I started listening to the Foundation series on Spotify. I noticed a few small gaps in the audio and was wondering what they were. Initially, I thought it might have been Spotify censoring it for some reason, then I realized they would always happen during quotes from the Encyclopedia Galactica. I assume that in the book, Asimov simply "removed" parts of quotes that are not relevant and replaced them with a '...' in the text, but that doesn't really convey in the audio book.

Here is what was said at the beginning of Chapter 1:

At the age of two he is said to have... undoubtedly his greatest contributions were in the field of psycho-history.

So are these literal '...' in the original text or are they removed in the audio book for some reason?

1 Answer 1


These gaps are simply a literary device to show that his entry in the Encyclopedia Galactica is extensive. As you've said, they exist in the novel as ellipses, followed by a line break.

HARI SELDON--. . . born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era; died 12,069. The dates are more commonly given in terms of the current Foundational Era as -79 to the year 1 F.E. Born to middle-class parents on Helicon, Arcturus sector (where his father, in a legend of doubtful authenticity, was a tobacco grower in the hydroponic plants of the planet), he early showed amazing ability in mathematics. Anecdotes concerning his ability are innumerable, and some are contradictory. At the age of two, he is said to have . . .
. . . Undoubtedly his greatest contributions were in the field of psychohistory. Seldon found the field little more than a set of vague axioms; he left it a profound statistical science. . . .
. . . The best existing authority we have for the details of his life is the biography written by Gaal Dornick who, as a young man, met Seldon two years before the great mathematician's death. The story of the meeting . . .

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  • 11
    The right way to handle that convention in an audio book is to fade out as one approaches the ellipsis, and fade back in on the other side of it, to express clearly the idea that there is stuff being left out. Or, occasionally, to crossfade between the end of one quote and the start of the next. Or, occasionally, to do a "fast forward" sound effect to join the two.
    – keshlam
    Jan 28 at 5:19

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