Infallibility. An unexpected variable. Foundation and Empire, the second book in the Hugo Award winning Foundation Series, is even better than the first. This time the book is divided into two stories, both originally published in the mid-nineteen forties. In the first, Asimov shows the complete faith that the people of the Foundation have in the Sheldon Plan. (See my discussion of Foundation.) In the second, an unanticipated variable comes into play. When Hari Sheldon appears via the time-capsule video, his description of the crisis point is no longer accurate.
Perhaps because these stories are longer than the ones in Foundation, they are better developed. To me, Asimov has grown as a writer since the first book. He allows the reader to become more acquainted with the major characters. He also includes a female character for the first time in the series. As with the first book, the stories are compelling and easy to read.
Foundation and Empire ended with a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read what happens in Second Foundation.