Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Review: A Voyage to Arcturus

Diana Flegal, my agent with Hartline Literary Agency, recently posted this article about a little-known science fiction novel that is to be relaunched by an all-female team of masters students at Edinburgh Napier University:

The novel is said to have inspired C. S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and since I'm a fan of both Lewis and Tolkien, I was curious enough to hunt it down. I've always admired those that can create a completely different world, and author David Lindsay created the most interesting "other" world that I've ever read.  His power of description is thorough and fascinating.

The novel follows the journey of an earth man trying to make sense of another planet. Maskull searches for sense and reason, as well as the struggle to discern good against evil. The characters are rich and complex, and it is often hard to tell which side they are on. The plot is remarkable in that it is completely unpredictable. Except for the fact that the novel is not widely read, one would think that more than Lewis and Tolkien are inspired by Lindsay's writing given the shape-shifting and morphing the characters are prone to do. Some of the scenes remind me very much of early episodes of Star Trek.

Published nearly a century ago, the novel did not do well. The author had much difficulty getting published after that, and it is said that he died a recluse. 

I enjoyed this fantasy venture into discovering the mysteries of life. Any science fiction fan should have this on their list, and anyone else who just likes a good read.

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