactic Empire, and the growing nation of the Foundation, out along the periphery of the galaxy.
    • The 1963 publication by Ace Books is instead titled The Man Who Upset the Universe. Rather than meaning the conflict of failing Empire versus rising Foundation, this title is based on the second conflict of the book, where a mutant rises from nothing to smash the Foundation, conquering what took it three centuries to do in less than three years, as well as the remnants of the Galactic Empire.
    • The 1974 Italian translation (by Oscar) changed the title to "Il crollo della Galassia Centrale", which roughly translates in English as "The collapse of the Central Galaxy". This refers to the events of both stories, the way the Galactic Empire collapses from their position as a strong central Galactic Superpower, to a small part of the Mule's galactic conquest.
  • Previously On…: The book is prefaced by a Prologue, which summarizes the events from Foundation (1951).
  • Retro Rocket: The cover of the 1955 Ace Books has several dart-like spaceships in the background. The foreground characters are a mix of spacesuit-wearing guards and chain gang prisoners in a desert-like valley.
  • Tagline:
    • "A new science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov" — Gnome Press's cover from 1952 (with a red background)
    • "Isaac Asimov's greatest science-fiction novel" — Ace Books's The Man Who Upset the Universe cover from 1963
    • "Two mighty civilizations clashed over the destiny of the Universe" — Panther's Foundation and Empire cover from 1964, and reused for their 1965 cover
    • "Two mighty forces of civilization oppose each other in a galactic battle for mastery of the Universe" — Avon's Foundation and Empire cover from 1966
    • "Der treueste General des Sternenkaisers versucht, das sterbende Imperium zu retten — aber die Berenchnungen eines Toten triumphieren uber den Willien der Lebenden" — Heyne's cover from 1966, translates back into English as (roughly) "The stalwart General of the Star Emperor tries to save the dying Empire - but the Calculations of the Dead triumphs over the Will of the Living".
    • "Book Two of the Foundation Trilogy, awarded the Hugo as Best Series Ever!" — Del Rey's cover from 1983
  • Title Drop: The Prologue provides basic setting details, including the primary conflict of the next story; the battle of Foundation (along the Periphery) and Empire (still in control of the centre, with three-quarters of the galactic population loyal to the emperor).
    The way must be cleared for the battle of Foundation and Empire. — "Prologue"
  • What Other Galaxies?: The stories originally handled the difference between the Milky Way galaxy and the universe (including multiple galaxies) correctly, but the Encyclopedia Galactica entry for "The Mule" conflates the two, and this mistake is followed by multiple covers for this book, as do Taglines from Panther and Avon.
  • Working on the Chain Gang: The cover of the 1955 Ace Books has a mix of foreground characters, some of whom are spacesuit-wearing guards with rifles, and others are prisoners linked by chains, marching in a desert-like valley. Not that this ever occurs in the book.

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