A Voyage to Arcturus Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Voyage to Arcturus

David Lindsay (1976-1946) published 'A Voyage to Arcturus' in 1920, and was the book which caused C.S. Lewis to take note of science fiction, and revealed its potential for the type of fantasy science fiction which he went on write in his sci-fi trilogy. Along with the likes of George MacDonald and Lord Dunsany they helped form and promote the genre. David Lindsay's invention and originality are quite exceptional, his roots being somewhat gnostic and theosophical.
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An man is transported from earth to the planet Tormance in the distant star system of Arcturus. Our hero explores the beauties and wildness of Tormance and its inhabitants. Strange and new sense organs seem to grow naturally, and indeed prove necessary to survival: it is often a case of kill or be killed. To an earthman new sense organs may reveal new colours, feelings, and experiences, but can also have hidden risks. The creations of the sinister illusionist Crystalman mean that things are seldom what they seem, solid one moment and symbolic the next. Wild creatures throng the fantastic landscape and mad torturers dominate their victims by mental powers which they use to turn men into fruit trees. Perhaps our adventurer should have considered how he was to get back to earth more carefully.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Chapter Analysis of A Voyage to Arcturus

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   exploring a wondrous planet or phenomena    -   surviving natural elements on planet Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   magical powers (general) Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Scientifically turned into another lifeform Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   explorer Age:    -   40's-50's If magical mental powers:    -   is very quick


Terrain    -   Mountains A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   unfriendly aliens Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of touching personal anatomy    -   weird alien sex How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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David Lindsay Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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