FOUNDATION'S TRIUMPH

David Brin

"I liked Foundation's Triumph a lot!" — Janet Asimov


DAVID BRIN's Foundation's Triumph

Harper-Collins, 1999

Read the first 5 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase FOUNDATION'S TRIUMPH.


Isaac Asimov's brilliance lives on

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline and a secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the coming Dark Age with tools of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many themes of modern science fiction.

Now — authorized by the Isaac Asimov estate — the Second Foundation Trilogy completes the epic the Grand Master left unfinished.

Gregory Benford starts the series with his book Foundation's Fear, which tells the origins of Hari Seldon, the Foundation's creator. Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos, the second book in the series, relates the epic tale of Seldon's downfall and the first stirrings of robotic rebellion.

David Brin's concluding volume wraps up all of the loose ends. Foundation's Triumph carries Isaac Asimov's epic universe to its logical (and satisfying) conclusion.

Hari Seldon is about to escape and risk everything for one final quest — a search for knowledge and the power it bestows. The outcome of this final journey may secure humankind's future — or witness its final downfall.


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purchase Foundation's Fear and Foundation and Chaos

While Foundation's Triumph can be enjoyed alone, some people might want to also read the first two novels from the Second Foundation Trilogy.

Foundation's Fear and Foundation and Chaos

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purchase Foundation and Chaos

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Powell's US: paperback



the killer B's

the killer B's
[image, l. to r., of David Brin, Greg Bear & Gregory Benford; photograph © Stewart Blandon]

foreign-language editions

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Foundation's Triumph's foreign editions

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    Queries about film or media rights to any DAVID BRIN books or stories can be addressed to his film agent:
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    Foundation's Triumph reviews

    Science Fiction Weekly

    "A satisfying and clever finale ... An impressive, thought-provoking addition to Isaac Asimov's formidable legacy."

    Tulsa World

    "Will intrigue new readers and please veterans of both his own and Asimov's writing."

    Asimovreviews.net review

    "I should point out that Brin even integrates Asimov's other fiction in a fashion consistent with the way the Good Doctor did it: old stories, even legends, handed down and possibly distorted over the age but stumbled across (or cherished) by our heroes."

    critical acclaim for the Second Foundation Trilogy

    The New Yorker

    "The three new 'Foundation' novels ... are far more than just new pieces of the same story. They add up to a deeply affectionate work of literary deconstruction."

    Science Fiction Weekly

    "In the Second Foundation Trilogy, Gregory Benford, Greg Bear and now David Brin have conducted a lively exploration of the logical and ethical implications of Asimov's sprawling future history."

    Kirkus Review (starred review)

    "Intriguing and engrossing ... [a] curious blend of reinventions and retrospective criticism."


    a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

    To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.

    DAVID BRIN author

    novels

    David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More


    shorter fiction

    Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More


    Contrary Brin blog

    Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More


    social media influencer

    Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More

    DAVID BRIN scientist

    scientist

    David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More


    transparency expert

    Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More


    speaker & consultant

    Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More


    future/tech advisor

    Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More


    other points of departure

    visit other pages on this website

    pages about science fiction

  • Brin's novels and books
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  • all about Brin's uplift universe
  • a selection of book reviews
  • Brin's advice for new writers
  • Brin reviews sci fi films — including The Postman
  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
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    Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's community pokes at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate and infuriate.

    wormholes

    A few spacetime anomalies and side-trips, for your entertainment.

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    praise for Brin's science fiction

    "Extrapolation of the highest and most subtle order."
    — Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

    "David Brin is notable for unquenchable optimism, focusing on the ability of humanity to overcome adversity."

    praise for Earth

    "Fully dimensional and engaging characters with plausible motivations bring drama to these scenarios. Brin's exciting prose style will probably make this a Hugo nominee, and will certainly keep readers turning pages."
    — Publishers Weekly

    praise for The Transparent Society

    "New tech is handing society tough decisions to make anew about old issues of privacy and accountability. In opting for omni-directional openness, David Brin takes an unorthodox position, arguing knowledgeably and with exceptionally balanced perspective."
    — Stewart Brand, Director of Global Business Network

    final thoughts ...

    ... for this page, at least ...

    an excerpt from Foundation's Triumph

    Part I: A Foretold Destiny

    Little is known about the final days of Hari Seldon, though many romanticized accounts exist, some of them purportedly by his own hand. None of them has any proved validity.

    What appears evident, however, is that Seldon spent his last months uneventfully, no doubt enjoying satisfaction in his life's work. For with his gift of mathematical insight, and the powers of psychohistory at his command, he must surely have seen the panorama of history stretching before him, confirming the great path of destiny that he had already mapped out.

    Although death would soon claim him, no other mortal ever knew with such confidence and certainty the bright promise that the future would hold in store.

    Encyclopedia Galactica, 117th Edition, 1054 F.E.

    1.

    "As for me... I am finished."
              Those words resonated in his mind. They clung, like the relentless blanket that Hari's nurse kept straightening across his legs, though it was a warm day in the Imperial Gardens.
              I am finished.
              The relentless phrase was his constant companion.
              ...finished.
              In front of Hari Seldon lay the rugged slopes of Shoufeen Woods, a wild portion of the Imperial Palace grounds where plants and small animals from across the galaxy mingled in rank disorder, clumping and spreading unhindered. Tall trees even blocked from view the ever-present skyline of metal towers. The mighty world-city surrounding this little island forest.
              Trantor.
              Squinting through failing eyes, one could almost pretend to be sitting on a different planet — one that had not been flattened and subdued in service to the Galactic Empire of Humanity.
              The forest teased Hari. Its total absence of straight lines seemed perverse, a riot of greenery that defied any effort to decipher or decode. The geometries seemed unpredictable, even chaotic.
              Mentally, he reached out to the chaos, so vibrant and undisciplined. He spoke to it as an equal. His great enemy.
              All my life I fought against you, using mathematics to overcome nature's vast complexity. With tools of psychohistory, I probed the matrices of human society, wresting order from that murky tangle. And when my victories still felt incomplete, I used politics and guile to combat uncertainty, driving you like an enemy before me.
              So why now, at my time of supposed triumph, do I hear you calling out to me? Chaos, my old foe?
              Hari's answer came in the same phrase that kept threading his thoughts.
              Because I am finished.
              Finished as a mathematician.
              It was more than a year since Stettin Palver or Gaal Dornick or any other member of the Fifty had consulted Hari with a serious permutation or revision to the "Seldon Plan." Their awe and reverence for him was unchanged. But urgent tasks kept them busy these days. Besides, anyone could tell that his mind no longer had the suppleness to juggle a myriad abstractions at the same time. It took a youngster's mental agility, concentration, and arrogance to challenge the hyperdimensional algorithms of psychohistory. His successors, culled from among the best minds on twenty five million worlds, had all these traits in superabundance.
              But Hari could no longer afford conceit. There remained too little time.

              Finished as a politician.
              How he used to hate that word! Pretending, even to himself, that he wanted only to be a meek academic. Of course, that had just been a marvelous pose. No one could rise to become First Minister of the entire human universe without the talent and audacity of a master manipulator. Oh, he had been a genius in that field too, wielding power with flair, defeating enemies, altering the lives of trillions — while complaining the whole time that he hated the job.
              Some might look back on that youthful record with ironic pride. But not Hari Seldon.

              Finished as a conspirator.
              He had won each battle, prevailed in every contest. A year ago, Hari subtly maneuvered today's imperial rulers into creating ideal circumstances for his secret psychohistorical design to flourish. Soon a hundred thousand exiles would be stranded on a stark planet, faraway Terminus, charged with producing a great Encyclopedia Galactica. But that superficial goal would peel away in half a century, revealing the true aim of that Foundation at the galaxy's rim — to be the embryo of a more vigorous Empire as the old one fell. For years that had been the focus of his daily ambitions, and his nightly dreams. Dreams that reached ahead, across a thousand years of social collapse — past an age of suffering and violence — to a new human fruition. A better destiny for humankind.
              Only now his role in that great enterprise was ended. Hari had just finished taping messages for the Time Vault on Terminus — a series of subtle bulletins that would occasionally nudge or encourage members of the Foundation as they plunged toward a bright morrow pre-ordained by psychohistory. When the final message was safely stored, Hari felt a shift in the attitudes of those around him. He was still esteemed, even venerated. But he wasn't necessary anymore.
              One sure sign was the departure of his bodyguards — a trio of humaniform robots that Daneel Olivaw had assigned to protect Hari, until the recordings were finished. It happened right there, at the recording studio. One robot — artfully disguised as a burly young medical technician — had bowed low to speak in Hari's ear.
              "We must go now. Daneel has urgent assignments for us. But he bade me to give you his promise. Daneel will visit soon. The two of you will meet again, before the end."
              Perhaps that wasn't the most tactful way to put it. But Hari always preferred blunt openness from friends and family.
              Unbidden, a clear image from the past swept into mind — of his wife, Dors Venabili, playing with Raych, their son. He sighed. Both Dors and Raych were long gone — along with nearly every link that ever bound him closely to another private soul.
              This brought a final coda to the phrase that kept spinning through his mind —

              Finished as a person.
              The doctors despaired over extending his life, even though eighty was rather young to die of decrepit age nowadays. But Hari saw no point in mere existence for its own sake. Especially if he could no longer analyze or affect the universe.
              Is that why I drift here, to this grove? He pondered the wild, unpredictable forest — a mere pocket in the Imperial Park, which measured a hundred miles on a side — the only expanse of greenery on Trantor's metal-encased crust. Most visitors preferred the hectares of prim gardens that were open to the public, filled with extravagant and well-ordered blooms.
              But Shoufeen Woods seemed to beckon him.
              Here, unmasked by Trantor's opaque walls, I can see chaos in the foliage by day, and in brittle stars, by night. I can hear chaos taunting me... telling me I haven't won.
              That wry thought provoked a smile, cracking the pursed lines of his face.
              Who would have imagined, at this late phase of life, that I'd acquire a taste for justice?

              Kers Kantun straightened the lap-blanket again, asking solicitously, "Are you o'right, Doctor Seldon? Should we be headin' back now?"
              Hari's servant had the rolling accent — and greenish skin pallor — of a Valmoril, a sub-species of humanity that had spread through the isolated Corithi Cluster, living secluded there for so long that by now they could only interbreed with other races by pre-treating sperm and eggs with enzymes. Kers had been chosen as Hari's nurse and final guardian after the robots departed. He performed both tasks with quiet determination.
              "This wild place makes me o'comfortable, Doc. Surely you don' like the breeze gustin' like this?"
              Kantun's parents came to Trantor as young Grays — members of the bureaucratic caste — expecting to spend a few years' service on the capital planet, training in monkish dormitories, then heading back out to the Galaxy as administrators in the vast civil service. But flukes of talent and promotion intervened to keep them here, raising a son amid the steel caverns they hated. Kers inherited his parents' famed Valmoril sense of duty — or else Daneel Olivaw would never have chosen the fellow to tend Hari in these final days.
              I may no longer be useful, but some people still think I'm worth looking after.
              In Hari's mind, the word, "person" applied to R. Daneel Olivaw, perhaps more than most of the humans he ever knew.
              For decades, he had carefully kept secret the existence of "eternals" — robots who had shepherded human destiny for twenty thousand years — immortal machines that helped create the first Galactic Empire, and then encouraged Hari to plan a successor. Indeed, Hari spent the happiest part of his life married to one of them. Without the affection of Dors Venabili — or the aid and protection of Daneel Olivaw — he could never have created psychohistory, setting in motion the Seldon Plan.
              Or discovered how useless it would all turn out to be, in the long run.
              Wind in the surrounding trees seemed to mock Hari. In that sound, he heard hollow echoes of his own doubts.
              The Foundation cannot achieve the task set before it. Somewhere, sometime during the next thousand years, a perturbation will nudge the psychohistorical parameters, rocking the statistical momentum, knocking your Plan off course.
              True enough, he wanted to shout back at the zephyr. But that had been allowed for! There would be a Second Foundation, a secret one, led by his successors, who would adjust the plan as years passed, providing counter-nudges to keep it on course!
              Yet, the nagging voice came back.
              A tiny hidden colony of mathematicians and psychologists will do all that, in a galaxy fast tumbling to violence and ruin?
              For years this had seemed a flaw... until fortuitous fate provided an answer. Mentalics, a mutant strain of humans with uncanny ability to sense and alter the emotions and memories of others. These powers were still weak, but heritable. Hari's own adopted son, Raych, passed the talent to a daughter, Wanda, now a leader in the Seldon Project. Every mentalic they could find had been recruited, to intermarry with the descendants of the psychohistorians. After a few generations of genetic mingling, the clandestine Second Foundation should have potent tools to protect his Plan against deviations during the coming centuries.
              And so?
              The forest sneered once more.
              What will you have then? Will the Second Empire be ruled by a shadowy elite? A secret cabal of human psychics? An aristocracy of mentalic demigods?
              Even if kindness motivated this new elite, the prospect left him feeling cold.
              The shadow of Kers Kantun bent closer, peering at him with concern. Hari tore his attention away from the singing breeze and finally answered his servant.
              "Ah... sorry. Of course you're right. Let's go back. I'm fatigued."
              But as Kers guided the wheelchair toward a hidden transit tube station, Hari could still hear the forest, jeering at his life's work.
              The mentalic elite is just one layer though, isn't it? The Second Foundation conceals yet another truth, then another.
              Beyond your own Plan, a different one has been crafted by a greater mind than yours. By someone stronger, more dedicated, and more patient by far. A plan that
    uses yours, for a while... but which will eventually make psychohistory meaningless.
              With his right hand, Hari fumbled under his robe till he found a smooth cube of gemlike stone, a parting gift from his friend and lifetime guide, R. Daneel Olivaw. Palming the archive's ancient surface, he murmured, too low for Kers to hear.
              "Daneel, you promised you'd come to answer all my questions. I have so many, before I die."

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