"Prelude to Foundation" by Isaac Asimov.

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Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation is the beginning of a great series of science fiction books by Isaac Asimov. It is the year 12,020 G.E., and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows that there are people who have the desire to see him fall, those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future. Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to give his speech on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Doing this, he just makes himself the most wanted man in the Empire.

Eto Demerzel, the most important and secret advisor of Cleon, insists on the capture of Seldon. Seldon comes, and Cleon asks for Seldon to tell him his future. Seldon explains to him that psychohistory is only a theory saying it is only possible to tell the future but, due to the infinite complexity of the Empire, not practical.

Cleon, disappointed with the results of his short meeting with Hari Seldon, decides to let him go. Seldon leaves, regretting the speech he gave at the Decennial Convention. But Demerzel is unhappy with this decision and decides to go back after Seldon himself, knowing the danger of the mathematician in someone else?s service. He knows that He sits next to him on a bench, under the disguise of Chetter Hummin, saying telling Seldon he is a reporter. The so-called Hummin convinces Seldon that his paper is actually worth it, and he tells Seldon that he must leave Trantor so as not to be caught by Demerzel and taken back to the Emperor to be executed. Hummin takes Seldon over to the Streeling University...