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A Voyage To Arcturus
by David Lindsay
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The Glasgow Herald
Calvinist mysticism, triple-distilled, is the dangerous juice that fuels this blazingly strange Scottish rocket-ship of a novel from 1920... brilliant... unique...
On a march evening at eight o'clock Backhouse the medium—a fast-rising star in the psychic world—was ushered into the study at Prolands the Hampstead residence of Montague Faull. The room was illuminated only by the light of a blazing fire. (Excerpt)
David Lindsay (1874-1945) was a successful British businessman who turned to writing after the first World War. Unfortunately, his most famous work, A Voyage to Arcturus, proved to be a commercial disaster at the time of its release, and he spent the rest of his writing career struggling to achieve commercial success, with little result. A Voyage to Arcturus is a remarkable book on many levels. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy calls it "dazzlingly brilliant" and a "masterpiece." Without doubt, it is the one work for which Lindsay will be remembered. It is an allegorical fantasy, an adventure novel, an interplanetary romance, and an exploration of humanity and sexuality from a time when such topics were largely taboo in the popular press. It provides more than a few fascinating insights into human nature through social Darwinism. And, although Philip Jose Farmer is largely credited with the introduction of sex into science fiction with his groundbreaking 1940s pulp SF story, "The Lovers," Lindsay navigated these waters decades earlier.
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