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Pebble in the Sky
written by Isaac Asimov
Set in the Foundation universe
One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil--so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of sixty. Joseph Schwartz is sixty-two. This is young Isaac Asimov's first novel, full of wonders and ideas, the book that launched the novels of the Galactic Empire, culminating in the Foundation series. This is Golden Age SF at its finest.