Throughout the story, the main character, Maskull, goes through many different regions on the planet Tormance, a fictional planet that orbits around Arcturus, a star. Maskull is, like many people, searching for the meaning of life. His travels through Tormance introduce him to different belief systems and mind states.
As is the case with several classics, A Voyage to Arcturus did not sell particularly well during Lindsay’s own time. Even to get it published, Lindsay had to reduce his work by 15,000 words (which are now thought to be permanently lost). Out of the printing of 1,430 copies, only 596 sold. Through later printings, the book eventually gained in popularity and influence.