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Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy,…

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One) (original 1938; edition 2003)

by C.S. Lewis

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6,48995589 (3.85)172
Title:Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One)
Authors:C.S. Lewis
Info:Scribner (2003), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, religious

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Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (1938)

Recently added byprivate library, AlexRea, CalvaryCommunity, GPMacD, SAM.Academy.Library, bdean41, kewlgeek
  1. 30
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  2. 20
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    The Dark Tower and Other Stories by C. S. Lewis (Sylak)
    Sylak: Once you've read every book C.S. Lewis published read this one for one last treat.
  4. 10
    The Shadow and Night by Chris Walley (legendaryneo)
    legendaryneo: This is another Christian space trilogy, and one of the best series I've ever read.
  5. 11
    Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein (markusnenadovus)
    markusnenadovus: Lewis is great, but Heinlein does better SF

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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
It may be useful to keep in mind that this was published in 1938. At that time Lewis had two (2) published works -- his major study The Allegory of Love and an earlier minor work, The Pilgrim's Regress. At that time, all of his apologetic work was in the future -- it began with his radio talks during the war -- and the Narnia books were not even thought of. It's worth noting that although glancing references are made to Christianity (mainly the background of the fall of the Oyarsa of Thulcandra), the discussion between Ransom and the Oyarsa of Mars regarding the Incarnation is dropped out of the book and merely hinted at. If you read this knowing what an average reader would have known in 1938 any religious element would have passed you by.

This has a serious theme of responding to a strain of Wellsian and Campbellian (Campbell had just started as the editor of Astounding at the time) human-triumphalist SF. What Lewis did in response to this was very clever: he picked up what he would later call the "mediaeval model" of the cosmos from the high middle ages (specifically Bernardus Silvestris), twisted a few words to add an extra hint in that direction (ousiarches -> Oyarses and eidola -> eldila), adjusted a bit for the absence of crystalline spheres keeping the planets on their courses, and dropped his Wellsian scientist into it, using an onlooker loosely based on his friend J.R.R. Tolkien as a point of view. Fireworks ensue: Lewis had a keen ear for shades of meaning and the core scene in the book, where Ransom translates for Weston, is both funny and devastating.

While doing this, he let his imagination free to imagine a world which was unfallen and dying, in the lesser gravity of Mars. The description of Mars, and the seroni and the hrossa, took over much of the book.

Lewis' prose is a cut above the normal SF prose of the period, and indeed of any period; the "otherness" of the cosmos is vividly imagined; and the work makes a serious point about man's place as a non-triumphal, non-conquering figure in the cosmos. (In Perelandra, several years later, he was much more explicitly Christian and he makes the effects of the Incarnation make mankind obviously pivotal in a different way; but that is not yet visible in OOTSP.) This is a deserved classic. ( )
  jsburbidge | Jan 15, 2015 |
I can only hope that the trilogy gets better. Far too much description for me and far too little in the way of character development and interaction. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
The first half is interesting if a little dated. The second half makes up for the dated sci-fi setting by a really interesting philosophical look at the spiritual realm of Earth from an otherwordly perspective. ( )
  iamjonlarson | Sep 29, 2014 |
I really loved this book. Lewis is well-known for his Christian allegory, of which this book is another example, but his imagination works very well in science fiction. Ransom is a likable and inspiring character, who guides us along a noble path through the incredible world of Malacandra. I've found that many of Lewis' books have periods where they seem to drag, but I have always found it worthwhile to keep reading! ( )
  hgehr | Sep 17, 2014 |
I'm a fan of Lewis' work, but I admit I didn't have any great expectations for this trilogy, mainly because I couldn't imagine how he could successfully adapt his writing style to the genre of science fiction. Thus I was pleasantly surprised when I found this volume tolerable, even enjoyable. It did drag in places as Lewis took his time saying exactly what it was that he wanted to say, and there were parts that seemed as if they could have been lifted wholesale from one of the Narnia books, changing some of the nouns / names / descriptors. The ending was satisfying enough that I'm not sure I'll be compelled to read the rest of the trilogy - we'll see. ( )
  milkyfangs | Aug 9, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chu, KaiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koven, BrookeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symancyk, BernardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my brother W. H. L. a life-long critic of the space-and-time story
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The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743234901, Paperback)

The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:08 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Dr. Ransom, a noted philologist, is kidnapped and flown by spaceship to Malacandra (Mars) where he flees his human captors and establishes communication with the planet's extraordinary inhabitants. What he learns galvanizes his attempt to return to Earth with a message of great urgency.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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