Hari Seldon, a mathematics professor at Streeling University on Trantor, spends his life developing psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Psychohistory is a branch of mathematics that explains how by using the laws of mass action one can predict the future. The novel starts with Hari’s presentation at a mathematical convention elaborating the theory of psychohistory. The Emperor of the Galactic Empire learns of this and intends to use Seldon for political gain.
Seldon’s speech turns his world upside down and he suddenly finds himself becoming a hot commodity. Power hungry people hound and coerce him to use his theory to drive their political ambitions. However, Hari remains convinced throughout the novel that the application of psychohistory in the real world is impossible.
Hari finds himself torn between his beliefs that his theory is meant to be perceived academically and the selfish power hungry people who coerce him to deal with the theory in practical. This of course isn’t just Hari’s story. Hari finds himself in the midst of many other people during his attempts to evade capture by the powerful emperor and his struggle to keep the theory from falling into the wrong hands. There are numerous plot twists and many other factors that make this novel complex.
First published in the year 1988, Prelude To Foundation was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction novel.
About Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov, born on the 2nd of January, 1920, was an author and professor. He taught biochemistry at Boston University. Among the more prolific writers of all time, Asimov has written and edited over 500 books and around 90,000 letters and postcards.
Arguably, The Foundation Series is Asimov's most celebrated work. Among his other best-known works are The Galactic Empire Series and The Robot Series. Novels of The Galactic Empire Series are set in the same imaginary universe as the novels of The Foundation Series are, but in an earlier time. The Robot Series is a series of short stories and novels featuring positronic robots that are governed by the Three Laws of Robotics. Many of Asimov's robot stories have been adapted into movies and television series such as the latest 2004 summer blockbuster I, Robot.
Perhaps the most common impression of Asimov's work is that his writing style is extremely understated. His stories seldom revolve around characters, rather they unfold primarily through conversations with little action. Asimov's writings reflect his intentions to establish a warm relationship between him and the readers.
Asimov is widely considered a ‘master of hard science fiction’. He began reading science fiction magazines at a very young age. Asimov began writing stories around the age of 11 and by 19 he started selling his stories to science fiction magazines. He published 2 volumes of an autobiography and a third one was published after his death in 1994, the epilogue for which was written by his widow, Janet Asimov. Janet also edited and published It's been A Good Life, a condensed version of his autobiographies.