A Voyage to Arcturus combines fantasy, philosophy, and science fiction in an exploration of the nature of good and evil and their relationship with existence. It has been described by critic and philosopher Colin Wilson as the "greatest novel of the twentieth century", and was a central influence on C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. Also J. R. R. Tolkien said he read the book "with avidity", and praised it as a work of philosophy, religion, and morality. It was made widely available in paperback form when published as one of the precursor volumes to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in 1968, featuring a cover by illustrator Bob Pepper. Lindsay's choice of title (and therefore the setting of Arcturus) may have been influenced by the nonfictional A Voyage to the Arctic in the Whaler Aurora published in 1911 by his namesake, David Moore Lindsay.