Throughout the 1960s and 70s, American writer Isaac Asimov was arguably one of the world's three most famous living science fiction writers (along with Arthur C Clarke and Robert Heinlein).
The Foundation - a series of novels and short stories that comprises over a million words - spans a panorama of galaxies over the span of millennia. At first the series charted the downfall of a monumental empire and its long transition through anarchy to a restored empire, told from the perspective of those who foresaw the collapse. Later, Asimov fleshed out this universe further with his famous Robot series - which proposed a seemingly viable set of "laws of robotics".
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