Study Guide

Foundation Part I, Chapter 1

By Isaac Asimov

Part I, Chapter 1

  • We're introduced to a guy named Gaal Dornick right away. He's lived his whole life on the world of Synnax, and he's taking a trip to Trantor for the first time.
  • It's one of those country boy meets bright lights, big city kind of deals.
  • Gaal considers how this space jump will be the farthest he's ever been from home.
  • We also learn that jumping is the only practical way to get from planet to planet without traveling at the tediously slow speed of light. Hey, 186,000 miles per second is practically grandma speed when you're talking about traveling between star systems.
  • The ship jolts a little, and then it is at Trantor. Jump complete. Even the Millennium Falcon can't keep up with Asimov's future tech.
  • So, why all the traveling? Gaal's going to join a man named Hari Seldon on Trantor and work on his boringly named Seldon Project.
  • Hmm, where have we heard that name before?
  • Hanging out in the view room, Gaal desperately wants to catch a glimpse of Trantor from space.
  • An officer enters and informs him that the view room will be closed for the rest of the trip. The ship will be entering the atmosphere sun side, so anyone trying to get a peek at the planet would be burned, blinded, and radiation-marinated. Tasty.
  • Gaal considers his disappointment childish, but can't help it. We feel you, buddy.