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Literature / Foundation's Edge

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It is now four hundred and ninety-eight years after the First Foundation had come into existence. It is at the peak of its strength, but one man does not accept appearances -

First published in 1982 by Isaac Asimov, this is the first Foundation Series story written as a novel, and Dr Asimov's first Foundation story in thirty years, finally publishing a fourth book. Foundation's Edge won that year's Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Locus Award for Best SF Novel. The story is a Distant Sequel to the events of "Search by the Foundation", taking place over one hundred years later.

The novel begins just after the government on Terminus has seen Hari Seldon's recording in the Time Vault, congratulating the Foundation for choosing to remain on the edge of the galaxy instead of moving the government elsewhere. Golan Trevize, recently-elected Councilman, believes that this is proof that the Second Foundation (which had been universally thought to be extinct due to the events of "Search by the Foundation") still exists and is manipulating them behind the scenes. He quickly finds himself imprisoned and Mayor Harla Branno explains why; of course the Second foundation still exists, and publicly admitting it will only cause those psychic chessmasters to remove this knowledge from the government. Trevize agrees to a long-term mission to find the origin of humanity as a cover for his search for the mysterious mentalics.

Trevize leaves Terminus, accompanied by Janov Pelorat, an expert on Earth/Gaia/Alpha and other mythological stories of humanity's homeworld. Secretly following them is Munn Li Compor, who is working for Gendibal, of the Second Foundation, and Mayor Branno. At the same time, the Second Foundation has discovered that a secret organization, which they dub the "Anti-Mules", who are themselves manipulating things to conform to the Seldon Plan. As an unknown factor in the galaxy, they are automatically a threat to the Seldon Plan, and Stor Gendibal heads out to track Trevize and discover who has been pulling their strings.

It's a secret war between the First Foundation (with anti-telepathy technology who want to conquer the galaxy by force), the Second Foundation (a class of mentalists who wish to use the Seldon Plan to conquer the galaxy through misdirection), and the Anti-Mules (whose motives are yet unknown but whose Psychic Powers outclass the Second Foundation).

This story is followed by Foundation and Earth.

Foundation's Edge provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Huge Population: The exposition given at the start of chapter 5, "Speaker", says that the planet Trantor's population was capped, by law, at forty-five billions of people. However, this means that if Trantor had a surface area equivalent to Earth, then the vast City Planet had a population density comparable to half that of Alaska's largest city.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Janov Pelorat is a Foundation historian fascinated with the myths of humanity's origin. When Trevize asks why humanity couldn't have arisen on multiple planets (as convergent evolution), Pelorat prepares to launch into an in-depth explanation, but recognizes the enormity of information and instead requests that Trevize trust him. He wants to visit the Library on Trantor to read more second-hand accounts of humanity, but Trevize convinces him that they should physically go to the sites and see for themselves what is there. So they head to the Sayshell system to learn about Gaia. Their archaeological adventures (conspiracies and physical violence) continue in Foundation and Earth.
  • And Then What?: It is currently about five hundred years into the galactic collapse of civilization predicted by psychohistory. The current First Speaker notes that for Seldon, The Plan ended with the Second Empire being established (had nothing to do with lack of foresight; Seldon never even had the time to finish the Plan itself properly) within one thousand years. This First Speaker had largely earned his position because of his work on extending the Plan further into the future, planning the future development of the Second Galactic Empire.
  • Artistic License – Space: Trevize and Pelorat discuss a legend about a particular pentagon of stars. Pelorat assumes it's a legend centuries old, but Trevize explains it must have originated from the Sayshell system, because it is the only inhabited system from which these stars form a perfect pentagon. Moreover, he explains that it must be a recent tale, as the pentagon is composed of stars with high proper motion, and was noticeably distorted as late as a century ago.
  • Assimilation Plot: Gaia is a Genius Loci where the entire world and everything on it has joined a group consciousness. Now they want to spread their consciousness to the galaxy at large, and become Galaxia (which they admit will take centuries to go into effect).
  • Billed Above the Title:
    • The 1982 Doubleday edition puts Dr Asimov's name at the top of the cover, in huge font, with the title in slightly smaller font beneath it.
    • The 1983 Granada edition puts "asimov" in large font across the top of the cover, then the Tagline in much smaller font, and then the title, in large font that's still only a quarter the size of Dr Asimov's name.
    • The 1983 Del Rey cover includes a tagline at the top of the cover, saying this book was on The New York Times Bestseller List for six months, then Dr Asimov's name in large letters across the book, then the title in font one-third the size, and then a second tagline, mentioning that this book is part of the Foundation series.
    • The 1987 Del Rey edition puts two Taglines at the top of the cover, then Dr Asimov's name across, with the title underneath in slightly smaller font.
  • Blind Jump: When Golan Trevize instructs the computer to travel to Sayshell, he's surprised to learn that it is capable of plotting out a course involving twenty-eight Hyperspace jumps. He's uncomfortable with committing to it because he'd be unable to fine-tune the calculations after each jump. It's In-Universe Technology Marches On; Trevize is using a new, much more powerful computer that is no longer subject to the limitations of older technology.
  • Boxed Set: In 2018, Editora Aleph, a Brazilian publisher, printed Fundacao: declinio e ascensao. Roughly translated into English, this means Foundation: Decline and Ascension. Both Sequel and both Prequel novels are here; Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, Prelude to Foundation, and Forward the Foundation.
  • Canon Welding: Dom's story to Trevize and Pelorat about the "Eternals" in chapter 17 is a reference to The End of Eternity, which Dr Asimov wrote in the 1950s. The end of the novel revolves partly around allowing humanity to expand into an empty galaxy.
  • The Chosen One: Golan Trevize is chosen by Gaia, to determine the fate of humanity, because he makes good decisions instinctively. He is, every so often, certain, and these decisions are always correct. To be more precise, Gaia manipulated the Second Foundation to manipulate the First Foundation to send Trevize away with a specially-made ship so that he could play kingmaker in the three-way Mexican Standoff that Gaia was arranging near Sayshell.
  • Consequence Combo: Mayor Branno banishes Trevize from Terminus, with the instruction to publicly lead a two-man search for Earth (secretly, he's looking for evidence of the Second Foundation). It's indirectly stated that if he returns without success, he will be killed. Success, however, will mean great honor. Choosing not to go at all would be punished with life imprisonment on manufactured charges of treason.
  • Continuity Snarl: When Trevize and Pelorat discuss what could have hypothetically made Earth radioactive, they consider nuclear war but reject the theory, on the basis that no one would be that crazy, even mentioning an event from the Imperial era where a ship captain was killed by his own men after he suggested using a nuclear explosion to put an end to a battle. However, just four centuries before siege guns with atomic bombs are mentioned as a completely regular thing.
  • Cool Starship:
  • Crew of One: The Far Star is piloted solely by Trevize, and is known as a personal carrier.
  • Dedication: This book is dedicated to Betty Prashker and Lester del Rey for their encouragement in writing this novel.
    Dedicated to Betty Prashker, who insisted,
    and to Lester del Rey, who nagged.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Gaia, an entire planet of "Mules". When the Second Foundation realizes the evidence, they nickname this unforeseen organization the "Anti-Mules". Stor Gendibal quickly makes plans to find and eliminate them because any unknown factor poses a risk to the Seldon Plan.
  • Distant Sequel: This story takes place one hundred thirty-three years after the events of "Search by the Foundation", in the year 498 F.E.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Trevize and Pelorat suppose that Seldon's statement about the 'opposite ends of the galaxy’ refers to the first and last planets that humans colonized, and start searching for Earth/Gaia. Gaia and Earth appeared to be synonymous, but by travelling to Gaia, they learned that it was not Earth.
  • Earth That Was: The location and fate of Earth are completely forgotten. Historians like Pelorat, who specialize in pre-historical knowledge, are extremely rare, even with quadrillions of people in the galaxy. They aren't even certain that the name "earth" is accurate, using it as a placeholder to mean "the origin world of humanity".
    "Earth is a legendary name. It is enshrined in ancient myths. It has no meaning we can be certain of, but it is convenient to use the word as a one-syllable synonym for 'the planet of origin of the human species.' Just which planet in real space is the one we are defining as 'Earth' is not known." — Pelorat
  • The End... Or Is It?: The story ends with the layers of deception and counter-deception being pulled back and explained. Trevize asks Dom to clarify why Gaia had hidden all references to Earth. Dom, however, doesn't understand because they don't know anything about Earth, either. A huge cover-up that is still unexplained.
    (for now)
  • Expospeak Gag: In chapter 11, a customs official refers to his superior as a 'sanguinary person born of an irregular union'. In other words, he calls the superior a bloody bastard.
  • Gambit Pileup: Golan Trevize is the bait/trap of three factions who wish to control the entire galaxy. At the climax, Gaia has won the complicated gambit and counter-gambit, but their immediate goal is to put the First Foundation, Second Foundation, and themselves into a Mexican Standoff with Golan Trevize as tie-breaker. He gets to listen to each argument and then use his Cool Starship to boost the psychic signal of whichever group he prefers. His choice determines the future of the galaxy.
  • Genius Loci: While looking for evidence of Earth, Trevize and Pelorat find Gaia, a Genii Loci where every living and non-living part of the planet shares a single group consciousness and identity. The autonomy of each part varies, depending on how much freedom of will the part grants to Gaia, with humans having the most. Verbalizing its opinions to other characters can be confusing, but each person is supposedly capable of expressing a view separate from Gaia itself.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: This work presents a complicated example in the Mexican Standoff, where the First Foundation summarizes their position as "Free Will", the Second Foundation summarizes their position as "Guidance and peace", and Gaia summarizes their position as "Life". On the side of "Free Will", they argue that humanity should be free to determine its own destiny, uncontained and unbridled, a form of Chaos. On the side of "Guidance and peace", they argue that allowing a small group of excellently-trained leaders guiding humanity's future from the shadows will provide the most good for it, a form of Discipline. On the side of "Life", they argue that humanity is only a small part of galactic life, and that Harmony with the whole galaxy means joining in a Hive Mind.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: An In-Universe example, as Professor Quintesetz claims that the Mule — who never attacked Quintesetz' own world, Sayshell — was a reasonable ruler who "did not use unreasonable force, was not bloody, and ruled humanely". The millions who died when the Mule's forces laid waste to the planet Tazenda, merely because he'd received information that the Second Foundation might be located there (it wasn't), would probably disagree.
  • Hive Mind: The entire planet is incorporated: every man, woman, animal, and every plant and inanimate object on the eponymous planet, all the way down to the rocks and the atmosphere. This is of the Mental Fusion variant, as individual Gaians possess names, personalities and even prestige based on individual accomplishments. However, important decisions are made via an ultimate form of direct democracy where everyone and everything on Gaia contributes at least some input to superorganism's decision-making. Gaia's ultimate goal is to create Galaxia — turning the entire galaxy into a shared mind, from every asteroid and dead planet, to the great black hole at its center.
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: Gaia is a Hive Mind of humans, plants, bacteria, and even the non-biological systems of air and rock contribute to the gestalt. Individual parts (such as humans) have some psychic abilities, such as empathic senses and Emotion Control, but tend to avoid using their powers as much as possible. Working together gives them the ability to affect other people across astronomical distances. It also Ret Cons the origin of the Mule, claiming him to be an aberrant Gaian.
  • Incapable of Disobeying: During the climax, one of the Gaians explains how their Hive Mind is morally restricted from taking certain actions. They learned how to become a planetary consciousness from robots thousands of years ago. Because they were Three Laws-Compliant, Gaia operates on a modified version of those laws.
    "The First Law, in those terms, is: 'Gaia may not harm life or, through inaction, allow life to come to harm. ' We have followed this rule through all of our history and we can do no other."Gaia through Novi
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Following someone through a Hyperspace jump based on its initial velocity is known to be possible. Following someone through 32 consecutive hyperspace jumps in a matter of seconds, on the other hand… The only reason said jumps are even possible is because Trevize is in a new type of ship, with an integrated navigational computer. Trevize is concerned about even using the capability because he worries that an error in calculation might send them into a black hole.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): An In-Universe example occurs as Trantor is gradually being renamed "Hame" because of the locals (who are saying "Home", but in their regional dialect). This is a reference to the Trope Namer, as the Foundation series is based on The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon. Travelers to Constantinople, when discussing their destination, would say they were going "eis ten polis" or "to the city", which became corrupted into Istanbul.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: One of the potential King parties, the planetary superorganism calling itself Gaia, engineers a kingmaker scenario. They could have manipulated things to win without it, but they don't trust their own biases. Instead, they manipulate things to create a Mexican Standoff between themselves, the First Foundation, and the Second Foundation, with a single specific individual of near-preternatural intuition being able to tip the balance to any of the three factions. Whichever faction won the standoff would be able to gain a firm edge over the other two, and be set to have their vision be the dominant one.
  • Long Game: Golan Trevize discovers Gaia, a planet of gestalt intelligence, who (years ago) planned a Gambit Pileup where Trevize would be the one to decide whose idea of galactic destiny was the right one. The First Foundation wants to conquer the galaxy now, the Second Foundation wants to stick to the Seldon Plan, and Gaia wants to create a galaxy-wide gestalt intelligence (which will take centuries to achieve at least).
  • Market-Based Title: The 1993 Bruna translation chooses to call the book Hoeksteen van de Foundation: Gaia, which suggests that Gaia is somehow the basis of the Foundation.
  • Meaningful Rename: A cultural trait of Gaia is to add syllables to a name based on what they've accomplished. Younger characters are named "Blissenobiarella" or "Suranoviremblastiran", while Dom's full name is said to be hundreds of syllables long. The names are universally abbreviated to a single syllable in normal conversation.
  • Mental Fusion: The Second Foundation has begun to experiment with mental gestalts. They're still far from the Hive Mind possessed by Gaia (the main use the Foundation has come up with is simply being set up so that a Second Foundationer on the scene can draw from more mental power than he himself possesses), but it is probably not a coincidence that the book ends with the Second Foundation's representative in the climactic showdown leaving, slightly mind-altered by Gaia, with the idea to encourage more and deeper work on the gestalts...
  • Mexican Standoff: Invoked during the climax; Gaia arranges the First Foundation (with Mayor Branno aboard a warship), the Second Foundation (with Speaker Gendilbal aboard a personal cruiser with a psychic gestalt), and themselves (A Genius Loci in nearby space) into a three-way stalemate so that Trevize is put into the position of determining which faction has the best future and using his Cool Starship to form a Psychic Link reinforcing that side's weapons.
  • Multistage Teleport: Foundation long-distance space travel is done one relatively short jump at a time, after which a navigator must calculate the next jump. These calculations can take days, but Trevize's ship is capable of making the calculations in seconds. These "short" jumps are still hundreds of lightyears, but traveling all the way across the galaxy in one jump risks collisions with stars or other obstacles.
  • Naming Your Colony World:
    • Gaia's name, by way of the Gaia hypothesis, is derived from Gaia, the Greek goddess who personified the Earth and is the ancestral mother of all life. Both planet and star share the same name, and the name Gaia was chosen to symbolize its planetary consciousness.
    • Sayshell, capital of the Sayshell Union, takes its name from the Seychelles islands on Earth in the Indian Ocean. References to ornamental script, bright clothing, spicy vegetarian foods, and meditation suggest the planet was deliberately named for their ancestral home. However, it should also be mentioned that the territory of the Sayshell Union (a nation) extends beyond the star system of Sayshell, and shares its name with the capital city and capital planet.
      "Sayshell City," he said, "the capital of the planet. City - planet - star - all named Sayshell."
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: It's briefly mentioned a few times that the Foundation's unit of currency is the credit, and has a national credit card.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: On the topic of Earth's then-alleged radioactivity, Trevize and Pelorat discuss the possibility of it being caused by a nuclear war — which they dismiss out of hand because, in their era, the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable. They go on to discuss an insurrection during the Imperial era in which, after both sides were reduced to starvation and desperation, one of the commanders suggested causing a nuclear explosion to resolve the conflict — and was promptly hanged by his own men.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sura Novi is a gentle, slightly naïve Hamenian (post-Fall Trantor inhabitant) who barely knows how to read and write and decides to work for Stor Gendibal as a servant because she has a bit of hero worship and a crush on him. However, she's actually a highly intelligent and powerful Gaian agent that was placed in Hame/Trantor to get a Speaker to the First Foundation/Second Foundation/Gaia meeting to decide the Galaxy's future, and later returns to Trantor with Gendilbal to subtly guide him into leading the Second Foundation towards Galaxia.
  • Omnibus: Gallimard published a 985-page volume in 2015 for their Folio SF series. Titled Fondation 2, this book contains a French translation of both Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth.
  • Outsourcing Fate: Trevize is chosen by Gaia to decide between a militaristic Empire by conquering the galaxy, a benevolently guided Empire ruled by psychics, or absorbing the entire galaxy into Gaia's Hive Mind. He was chosen because he is capable of being right in a way that nobody else is, and Gaia wanted his confirmation before taking action, due to being bound by an altered version of the Three Laws of Robotics.
  • Overly Long Name: Gaians add syllables to their names with age and accomplishments. Most pick a single syllable for regular use. Dom, a particularly noteworthy Gaian, has 253 syllables in his name, with no separation between them! Every Gaian year, on their birthday, Gaia recites their name in every mind. Bliss is so used to the convention that she finds it odd to say both syllables of Trevize.
  • Planetville: Trevize and Pelorat discuss how Earth might have become radioactive, they raise the possibility of a nuclear accident — which they dismiss because such a disaster wouldn't affect an entire planet.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In chapter 12, "Agent", a Second Foundation urban legend (that "almost certainly never happened") is described about the importance of properly communicating in a telepathic report. The first report about the Mule was ignored because it was understood to be a message about a mule rather than a person named after a mule, leading to a very costly delay in response, a mistake that could happen only because telepathic communication has few or no redundancies compared to natural language.
  • Pragmatic Hero: At the end of the book, Trevize explains that part of the reason why he chose Gaia during the Mexican Standoff is that he knows that choosing either the First or the Second Foundation would have meant an immediate change of events, while Gaia at least allowed a potential change of mind if he later realized he had made a mistake.
  • Previously on…: The book is prefaced by a Prologue, which summarizes the events from The Foundation Trilogy.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Gaia, a Genius Loci formed by the Hive Mind of all living and non-living components. The residents of Gaia are Gaia, and have constructed a number of pronouns to show shades of meaning with respect to being Gaia, but the protagonists aren't familiar with them, so workarounds like I/we/Gaia are used to express the concept for the protagonists and the audience.
    "[A] whole planet with a mind and personality in common, so that one has to say 'I/we/Gaia' as an invented pronoun to express the inexpressible."Golan Trevize, Foundation and Earth
  • Proud Scholar Race: The Second Foundation, having been established as hiding themselves on Trantor by becoming librarians, are known as "scowlers" amoung the planetary population. It is a corruption of the word "scholar". They are proud of their knowledge, especially of the way their focus on the social sciences has helped them develop the ability to calculate the future and Psychic Powers. One of the Hamish women, Novi, tries to convince Stor Gendibal to let her become a "scowler", too (she thinks it means reading books and doing housework for him).
  • Reactionless Drive: The First Foundation has developed a new type of starship that use a "gravitic drive", based on Artificial Gravity, for maneuvering in normal space. These ships use no reaction mass and don't technically accelerate. The gravitic drive draws its power from the environment of the universe.
    "We don't have to store fuel or make use of it on the spot. We're making use of the fundamental energy store of the Universe, so that the fuel and the engines are all - out there."Golan Trevize
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Mayor Branno has banished Councilman Trevize from Terminus with a Cool Starship, a mission to discover the homeworld of humanity (which is a cover for his investigation into the Second Foundation), and a warning not to return until he has convincing evidence to share with the galaxy. He's not banished because she doesn't believe him, but because she thinks he's being too obvious in his search, and plans to use him as a lightning rod to distract the Second Foundation from her own actions.
  • Retcon: The Mule is stated to be from Gaia, rather than a Mutant from the rest of galactic society, as described in "The Mule".
  • Reverse Psychology: Compor urges Trevize to stay on Sayshell, because he knows that Trevize won't trust him and will leave the planet as soon as possible.
  • Screw Destiny: First Foundation Mayor Harla Branno. She decides that she wants to, and can, establish the Second Galactic Empire now, and thus rule the galaxy. To this end, she sets out to locate and destroy the Second Foundation, since she knows they will try to stop her attempt to break the Seldon Plan and establish the empire centuries ahead of schedule.
  • Sequel Hook: The end of the book sets up the sequel, due to Gaia having no records of Earth, despite being built by robots who knew plenty about it. There was no information on Earth in the Library of Trantor, either, which means someone has deliberately obfuscated the location. Trevize is troubled by this, despite only learning about it very recently.
  • Some Call Me "Tim": The inhabitants of Gaia have long names (due to adding a new syllable for each major achievement), but are usually referred to by a single syllable from that name. For example, Blissenobiarella is called "Bliss", and this is not even a very long name by Gaian standards (nor would a "Bliss Nobiarella" be long by Western standards). Since the use of a single syllable is a cultural thing, she feels uncomfortable using the full names of other people even if they have short names, so she often calls Trevize "Trev" and Pelorat "Pel".
  • Subspace Ansible: Second Foundationers have developed the power to communicate by thoughts across the galaxy, which is not as "pretty" as conventional hyper-relays, but cannot be tapped.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: The Foundation has finally designed a proper navigational computer, and it plots a course involving some 29 jumps in only a few seconds (something that a human would have taken days to do) with zero errors. Trevize is initially distrustful, and orders the ship to make only the first jump, then takes a whole day to verify their coordinates (making calculation errors of his own in the process). When he orders the ship to complete the entire course, he has each jump displayed on the viewscreen, creating an effect like a slideshow of starscapes. Midway through the journey, the computer reoptimized the course, making only 28 jumps in total (in 30 minutes, as opposed to a few months).
  • Tagline:
    • "The fourth novel in the Foundation Series" — Doubleday's cover from 1982
    • "The fourth book in the epic Foundation Series" — Granada's cover from 1983
    • "The fourth novel in the Foundation Series" — Doubleday's cover from 1982
    • Two taglines on the Del Rey cover for 1983; "Six months on The New York Times Bestseller List" and "Book Four of the Classic Foundation Series!"
    • Two taglines on the Del Rey cover for 1987; "Over 26 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List" and "Book Four of the classic, award-winning Foundation Series!"
  • Time Abyss: Gaia, a living planet, estimates its age to be roughly 19,000 years.
  • Universal Universe Time: Pelorat describes the use of Galactic Standard Time as "evidence" for the theory of humanity originating from one planet, when Earth is lost and forgotten. This explanation isn't accepted by everyone interested in the "Origin Question”, but such people are fringe theorists anyway, as interstellar travel is prehistorical in origin.
  • Unusual User Interface: A new model of starship has a neural interface, which the protagonist expects will involve a helmet. Instead, the panel bears an outline of two hands, and the apparently flat surface creates the sensation of gripping his hands with a soft, velvety touch. This contact is enough to create a mental connection to the ship, allowing for psychic control of the Cool Starship.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mayor Branno intentionally sends Trevize out to call attention to himself, hopefully acting as a lightning rod to distract the Second Foundation (which is one reason why she sent Compor to follow him in a less-effective ship).
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: This novel proposes three possible means towards utopia, and their representatives are manipulated into a Mexican Standoff to argue their ideologies to the one person who can break the stalemate. One faction wishes to conquer the galaxy through sheer technological superiority. Their utopia is about freedom and accepting the consequences of that freedom. Another faction advocates behind the scenes manipulation. Their utopia is a secret elite ensuring the perpetual existence of galactic peace. The third faction proposes conformity not on a societal scale but on a galactic scale. Their utopia is a Hive Mind where interstellar dust, plants, and humans are joined in a superorganism the size of the galaxy. The third choice is teasingly portrayed as ominous, and the search for why it is the necessary choice is the Inciting Incident for Foundation and Earth. Aliens that can cross the intergalactic void are assumed to be incredibly dangerous, and the best weapon humanity has ever had is unity in the face of opposition.
  • Villainous Legacy: The disruption to the Seldon Plan caused by the Mule continues to have lasting consequences, although through negative evidence. Because of his disruption, the government of Terminus realizes that in order for Seldon's Plan to still be accurate, the Second Foundation must still be manipulating things from behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the Second Foundation has verified the math and determined that there should still be Deviations in the Plan, and there aren't. Which means that someone else, some "Anti-Mules", are manipulating things better than the Second Foundation. Gaia admits to being irresponsible for letting the Mule escape the planet and terrorize the galaxy, since he was part of Gaia.
  • Zeerust: Pelorat is thrilled at the wafer that can hold his entire library of references to Earth. The novel was published in the early 1980s, when the CD had just been introduced, and was capable of storing 847 MB. Only twenty years later, Blu-ray disks have 27000 MB. Assuming a book takes up two megabytes, the potential of storing four hundred books was already there, upped to ten thousand books in only twenty years. Moore's Law and related observations promise that we will continue to see the size of Pelorat's references grow to ridiculous numbers.