Friday, August 5, 2011

Maps of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

Sometimes a post does just what it says on the tin....

(Click on these for large 1 MB jpeg images)

I thought it might be fun to post them here, with a similar motivation as when I posted my Neverness FAQ; i.e., it might be helpful to someone as fodder to flesh out a sci-fi RPG campaign setting. When you've got the whole Milky Way Galaxy at your fingertips, the sky's the limit! :-)

I drew these maps in the early 1980s, and brought them with me to a local college at which Isaac Asimov was speaking and signing books. He happily signed my copy of Foundation's Edge, which was newly released, and I was elated that he signed this home-brewed map, too. For years I continued to think of these maps as the OFFICIAL maps of the Foundation trilogy's galaxy, because of the Good Doctor's signature on them. (Ha!)

I also got to ask him a question from the audience, but it was such a softball that I'm hesitant to tell the blogosphere what it was...

Okay, why not:  I asked him, out of all of his hundreds of novels, what his own favorite was. Hey, come on, I was like 13 or 14 and in awe of the dude.  His response was probably canned, but funny nonetheless: "My autobiography!"

Back to the present, I expected to find the Internet brimming with dozens of fan-made maps of the Foundation trilogy's Milky Way Galaxy.  But I only found one other, with captions in Thai script. (You'll have to scroll down a bit... the direct image link doesn't work.) There's also one that looks like a game board, but it wasn't meant as a literal map. Oh well... yet another instance in which I may just be the geekiest person in the room....

6 comments:

  1. Asimov's signature on your home made map? Holy crap! That's awesome.

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  2. Cool maps and cool story, and the question is probably better than I'd think to ask even now.

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  3. @Porky: Oh, no... that question was pure, but inadvertent, asskissery... I would have deserved a YDISsing had he been around...

    I got the feeling that Asimov was really making the college lecture rounds back then. This was a community college! (Not to knock community colleges, but one wouldn't have thought it would be high on an author's visit list!) :-)

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  4. Very, very awesome. I've been working on a plugin for Escape Velocity Nova based on the Foundation trilogy, and the galactic map is the part that's been giving me the most trouble so far.

    I found a couple others online a few months back, including the Thai one you mentioned, but nothing really worth bothering with. (The other one is here, if you're curious.) Yours makes a lot more sense to me, especially since you put a lot of places--particularly Siwenna, Tazenda, and the Sirius sector--more or less where I would have. The fact that Asimov himself put his name on it doesn't hurt either.

    Thanks, and cheers,

    -- Shig

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  5. @Shig: Thanks for the link to those other maps. I like that they give a little more detail about the "Z" direction above and below the galactic plane.

    Please feel free to use whatever you like from my old maps. I wish I could give a better electronic version (with clickable star positions or whatever), but these scans of pencil-on-paper are all that exist! :-)

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