“Foundation’s Friends”


Foundation’s Friends, edited by Martin H. Greenberg, and published in 1989, is a collection of stories by various authors, to celebrate Isaac Asimov’s 50 years of writing science fiction. Most of them have the same settings as stories written by Asimov.

I thought the title was a bit misleading – of the 17 stories (plus 2 prefaces and 2 afterwords), only 3 were based on the Foundation series, although several others fit within the settings of the Robot Short Stories and Robot Novels.

Some of these stories fit within Asimov’s Robot/Empire/Foundation series. Others do not. Where they do, I have included the review on the relevant page for the Chronology. For the others, I may include the reviews here (as I have opportunity).

Story Included in the following page of the Chronology
Strip-Runner by Pamela Sargent The Robot Novels
The Asenion Solution by Robert Silverberg
Murder in the Urth Degree by Edward Wellen
Trantor Falls by Harry Turtledove The Foundation series
Dilemma by Connie Willis
Set a few years in the future, a delegation of robots comes to Isaac Asimov (who is assumed to be still alive), and ask him to repeal the First Law of Robotics (a law hardwired into all robots, to prevent them harming humans). They give some persuasive arguments (eg a robot surgeon who can’t perform operations, a Super Bowl strategist who can’t design plays which involve knocking people down), and they argue that with the First Law’s removal their sophisticated ethical programming should be sufficient to compensate. However Asimov suspects there is some hidden motivation.
Maureen Birmbaum After Dark by George Alec Effinger
Balance by Mike Resnick The Robot short stories
The Present Eternal by Barry N. Malzberg
PAPPI by Sheila Finch The Robot short stories
The Reunion at the Mile-High by Frederick Pohl
Plato’s Cave by Poul Anderson The Robot short stories
Foundation’s Conscience by George Zebrowski The Foundation series
Carhunters of the Concrete Prairie by Robert Sheckley The Robot short stories
The Overheard Conversation by Edward D. Hoch
The Fourth Law of Robotics by Harry Harrison The Robot short stories
Blot by Hal Clement The Robot short stories
The Originist by Orson Scott Card The Foundation series

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