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I have a rather obscure question about the 'Starship-and-Sun' logo of the Galactic Empire from the Foundation Series of books by Isaac Asimov.

Is there an official logo that was produced by Asimov himself or on the cover of a book edition? I've seen lots of renditions that are all nice (including the one from Wikimedia below) but I would like to know if there is an official version.

I know this is a very odd question, and one that might not have an answer but I thought it was worth asking...

enter image description here

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I'm reasonably sure the books refer to the "spaceship and sun". I don't recall the word "starship" being used. – Keith Thompson Jun 21 '14 at 20:28
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I'm working from a 15 year old memory here, but I remember having a problem with this emblem because I think the spaceship was described as cigar shaped in one of the Empire books. – System Down Jun 21 '14 at 21:07
    
I think that there will always be variation though in an empire so large. As long as the emblem is a space ship flying in front of a sun i think it would still be recognized. – HarryG Jun 21 '14 at 23:49
    
@HarryG - Apparently there's some internal variation too. The black ship on gold logo (below) as well as a version with a D in the centre to denote the security forces... – Valorum Jun 22 '14 at 7:07
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Is this the spaceship-and-sun logo? Is that red circle a sun, and is that black thing a spaceship? – user14111 Apr 14 at 7:00

You can see the "Spaceship-and-Sun" logo on this 1991 book cover for "Prelude to Foundation"

Prelude to Foundation

And if you squint, you can also see it on the cover of the 1991 edition of "Foundation and Empire".

enter image description here

Since both books were produced during Asimov's lifetime, we can reasonably assume that he would have viewed and approved both cover images.


As mentioned by @SystemDown, the logo on the book-cover is only a partial match for the description in the books themselves;

From "Foundation"

There was only one thing in his mind. The golden globe with its conventionalized rays, and the oblique cigar shape that was a space vessel.

The Spaceship-and-Sun of the Empire!

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My favorite Spaceship and Sun logo is the one I use for my avatar! – SaintWacko Oct 13 '14 at 16:19
    
Just a note, authors generally have absolutely no control over the book cover, many successful authors have been quite horrified at the covers their books end up with. It is part of the marketing departments job of the publisher to come up with a cover that sells books and consulting the author is often not part of the process. – John Meacham Apr 14 at 3:09
    
@JohnMeacham - That's true but my understanding is that Asimov insisted on hand-choosing the covers for his books and magazine articles precisely because he hated losing editorial control. – Valorum Apr 14 at 5:41
    
I wonder at what point Asimov became famous enough to be able to insist on anything. He complained about the title I, Robot being foisted on him by a publisher over his objections, but that was quite early in his career. – user14111 Apr 14 at 6:23
    
@user14111 - I dunno, but the point where he was editing his own magazine (with his name on the front) was probably the point where he stopped taking any crap from anyone. – Valorum Apr 14 at 6:32

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