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2015-04-15

"From Robots to Foundations": the new extended edition is online

Thanks to a reader who pointed out some typos, I have proofread my Asimov companion volume "From Robots to Foundations" another time and taken the chance to upload V2.0 with improved layout and some additional information that had not been included in the first version, particularly on Isaac Asimov's (likely) inspirations when he was naming planets in the Trantor Universe and on the strange emendations that "Second Foundation" went through since its initial publication. 

The updated full-colour high-res version of the galactic map from p. 115 can be downloaded from here.

Here is an excerpt from the revised edition, the description of the Spacer world Aurora:


Aurora (New Earth)
Innermost planet of the Tau Ceti star system.
 
Name: for an ancient deity whose name meant ‘Dawn’.  The two moons are named for a mortal lover of the goddess A.
 
Physical parameters: Rotational period: 22.3 GSH, divided into 10 hours by 100 minutes by 200 seconds. Revolu­tional period: 0.95 GSY or 373 Auroran days. Inclina­tion: 16°. Gravity: 0.91 of Terminus. Natural satellites: Tithonus, Tithonus II (they were not perceived by ap­proaching spacemen in the Foundation Era. Had they been destroyed by Earth’s retaliation against the Spacers?). Distance from Earth: 3 pc.
10 months by 30 Auroran days make one metric or Galactic Standard Year = 0.8 Auroran (‘seasonal’) years = 0.76 Earth years.
 
Biology: The plant life that did exist, sustained by a yel­low-green pigment completely unrelated to chlorophyll and not as efficient, gave the comparatively fertile re­gions a decidedly bilious and unpleasant appearance to unaccustomed eyes. No animal life higher than unicellu­lar, and the equivalent of bacteria as well, were present. Nothing dangerous, naturally, since the two biological systems, of Earth and Aurora, were chemically unre­lated. ... nearly one half the native bacterial species known have protoplasm based on a fluorocarbon rather than hydrocarbon chemistry.’ (from 'Mother Earth')
 
Political system: Large individual autonomy; represented by a Chairman. Pop.: Around 4000 A.D.: 200 million, ro­bot-human ratio: 50:1. Capital: Eos.
 
History: Originally known as New Earth, A. was the first world settled after discovery of the Jump drive. It be­came the strongest of the Spacer Worlds and led them into the Three-Weeks War that brought independence from the Terrestrial Empire. A. maintained for a long time the effect­ive leadership of the Spacer Worlds that was contested first by Rhea and Tethys but later only by Solaria. After an Auroran, Dr K. Amadiro, had launched the nuclear intensifying process against Earth, A. seems to have suffered a kind of retaliation and became ultimately deser­ted. Many descendants settled in the Mycogen sector of Trantor. The planet was overtaken by ferocious semi-intelligent dogs.