Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. It is the monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of psychohistory. Now, with the permission -- and blessing -- of the Asimov estate, the epic saga continues.Fate -- and a cruel Emperor's arbitrary power -- have thrust Hari Seldon into the First Ministership of the Empire against his will.
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February 09, 2004
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Excerpt from Foundation's Fear by Gregory Benford
He had made enough enemies to acquire a nickname, Hari Seldon mused, and not enough friends to hear what it was.
He could feel the truth of that in the murmuring energy in the crowds. Uneasily he walked from his apartment to his office across the broad squares of Streeling University. "They don't like me," he said.
Dors Vanabili matched his stride easily, studying the massed faces. "I do not sense any danger."
"Don't worry your pretty head about assassination attempts--at least, not right away."
"My, you're in a fine mood today."
"I hate this security screen. Who wouldn't?"
The Imperial Specials had farmed out in what their captain termed "an engaging perimeter" around Hati and Dors. Some carried flash-screen projectors, capable of warding off a full heavy-weapons assault. Others looked equally dangerous bare-handed.
Their scarlet-and-blue uniforms made it easy tosee where the crowd was impinging on the moving security boundary as Hari walked slowly across the main campus square. Where the crowd was thickest, the bright uniforms simply hulled their way through. The entire spectacle made him acutely uncomfortable. Specials were not noted for their diplomacy and this was, after all, a quiet place of learning. Or had been.
Dors clasped his hand in reassurance. "A First Minister can't simply walk around without--"
"I'm not First Minister!"
"The Emperor has designated you, and that's enough for this crowd."
"The High Council hasn't acted. Until they do--"
"Your friendswill assume the best," she said mildly.
"These are my friends?" Hari eyed the crowd suspiciously.
So they were. One called, "Hail the Prof Minister!" and others laughed.
"Is that my nickname now?"
"Well, it's not a bad one."
"Why do they flock so?"