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CURRENTS OF SPACE [Mass Market Paperback]

Isaac Asimov
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 12 1975
High above the planet Florinia, the Squires of Sark live in unimaginable wealth and comfort. Down in the eternal spring of the planet, however, the native Florinians labor ceaselessly to produce the precious kyrt that brings prosperity to their Sarkite masters. 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, ultimately destabilizing trade and resulting in a galactic war. So the Trantorian Empire, whose grand plan is to unite all humanity in peace, prosperity, and freedom, has stood aside and 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. But as his memories begin to return, Rik finds himself driven by a cryptic message he is determined to deliver: Everyone on Florinia is doomed…the Currents of Space are bringing destruction. But if the planet is evacuated, the power of Sark will end—so some would finish the job and would kill the messenger. The fate of the Galaxy hangs in the balance.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in the Soviet Union. His family came to the United States in 1923. He earned his Ph.D in Chemistry in 1948 and in 1958, he became a full–time writer. His writings include: In Memory Yet Green, I, Asimov: A Memoir, Yours, Isaac Asimov, and It's Been A Good Life, as well as three Opus books. He died in 1992.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Sept. 15 2012
By Jordan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been reading many Asimov books lately and they have all been very good, this one is no exception. I would recommend reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense and mystery to rival Robots of Dawn. March 10 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is not one of his best known books, and I knew nothing about it when I read it. But almost immediately I knew I'd enjoy this one. The momentum builds steadily, and the reader soon becomes as paranoid and unsure of reality as Rik, who tries to discover his true identity, erased at an early age by unknown persons for unknown reasons. Events repeatedly prove to be other than they appear. When it was all over I desperately wanted to read another one like this. Unfortunately very few can compete with the intense suspense of this one. Robots of Dawn accomplished it, but at a slower pace. This book is shorter and moves faster but still manages the same joyous effect. Just like events in the story, this book is much more than it seems. I was lucky to have stumbled upon it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Early Asimov novel a terrific read July 1 2010
Format:Hardcover
This handsome Tor Books reissue of Asimov's third novel, first published in 1952, is a fast-moving tale of political intrigue, sharpened by a measure of social commentary. The Currents of Space is still a terrific read, and it's good to see The Good Doctor's early novels reissued again in these attractive new editions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure July 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is easily the best of the three "Empire Novels". In fact, I found this story to be better than those from Asimov's more famous Foundation Trilogy. I enjoyed the Townman character, especially when he posed as a "Patroller".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Foundation Prequel Jan. 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When a man known only as Rik finds himself on the planet of Florina, he has no memory of his past and little hope for the future. He knows only that he is destined to work in the fields, growing the wondrous kyrt plant that is found only on Florina and is therefore a highly valued commodity across the galaxy. But with the help of a kind and loyal local woman, Rik manages to rediscover his own identity and help free the Florinians from the domination of the Squires of Sark, who have been exploiting Florina for its kyrt crop.
The second book in the Galactic Empire trilogy, Currents of Space will not fail to satisfy fans of Isaac Asimov's famed brand of hard SF/space opera. The GE trilogy takes place in the era before Asimov's classic Foundation books, when the empire of Trantor does not yet control the entire Galaxy. Asimov's speculations about carbon currents, which are at the center of the plot, are no longer tenable after 50 years, but it doesn't matter. Currents is solid, exciting, old-fashioned SF that is hard to beat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Empire-building Continues June 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The world of Sark exists in the minority in having thus far eluded annexation by the Empire of Trantor. The sole reason for this evasion rests in Sark's dominion over a no-account world called Florina. No-account, that is, except for a wondrous crop that grows only upon Florina. This crop is so entwined in the culture of the galaxy that Sark has become unbelievably wealthy, so much so that Trantor fears the large army to be raised by such wealth.
Upon the planet Florina, there is a man whose memory has been erased for the danger it poses to the delicate balance that exists over Florina's condition. In his profession he uncovered a secret now lost, one of paramount importance to the safety of all Florina.
This novel chronicles the mystery surrounding this mind-wiped man and the adventures that ensue as his memory begins to return. Asimov again displayed his excellent plotting ability as he leads you in various directions, so that you come to conclusions that are completely wrong, lest you recall the earlier-placed clues that would prevent such erroneous conclusions. When the questions are all finally answered, too many viable suspects have been eliminated, and there is left only the guilty. Asimov was successful in twisting the events such that any reader would be kept guessing.
This book is the second of the three Empire novels, which depict different time periods in the creation of the Galactic Empire. This takes place after the Empire is relatively well established. Preceding these novels, but not necessary for any understanding (as Asimov did not tie them together until well after the Empire novels were published) of the events.
Following the Empire novels are the Foundation novels, which chronicle the fall of the Empire.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Empire and Robot novels Nov. 10 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Asimov's early works, it's fair to say that this is the best of the crop of the Empire novels, and is better than all the Robot novels as well. It's not quite up to the Foundation stories, hence the rating of 4 stars.
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).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In any setting but sci-fi, this would be Wouk via Ludlum
One day, on an agricultural colony planet run by a empire as harsh as the Roman Empire in biblical times, a local functionary finds a man whose mind has been destroyed in one of... Read more
Published on July 18 2000 by R. L. MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of Asimov's best
This is certainly the best of the three Empire novels, and one of Asimov's best science fiction novels of any type. Read more
Published on July 26 1999 by John Domby
5.0 out of 5 stars ¿porqué se descontinuan las obras maestras?
Han sido muchos los años que he intentado encontrar la saga del imperio (pertenenciente a las fundaciones) pero es casi imposible encontrarlas. Read more
Published on July 20 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic and wonderful. One of his best.
Uncharacteristically of the other two Empire novels, you really get a feel for the characters in this one and begin to understand them as if they were real people. Read more
Published on July 7 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great world building and social commentary
Asimov draws many parallels with history hear on Earth. The planet Florinia is the old south with kyrt as its cotton and the natives as African slaves. Read more
Published on May 1 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Suspensful Plot
A suspensful plot. Considering it was written in the 50's it makes Asimov out have been a great visionary of the future. A great Asimov book for any Sci- Fi reader. Read more
Published on April 6 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense and mystery to rival Robots of Dawn.
This is not one of his best known books, and I knew nothing about it when I read it. But almost immediately I knew I'd enjoy this one. Read more
Published on March 11 1999
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