By L. David Allen
- Pebble within the Sky
- The Stars, Like Dust
- The Currents of Space
- The finish of Eternity
- The Gods Themselves
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Extra resources for Asimov's Foundation Trilogy and Other Works
Control is also achieved by genetic means: the brightest and most ambitious of Florinian youths are brought into the Sarkite Civil Service; those who fall into the trap of false conspiracies are eliminated, while those who make good are forbidden sexual relationships with women. (It is clear that The Currents of Space was written before the current interest in the status of women, for Asimov's system totally ignores the contribution of women to the intelligence of children, which is at least equal to a man's contribution.
The basic model that is followed is the institution of slavery in the American South, although there are some variations. The variation that seems most important is that the Florinians are not the property of Sarkites; nevertheless, the control is just as great, achieved by economic means and a highly visible enforcement system. Control is also achieved by genetic means: the brightest and most ambitious of Florinian youths are brought into the Sarkite Civil Service; those who fall into the trap of false conspiracies are eliminated, while those who make good are forbidden sexual relationships with women.
However, the most explicit source condemning Sark and its policies is Dr. Selim Junz, with some assistance from Ludigan Abel. In a rather cheap maneuver, Asimov draws attention to the similarities between the situation in the novel and that in the American South before the Civil War: Junz is dark skinned while Florinians are one of the lightest-skinned peoples in the galaxy. To make the point even clearer, Junz remarks that only on Earth, out of all the inhabited planets in the galaxy, is there a separate and distinct word for a person with dark skin; he wonders why this should be so, any more than there should be a separate word for someone with blue eyes, big ears, and so forth.