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[Book] Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov: Who's the Mule? 본문

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[Book] Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov: Who's the Mule?

꾸로 (gguro) 2016.06.23 15:46


[Book] Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov: Who's the Mule?


Once I have written a review of Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (here). Now as I have finally completed reading the trilogy - Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation - I am writing one more time (in two different posts) how I find the books. So this article is about the second one in the trilogy, Foundation and Empire.


1.

Let's look at a little about the background. In the trilogy which was published in 2010, a chronology of Isaac Asimov is introduced (see the photo below). According to the list, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation were published in 1951, 1952, and 1953, respectively. Such historical books in three years! In addition, it looks like 1951 was the year of a big change for Asimov because his son David Asimov was also born in the same year.




Interestingly, after then, he had not written Foundation series for a period until 1982 when he began writing and published Foundation's Edge. Afterwards, Foundation and Earth, Prelude to Foundation, and Forward the Foundation were published in 1986, 1988, and 1993, respectively, where the last one came out, in fact, after his death in 1993.


So here is the list in published order. (7 in total)

- Foundation

- Foundation and Empire

- Second Foundation

- Foundation's Edge

- Foundation and Earth

- Prelude to Foundation

- Forward the Foundation

 

I think the Korean translation version that I read a long time ago was probably Prelude to Foundation and Foundation and Earth (or Forward the Foundation) which were rearranged in chronological order of the story. Personally, I prefer to read in published order because it's the right way to follow the author's creation. So obviously, the next book I am going to read in the series is Foundation's Edge.



2.

(Spoiler alert from here!) 

Maybe that was enough for the background. In fact, I stopped reading in the middle of Foundation and Empire for whatever reason I don't remember now. So I resumed reading from somewhere in the middle, which might disturb to follow the way the story flows. Anyway, the key is the existence of a strange mutant called the Mule


Who's the Mule?


He is a mutant with a special ability to control others' minds. Using his ability, he could conquer the Galaxy. The problem is that he was not expected by Hari Seldon, the great psychohistorian. It means his appearance was not something to be predicted by mathematical calculation because psychohistory can only predict the behaviour of a mob. It does not work for an individual. 


Consequently, the appearance of the Mule is not something to be controlled by Seldon's plan. Then the question is, how can this crisis be overcome? 


The Mule controlled important figures in order to conquer the galaxy. And it looked like he nearly succeeded. He won the battle against the first foundation by controlling the minds of captains in their spaceships. 


Naturally, he wanted to find the second foundation which he obviously knew that it existed but did not know where. So he controlled one great scholar's mind to find out where it was. Unfortunately to him, the scholar was killed just before he would tell the location of the second foundation. It was done by a lady called Bayta. She knew the scholar was going to disclose it. As a result, the Mule needed to find the location by himself. He could control Bayta as well, but he did not because he kind of loved her.


Oh, one thing important is that the clown of the Mule called Magnifico was the Mule himself. I suspected it when I was reading but I wasn't sure till it had been explained.


Conclusion

So, is it worth reading? Yes, definitely. The first foundation was defeated by the Mule, but the second foundation was still out there. We don't know yet the Seldon's plan will eventually work or not. The story continues to the next book, Second Foundation.



23 June 2016
gguro



- Some tweets that I posted while reading



Other posts you might want to read:

[책] Foundation - Isaac Asimov 아시모프의 파운데이션: 현대 SF의 시작




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