List of Foundation universe planets
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2017)
Earth has an alternate future history in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, Robot series, and Empire series. Humans from Earth colonize the Spacer and, later, Settler planets; an anti-Earth plot causes the planet's crust to become radioactive, greatly reducing its population. Many small empires rise and fall throughout the Milky Way Galaxy as various worlds trade with and fight each other. Over time one planet, Trantor, founds a true Galactic Empire. By then Earth is only one of millions of member worlds, and the radioactivity makes it a quarantined backwater; by 827 G.E. (Galactic Era, the number of years after the empire's founding), the setting of Pebble in the Sky, only 20 million people live on Earth. Most non-Earthlings are skeptical of the scholarly theory that the obscure planet is the original home of all humans, believing that humans evolved on many planets simultaneously. By 12000 G.E., the setting of the Foundation series, although many believe that humanity originated on one planet, Earth is one of several candidates.
Ancient (before 2065)Edit
- 1982: Susan Calvin is born. Lawrence Robertson forms United States Robots & Mechanical Men, Incorporated.
- 1996: 'Robbie' manufactured by United States Robots.
- 1998: Lefebre-Yoshida expedition to Mars takes off from Lunar Base.
- 1998: New York passes ordinance keeping all robots off the streets between sunset and sunrise.
- 2003-2007: Most world governments ban robot use on Earth other than scientific research.
- 2005: Fatal First Mercury Expedition launched.
- 2008: Susan Calvin obtains Doctorate and joins United States Robots as robopsychologist.
- 2015: Second Mercury Expedition financed by United States Robots and by Solar Minerals.
- 2029: Hyper Base closed for a period of two weeks after the loss of an NS robot. First interstellar jump by Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan under the control of "The Brain".
- ????: Unsuccessful demonstration of the hyperspatial jump on H937.
- 2031: First practical hyperatomic motor produced.
- 2037: Stephen Byerley becomes Regional Co-ordinator for the Northern Region.
- 2044: The Regions of Earth form a Federation and appoint Stephen Byerley as its first World Co-ordinator.
- 2048: Stephen Byerley elected for a second term as World Co-ordinator.
- 2052: Earth population at 3.3 billion.
- 2064: Susan Calvin dies.
- 2065: Earth colonizes Aurora; later colonized 49 more worlds.
- 3664: Founding of the 'City' of New York
- 3961: Great Rebellion resulting in the independence of the Outer Worlds from Earth.
- 4700: War starts between Earth and Santanni.
- 4704: End of war. Earth victorious.
Pre-Imperial Era (4728 A.D. to 1 G.E.)Edit
- 4747: United Worlds of the Galaxy formed
- 4750: Solaria becomes independent.
- 4934: Elijah Baley born on Earth.
- 4991: Spacetown established on Earth. Spacetown Barrier Riots.
- ????: Shanghai anti-robot riots.
- 5001: Bentley Baley born on Earth.
- 5010: Population of Earth 8,000,000,000. Population of the 50 Spacer worlds 5,500,000,000.
- 5011: Earth sociologists conclude that the Spacers are becoming too powerful for Earth's survival.
- 5020: R. Daneel Olivaw constructed.
- 5021: Spacetown disbanded.
- 5024: Earth allowed to begin a second wave of Galactic colonization.
- 5030: Earth begins the second wave of Galactic expansion. Baleyworld founded.
- 5040: Earth and Spacer worlds sign the Earth-Spacer Treaty of Friendship where Earth agrees not to colonize any world within 20 light years of any Spacer world.
- 5222: Earth's natural radiation begins to increase as a result of the actions of Kelden Amadiro and Dr Mandamus. (See: Robots and Empire)
- 6300: Colonisation of the Horsehead Nebula begins.
Galactic Era (beginning circa 10,000 A.D.)Edit
- 200: Earth is already ruled by Trantor during the events of The Currents of Space
- 543: First Earth rebellion against the Empire.
- 720: Second Earth rebellion against the Empire.
- 750: Third Earth rebellion against the Empire.
- 810: Earth population 20,000,000.
- 817: Earth scientists isolate the Common Fever virus.
- 822: 100,000 people die on Earth during a famine.
- 823: Lord Ennius appointed Procurator of Earth.
- 825: Affret Shekt develops the Synapsifier.
- 828: Joseph Schwartz, Bel Arvardan, Affret Shekt, and Pola Shekt avert a plan, formulated by Earth Zealots, to destroy the Galaxy. (See: Pebble in the Sky.) The Empire begins transporting soil to Earth.
- 900: Abandonment of the attempt to restore Earth
- 910: Plans to terraform 'Alpha' in the Alpha Centauri system. Gets as far as creating an island three-fifths the size of Sicily.
- 930: Earth's remaining inhabitants are evacuated to 'Alpha'
Late Galactic / Early FoundationEdit
- 12,117 (50 F.E.): Human origins are "lost in the mists of antiquity". 'Sol' is mentioned by Lord Dorwin as one of several candidates for the original planetary system. Sirius, Alpha Centauri, 61 Cygni and Arcturus are among the alternatives.
- 12,566 (499 F.E.): Golan Trevize and his ship discovers Earth. It has become inhospitable to all life, so the crew instead lands on the Moon, where they meet the robot R. Daneel Olivaw.
Fictional places on EarthEdit
- Schenectady — Primary plant of U.S. Robots (Ancient Era) Possibly City of Schenectady in Upstate New York.
- New York City — Home of Elijah Baley; population >20,000,000; population density: 4000/km² (Spacer Era).
- Spacetown — Region on the edge of New York City inhabited by Spacers (Spacer Era).
- Chica (Chicago) — One of the largest cities of the Galactic Era.
- Fort Dibburn (Fort Dearborn) — Imperial Garrison.
- Institute for Nuclear Research — Institute where Synapsifier is developed.
- Procurator's palace — Home of the Procurator of Earth; 13 km² (5 mile²); artificial garden in the Himalaya (Galactic Era).
- Temple of Senloo (St. Louis) — Base from which Earth Zealots attempted to launch their attack on the Galaxy (Galactic Era).
- Washenn (Washington, D.C.) — Capital of Earth, where the High Minister is based (Galactic Era).
- Senfran (San Francisco) (Galactic Era).
- Bonair (Buenos Aires) (Galactic Era).
Radioactivity and fading memoriesEdit
- In The Stars Like Dust, the Earth is radioactive, apparently from a war. No one doubts its status as the planet of origin: indeed the exact order of settlement is remembered on Rhodia.
- In The Currents of Space, thousands of years later, and not far from the start of the Trantorian Empire, Earth's progenitor-status and legacy is no longer remembered by most of the galaxy.
- In Pebble In The Sky, the status of Earth is even more uncertain. Some experts believe that humans originated separately on many worlds.
- In Foundation, 12,000 years later during the fall of the Galactic Empire, "Sol" is just one among several candidates for the original home of humanity.
But why is Earth radioactive? In the Afterword to "Grow Old Along With Me" in The Alternate Asimovs, Asimov explains:
I gave the Earth of the future a radioactive crust, at least in spots, yet it had a remnant of life and humanity clinging to it. Clearly, I meant this to be taken by the reader as the result of a nuclear war in our future; and the story's past... It is of crucial importance to the plot.
This was retained when "Grow Old Along With Me" became Pebble In The Sky, published in 1950. When Asimov returned to his future history with Foundation's Edge (1982), he no longer thought a nuclear war could make the crust radioactive without destroying all life. Instead, he assumed that the crust of the planet was deliberately made increasingly radioactive.
In Robots and Empire, he establishes how the Earth was deliberately made radioactive, by a Levular Mandamus, a Spacer attempting to cripple Earthborn and Settler attempts at colonization. Instead, the net result, as is hinted in various books, is that the Settlers, unattached to their "holy" homeworld of Earth, are further driven to colonize and thus go on to establish the Galactic Empire, all but crowding Spacer culture out of the Galaxy.
The star system 61 Cygni, in the Sirius Sector, is advanced by Lord Dorwin as the potential site for a planet of origin for the human species. Lord Dorwin cites 'Sol' (meaning Earth's Sun) and three other planetary systems in the Sirius Sector, along with Arcturus in the Arcturus Sector, as potential original worlds. (This fact seems to be contradicted by information given in Foundation and Earth). Claims were made as early as 1942 that 61 Cygni had a planetary system, though to date, none has been verified, and Asimov was aware of these claims.
In Asimov's Foundation Series, Alpha Centauri is cited by Lord Dorwin as one of the solar systems where humankind potentially originated. The others are Sol, Sirius, 61 Cygni and Arcturus. Beyond mentioning that it is in the Sirius Sector, Dorwin gives no further details.
In a later book, Foundation and Earth, Alpha is a planet orbiting the larger of the two stars in the Alpha Centauri system. Golan Trevize discovers Alpha when he attempts to find the location of Earth by locating the center of a 'best sphere' made from the coordinates of the 50 Spacer worlds.
The planet is discovered to be entirely covered by an ocean, with the exception of a single island with a surface area of 15,000 square kilometres. (For comparison, Sicily is just over 25,000 square kilometres.) The inhabitants call it New Earth and live a simple lifestyle. While the inhabitants seem to be warm and welcoming, co-existing peacefully in an egalitarian society, this might be a show designed to put foreign visitors at ease while they were infected with a virus. The only certain facts about New Earth culture are that both women and men are completely shirtless, weather permitting, and the men engage in long sea voyages to fish.
The planet Alpha was apparently terraformed habitable by the old Galactic Empire and its only land surface is the small island on which the Alphans live. This can be explained by its history: according to information pieced together by Janov Pelorat, the Galactic Empire, likely under Kandar V, laboured to create land on which the last refugees of Earth could live. Then the funds and interest of the Empire ran out and the plans for continents were scrapped. Alpha was left alone for millennia, with only highly advanced weather control and biotechnology.
Alpha first appears in Foundation and Earth, which confirms a merger between the Spacer and Foundation series. In the Spacer series, the planet Aurora in the Tau Ceti system is the first extrasolar colony, suggesting that Alpha Centauri had no habitable worlds. This fits with the late and expensive settlement of Alpha.
Less easily understood is the belief in the early Foundation era that Alpha Centauri might have been the original solar system; a terraformed planet with a very small land area would not be plausible. However, as Alpha is depicted as being solely aquatic with the exception of its single island, it could feasibly have been a planet whose ice caps had melted, covering what might have originally been a larger landed area. Such would likely have been the reasoning of someone like Lord Dorwin. This could just as easily be explained (as it is in the series itself) by the deterioration in standards of academic research in the late Imperial Era, since Lord Dorwin explains that rather than going to places and gathering firsthand evidence, he prefers to pore through available archives from which by this stage much was missing; he refers to this as the "scientific method". (In addition, R. Daneel Olivaw had sent agents to remove information about Earth from archives, although we don't know exactly when). Alpha and Sol were therefore not worlds Dorwin knew by experience, but only by vague report.
Anacreon (also known as Anacreon A II) is a planet near the outer end of The Periphery and as part of the Galactic Empire was the capital of Anacreon subprefecture, Anacreon prefecture, and Anacreon province and later the Anacreon Kingdom. Anacreon was a famous Greek poet.
Arcturus is one of the major planets. It seems to have been named for the star Arcturus in Boötes.
Askone is one of the planets in the Galactic Periphery, near Glyptal IV.
In Asimov's fictional universe, the innermost planet orbiting Tau Ceti was mankind's very first extrasolar planetary settlement, established in 2065. Originally named "New Earth", in later millennia the planet would be renamed "Aurora", which means "dawn", to signify the dawning of a new age for the Spacer culture. It was also considered the strongest of the Spacer worlds, and was their de facto leader. Aurora at its height had a population of 200 million humans and 10 billion robots. The head of its planetary government was called the Chairman. The largest city on the planet was Eos (which also means "dawn"), the administrative and robotic center of Aurora, where Han Fastolfe and Gladia Solaria lived. The University of Eos and the Auroran Robotics Institute were both located within Eos. We see the planet at its height in The Robots of Dawn.
In Prelude to Foundation, it is revealed that at least some of its inhabitants emigrated to Trantor, settling in the Mycogen Sector. The descendants of the Aurorans, or Mycogenians, never forgot Aurora, but they apparently evolved to the point where they were indistinguishable from Settlers. The scripture of the Mycogenians mentions Aurora, robots, and other topics; Hari Seldon peruses this document during the events of Prelude to Foundation and finds a presumably long-inactivated robot in Mycogen also. Ironically, the culture of Mycogen appears to be in many ways a complete opposite of Aurora's. Where the society of Aurora had complete gender equality and social mobility, Mycogen has a restrictive caste system with women apparently taking the place of Auroran robots, having no rights. It is also very restrictive sexually, whereas Aurora was basically a free love society. The changes are implied to be a deliberate effort to differentiate Mycogenians from outsiders.
In Foundation and Earth, the searchers for Earth visit Aurora, along with other ancient settlements. The planet is by then not inhabited by human beings, and its desertified ecology is dominated by feral dogs.
Mentioned by Mayor Indbur in Foundation and Empire, one of the planets in the Foundation.
Mentioned in Prelude to Foundation. Dors Venabili was supposedly from Cinna. The only known descriptions of Cinna come from Dors, and since she was a robot that most likely had never been to Cinna, they may not be accurate. According to Dors, Cinna is a small, unimportant world, where the amount of cloth in beachwear leaves 'very little to the imagination'.
Comporellon orbits the star that is known today as Epsilon Eridani. It is the oldest Settler (non-Spacer) world in the Galaxy, as it was the first planet settled by Earth inhabitants during and after the events of Robots and Empire. It was originally known as Baleyworld, named in honor of Elijah Baley's son Bentley Baley and later became known as Benbally World. This world is known to be very cold and puritanical. Most of the cities, including its capital, are underground. Munn Li Compor's family were originally from this world and remembered the original name of its star, information which led Golan Trevize and Janov Pelorat to visit Comporellon while searching for Earth.
A former Imperial Prefect in the Anacreon province. It's mentioned in Foundation by Anselm Haut Rodric as a possible threat to Terminus' independence from the recently formed Kingdoms.
A planet mentioned by Dors Venabili in Prelude to Foundation. On Derowd, promiscuous sexual activity was permitted without restraint even in public, providing traffic was not blocked. The idea was to allow people to live out all their fantasies, so they would be ready to settle down after marriage. After marriage, the concept of monogamy was absolute and unbroken. The practice stopped around 11,700 G.E. Many associates of Dr. Venabili believed that this was from pressure by other planets, who lost a great deal of tourist business to Derowd.
Eos is a barren and extremely cold planet, far from any human presence, where robots were repaired and maintained. Some of them, like the 'immortal' R. Daneel Olivaw, still visit it on rare occasions to recharge, and Dors Venabili was among those constructed here. Daneel Olivaw and R. Yan Kansarv established the robot production and repair facility, naming it for the old capital city of Aurora. In Greek mythology, Eos was the Titan of the dawn.
One of the Spacer worlds. It was a popular tourist destination for the Spacers, because of its exceptionally large rainforests; Gladia Delmarre visited with her husband. Euterpe has one satellite, 'Gemstone', with a radius of 120 km (75 mi). It is named after Euterpe, the Muse of music.
In The Currents of Space, Florina is the home of "kyrt", a fiber-producing plant that grows only on Florina, and which is woven into an extremely strong yet beautiful cloth. It is in practical serfdom to the planet Sark. "Sark" means shirt or dress in Scots, "kyrt" resembles the word kirtle, meaning a tunic or dress, (a word also used in the Mycogen sector of Trantor in Asimov's Prelude to Foundation), and "Florina" means "little flower" in more than one language.
A planet mentioned in the Empire series whose inhabitants speak an extreme dialect of Galactic Standard Speech. Compare Fomalhaut, a star in the real universe whose name means "mouth of the fish". The star and planet may have the same name, as is the case with Asimov's Gaia, or the planet may simply be nearby.
The "Four Kingdoms" was the name given to those portions of the former Province of Anacreon which broke away from the Galactic Empire in the early years of the Foundational Era, to form independent and short-lived kingdoms. The largest and most powerful was Anacreon itself.
The Four Kingdoms were the immediate neighbors of Terminus in the early years of the Foundation, during the time of Salvor Hardin. As such they were located at the extreme edge of the Periphery of the Empire. They rapidly descended into a "barbarous" state with petty nobles fighting meaningless wars, and technology declining to the point that knowledge of advanced nucleics was lost. Following the breakdown of widescale communications in the Periphery, for a time the Four Kingdoms represented all of known space in regular contact with Terminus.
Salvor Hardin addressed the First Seldon crisis though manipulating a balance of power. If any one of the Four Kingdoms conquered Terminus it would gain such a technological advantage over the other three that it would easily destroy them. Hardin therefore warned the other three kingdoms when Anacreon tried to establish a presence on Terminus, after which they joined in a coalition protesting Anacreon's move, after which Anacreonian forces withdrew rather than face all out war. Eventually, Anacreon grew so powerful that even the other three kingdoms combined could not act as a deterrent against it, but by this point the science-cult of the Foundation had spread so thoroughly in the Four Kingdoms that their own soldiers dared not attack Terminus.
The Four Kingdoms were soon absorbed into the Foundation itself. In later generations the phrase "Four Kingdoms" remained as a physical term for that region of the galaxy, which in time became the core territories of the ever-widening Foundation sphere of influence. Hober Mallow was himself from Smyrno, while Han Pritcher was born on Loris to Anacreonian parents. The campaign of General Bel Riose, representing the last gasp of the Galactic Empire, proved a dire threat to the Foundation's survival, and even managed to penetrate as far as the Four Kingdoms. At the campaign's high water mark, Riose even managed to capture Loris - but he was soon recalled to Trantor to be executed as a threat to Emperor Cleon II.
Asimov did not give a consistent listing of all the Four Kingdoms. "The Encyclopedists" and subsequent entries clearly state that Anacreon and Smyrno form two of the kingdoms, as they have recently been at war with each other. "The Encyclopedists" also makes passing mention of the planets Konom and Daribow as possible threats to Terminus now that the Periphery is collapsing, but these names are never mentioned again. By "The Merchant Princes", however, Asimov mentions that one of the other kingdoms was Loris. In "The General" the text explicitly states that Loris was one of the original Four Kingdoms. The identity of the fourth kingdom, however, is not entirely clear: it is possible that Asimov originally intended Konom and Daribow to be the third and fourth kingdoms, but later retconned the name of the third to Loris. Alternatively, Konom and Daribow are only mentioned at the very beginning of the breakdown of authority in the Periphery, before the "Four Kingdoms" become formally established after several decades. It is possible that alternatively Konom or Daribow was another petty kingdom which was quickly absorbed by one of the other four. It is also conceivable that the fourth kingdom bore a double name: Konom-and-Daribow.
Gaia is located in the Sayshell Sector, about ten parsecs (32 light-years) from Sayshell. It is featured prominently in Foundation and Earth. It is the origin world of the planetary intelligence known as Gaia. The name is derived from the Gaia hypothesis, which is itself eponymous to Gaia, the Earth Goddess.
In this fictional universe, Gaia is located in the Sayshell Sector, about ten parsecs (32 light years) from the system Sayshell itself. It orbits a G-4 class star, and has one natural satellite (50 km or 31 miles in diameter). Its axial inclination is 12°, and a Gaian day lasts 0.92 Galactic Standard Days. In its course of settlement, the human beings on Gaia, under robotic guidance, not only evolved their ability to form an ongoing group consciousness, but also extended this consciousness to the fauna and flora of the planet itself, even including inanimate matter. As a result, the entire planet became a super-organism.
Because of the size of the consciousness involved, Gaia's mental powers are significantly greater than those of any other mentalics encountered before in previous books. Where Second Foundationers generally required eye contact to alter emotions, Gaia could detect and alter minds without this constraint within a limited range. Gaia's influence is spread throughout the Galaxy, through a web of agents who are capable of instantaneous communication via hyperspace with the group mind as a whole.
Gaia is able to channel the kinetic energy of its matter, a phenomenon Asimov calls transduction. Transduction allowed Gaia to provide limited electrical power, move objects as large as starships, or take over the computer control system of a space vessel. It may also be capable of obliterating large sections of matter, though this ability is never discussed by Gaia; the Solarians (much more powerful transducers) were capable of destroying objects at least as large as space vessels.
Gaia's ability to store data does away with information technology. Gaia has no written records; every amount of information is stored in the collective consciousness. Naturally, a good deal of this is stored in humans and other large-brained animals, but some is stored in inanimate objects such as water, geological features, or trees. Historical records are based on the memories of individuals stored forever in the collective consciousness. Any part of Gaia can access these memories directly, as if they were just another part of their own mind. Because Galaxia will also include stars, black holes, uninhabited planets, and cosmic debris, the powers of data storage will be enhanced significantly. One drawback however, is that all historical information prior to the completion of Gaia's collective consciousness has been lost, as they cannot recall a memory that predates them, and early written records were not saved. It is also mentioned that drawing information from inanimate objects, such as a rock, requires more time than from a living organism.
Because of the nature of Gaia, natural disasters can be regulated. The collective consciousness can be alerted to an impending volcanic eruption because of the consciousness of the inanimate matter involved, and take the necessary precautions. Likewise, weather can also be carefully controlled.
Despite the enormous powers of Gaia, they are a relatively local phenomenon at the time of Foundation's Edge. This is because mentalic effects occur at the speed of light. To have them happen more quickly, Gaia must act through hyperspace, which takes a good deal more energy. However, once Galaxia is accomplished, these problems will be somewhat reduced, because all matter in the Galaxy will be part of Galaxia.
Gaians have long names; the longer the name, the higher their status. They are generally addressed by only one syllable of their name, depending on who they are communicating with.
Gaia was founded by R. Daneel Olivaw during the Empire's reign. Even then, the galaxy left it alone and it evaded taxes. By 498 F.E., Gaia had a population of one billion, a high population for a planet at that time. The inhabitants hoped eventually to create a complex ecology; all human-settled planets in the Galaxy — except Earth — had simple ecologies. The inhabitants of Gaia were all tied together into a telepathic group consciousness when it was founded; this consciousness was eventually extended to the non-human life, and later to the inorganic material of the planet. This would explain The Mule's incredible psychic powers, as Gaia was said to be his home planet.
At the time of the two books dealing with Gaia, Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, Galaxia is conceived as a prospective living organism which contains all the lifeforms and other non-living material in the galaxy. It is to be a utopia; the successor of Gaia. R. Daneel Olivaw founded Gaia with the purpose in mind of attaining Galaxia, in order to be able to alter humanity for the better. However, since he could not tell whether this move would eventually hurt humanity, itself of almost unpredictable nature, and he therefore could not tell whether the Zeroth Law permitted it, he could not by himself make the decision to implement Galaxia. Hari Seldon's Psychohistory Project was a 'backup' initiated by R. Daneel Olivaw in the event that Galaxia was not determined to be the ideal course of action.
In 498 F.E., the time of Foundation's Edge, councilman Golan Trevize and historian Janov Pelorat, the protagonists, are maneuvered to Gaia so Trevize can decide whether the future of the Galaxy is to be guided by the First Foundation, Second Foundation, or Gaia. Trevize is stated to have the unique ability to deduce the correct solution to a problem, even with little or no information on the nature of the problem itself. The book portrays it as a higher form of intuition, though Trevize has no actual psychic abilities. Trevize chooses Gaia, therefore Galaxia. This was done because R. Daneel Olivaw could not proceed with Galaxia for fear of harming humanity in the process.
In the novel Foundation and Earth, Golan Trevize, Janov Pelorat, and Blissenobiarella set out on a journey to find humanity's ancestral planet — Earth. The purpose of the journey is to settle Trevize's doubt about his decision at the end of Foundation's Edge to embrace the all-encompassing supermind of Galaxia.
From Foundation's Edge it can be surmised that Galaxia culminates in about FE 800-900. (More precisely, R. Daneel Olivaw declines to merge with Janov Pelorat's mind as he is too old and will die in 30 to 40 years and elects instead to merge with that of Fallom who, being from Solaria, will live another 300 to 400 years, enough for the completion of Galaxia.) This allows for further interesting Foundation stories up to that date, if the Estate of Isaac Asimov were to authorize further stories (Vis-a-vis Donald Kingsbury's novel, Psychohistorical Crisis). However, it is noted by R. Daneel Olivaw in Foundation and Earth that it would take several more centuries to bring Galaxia about.
Gamma Andromeda is a star system in which a nuclear meltdown occurred in 50 F.E., in Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The meltdown killed several million people and destroyed at least half the planet. It was caused by shoddy-made replacement parts and ill-done repairs performed several decades before. Following the incident on Gamma Andromeda V, the Galactic Empire considered severely limiting the use of nuclear power. Given that the real star Gamma Andromedae, or Almach, is 350 light years from Earth, Asimov may have had this name in mind when writing this line.
Mentioned in Forward the Foundation. In the book, Hari Seldon attempted to convince Yugo Amaryl to take a break from working on psychohistory and take a vacation on Getorin, a 'resort planet nearby' (near Trantor). It was probably part of the pre-Imperial Kingdom of Trantor.
A planet in the Glyptal System in the Galactic Periphery. The Foundation was attempting to bring it into its religious sphere of influence roughly twenty years before the war with Korell. Limmar Ponyets happened to be on Glyptal IV in time to be sent to Askone to rescue Eskel Gorov. During this mission, Askone began to be brought under the Foundation's influence. Glyptos in Greek means carving or engraving, as in hieroglyph.
Mentioned in Foundation and Empire. It was one of the Association of Independent Trading Worlds, quasi-independent from the Foundation. It was the second planet in its star system, a barren world made primarily of uneroded rock formations. Most of the cities were in caves. One of these cities, Gleiar city, was the site of an attempted landing by Foundation tax collectors. Toran Darell, husband of Bayta Darell, was a native of Haven. The name "haven" means "harbor".
Helicon is the name of the home planet of Hari Seldon, discoverer and developer of psychohistory. Helicon was small in population and not particularly rich in resources, and tended to be bullied by its more powerful neighbours. The name Helicon may come from a river and mountain in Greece. It was noted for martial arts (called 'Twisting' in the Foundation Universe). Hari Seldon claimed that the best Twisters came from Helicon, although his objectivity is questionable. It may be covered primarily by land, as opposed to sea. Tobacco may be grown there, though the only evidence of this is Seldon's father's supposed occupation, labelled by the Encyclopedia Galactica 'a legend of doubtful validity'. In the seventh century of the tenth millennium of the Galactic Era, a large movement of Heliconians convinced themselves that Helicon was the only inhabited world in the Galaxy, in a manner possibly alluding to the Flat Earth Society.
Two indigenous species are known: the lamec, a beast of burden, and the greti, a dangerous animal. The names of these animals are most likely anagrams of camel and tiger, respectively. Further evidence can be inferred from local Helicon saying recited by Seldon: "If you ride a greti, you find you can't get off; for then it will eat you." This saying bears uncanny resemblance to the well-known Chinese proverb "騎虎難下" (He who rides the tiger finds it difficult to dismount).
Apart from Arcturus, it is the only known planet in the Arcturus Sector.
A Spacer planet in Robots and Empire and also in Mother Earth novelette. It was one of the original Spacer worlds, the smallest and the furthest from Earth, settled by Spacers from Faunus. Hesperos was the planet on which Vasilia Aliena awaited the death of her father, Han Fastolfe. It is named after Hesperos, the Greek god associated with the star Venus.
The site of the Mule's first victory against the Foundation.
Ifni was the site of a battle during the Foundation's war with Kalgan; with the exception of the F.S. Ebling Mis, all ships in the Foundation squadron were destroyed. Ifni may be named after a small Spanish colony in North Africa, now part of Morocco.
A planet in Foundation and Empire. It was one of the Association of Independent Trading Worlds, which were quasi-independent from the Foundation. Together with Haven and Mnemon, it represented half of the military power of the traders. At the Radole conference, Iss was represented by One Mangin.
The traditional local rival/enemy of Helicon, as described in Prelude to Foundation by Hari Seldon.
For most of the history of the Galactic Empire, Kalgan was a semi-tropical resort world, 50 parsecs inward from Terminus, 7,000 parsecs from Haven and about 3,000 parsecs from Trantor. Despite the breakdown of the Empire, Kalgan continued its prosperity under the rule of a series of princes.
Kalgan was one of the first planets taken over by the Mule in his string of conquests. After he defeated the Foundation, the Mule made it the capital of his Union of Worlds. After the Mule died, Kalgan was ruled by a series of First Citizens from Han Pritcher to Stettin. The last of these, emboldened by the legacy of the Mule, launched a war against the Foundation. After the war ended in the defeat of Kalgan, the Kalganian Navy was dismantled, and the 27 worlds remaining in the Union were allowed to vote for return to the Union, full independence, or entry into the Foundation union.
A former Imperial Prefect in the Anacreon province. It's mentioned in Foundation by Anselm Haut Rodric as a possible threat to Terminus' independence from the recently formed Kingdoms.
Located after the Whassalian Rift (relative to Terminus), Korell is the capital of the Republic of Korell, a union of worlds.
Home planet of Dr. Selim Junz in The Currents of Space. Mentioned as a planet with some of the galaxy's darkest-skinned people. The planet evidently takes its name from Liberia, a country in Africa, which would explain a dark-skinned genetic inheritance. Its people have a dim memory of their ancestors having fled from persecution or defeat in battle, which causes Junz to feel sympathy with the oppressed Florinians. This might refer either to Liberia having been founded by freed slaves from America, or to some much later event in galactic history of which Asimov provides no further details.
Briefly mentioned in Foundation and Earth. It was the home world of the scientist Humbal Yariff, who attempted to find the location of Earth.
Locris (also spelled Loris) was 20 parsecs (65 light-years) from Terminus, and 800 parsecs (2600 light-years) from Santanni. Locris exported wine, which was noted for excellent quality. Captain Han Pritcher was a native of Loris (though born to Anacreonian parents). Loris was briefly captured by the Empire during the campaigns of Bel Riose, and was the high water mark of his offensive. It is named after Locris, a region of ancient Greece.
Mentioned by Mayor Indbur in Foundation and Empire, forming a trade agreement with the Foundation. It was conquered by the Mule in 300 F.E. The name comes from the mythical island of Lyonesse, off the coast of Cornwall.
A planet on the outer edge of the Galaxy mentioned in Forward the Foundation.
The nineteenth Spacer World settled, mentioned in Foundation and Earth. It contained a large monument called the 'Hall of the Worlds', which contained a large room with the fifty Spacer Worlds listed with coordinates on a wall inscribed with a table containing seven rows and seven columns (with the last world, Solaria, appended to the bottom of the final column); Melpomenia was the origin point. Using data from these columns, translated by Janov Pelorat, Golan Trevize was able to plot a course to Earth by assuming the original Spacer worlds were distributed roughly spherically around the Earth. The planet itself, however, was rendered virtually uninhabitable by a radical climate change; the only life form able to survive it was a carbon dioxide feeding 'moss'. Golan Trevize had to use his blaster to melt away the alien substance on his ship, and the face plates on his and Pelorat's space suits. Only after bathing the rest of the ship in the UV rays of the sun did he leave the forsaken planet. It is presumably named for Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy.
Mentioned in Foundation and Empire, one of the members of the Association of Independent Trading Worlds, quasi-independent from the Foundation. Together with Haven and Iss, it represented half of the traders' military capacity. It was represented at the Radole Conference by Ovall Gri. Partway through the conference, Mnemon was attacked by the Mule. Because of the tenacity of the traders, the Mule would not have been successful if he had not had an atomic-field depressor. This event pushed the Traders into war, siding with the Foundation against the Mule. Mnemon was an additional name given by the Greeks to Artaxerxes II of Persia, and has been translated as 'pertaining to Truth', but also 'pertaining to Memory' has been suggested.
Mentioned by Mayor Indbur in Foundation and Empire, it completed a commercial treaty with the Foundation in 300 F.E. Mores is Latin for 'custom', in the sense of a custom so widely accepted as to be a law, and gives rise to the English word 'moral'.
The Nebula Kingdoms are a set of planets within or nearby the Horsehead Nebula. They are Lingane, Nephelos, Rhodia, and Tyrann. Rhodia resembles the Greek name Rhodes, and Tyrann reminds the reader of the terms tyrant and tyranny; Nephelos resembles the Hebrew term Nephilim, meaning "the fallen".
Neotrantor, or 'New Trantor', became the de facto capital of the Empire, after Gilmer sacked Trantor. The planet was originally called Delicass, and became the capital of a rump "empire" in which the Emperor ruled over only 20 planets. Delicass and its attendant worlds consisted of a 'Planetary Granary' for Trantor herself, which is only three parsecs distant, and whose primary is a bright star in the crowded skies of this province. Politically, it is ruled by a corrupt governor, Jord Commason.
The last mentioned Emperor of the Galaxy, Dagobert IX and his son, the Crown prince, died on this planet. It is stated that the dynasty lasted for about half a century.
Neotrantor has a similar significance in the history of the Galactic Empire as Ravenna did for the remnant Roman Empire.
At 2 parsecs (6.5 light-years) from Solaria, it formed with Solaria the closest pair of Spacer worlds. (Solaria was settled from Nexon.)
Nishaya is mentioned in Forward the Foundation. It hadn't been part of the pre-Imperial Kingdom of Trantor until the creation of the Empire itself. At the end of the Empire it was noted for its goat herding and high-quality cheeses. Laskin Joranum pretended to be from Nishaya during his campaign to overthrow Eto Demerzel. What gave him away to Hari Seldon was his perfect mastery of the Trantorian dialect; real Nishayans spoke a very different dialect of Galactic Standard.
A barbarous world once thought to have developed before hyperspatial travel. The constellation of Ophiuchus, the "serpent-bearer", may be the source of the world's name, or it may lie in this constellation, as seen from Earth.
A system in the Normannic Sector of the Galactic Empire, mentioned in Foundation. The inhabited planet is Orsha II, the second planet of the system. The capital of the Normannic Sector was originally Siwenna (20 parsecs, or 65 light-years, away), but after the first Siwennian rebellion, it was moved to Orsha II.
Spacer world infamous for its custom of dyeing facial hair; Santirix Gremionis loathed the practice. Pallas is of course the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena.
A world tidally locked to its star, a "ribbon world" inhabited by merchant spacers known as "Traders" during the era of Foundation and Empire. Its houses and gardens were built to face the motionless "morning sun", while a short distance away there was everlasting night; Asimov wrote this at a time when Mercury was assumed to turn one face always to the Sun.
Famous for its oysters.
A planet in the Empire series. In the first millennium of the Galactic Era, its inhabitants developed a robotic culture. Because this made Rigellians so passive, they were easy prey for the warlord Moray. Thus, Rigel's fate resembled that of the Spacer worlds. Its name may come from the name of the star, Rigel.
During the days of the Galactic Empire, it was used as a political prison, and housed a small naval garrison and an observatory (Second Foundation). After the fall of the Empire, it was conquered by the "Oligarchy of Tazenda", which levied taxes to be paid in foodstuffs, brought to the village of Gentri where the governor lived ("gentry" refers to an upper class). During his search for the Second Foundation, the Mule's soldiers, Bail Channis and Han Pritcher, came to Rossem. The Mule, meanwhile, destroyed Tazenda, assuming it was the Second Foundation. He assumed incorrectly, and was defeated by the First Speaker of the Second Foundation.
Rossem was exceptionally cold, and was thus barren with a low population, exclusively in the equatorial regions. It may be loosely based on Russia in Tsarist times, which Asimov's family came from, or even specifically Siberia. The name is clearly similar to "Russia" (especially in Russian: "Rossiya"), though also reminiscent of "Rossum," the eponymous creator of robots in the play R.U.R..
The first planet to be aware of the Mule's advance on the Foundation.
Santanni is 9,000 parsecs (29,000 light-years) from Trantor and 800 parsecs (2,600 light-years) from Locris.
In 12,058 G.E. the population of Santanni attempted to rebel against the Galactic Empire. Raych Seldon, son of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, was killed in the rebellion, valiantly defending the University of Santanni.
After the founding of the Foundation, Santanni traded with it until the trade route was cut off by the rebellion of Anacreon. One thing known to have been made on Santanni was the cigar box possessed by Jord Fara, and later by Salvor Hardin.
It was captured in the early stages of the war with Kalgan. After the death of the Mule, Santanni was instrumental in breaking the siege on Terminus levied by the Mule's successor, Han Pritcher in 308 F.E.
Sarip is a planet near Anacreon.
In The Currents of Space, Sark rules over Florina and controls the galactic trade of the cloth kyrt. Possibly named after the island in the English channel.
At the time of the novel Foundation's Edge, Sayshell was capital of the 86 worlds in the Sayshell Union. It was notable for never having been conquered by either the Mule or the Galactic Empire, or the Foundation. The inhabitants of Sayshell at that time are somewhat reminiscent of a modern middle-class India: ornamental script, possibly a reference to Brahmi, brightly colorful clothing, spicy vegetarian food, meditation as a common activity. As the Seychelles islands on Earth are in the Indian Ocean and have both Indian and African populations, this name is presumably a reference to the origin of the planet's people and culture.
The Sirius system was a capital of the Sirius Sector, and one of the planets advanced by some late Galactic Era archaeologists as the planet of origin for the human species. Between 800 and 900 G.E., a planet in the Sirius system was one of the ten most populated planets in the Galaxy. The name clearly comes from the star Sirius.
Siwenna was capital of the Normannic Sector of the Galactic Empire, and once one of its richest planets. It was the home of Onum Barr and his son Ducem Barr. Siwenna is a conventional transcription (but not the only one) of the Ancient Egyptian name for Siwa oasis, which was, because of its remoteness from the Nile, at several times in history considered as the very limit of Egyptian influence—as Siwenna is of the Empire.
One of the fifty Spacer worlds, noted in The Robots of Dawn.
A planet mentioned in Second Foundation, located in the Galactic Periphery.
Located in the Anacreon Province, it was one of four prefects in the Anacreon Province that rebelled against the Galactic Empire c. 50 F.E. The planet itself is located 50 parsecs (163 light-years) from Terminus. Its name is a parallel with Smyrna, an important city of the Roman Empire in Anatolia. Smyrno is hot and dry, the rooms smell of sulphur, and people live underground. Its most famous citizen is Hober Mallow, one of the major characters from the Foundation series.
Solaria was the last of fifty Spacer worlds colonized by humans in the first wave of interstellar settlement, occupied from approximately 4627 AD by inhabitants of the neighboring world Nexon originally for summer homes. It was ruled by a Regent after it became independent around roughly 4727 AD. The Solarians specialized in the construction of robots, which they exported to the other Spacer Worlds. Solarian robots were noted for their variety and excellence. They also exported their grain, which was used to make a pastry known as the pachinka.
Solaria became totally dependent on robot labor; roughly 10,000 robots existed for every human. The world was extremely sparsely inhabited, with only 20,000 humans (and 200 million robots) inhabiting 30 million miles² (78 million km²) of fertile land, divided into over 10,000 huge estates (the exact number is unknown, since some of the estates were inhabited by couples). The population was kept stable through strict birth and immigration controls. In the era of Robots and Empire, no more than five thousand Solarians were known to remain. 20,000 years later, the population was 1,200—one human per estate.
In The Naked Sun, Earth detective Elijah Baley visited Solaria around 4927 AD to solve a murder mystery. By then, its inhabitants had evolved an isolationist culture in which its citizens never had to meet, except for sexual contact required for reproductive purposes. All other contact was accomplished by sophisticated telepresence systems ("viewing"), with most Solarians exhibiting a strong phobia towards actual contact, or even being in the same room as another human ("seeing"). All work was done by robots. Baley considered Solaria to be a dysfunctional society.
Over the following centuries and millennia, Solaria became even more rigidly and obsessively isolationist, and its population was believed by other Spacers to be declining. Around 5126 AD, Solaria cut off all contact with the rest of the Galaxy, although continuing to monitor hyperspatial communications. The human inhabitants vanished, giving the impression that they had died out, although they had in fact withdrawn underground; their estates continued to be worked by millions of robots. The planet was eventually forgotten entirely as the other Spacers died out, any stray visitors to the planet being attacked and killed by robots programmed to view non-Solarians as non-human; during a brief visit, D.G. Baley, R. Daneel Olivaw and Gladia Delmarre barely escaped with their lives.
During the period from 5,000 AD to 20,000 AD, the Solarians had extensively modified themselves through genetic engineering to become hermaphrodites, thereby removing the need for sexual contact. In another development, Solarians evolved (or engineered) small transducer lobes, a section of the brain about the size of a hen's egg, protruding behind the ears. These were able to collect free energy from spontaneous heat flow in their surroundings, on the principle of a heat engine, and direct this extracted energy into focused useful work, at a distance, by thought. Using these lobes, Solarians manipulated their environment with powers akin to telekinesis and provided for the energy needs of their entire estates, including power for all of the estate's robots, drawing energy from the various spontaneous thermal energy transfers of the planet in apparently complete compliance with the known laws of thermodynamics. Solarian estates commonly featured conductive rods, spaced at convenient distances, penetrating deeply into the planet that, at a touch, made the channeling of geothermal energy between the planet's interior and the heatsink of space even easier.
In 499 F.E. (approximately 25,066 AD), as told in the novel Foundation and Earth, Solaria was visited by Golan Trevize, Janov Pelorat and Blissenobiarella. They landed on the estate of Sarton Bander, the "Ruler" of a Solarian estate (note that Sarton was the last name of R. Daneel Olivaw's designer, Roj Nemennuh Sarton of Aurora). They learned of the sociological developments of Solaria through Bander, who apparently took a secret pleasure in having something close to intellectual companionship, or at least an intellectual audience. To prevent them from providing information to the Galaxy about Solaria and in keeping with Solarian customs and beliefs, not to mention preventing other Solarians' discovery of shameful personal contact with offworlders, Bander attempted to kill the visitors, but was instead killed in self-defense by Bliss, resulting in the shutdown of all of the robots and other machinery of the Bander Estate.
The visitors were able to escape, but not before discovering a child in one of the countless rooms of the estate, Fallom, assuming it to be a successor to Bander (who had not mentioned the existence of an heir, but had mentioned that there would be one at the appropriate time or in the case of an unforeseen accident), whom they would ultimately bring with them to Earth. Had they left Fallom on Solaria, the child would almost certainly have been killed, because it was seen as a surplus child and also had not as yet developed its transducer lobes, therefore not counting as a Solarian and being expendable. Fallom demonstrated great precocity in learning Galactic and would eventually stay on the Moon of Earth to mentally merge with Daneel Olivaw.
The ultimate fate of the Solarians is unknown, although Sarton Bander seemed to believe that Solaria had a bright future since, without internal conflict, they are likely to outlive the rest of the human race and then inherit the Galaxy. Bliss, on the other hand, believed that the Solarians will become a part of Galaxia, and a valuable part at that.
The birthplace of Gaal Dornick, it was in a stellar system orbiting a region called the 'Blue Drift', which is on the Trailing Arm of the Galaxy. Travel to Trantor is expensive, thanks to its relative position to the Galactic black hole. In this way it is similar to Hari Seldon's home world of Helicon. Synnax's system contains an asteroid field, as well as a set of gas giants.
Tazenda is an oligarchy of 27 planets which stayed out of interstellar politics. It was considered by The Mule to be the home of the Second Foundation because of its location 120 radial degrees from Terminus, its location in a constellation visible from Trantor (giving it the name "Star's End"), and its name sounding similar to "Star's End". It was attacked and destroyed by the Mule in 315 F.E. It was not, in fact, the location of the Second Foundation.
One of the Association of Independent Trading Worlds. Had a minor victory against the Mule.
Terminus is a planet at the edge of the galaxy, home of the Foundation (later capital of the Foundation Federation). It is the sole planet orbiting an isolated star. Its nearest inhabited neighbor is Anacreon, 8 parsecs (26 light years) away, and it lies approximately 10,000 parsecs from the capital of the First Galactic Empire, Trantor, near the galactic center.
There are almost no visible stars in its sky, only the huge lens of the Milky Way Galaxy. The nearby stars of the Province of Anacreon are known as "The Diamonds", with the expanse of the Galaxy described as "The Lens". The Ecliptic plane of Terminus appears to be near-perpendicular to its orbit around the Galactic nucleus, as the Lens is visible in the night sky throughout its year, while the Diamonds appearance appears to be seasonal. The visibility of the Magellanic Clouds is not discussed.
Terminus has a very high water/land ratio, with the capital, Terminus City, situated on the planet's only truly large island (not quite a continent). The planetary ocean contains a total of approximately 10,000 inhabited islands. Terminus's climate is mild. Like all known habitable planets it has a nickel-iron core which produces a significant magnetic field; however, it has almost no metals in its surface rocks. In the Foundation's early years, steel was so valuable that it was used to coin money.
Prior to human occupation, a few lower forms of life existed on Terminus. However, once humans arrived (along with their supporting species), these native life forms were crowded out and became extinct in the wild. However, breeding populations were conserved at various Universities.
With the Galactic Empire in fatal decline, Hari Seldon, inventor of the science of psychohistory, predicted a 30,000 year interregnum of barbaric Dark Ages until the rise of a New Empire. So Seldon created a plan to shorten this interregnum from 30,000 years to 1,000 years.
Seldon asked Las Zenow, chief librarian of the Library of Trantor to undertake a search to find a suitable planet, according to Seldon's criteria. Zenow, following a lengthy search, found Terminus, which had been uninhabited through the five centuries after its discovery. Seldon manipulated the authoritarian Commission of Public Safety that ruled the Empire to exile his project to Terminus. The founding population consisted of 100,000 especially healthy scientists, whose ostensible purpose was to publish an Encyclopedia Galactica. In actuality, their job would be to preserve science and technology, and to reconquer the Galaxy to form the Second Empire.
The lack of steel and limited natural resources forced Terminians to develop technologies of extremely high efficiency, as their knowledge due to their position as the inheritors of the Imperial Library allowed them to do so. The high technology and science of the foundation became its crucial strength in early confrontations, first against far larger local kingdoms that had broken away from the weakening empire but drastically regressed to pre-atomic technology. And later, against powerful dictators with support from the dying core of the Empire itself, who had similar scientific ability to the Foundation but far more cumbersome, inefficient technology, having always relied on colossal resources.
Economically, at least for the first 500 years, they seem to have a massive surplus in labor. Toran Darell II and Janov Pelorat were both described as men of modest means, one living off a stipend, the other a quiet academic in an unpopular field. Yet both men were able to afford a house servant (Poli for the Darell household and Kloda for the Pelorat household). Poli in particular is shown at length to be very under-educated, speaking in a fashion that seems indicative of the antebellum South. Whether this is due to her inherent limits, a bizarre affectation or a lack of educational opportunities on Terminus is not explained. The labor saving devices as described would seem to be the equal or more of 20th century gadgets, and what the servants are supposed to do is not explained, though it describes them doing menial tasks such as setting out pre-made self-cooking dinners or opening doors.
In the later Foundation books, primarily Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, Terminus is well on its way to being the capital of the Second Galactic Empire, using its massive technological advantage. This even threw a wrench into the plan of the Second Foundation, as Terminus had managed to develop anti-mentalic technology, including a psychic barrier, which was strong enough to hold off at least temporarily Stor Gendibal's mentalic power, and with Gaia's help (had Golan Trevize chosen it) would have been indestructible to mental attacks.
Trantor is in the center of the habitable part of the galaxy.
It was capital of the Vega Province in the Galactic Empire, one of the wealthiest provinces in the entire Galaxy. Until the revolt of the Anacreon Prefect, it traded with Terminus, capital of the Foundation. One of the known quantities it exported was tobacco, of notably high quality. Its name comes from that of the star Vega, or Alpha Lyrae.
Mentioned in Second Foundation. It lay on the standard trade route between Kalgan and Tazenda.
A planet in the Anacreon Prefect, close to the capital system Anacreon.
The temporary headquarters for the navy of Bel Riose, General of the Galactic Empire, during the war between the Empire and the Foundation. Ducem Barr and Lathan Devers were kept in a prison on Wanda during this war, and Devers' ship was impounded there also.
Home planet of Las Zenow (12008–?????), chief librarian of the Library of Trantor. Zenow returned to Wencory when he retired. (Mentioned in Forward the Foundation).
- Isaac Asimov, Extraterrestrial Civilizations (New York: Crown Publishers, 1979), pg. 105.