Foundation and Empire
written by Isaac Asimov
part of Foundation
This Book is referred to by The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings part of Futurama Season 5
The holophoner from Futurama is based on the visi-sonor from Foundation and Empire.
Foundation and Empire is a novel written by Isaac Asimov that was published by Gnome Press in 1952. It is the second book published in the Foundation Series, and the fourth in the in-universe chronology. It takes place in two halves, originally published as separate novellas. The second part, "The Mule," won a Hugo Award. The current Emperor of the Galaxy perceives the Foundation as a growing threat and orders an attack on it, using the Empire's still-mighty fleet of war vessels. However, eventually convinced, as foretold by psychohistory, that his power would be most vulnerable to that of his own successful general (a possible analogy with that of the Roman empire at various times), the Emperor finally orders withdrawal of his fleet. In spite of its undoubted inferiority in purely military terms, the Foundation emerges as the victor and the Empire itself is defeated. Meanwhile, an unknown outsider known as the Mule has begun taking over planets belonging to the Foundation at a rapid pace. When the Foundation comes to realize the Mule was not foreseen in Seldon's plan, and there is no predicted way of defeating him, Toran and Bayta Darell, accompanied by Ebling Mis—the galaxy's current greatest psychologist—and a court jester named Magnifico (whom they agree to protect, as his life is under threat from the Mule himself), set out to find the Second Foundation, hoping they bring an end to the Mule's reign. Eventually, working in the still-functional Great Library of Trantor, Mis comes to learn of the Second Foundation's whereabouts. Mis also deduces that the Mule's success stems from his mutation; he is able to change the emotions of others, a power he used to first instill fear in the inhabitants of his conquered planets, then to make his enemies devoutly loyal to him. Having worked out that the Mule is also attempting to find the location of the Second Foundation, Bayta Darell kills Mis before he can reveal where the Second Foundation is. Bayta explains that she regrets her actions, but that the secret had to be kept from the Mule at all costs. Magnifico reveals that Bayta's suspicions about him are correct and that he is the Mule and has been laboring to find the Second Foundation in order to start his own Second Empire, hundreds of years before the Seldon Plan is to be complete. Dismayed at having made a mistake which allowed Bayta to see through his disguise, he leaves Trantor to rule over his conquered planets while continuing his own search.