The Foundation Trilogy: Notes, Articles, and Links

by Raja Thiagarajan

Suggestions welcome!

Time permitting, I plan to add at least one more page (a "Cover Gallery" of the cover artwork for the original hardcover editions and probable paperback first editions of Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation). If you have any suggestions for corrections I should make, or other web pages I might link to, please e-mail me at

On This Web Site

The Stories That Make Up The Foundation Trilogy: The Foundation Trilogy is often thought of as a group of three novels, but I prefer to think of it as a group of nine shorter stories, eight of which were written for stand-alone magazine publication. Here are some notes on these stories.

The Story Behind the Foundation: Here is an article that Isaac Asimov wrote about The Foundation Trilogy on the eve of the publication of Foundation's Edge, his first Foundation story in thirty years.

"Foundation": Original Opening. When the first magazine story, "Foundation", was reprinted as "The Encyclopedists" in the book Foundation, the first scene was removed (probably because it was redundant with the new introductory story, "The Psychohistorians"). As far as I know, this scene was never reprinted anywhere.

Links to other web sites

History of the Positronic Robot and Foundation Stories (by Johnny Pez)

These articles bring together information from Asimov's autobiography and other sources to give a fascinating glimpse of how and when Asimov came to write his "Foundation" and "Robot" stories. Note that these articles include spoilers for several of the stories.

Isaac Asimov's Foundations Universe site (by Slawek Wojtowicz)

Slawek Wojtowicz's site has several nice images of artwork inspired by Asimov's books, including cover artwork for a few editions of the books in The Foundation Trilogy. Michael Whelan's cover paintings, which are the first image on each of the individual book pages below, are particular favorites of mine; Whelan is one of the two greatest SF artists of recent times (based on the number of Hugo awards he has received), and his Foundation images have interesting symbolic touches (for instance, take a look at the patch on Arkady's shoulder on the cover art for Second Foundation).

Encyclopedia Galactica (by Mike Carlin and Others)

The Encyclopedia Galactica site by Mike Carlin and others includes a list of people, places, and things mentioned in Asimov's "Robots and Foundation" series. (Personally, I prefer to stick to Asimov's Foundation Trilogy which makes up the essential core of this "larger series".) This site has many spoilers, and a few odd omissions.

Who's who in Asimov (by

Who's who in Asimov is a fairly extensive list of characters and places mentioned in Isaac Asimov's fiction; its treatment of The Foundation Trilogy is more comprehensive than the Encyclopedia Galactica site listed above. It also has many spoilers.