Originally there were three Foundation novels. Each one was in fact a packaging of the eight short stories which Asimov wrote for John Campbell’s Astounding Science Fiction magazine from 1941 to 1948.
Thus this, the second book in the original Foundation trilogy, is not in fact a novel at all. It consists of two long short stories, The General (75 pages) and The Mule (149 pages).
And although they were brought out in book form in 1952, they had both been published much earlier, The General in the April 1945 issue of Astounding Science Fiction under the title Dead Hand, and The Mule in two parts in the November and December 1945 issues of Astounding Science Fiction.
The two stories continue the narrative of the Foundation established 12,000 years into the era of the Galactic Empire by the leading psychohistorian of the day, Hari Seldon. Seldon had predicted…
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