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The Currents of Space Paperback – September 28, 2010
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“One of the world's premier science fiction writers.” ―Newsday
“Isaac Asimov is the greatest explainer of the age.” ―Carl Sagan
“For fifty years it was Isaac Asimov's tone of address that all the other voices of SF obeyed.… For five decades his was the voice to which sf came down in the end. His was the default voice of SF.” ―The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
About the Author
Isaac Asimov, author of the Foundation trilogy and many other novels, was one of the great SF writers of the twentieth century.
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Currents of Space" is easily the best of the three precursor novels to the Foundation series which have become known as the Galactic Empire Series; however that is not all that difficult. This story takes place in Asimov's universe chronologically between the other two books, at a time when Trantor had become an empire, but not the Galactic Empire that it would become later.
The story is centered on the planet Florina and on a man named Rik, who initially appears to be mentally challenged, but who is in fact a spatio-analyst from Earth who has had much of his mind erased by a Psychic Probe after he tried to warn of the impending destruction of the planet. When Rik's memory starts to return, people from Trantor and Sark (the world which rules Florina), and perhaps others as well become aware of his existence and try to find and control him.
As with the first two Galactic Empire novels, Asimov wrote an afterword where he explains the scientific errors in the story. In this story the error is rather significant to the plot; however, the other elements of this story do not suffer as badly as they did in "Pebble in The Sky" or "The Stars, Like Dust". Regardless, this is only a fairly average novel, and not the best place to start if you are unfamiliar with Isaac Asimov.
Was it worth it? Actually, it was. I'm glad that I read it after the first two volumes because there's such an uptick in . . . I won't say "quality" because all three are decent but however you want to quantify the elusive factor known as "knowing what you're doing." Inspiration, maybe? That could be it. This one feels more inspired.
After a beginning where a scientist predicts that a planet will be destroyed to someone who not only openly scoffs but then proceeds to drug and mindwipe the poor guy, we're shifted to the world of Florina, ruled by Sark. Upon arriving we discover worker Rik, who was mysteriously found in a field a year ago knowing little more than a baby did and slowly putting himself back together and learning basic skills. Until more than basic science skills come back to him, kicking off a search that threatens to drag every conceivable faction into the mess.
Of all the Empire novels, this one shows off Asimov's sometimes underrated skill at building intensity, something that we only really saw in the early Robot novels.Read more ›
The plot is interesting, and has aged well. There is not very much that makes you snicker in the light of current scientific knowledge. He has a lot of characters for a 200 page book, but it is never confusing; they are individuals and it's easy to keep them separated in your mind. The story draws you in and keeps you interested from beginning to end.
Asimov had the tendency to throw too many cliffhangers/revelations that didn't go anywhere in his early novels (as compared to, say, Nightfall), and it feels like he's cheaply manipulating the reader. This book, while containing some of these events, are far more logical and less contrived than in the other Empire and Robot novels. This makes it a far more enjoyable read.
It is a shame that these books are out of print. I think the fact that 14 people have written reviews of this book points to the fact that there is still a following for Asimov out there, and maybe the publishers should print another edition of these early books, even in a single volume (as each Empire book is only 200 pages or so).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Generic review for Asimov's books because I bought all of them for my collection and am writing ALL of the reviews at once. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Darion
Like most of Asimov's works, a great sci-fi read. He's my favorite author.Published 2 months ago by Jim Scaggs
Great Asimov non-fiction book. Delivered on time and in good condition.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer