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Ian Watson

The Book of the River

Black Current: Book 1

Ian Watson

Yaleen always wanted to join the boating guild and become a riverwoman. It was the most important role for a woman in her world. The boats sailed up and down the eastern shore, from Tambimatu in the south (where the river emerged from the base of the unclimbable Far Precipices) to the sea in the north. Only women could travel the river. A man was allowed on trip, with his wife-to-be, but if he dared set foot on a boat again the black current would call him to his death. It was the black current, too, which made the river impossible to cross. It ran the whole length of the waterway - gelatinous, mysterious, and alive. On the western bank lived other people who could sometimes be seen through telescopes, but they appeared to be male-dominated savages. When she was accepted in the Guild, Yaleen little suspected that she was embarking upon a course which before long would take her across to the western shore, and into the heart of the black current itself.

Ian Watson's novel is perhaps the most colourful and enjoyable he has written. Set on a strange distant planet, it offers a feast of mystery and dramatic incident.

The Book of the Stars

Black Current: Book 2

Ian Watson

Trapped by the evil Edrick in a locked room, Yaleen is cold-bloodedly murdered. But it is not the end of Yaleen's story, for she is given a second life - a reincarnation on Earth as a 'cherub'.

Soon she encounters Godmind, the megalomaniac artificial deity which controls life on Earth - and maintains a brutal labour colony on the Moon for any who dare to rebel. Bit by bit, Yaleen comes to understand the horrifying project of the Godmind...

The Book of Being

Black Current: Book 3

Ian Watson

Yaleen the Riverwoman tries to use the power of the Black Current to convince her people that the Godmind plans to destroy their world


The megalomaniac Godmind is still planning to use all the minds in creation to make a vast 'lens', and if necessary it will burn out all life in the process.

Back beside the river and literally born again, Yaleen represents to the guild of riverwomen the perfect proof of salvation, of life after death. In fact, she is desperately searching for a way to save the whole universe from imminent destruction.

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