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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Ovoid 3D Galactic Model  
  A handheld display of a galaxy.  

He half-led, half-forced Darell toward the limpid ovoid cradled gracefully on its tiny force-field support. At a touch of the mayor’s hand, it glowed within— an accurate three- dimensional model of the Galactic double-spiral.

“In yellow,” said the mayor, excitedly, “we have that region of Space under Foundation control; in red, that under Kalgan.”

What Darell saw was a crimson sphere resting within a stretching yellow fist that surrounded it on all sides but that toward the center of the Galaxy.

“Galactography,” said the mayor, “is our greatest enemy. Our admirals make no secret of our almost hopeless, strategic position. Observe. The enemy has inner lines of communication. He is concentrated ; can meet us on all sides with equal ease. He can defend himself with minimum force.

“We are expanded. The average distance between inhabited systems within the Foundation is nearly three times that within Kalgan. To go from Santanni to Locris, for instance, is a voyage of twenty-five hundred parsecs for us, but only eight hundred parsecs for them, if we remain within our respective territories—”

...Nor were the galactographic verities of the situation lost upon Stettin. The Lord of Kalgan stood before a twin of the Galactic model which the mayor and Darell had inspected. Except that where the mayor frowned, Stettin smiled...

"...If they attempt to defend all portions of their realm, they will be spread thin and we can strike through in two simultaneous thrusts here and here.” He indicated the directions on the Galactic model - two lances of pure white shooting through the yellow fist from the red ball it inclosed, cutting Terminus off on either side in a tight arc. “In such a manner, we cut their fleet into three parts which can be defeated in detail. If they concentrate, they give up two-thircls of their dominions voluntarily..."

Technovelgy from Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
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