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The Currents of Space

(Galactic Empire #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  16,680 ratings  ·  633 reviews
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 disr ...more
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Tor Books (first published 1952)
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Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asimov-verse, scifi
Robot/Empire/Foundation. Book #6 and the second book (but last written) in the Galactic Empire era of the Foundation/Robots universe, published back in Asimov's early career (1952). In the Galactic Empire is growing, but the second most powerful force in the cosmos is Sark, because of the wealth it gets from the pretty horrific subjugation of a planet, which is the sole source of a very valuable raw material. An amnesiac Earthman on the planet starts to get his memory back, which sets up race ag ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Michael Fierce

The Currents of Space is a fast paced "lesser novel" by Isaac Asimov I found engaging and hard to put down.

Part 2 of 3 of his Galactic Empire Series, it does not have to be read with the others, as I understood each and every facet of the book and did not feel at anytime that I was missing something from the storyline, characters, or worlds involved.

Our main character, a man we know only as Rik, a Spatio Analyst - one who measures the matter of space, suns/stars and planets, and the outcome
Ms. Smartarse
Once upon a time, one of my classmates had enthusiastically shoved a rather drab copy of Prelude to the Foundation in my hand. Not sporting a particularly handsome cover, it didn't exactly excite me, but I read it nonetheless. And for the next few years, Isaac Asimov's reputation remained firmly parked on the absolute best author pedestal.

So when I picked up his books again, I was naturally expecting to be just as bowled over, excited, engrossed in the story... you name it. Is it any wonder tha
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-c
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 Pohl, but he cobbles up a good tightly written yarn here. I believe Asimov, based on works I've read so far, really wished 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,
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Currents of Space," the third entry in Isaac Asimov's loosely linked Galactic Empire trilogy, is a prequel of sorts to book 1, 1950's "Pebble in the Sky," and a sequel of sorts to book 2, 1951's "The Stars, Like Dust," and if you by any chance find that statement a tad confusing, trust me, that is the very least of the complexities that this book dishes out! "The Currents of Space" originally appeared serially in the October – December 1952 issues of John W. Campbell's "Astounding Science-F ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
This is one of the early Asimov novels, when his Galactic Empire was just beginning. A man has lost his memory because of psychoprobing (some kind extremely invasive and destructive futuristic procedure done on the human brain) by the powers that be. Why? is the question that he, and a lot of other people, try to answer. The answer leads to an unwelcome scientific fact that the authorities want to conceal so that they can continue their money-making activities, even while the planet goes to hell ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About 20 pages into the book, I was prepared for disappointment. An amnesiac protagonist who slowly recalls his past memories to help the plot progress, huh? Most of these kinds of stories are unconvincing because it would make more sense for the antagonist to have killed the protagonist from the start instead of merely wiping his memory. Galaxy, and here I was thinking Asimov usually stuck to hard science instead of narrative convenience. Of course, this book is an early example of an amnesiac ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I gave this book 4-stars, but I have to be clear that at least one of those stars was straight up nostalgia!

When I was still in middle school and my father--an English professor--was starting to despair of getting me really hooked on the classics he caved in and figured that if I was going to read sci-fi it may was well be the best stuff. So he asked around (probably from the professor who taught that one class on sci-fi) and presented me with a brand-new copy of Foundation. I still clearly rem
Davyne DeSye
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this immensely.

This is one of Asimov’s earliest novels, written in 1952, and therefore follows many of tropes of the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.” There is quite a bit of science included (as much science fiction of the Golden Age seemed to want to prove it was based in science and/or wanted to educate the reader – love that!) but not in a way that is daunting or boring. Also, as many of the old science fiction novels did, this one includes rather blatant social commentary… in this
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
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Currents Of Space by Isaac Asimov is marketed as the second book of the Galactic Empire series but that is misleading. The only thing this book has in common with the other books is that it is set in the same future. It can be read as a stand alone book and you will never know it is supposedly part of a series. Now I am going to commit Science Fiction blasphemy. I am old enough that Isaac Asimov was alive and writing when I was a young man. I was never a big fan of his writings. I ran into t ...more
Bar Reads
Hard science fiction, with a lot of politics.
Dane Cobain
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just okay, and Asimov has definitely written better ones. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, it just wasn’t excellent. In part, that’s because it didn’t really read like an Asimov book, although if anything it reminded me of a Richard Bachman book and that’s just Stephen King with a pseudonym. There’s also a little bit of Philip K. Dick in here.

I’d still recommend picking it up if you get a chance, but I wouldn’t say that it’s representative of Asimov’s work as a whole. It’s
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a typical Asimov - complete page turner with lot of political maneuvering from various parties and reader is baffled who is the good guy, who is the bad guy and a complete surprise ending. Ending would have been predictable in the days when I was binge reading Asimov. But caught me totally off guard having lost touch with Asimov for a few years.

The main importance of this book book is that it is set in the long gap between the time of the spacers and emergence of the Foundation - th
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published on Forest Azuaron.

Depending on your point of view, The Currents of Space is either the last, second, or first book in the Galactic Empire trilogy: it was published last, but the depicted events happen before Pebble in the Sky and after The Stars, Like Dust, but is recommended as the first to read by Asimov himself. Personally, I find I can't read things out of in-universe chronological order, so The Currents of Space is my second foray into The Galactic Empire, following The Star
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I don't think any of Asimov's Galactic Empire Novels could be said to be essential reading when reading books in the Foundation Universe but if one was to only read one of them I think this should be it. It was the last of the three to be written and, in my opinion, Asimov was more developed as a writer.

Like the others, this novel stands alone really and does not require any prior reading in order to enjoy. Although reading it with the knowledge of what went before (and what is to come) puts it
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of the Foundation books for decades, but I had never read the Galactic Empire novels until I picked up The Stars, Like Dust last year. Technically it's a trilogy, but they are essentially stand alone novels that are set in the same universe, which is also the same universe as the Foundation novels and (I think) the Robot novels as well.

Like The Stars, Like Dust, this one has a fun plot and plenty of political intrigue. This one lacks the humor of the previous novel, but I enjoyed
Carl Alves
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Currents of Space is the first Isaac Asimov novel I’ve read. I was expecting a novel that felt dated but what I read was captivating, well-written, and intriguing. The novel is set in the planet of Florina, whose people are treated like slaves to the planet of Sark, who control the planet and all of its inhabitants. The people of Florina have been bred to be simpletons, but have one thing that make them valuable—kyrt, an all-purpose material used for clothing and all sorts of other things. R ...more
So here's the thing, I know this book was published in the 50's and views on gender have changed. Things like this don't usually bother me at all. But I can't help but wonder if Asimov had ever meet a woman before writing this book. Did he never have a mother of sister? Did he ever marry?

Maybe he was a bachelor who liked boys? That would explain the one dimensional wonders that take the place of the two women (puppets? dolls?) in this book.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took longer than expected. Perks of being parent to a one year old.

I really enjoyed this one. Even though many of the twists in the middle of the book were kinda expected. The ending was very unexpected, sciency and gratifying.

It has been a while since I've read an Asimov book that I wish became a movie. Here's one.
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jamie (JK)
I can't rate this... I want to rate it low because the message of green and class distinction was incredibly blunt. At the same time, this was written in the 50s, so I feel like that should make it more acceptable. I don't know. ...more
I liked it; however, it did not wow me.

I can't help but wonder if Rik is the inspiration for Rick and Morty .

B.J. Richardson
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is social commentary masquerading as science fiction. A scientist (We analyze nothing) shows up to warn that the planet is doomed. Because of the potential for social and economic upheaval, the warning isn't heeded but instead a botched cover up ensues. Here you have racial oppression, international (or rather, interstellar) politics, spy and mystery thriller elements, and even a bit of a love story all beautifully mixed together. Now if only we didn't have to wade through the garbage ...more
Santosh Bhat
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
This book was a 4 till the ending chapters where it all went downhill pretty quickly.
Till then it was a decent sci-fi mystery with morally ambiguous characters and a satire on race relations. The relationship between the Sarkites and Florinians was modeled on the British and Indians with the kyrt trade standing in for the spice trade.
The entire Empire trilogy was written in the 50s, some parts hence feel dated. Also Asimov in his early phase couldn't write convincing women characters at all.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty interesting story, somewhat flat characters though. It appears obvious to me at least that Asimov honed his craft to a very fine point over time, and this was during his early works so while it’s good, the others are much better. Also isn’t quite as consequential to the universe as I was hoping but again - the universe wasn’t even planned by Asimov so that’s not a real fair critique.
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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 one of the most prolific writers 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 o

Other books in the series

Galactic Empire (3 books)
  • The Stars, Like Dust (Galactic Empire, #1)
  • Pebble in the Sky (Galactic Empire #3)

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