The Lament of Prometheus

Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay, first published in 1920, is a book that has always fascinated me. It is a story of a magnificent failure.

I am not the only one fascinated by this blasphemous book. C.S. Lewis, and Colin Wilson were likewise, as you can tell from their own works, as was Michael Moorcock. Harold Bloom, the famous critic,  in his sole attempt at fiction writing penned a sequel or re-imagining called Flight to Lucifer (which he since denounced).

Colin Wilson declares it to be the “greatest novel of the twentieth century”, and C.S. Lewis says it is the book that inspired him to write science fiction:

“From Lindsay I first learned what other planets in fiction are really good for: for spiritual adventures. Only they can satisfy the craving which sends our imaginations off the earth.”

It is the tale of a Englishman named Maskull, an everyman figure, transported via the occult means of backward light-rays to the giant planet Tormance circling the double star Arcturus, seeking a godlike but hidden figure named Surtur, who may be the devil, or the divine fire hidden in every man.

Even to this day, I hold it up as the most imaginative work in science fiction or fantasy, describing things that are literally unimaginable, such as a third positive sex for mankind, aside from male and female, or two new primary colors of a second spectrum.

As a child, I was delighted in the sheer weirdness of the conceit; as a youth I wondered about the symbolism and philosophy; as an adult, for better or worse, I see clearly the impious and morbid message hidden at the heart of this Gnostic allegory.

I have written a whole novel-length book on the subject of Lindsay’s Voyage to Arcturus, it magnificence, and its failure, which explores the themes and symbolism of this forgotten masterpiece.

It is called The Lament of Prometheus.

It is, in fact, the longest and deepest nonfiction work I have yet written and I am modestly proud of it.

As a gift to my Patreon patrons who contribute at $5.00 dollars and above, I will make available to them an e-book, professionally typeset, with the author’s gratitude.

And, yes, before you ask, this book will be available for sale to muggles and other non-patrons at a later date.