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The "Spaceship and Sun" is the symbol of the Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series In Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series of novels, the Galactic Empire is an empire consisting of millions of planets settled by humans across the whole Milky Way Galaxy. Its symbol is the Spaceship and Sun logo. Contents 1 Author's creation of the empire 2 Emperors 3 Consensus cosmogony 4 Other authors and Asimov's universe 5 References 6 Further reading Author's creation of the empire Artist's conception of the spiral structure of the Milky Way Galaxy with two major stellar arms and a bar (it has been known since the 1990s that the Milky Way Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy). In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, at its height the Galactic Empire had expanded to encompass the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Asimov created the Galactic Empire in the early 1940s based upon the Roman Empire, as a proposal to John W. Campbell, after reading Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The concept evolved through short stories and novellas in Astounding Science Fiction magazine during the 1940s, culminating in the publication of the Foundation stories as a trilogy of books in the early 1950s.[1][2] The Galactic Empire of the Foundation series comprises some 25 million worlds. According to the current Foundation series chronology established in the late 1990s, it comes into existence approximately 10,000 CE, year one of the Galactic Era. (The establishment of the Empire was originally 34,500 CE, according to Asimov's unofficial unpublished early 1950s chronology.) The Galactic Empire was made possible by the ability of humans to travel through hyperspace. The space navy of the Galactic Empire is called the "Imperial Navy".[3] The empire's capital, named Trantor, is the habitable planet closest to the center of the galaxy, and the novels in the Foundation trilogy describe its fall, over a period of centuries, and a period of anarchy and decay, a parallel to the fall of the (Western) Roman Empire and the Dark Ages. Asimov posits that two foundations are instituted to restore the empire to its former glory. Through the use of psychohistory, a future science hypothesized by Asimov, a scientist on Trantor named Hari Seldon in about 12,000 Galactic Era predicts the fall of the empire, and institutes the two foundations.[2][4] Emperors A complete list of Galactic emperors and their dynasties does not exist, however a number of names and their rule are known: Name Dynasty Notes Franken I Kamble first Galactic Emperor Loris VI Aburanis introduced the "Law Codes of Aburanis" Kandar V transplanted the last inhabitants of Earth to Alpha Agis VI Wyan followed by Entun dynasty in c11830 Manowell Entun nicknamed "Bloody Emperor" Cleon I assassinated by his chief gardener Interregnum between 12038 and 12058GE, rule by a military junta Agis XIV Chen Divart Daluben IV ruled during the time of the Seldon Trial Stannnell VI died 104FE Cleon II the last strong Emperor Dagobert IX possibly the last emperor, resided on Neotrantor following the Great Sack of Trantor Consensus cosmogony Asimov's Galactic Empire was the first example after Olaf Stapledon's 1937 science fiction novel Star Maker of one of the eight stages of a "consensus cosmogony", also called the Science Fiction Cosmology, identified by Donald A. Wollheim in the 1950s, which science fiction writers needed only hint at in their stories for experienced SF readers to slot into their perception of future history and envisage the background to the tale without the writers having to expend time and space explicitly laying it out. These stages are:[5] The initial exploration, colonization, and exploitation of the solar system, including plots modelled on the American War of Independence The first flights to the stars, with plots similar to those of the preceding stage The rise of a Galactic Empire, and possible contact, either friendly or hostile, with empires of alien species (however, in Asimov's galactic empire concept, there are no other alien races in the Milky Way Galaxy) The Galactic Empire at its height, with exploration occurring at its Rim The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire, as explored by Asimov and later other authors The Dark Ages, an interregnum with worlds reverting to barbarism, as also partially explored by Asimov The Renaissance, where a new democratic Galactic Civilization arises, including the restoration of civilization to and communication with worlds that were isolated during the Fall—this stage was called by Stapledon the Galactic Community of Worlds, was called by Asimov the Foundation Federation, and is most commonly called by most authors the Galactic Federation\ Other authors and Asimov's universe Bondanella (listed in Further reading) analyzes Asimov's Galactic Empire as an example of the influence of the myth and history of the Roman Empire upon modern fiction. Asimov himself wrote two non-fiction books on the subject of the Roman Empire, aimed at the mass market and young readerships, The Roman Republic in 1966 and The Roman Empire in 1967, reflecting the positive view of the Roman Empire that then prevailed, as it was considered the prototype of the rising American Empire. After the cinematic release of the first Star Wars trilogy, another parallel to the Roman Empire that presents the negative view of the empire that became widely prevalent in late 20th and early 21st century popular culture as a result of the negative view of the American Empire resulting from the Vietnam War, Asimov revisited his Galactic Empire and wrote further novels in the Foundation series. Other writers to have been influenced by the Roman Empire include, of course, those who have written novels set in Asimov's universe of the Galactic Empire, such as David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, and Robert Silverberg, who wrote of an alternative universe in which the Roman Empire never fell, and who edited Far Horizons (listed in Further reading) which contains several examples of Asimov's influence upon science fiction. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune: House Atriedes (1999) is, similarly, a Greek parallel to ancient Rome.[6] Other works to have been influenced by Asimov's Empire include Donald Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis, whose galactic empire, and the scholar-empire that succeeds it, are clearly based upon Asimov's Galactic Empire and the Foundations, albeit that Kingsbury was not granted permission[citation needed] to set his work directly in Asimov's universe. Seed calls this work "perhaps the most remarkable homage that any SF writer has received from another SF writer".[7] Asimov's Galactic Empire, its decline, fall, and rebirth, in particular, is characterized by Perelman as a simple repetition of the history of Western Civilization from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 20th century, borrowing freely from Toynbee, and a validation of postwar American culture of the 1940s and 1950s, with the Second Galactic Empire being "definitely suburban".[8] Other writers to explore the cycles of civilisations in their works include James Blish, who studied the works of Oswald Spengler and whose novels Cities in Flight, They Shall Have Stars, A Life for the Stars, Earthman Come Home, and The Triumph of Time portray the rise and fall of the galaxy as an inevitable cycle, of which (unlike in other dystopian SF stories of the 1940s and 1950s) the use of machine technology is merely a symptom not the actual cause, and culminate, as in Wollheim's eighth stage, with the end of the universe and the birth of a new one.[2][9] Colin Manlove characterizes Asimov's description of the Galactic Empire, its people, its culture, its history, and its planets, laid out in the Foundation novels as an aesthetic monotony: "persons are usually seen as typical rather than special, even as clichés … the mutant Mule […] is not given a personality, he is merely a powerful anomaly … Nor do we hear much of landscapes, apart from Trantor and one sea-scape … we do not know how one planet differs from another, as, say, Ursula K. Le Guin differentiates the desert Anarres from the lush twin Urras … Nor are we given details of battles, lingering accounts of love, different customs of civilisations. There are no animals, only man. … Thought-processes and conversations largely fill the trilogy, and nearly all these are confined to finding things out and with gaining power."[10][11] References ^ Neil Goble (1972). Asimov Analyzed. Mirage. pp. 32–34.  ^ a b c Gary Raham (2004). Teaching Science Fact With Science Fiction. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 27,96–97. ISBN 1563089394.  ^ Isaac Asimov worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II when he began writing the Foundation series, having been recruited to work there by Robert Heinlein. ^ Nikos Prantzos (2000). Our Cosmic Future: Humanity's Fate in the Universe. Cambridge University Press. pp. 151. ISBN 052177098X.  ^ Edward James (1999). "Per ardua ad astra: Authorial Choice and the Narrative of Interstellar Travel". In Jaś Elsner and Joan-Pau Rubiés. Voyages and Visions: Towards a Cultural History of Travel. Reaktion Books. ISBN 1861890206.  ^ Martin M. Winkler (2001). Classical Myth and Culture in the Cinema. Oxford University Press. pp. 273. ISBN 0195130030.  ^ David Seed (2005). "Isaac Asimov". A Companion to Science Fiction. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 371. ISBN 1405112182.  ^ Les Perelman (1990). "Science Fiction Novels and Film". In Susan Gushee O'Malley, Robert C. Rosen, Leonard Vogt. Politics of Education: Essays from Radical Teacher. SUNY Press. pp. 172. ISBN 0791403556.  ^ Milton T. Wolf (1997). Shaw and Science Fiction. Penn State Press. pp. 83. ISBN 0271016817.  ^ Colin Nicholas Manlove (1986). Science Fiction: Ten Explorations. Kent State University. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0873383265.  ^ Adam Charles Roberts (2000). Science Fiction. Routledge. pp. 77. ISBN 0415192048.  Further reading Peter Bondanella (October 1987). The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World. Univ of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0807817407.  Robert Silverberg, ed (1999). Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction. New York: Avon Eos. ISBN 0060817127.  Damon Knight (1956). "Asimov and Empire". In Search of Wonder: Essays on Modern Science Fiction. Advent Publishers.  Donald A. Wollheim (1971). "The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire". The Universe Makers: Science Fiction Today. Harper & Row.  Oliver Morton (1999-05-17). "In Pursuit of Infinity". The New Yorker: pp. 84–89.  v · d · eIsaac Asimov's Foundation series Asimov writings Prelude to Foundation • Forward the Foundation • Foundation • Foundation and Empire • Second Foundation • Foundation's Edge • Foundation and Earth Others' writings Foundation's Fear • Foundation and Chaos • Foundation's Triumph • Foundation's Friends • Psychohistorical Crisis • "The Originist" Characters Hari Seldon • Dors Venabili • Salvor Hardin • Hober Mallow • The Mule • Arkady Darell Planets Trantor • Galactic Empire Other Radio programme • Encyclopedia Galactica • Psychohistory • Scientism • Seldon Crisis • Seldon Plan • First Speaker • Mentalic • Timeline Preceded by The Robot Series and The Empire Series