I've just started reading December's book, David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus, so I thought I'd post up some preliminary material for anyone interested in digging a little deeper.
As with my previous pre-amble, this is purely for those who are interested and it's not required reading for discussion in the club. Some may prefer to read it before the novel, some afterwards and some not at all. Regardless, here it is.
Warning! A lot of the material I found is in the form of essays and so can contain some spoilers. If you're sensitive to this kind of thing maybe leave off checking these links until after reading the novel.
Published in 1920 and only recognised as a classic in later years, there is a lot of different material available online and in print. This is just a selection of what I've found and if I come across anything else of interest at a later date I'll add that on too.
Famed science fiction critic John Clute (co-author of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction which has been my bible for the last year) wrote an introduction to the Bison Press edition (no longer available for me to order into store) which you can read here courtesy of Google books. Just click on "preview this book".
This essay on Science Fiction and Gnosticism refers to Lindsay's book in the context of Philip K. Dick (who was massively influenced by Gnosticism - amongst other things), and is quite an interesting read in its own right.
We've mentioned Narnia before, but have any of you read C.S. Lewis's science fiction? It's not as easy to get hold of (though I've made a mental note to try and get some into the shop), but worth a look. This essay relates it to Lindsay. The C.S. Lewis connection is also mentioned in this article by Ted Hamilton on why the book is a Classic worthy of our bookcases.
Three different, and interesting, reviews can be found on Strange Horizons, Sfsite.com, and SciFi Dimensions. An interesting website, which pointed me in the direction of some of the most fascinating of the above links, is Violet Apple, a site dedicated to the Life and Works of David Lindsay and certainly a good port of call if you're interested in the man himself or any of his other books.
Finally, the ever reliable (1) Wikipedia has an interesting table detailing the importance of names in the novel, as well as links to student films and an audio version.
- Hope that's of some interest to someone. Let me know what you think but as always - save the best discussions for the book club.
(1) Disclaimer: reliable for having an article, not necessarily reliable in the authenticity of content! ;-)
Waterstone's Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club
Waterstones Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club
"This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can't have a *final* frontier, because there'd be nothing for it to be a frontier *to*, but as frontiers go, it's pretty penultimate...)"
- Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures
This is the official blog for the book club held in the book lounge of Waterstones Liverpool One.
The group meet at 6pm on the first Monday of the month to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the books selected. The books range from classic fantasy to brand new science fiction short story collections.
It's a fun and friendly atmosphere and all are welcome: from those who have never read any science fiction or fantasy before, to those who don't read anything else.
The group, and this blog, are administered by Glyn Morgan, the Bookseller responsible for the Science Fiction section of the store and an avid reader of SF who is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Liverpool.
If you would like to comment on any of the books we've read, this month or in the distant past, please feel free to contribute to the comments section of the relevant posts.
Visit this club's little sister: Coffee and Comics