Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Currents of Space (Galactic Empire #2)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  5,836 ratings  ·  209 reviews
High above 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 disruptio...more
hardcover, Book Club Edition, 203 pages
Published 1952 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Currents of Space, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Currents of Space

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The Currents of Space is technically in the middle of the Galactic Empire series, which is technically connected to Asimov's Foundation series. I say technically because The Currents of Space has virtually nothing to do with the previous Galactic Empire book, The Stars, Like Dust, and doesn't seem to have much, if anything, to do with the robot books that were set even earlier. It's more like these Galactic Empire books are serving as snapshots, showing the reader how Trantor grew as an empire w...more
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
*No real spoilers, so please do read.*
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Asimov, an absolute science fiction great, is genius in his ability to remain timely with The Currents of Space, nearly 60 years after it was published. He has successfully woven a comprehensive and complex tale that weaves a valid story that features so many aspects such as politics, race and class, economics, love and loyalty, psychology, and good 'ole basic human weakness. You'd think that with all of that, The Currents of...more
So he's lost his memory, but he's sure there's some terribly important thing he knew that he just has to tell people. And as his mind starts coming back, he finds that the black hats are chasing him and want to make sure they can shut his mouth permanently before he...

I know. It's been done so many times that I'm sure you lost count years ago. I certainly have. But here's one detail I really liked. The aforementioned black hats are close behind him, he's in this deserted park, and he runs into t...more
Jun 07, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psycho-probed spacial analysts, kyrt pickers
Asimov has never been one of my favorite SF authors, but I fondly remember reading many of his short stories when I was a child. He seemed to do best in that form, as he was full of ideas and could pack his encyclopedic knowledge of everything under the sun into a few pages, and never mind the cardboard personalities of his characters.

The Currents of Space is set on the planet Florinia, whose inhabitants harvest "kyrt," which can be made into the most desirable cloth in the galaxy: it is super-d...more
Written in 1951, it is a great example of fifties classic Scifi. Better than most of its day. Asimov, at this time, is not quite as natural with characterization as is Heinlein, Sturgeon, de Camp or even Pohl, but he cobbles up a good tightly written yarn. I believe Asimov, based on works I've read so far, really wishes to be a mystery author but loves science so much that he can't help but write in this genre.

The device of a planet having a unique production of a universally desired substance (...more
Ken Doggett
The hardcover version of this book states that the original story was written in 1952, and this edition was published by Tor in 2009. It had quite a few typos, and it seemed that some of the formatting in places, such as spaces between scenes, occasionally went awry. None of it reflects on the author, and this is a review on the story rather than the formatting.

The story itself was engaging, and the characters well drawn. It's a relatively short novel, and keeps your interest to the very end. On...more
SciFi Kindle
This story has a remarkably sophisticated plot that traces the outlines of a mystery that kept me guessing all the way through. I was shocked to find out midway through my reading that this was written in 1952, prior to the whodunit stories in his Robot series, ‘The Caves of Steel’ and ‘The Naked Sun’, which seem somehow less complex by comparison. It also had a lot more suspense and action, even violence, than I’ve come to expect from Asimov. Only in the final chapters do we see any multi-page-...more
Loved this book.
Hard to believe it was written decades ago as it holds up on so many levels.

I was lost on several occasions but the narration brought me back up to speed quickly without being overly repetitive.

It reminded me that Asimov is truly one of favorite authors.
Aug 05, 2012 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those reading all of Asimov's books in a row
Shelves: sci-fi
The story itself isn't so great. It has the usual Asimov character development and mystery. The interplay between the two main planets and their peoples is interesting, and Asimov continues to create a future that is self-similar to our past. The supposed enlightenment of mankind has not yet happened - he doesn't visualize that it will ever happen. We remain, in his future, a broken and fundamentally unfair species.

The real strength of this book is the subtle furthering of the history of his uni...more
Jim McGowan
Jan 10, 2010 Jim McGowan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any 'classic' Sci Fi fans
The peasants of Florina drudgingly harvest and process their planet's unique, precious resource for the profit of their overlords on the planet Sark. The expanding Trantorian empire starts taking an active interest in the situation after a scientist with a doomsday message for Florina disappears before he can deliver it.

I found this book very enjoyable for a few reasons. Firstly, I am a fan of Sci Fi from this period, and this books stands as a fine example. I find the ideas that authors like As...more
Aun mejor que el anterior. Pasa un buen tiempo despues del libro pasado, pero tampoco existe alguna liga entre ambos. Creo que nombran a los Tyrann, pero este imperio ya no existe. Ahora si se ve que el Galactic Empire esta en formacion a travez de Trantor, pero aun existe 2 planetas que no son parte del Imperio porque tiene un producto 'mina de oro' con lo que controlan todo el trade a travez de la galaxia (sounds familiar?). El libro es del punto de vista de los esclavos mas hechos mierdas de...more
I'm a fan of Isaac Asimov and just read "The Currents of Space" the second time. Years ago when I read all of Asimov's books, I thought the Galactic Empire series were not as good as the others. I later read somewhere (maybe in Asimov's memoir) that this series had a different publisher, and he accepted much of their changes despite his better judgment. This included changing the book titles (The Stars, like Dust; The Currents of Space; and Pebble in the Sky), which is why this series is slightl...more
Buck Ward
This is traditional science fiction. The story is of interplanetary political intrigue with a bit of crime drama mixed in. It is told in Asimov's plain straightforward style. The plot is fairly complex, with a twist or two.

This is classified as part of a series, The Galactic Empire. I've read two of the three and each of them stand alone.
Michael Nash
I'm not wild about the Galactic Empire series. The Currents of Space has the usual Asimov problems of flat characters and a load of plot twists that are either obvious or not properly set up (that is, twists of the form person x was an enemy agent the whole time!). Asimov usually gets a pass for this, since science fiction, is after all, about ideas. However, its not clear what idea is being explored here (or with any of the galactic empire books). The tepid discussion about race and class falls...more
A very interesting plot that is interesting since the beginning. A man with a piece of information that is crucial for the security of the galaxy, gets captured and his mind wiped out. Left alone in as a sort of diminished-mind man in an opressed planet, is taken by a priest and a country girl who teach them how to get a living in the crops. Soon he begins to regain his memory, slowly realizing what he was and the danger that is going to befall in the planet he is.

A little winkle to the Earth a...more
Mutlu Cankay
Florina'nın tarlalarında kendine gelen Rik'in uyanmasından öncesine dair anısı yoktur. Bölgenin yerlilerinden olan Valona, onun koruyuculuğunu ve hemşireliğini üstlenir. Bölge yöneticisi Terens'in gözetimi altında olan fabrikalar ve tarlalar tüm galaksiye sadece o gezegende yetişmekte olan Kirt liflerini işleyip satmaktadır. Sark gezegenin mandası altında olan Florina'yı çok ciddi bir tehlike beklemektedir. Sark'lı efendilerin Kirt işlemeleri dışında umursamadığı geri kalmış Florina'yı bekleyen...more
I feel like I've read this book before, a long long time ago. I first found Asimov books back in my teens and it could well be that I read it then. This time I listened to the book on audio (with a passable narrator, nothing special but no issues either, which is more than I can say for some books. I have stopped listening to more audiobooks than paper books due to painful narrators!)

The story is quick but confusing. The main character is confused, too, so this goes together, but it made it a s...more
Reading all of Asimov in allegedly chronological order, this was my clear favourite since at least the classics in the Robot series (ok, so only 3 or 4 novels passed)!

This novel is that time honoured Asimov staple, the easy to read, murder mystery set in other worldly environs. Completely stand alone, and not really connected in any way to any others in his canon.

It works as a classic mystery, there are enough SF thrills to satisfy anyone, and enough thought provoking, social commentary, based a...more
Eva Nickelson
I really liked this book. It is definitely what I imagine a pure sci-fi book to be. Rik is a good character, and I liked the fact that his job could be summed up as "We analyze Nothing" and how well the book was titled. The plot of the story is eerily haunting in today's political climate.
a local government controls a commodity and enslaves the natives; a native rebellion is stirring; an empire moves to topple the local government to control the commodity in the name of peace; and, a scientist predicts global extinction... IN SPACE!
A $2.95 deal at Audible, I figured it would be an enjoyable enough space opera from the old master. An early work, it was a little clunky, but fun. Asimov has a pretty good grasp of politics and priorities: e.g. read this exchange with a government official involving a looming environmental disaster.

"I can't count on emotions as against the assured political effect of any attempt to end the kyrt [read: oil] trade. In fact, I think it might be wise to avoid investigating the theory. The thought t...more
Andrew McCrae
There's no doubt that this man's mind can build a complex story with both a number of significant characters and political stances, and, while dropping in a series of clues throughout, maintain a good detective fiction amidst a well-thought-out scientific premise. His work is always well wrought, and this novel is no exception.

Yet, despite its plausibility in storyline and its scientific verisimilitude, there are occasional tenuous if not implausible links in order to progress it(view spoiler)...more
Adrián Sánchez
Asimov en esta novela desarrolla un conflicto político entre dos planetas que hace recordar el colonialismo que existía en América luego de su descubrimiento, se pueden encontrar semejanzas por lo que probablemente haya sido inspirado en esos hechos, esto añadido a los conocimientos enciclopédicos sobre la ciencia, el cosmos en general le da un toque más serio y realista a la historia de ciencia ficción que narra Asimov. Es una novela entretenida e interesante y puede servir para expandir más el...more
It seems unreal that I hadn't read this before given the sheer number of Asimov books that inhabited my childhood reading list.

As I'm working my way through Asimov's Sci/Fi canon chronologically I've found that he isn't yet a very good long fiction plotter. The writing is pleasant and aside from some quaintisms it has aged relatively well. His proto-feminism is interesting in that he wants women to be heroic and meaningful to the plot, but he places them into stereotypical roles non-the-less.

Publicado originalmente en mi blog.


Rik es un hombre que aparece de forma misteriosa en el planeta Florina. No puede recordar nada de su pasado, pero con el tiempo, empieza a tener la sensación de que su lugar no es ese humilde planeta de la galaxia. Con la ayuda de una pueblerina y del edil, descubrirá que el futuro del planeta Florina depende de sus anteriores conocimientos, los que le robaron cuando alguien le borró la memoria.


Este es el último libro perteneciente a la Trilo...more
Senthil Kumaran
This is one of asimov's early writing and tries to present the picture of interstellar politics, describing the incidents of slavery expounded by some master planets over the planets they control. This is brilliant piece about how owners of a handful planets think and negiotate for their own prosperity as they reap the benefits of work done by other planets. The story is about a spatio-analyst, who is lost and been physic-probed, i.e his memory has been erased. Spatio analysts are supposed to be...more
The Currents Of Space isn't exactly what I'd label as an "SF mystery" genre book, nor does "SF espionage" genre seem quite right. There is a puzzle to be solved. And there's secretive maneuvering between various players. There are twists and turns.

The context is a planet under colonial exploitation by another planet. The colony planet is the only world in the galaxy that can produce a highly desired commodity - not as desperately needed as the spice in the Dune books, but that gives a general pa...more
This was a random find in Charring Cross road, a lovely old 1950s Asimov novel. I think this might be one of the best of his I've read since the Caves of Steel. The blurb appealed to me as it talked about a mad man who was predicting the end of the world. The world in question ended up being a small colony that faced a repressive colonial government as it's citizen's were being treated like second class citizen's by another world that took their valuable goods and left them with nothing. It had...more
3.5 stars:

Asimov's Galactic Empire trilogy is really 3 separate books that just happen to be set during his Galactic Empire timeframe. The first book was my least favorite Asimov so far, with a subplot that felt a little odd and the cheesiest ending I've ever read. Ever. So I admit going into this with a should-read feeling instead of want-to-read.

Currents of Space is a tale of amnesia, of galaxy-wide plots, of self-discovery…no, this isn't Le Guin's City of Illusions. Despite the similar plot p...more
The story's backdrop takes place during Trantor's rise to Galactic Empire. The plot opens with a "spatio-analyst" earthling named Rik left on the planet Florinia after his mind was scrambled by a botched "psycho-probe" session and a woman named Valona to care for him and keep him out of trouble.

The story unfolds as Riks memory slowly returns and as his memory returns the danger and plot thickens. The interplay between flashbacks and the current time frame builds depth in the mystery and assists...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Sands of Mars
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • Inferno (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #2)
  • Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy, #1)
  • The Seedling Stars
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)
  • The Crucible of Time
  • Trader to the Stars
Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te...more
More about Isaac Asimov...
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

Share This Book

“How then to enforce peace? Not by reason, certainly, nor by
education. If a man could not look at the fact of peace and
the fact of war and choose the former in preference to the
latter, what additional argument could persuade him? What
could be more eloquent as a condemnation of war than war
itself? What tremendous feat of dialectic could carry with it
a tenth the power of a single gutted ship with its ghastly
“How to enforce peace? Not by reason, certainly, nor by education.
If a man could not look at the fact of peace and the fact of war and choose the former in preference to the latter, what additional argument could persuade him? What could be more eloquent as a condemnation of war that war itself?”
More quotes…