Benjamin Franklin appears to Asimov in a dream and urges that a communication satellite be launched at America’s bicentennial to foster peace and understanding among all peoples.
This story is the third of four that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1974 describing conversations between Asimov and Benjamin Franklin ostensibly held as they dreamed. Franklin urges that the upcoming American bicentennial be used to promote harmony among all peoples. The four stories form a tetralogy, but when the other three were anthologized as The Dream; Benjamin’s Dream; Benjamin’s Bicentennial Blast, this one was omitted for some reason. It is available, however, in ebook form, including a copyright notice, so it may actually be out there legally.
This series of four stories is not one I care for particularly. Nothing happens; it’s just a long conversation between the two men discussing the state of the world in the mid-1970’s and how it compares with Franklin’s day and his expectations. It is intended to promote, at least among readers of the Saturday Evening Post, Asimov’s own agenda of universal brotherhood. Asimov does give Franklin a distinct voice, which means that much of the story is in a rather more florid prose than one usually has with Asimov. The overall result is something which is more like an essay than a story, and one which (because it’s cast as a conversation) isn’t as easy to read as it might be.