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

by C.S. Lewis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,924117522 (3.85)192
Member:RichardBorkow
Title:Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One)
Authors:C.S. Lewis
Info:Scribner (2003), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:science fiction, religious

Work details

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

  1. 30
    That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis (atrautz)
  2. 20
    Perelandra by C. S. Lewis (atrautz, KayCliff)
  3. 20
    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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» See also 192 mentions

English (112)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Literature
  CPI | Jul 29, 2016 |
Out of the Silent Planet kicks off the Space Trilogy perfectly; the end is succint but Lewis opens the world up enough that the transition to the next book, Perelandra, is delightfully smooth. While all of Lewis' works are known to an extent, The Space Trilogy largely suffers in the shadow of The Chronicles of Narnia.

But its better, even though they are different.

Out of the Silent Planet prompts thought and explores life in a new world the way that Narnia never did. It is explicit and deep where Narnia only skips along the surface. Even so, Lewis retains–even multiplies–the beauty and wonder of Narnia throughout this first book. Every page is entirely worth the time it takes to read, and the experience of Out of the Silent Planet is sweet to remember. ( )
  chronoceros | Jul 15, 2016 |
"Out of The Silent Planet" is the first in C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy. The book opens on the main character, Ransom, going for a walkabout. Through a series of events, Ransom ends up on a spaceship heading for Malcandra, a planet in our solar system that his captors will not reveal to him. When on the planet, he escapes his captors and finds his place in with the hoss beings, one of the multiple different groups on Malcandra. He learns their language, social customs, and just about their kind in general. He also gets to know about the rulers of Malcandra and the other planets. Lewis utilizes the different groups on Malcandra and the humans perceptions of and interactions with them to speak on different social issues like racism. As a science fiction book, I appreciated that it took place within our solar system because it made the story far more realistic. I think a lot of science fiction takes place in far off fictional places, but it can happen in our world as well. I would use this in a class when talking about the social issues Lewis brings up or when discussing science fiction/space to bring another perspective to the subject matter. ( )
  ShelbyEllis | Apr 16, 2016 |
I’ve liked and disliked several of C.S. Lewis’s works over the years and if I remember correctly, I read his space trilogy as a young boy, but remember nothing of it. So my wife picked up Out of the Silent Planet at a used bookstore for me just for the heck of it and it was an interesting read. Talk about old school sci fi, this was OLD school! Published in 1938, I believe, I had a hard time reminding myself that there was no realistic was Lewis could have known anything about spaceflight or Mars, the main locations in the novel, so it’s unbelievably dated, but it’s not really his fault.

In this book, Dr. Elwin Ransom, a Cambridge philology professor, is kidnapped by two greedy snobs who have a spaceship and have traveled to outer space before. Ransom is taken to a planet called Malacandra by the alien species that live there, though we later learn it is actually Mars. As Mars, it is not red and deserted and dusty. It is bright and sunny, with oceans and streams, plenty of vegetation, jungles, mountains that get increasingly colder the higher you climb, dangerous animals, and several sentient alien species. He is completely enchanted by the beautiful scenery, escapes his captors, meets these aliens who are nothing like humans in appearance or action (for the most part), learns about the origin of these species on Malacandra and Earth (the silent planet) and, ultimately, reflects on the broken nature of humanity. The climactic scene leads him to the final show down which proves to be a meeting with the angelic “god” of the planet where Ransom’s linguistic abilities allow him to act as translator for the two other humans who see Malacandra as simply a stepping stone in humanity’s ongoing greatness and evolution into the stars. We see Ransom struggling with the challenge of expressing some of the more bizarre elements of his kidnappers’ philosophies in a way that will make sense to the Malacandrians. It never really does and ultimately, it doesn’t to Ransom either.

The book is short and, generally, entertaining, if a bit lightweight. It drags at times, quite a bit actually, but the dialogue can be quite good at times and the philosophies discussed are intriguing. I was worried that Lewis, a devout Christian, would go all “religious” on me, but he didn’t proselytize, for which I was grateful. I suppose, however, if one wanted religious symbolism, one could find it. Lewis was himself an academic and not a scientist at that. The thought that he could write “serious” science fiction in the 1930s is rather humorous. Nonetheless, this is a valiant effort and worth a read, especially as it’s so short. Three stars. ( )
  scottcholstad | Apr 14, 2016 |
The prose may feel a little dated to some 21st century ears, but in some ways that is quite nice, and who is to say that in the future we may not return to a more formal and genteel form of language.
But the important point is that the story feels real and engaging and certainly ahead of its time.
It is interesting that a lot of the author’s own philosophical and Christian perspectives are expressed in fairly subtle form throughout, but you really wouldn't expect anything else; it's there if you want to see it. But Lewis could be understated be and this is ultimately sci-fi, so if religion is not your thing and you are not looking for it, it's inclusion really won't 'spoil' your enjoyment of the book. ( )
  stevierbrown | Mar 22, 2016 |
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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)

» see all 9 descriptions

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