A Foundation agent is captured by some petty kingdom and a trader is sent to rescue him.

The trader succeeds by carefully manipulating the greed of the locals to the point where he can control and blackmail them.

Dull, dull, dull. This is the second-weakest of the Foundation stories (after “The Search by the Mule”), and the weakest story in Foundation.

There are a number of problems here. The agent who has to bring a new planet under the Foundation’s sway is a little over-the-top, and his slang is a little too arch, too anxious to sound futuristic. The real problem, however, is that the climax of the story takes place off-stage—we don’t get to see his plan succeed; we’re simply told about it.

The story isn’t a total loss, and were it in less dignified surroundings it would fare better—but as it stands, it leaves something of a sour taste behind.

Found In

3 spaceships-and-suns3 spaceships-and-suns Foundation
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...