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The Currents of Space Paperback – September 28, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
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Rebellion is unthinkable and impossible. Not only do the Florinians no longer have a concept of freedom, any disruption of the vital kyrt trade would cause other planets to rise in protest, resulting in a galactic war. So the Trantorian Empire, whose grand plan is to unite all humanity in peace, prosperity, and freedom, has allowed the oppression to continue.
Living among the workers of Florinia, Rik is a man without a memory or a past. He has been abducted and brainwashed. Barely able to speak or care for himself when he was found, Rik is widely regarded as a simpleton by the worker community where he lives. As his memories begin to return, however, Rik finds himself driven by a cryptic message he is determined to deliver: Everyone on Florinia is doomedâ¦the Currents of Space are bringing destruction. But if the planet is evacuated, the power of Sark will end-so there are those who would kill the messenger. The fate of the Galaxy hangs in the balance.
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This story is set on the planet Florina, which is harshly ruled by the nearby planet Sark. Florina, alone in the Galaxy, produces Kyrt, which is a fabric with fabulous qualities and which makes Florina the key to great wealth for its Sarkian overlords. No one knows why only Florina can produce Kyrt, and the reason for this contains the doom of Florina. More would be telling; no spoilers here.
This is quite a serviceable story, which has aged well despite certain anachronisms. I first read it as a teenager, and after picking it up after a delay of nearly 35 years I still enjoyed the book. This is not always true when revisiting books one enjoyed as a youth.
Asimov was a giant of science fiction, and with his passing it is good to see that his stories are being republished and that they will be available for future generations of readers. This one is very recommended, and I rate it 3 stars only because so many of Asimov's other works are even better than this one.
The Trantorian empire is closing in on it's conquest of the galaxy. But, the planet Sark stands in the path of this conquest. Sark is an independent planet but, more important, is its sale of kyrt. Kyrt, a cotton-like substance, is the foundation of most of the materials in the galaxy and is only available from Sark.
Sark doesn't produce kyrt by itself. Instead, kyrt is grown on the planet Florina. Sark uses the population of Florina as cheap slave labor to produce kyrt. Many have tried, but none have succeeded in growing kyrt anywhere but on Florina. These imitations are more like plain cotton and nowhere near the quality of kyrt. Due to this relationship, Sark has become extremely powerful and wealthy, while Florina has suffered under the rule of Sark.
But, a man has entered the picture with information which could prove devastating to Sark, Florina, and Trantor. This man claims to have knowledge that Florina and it's valuable supply of kyrt is in danger of being destroyed. This leads to an exciting story of murder, political manuvering, and intrigue.
I'm a big fan of science fiction, but this is only the 2nd Asimov novel that I've read, the other being the classic "Nightfall", which I also recommend. I thought this book was good, but I had some difficulty following the story. I thought Asimov introduced too many characters in such a short book, too. However, I did enjoy the story and I plan on reading "Pebble in the Sky" and "The Stars, Like Dust".
Asimov is one of the masters of science fiction authors, and this book is a good choice for fans of science fiction.
Most recent customer reviews
This is one of Asimov’s earliest novels, written in 1952, and therefore follows many of tropes of the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.Read more