The currents of space

I finished the third volume of the Empire series by Isaac Asimov , after reading Pebble in the sky and The stars, like dust

After being a bit disappointed by the first two books, I did not expect much from The currents of space. A little different from the others, it presents a world of politics, economics, and focuses less on science fiction, although it adds a few new elements, like psychic alteration of the minds using special devices.

We have a man without memory, Rik, who is found on a special planet on the Galaxy, who produces the most valuable economic trait, the kyrt. (Anyone remembers Dune ? This was written before). This man was probed with a psychic device, and forgot even basic things like talk, eating, etc. He is taken into custody by a simple woman, who gets him a simple job at a kyrt factory.

The chain of events starts when Rik begins to remember who he was before, a spatial analyst, and of a huge secret that threatens with the destruction of the planet all together. With the help of a local city mayor, they escape the planet, but they are being caught by another galactic power, the Trantor, as their home planet is under the power of the Sark.

We are presented with politics, with the ruling of the planet, by the Sark lords, who hold the economic dominion over the kyrt export, and with the problems of the ruled, the Florinians, who are kept almost as slaves in kyrt factories.

Our characters are caught and confronted, and from here on, the novel looks very bluntly ended, after a complicated, long and well written intrigue, the conclusion comes very swift. Rik, the spatial analyst remembers about what happened, and Terens the mayor admits to be the culprit and tells about the currents of space who are about to take Florina’s star into a supernova.

The novel did not exceed my expectations, it is another very light read, but I was disappointed in the end even more, as it looks a lot hasted, without a proper folding of the events, like the two previous books. At least the romantic soap opera is not present in this book , which is a plus. A good romance is always nice to have, but not in the fashion presented before.

Light read, with weak characters and weak plot unfolding, The currents of space remains a train newspaper read, probably good for the 1950s but too soft for 2018.