The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov
Currents of SpaceFlorina is the only source of kyrt in the Galaxy. The people on Florina harvest the kyrt and it is shipped to Sark. From there, the land owners ship it to the rest of the Galaxy for whatever price the market will bear. The Florinians know no other life.
One day Ryk is dumped near a village by a Patroller. He doesn’t remember anything – even how to function. The Townman of the area gives Ryk over to the peasant Valona to care for Ryk and nurse him back to heath. Although the strange man quickly regains physical function and control, his mind still eludes him. Valona gets him to a doctor and they discover that Ryk has been viciously mind wiped.
As he starts to regain fleeting memories, one of the first thing he remembers is that Florina is about to be destroyed. He means the people, the kyrt, the planet. Valona is fearful of his memories; she is sure they mean something. Should she hide Ryk away? Instead she approaches the Townman who has been helping Ryk to take them to the City to see any officials to find out just what may be the truth.
The Currents of Space is packed with politics, greed, slavery, precious substances, injustice, and the heroism to stand up to these. In order to get an idea of the conflicts, think of Frank Herbert’s Dune and its precious desert spices. Isaac Asimov published The Currents of Space about fifteen years before Herbert’s phenomenal work was published.
In a way, this book is a precursor to Asimov’s superb Foundation. Foundation shows Trantor on the decline in the Galaxy. The Currents of Space deals with Florina and Sark, but Trantor is on the rise and is slowly taking over the Galaxy.
While this isn’t one of Asimov’s best works, it still is intricate and full of intrigue. There are twists right up until the end that will keep the reader pulled in.