Allyn Gibson wrote:
in a universe with either Trantor or Gaia/Galaxia, why would there ever be a need for the Encyclopedia Galaxia?
Heh, you know, very good point. I've always wondered who wrote the Encyclopedia. It struck me as something that was written after-the-fact as some sort of history book; as some sort of warning to others thinking of trying to predict the future. I think it's briefly touched upon in one of the prequels, but I can't remember as it's been so long since I've read them.
Good points about Olivaw too. You in fact just touched upon why I feel the connected universe felt forced and cheapened the whole thing, and it's likely due to the fact that the connected universe came later in his career instead of earlier. I doubt I would have had much of a problem with it if it was there from the beginning. It felt like he was grasping as straws at this point. I really liked Trevize's quest in general, and Olivaw left a sour note in it for me. At the end of reading that, I had the distinct feeling of being highly disappointed, as in, "Is that it? After all that time, that's it? Gotta be kidding me!" It ranks up there with one of my worst disappointments of all times in novels.