The definitive cover art for this definitive work by one of the greatest minds in science fiction literature, Isaac Asimov. Hari Seldon and the city/planet Trantor inspire and permeate the whole Foundation series; they are the books' ultimate symbols and so the only choice for the first cover.
In the composition, Michael suggested the stately grandeur of the monumental civilization at the height of its power. As in the Greek and Roman columns of antiquity, the towers represent the tradition, law, and bureaucracy of the book's thousand year empire and in front is the benevolent grand architect of the next millennium. The light is low on the horizon-it could be dawn or dusk, or both-signifying the impending doom of Trantor and the rise of the Foundation.
On Seldon's lapel is a raven, the nickname given him by the citizens of Trantor. He is bound to confinement in the wheelchair, but he has the stars and planets in his lap as he looks with confidence to the future he so clearly sees.
Isaac Asimov (Del Rey)
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 in 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.
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