1988, 1st edition with "Limited Edition frontispiece by Boris Vallejo"; Book Club Edition; Doubleday publishers; hardbound with blue boards; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Prelude to Foundation is a novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1988. It is one of two prequels to the Foundation series. For the first time, Asimov chronicles the fictional life of Hari Seldon, the man who invented psychohistory and the intellectual hero of the series. The novel was nominated for the Locus Award.
Prelude to Foundation is set in the year 12,020 G.E. (Galactic era), during the rocky reign of the Emperor Cleon I. It starts with Seldon's presentation of a paper at a mathematics convention detailing how practical use of psychohistory might theoretically make it possible to predict the future. The Emperor of the Galactic Empire learns of this and wants to use Seldon for political gain. In a face-to-face interview, Seldon emphasizes that psychohistory is something that he has not even begun developing or even has a clear idea how to do so, but Cleon is not wholly convinced that Hari is of no use to the Empire.
Seldon then meets reporter Chetter Hummin, who convinces him that Cleon's first minister, Eto Demerzel, is attempting to capture him, and that it is therefore imperative for Seldon to escape and try to make psychohistory practical. He is taken by Hummin to Streeling University, one of the top ranked of the Empire and introduced to Dors Venabili by Hummin. Seldon theorizes that the first development of psychohistory requires a smaller, yet still significant sample than the entire Empire, possibly just the original world where humans originated...which is now lost, along with much of the older historical records.
Hari and Dors narrowly evade capture at Streeling University, and Hummin arranges for them to be sheltered in the reclusive Mycogen sector, which supposedly values its ancient history. Seldon and Venabili are welcomed by Sunmaster Fourteen, the leader of Mycogen. Seldon obtains the Mycogenians' treasured religious/historical book, but finds it disappointing except for the revelation of what the Mycogenians call their home planet, Aurora, and references to "robots" (which do not exist in the Empire)...