Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
Foundation and EmpireThis is the second novel of the original Foundation series. It should not be read if you have not read the original novel, Foundation. Hari Seldon’s new society continues along the lines he predicted in his psycho history theories. In the first part of this novel, the last remnants of the Empire try to strike out at the Foundation. Yet the Galactic Empire still collapses in upon itself.
But Seldon’s planning cannot include the mutant individual who does not act like most normal people. When the Mule appears in the galaxy, the Foundation’s course wavers. The Foundation government had been getting hidebound. It needs to be shaken up. The Mule, a mutant who stays hidden from people, is determined to do that shaking. One small group stay ahead of the Mule and his troops, trying to find a way to defeat his armies and return the Foundation to its original purpose of restoring a civilized Empire to the Galaxy within ten to twelve centuries rather than thirty centuries.
As I said, this book is a section of the Foundation story. Do not start with this one. It is integral to the following novel, and builds upon the first one. This is an excellent series, one of the group of classic series that emanated from speculative fiction authors from the fifties and sixties. It is not a saga of one person or one person’s family, but rather the saga of civilizations over the eons. Asimov shows us in a thoughtful way that people do not fundamentally change.