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.
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.
This report prepared by Michael JR Jose