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The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet,…
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The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous… (edition 2011)

by C. S. Lewis (Author)

Series: Space Trilogy (Omnibus 1-3)

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2,264195,660 (4.05)3 / 16
This striking one-volume edition marks the 75th anniversary of Lewis's classic SF trilogy featuring the adventures of Dr Ransom on Mars, Venus and Earth. It includes an exclusive Foreword compiled from letters by J.R.R. Tolkien, who inspired Lewis to write the first volume. The Space Trilogy is a remarkable work of fantasy, demonstrating the powerful imagination of C.S..Lewis. This new one-volume edition marks the 75th Anniversary of the first publication of Out of the Silent Planet with an exclusive Foreword by J.R.R. Tolkien, on whom the main character of Ransom was largely based. OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet's treasures and offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there... PERELANDRA Having escaped from Mars, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus. When his old enemy also arrives and is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom finds himself in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of this Eden-like world... THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH Investigating the truth about her prophetic dreams, Jane Studdock encounters the fabled Dr Ransom, who is in great pain after his travels. A sinister society run by his old adversaries intends to harness the ancient powers of a resurrected Merlin in their ambition to subjugate the people of Earth...… (more)
Member:drosenmeyer
Title:The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength) by C.S. Lewis (2011) Paperback
Authors:C. S. Lewis (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2011), Edition: Reissue, 728 pages
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The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis

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» See also 16 mentions

English (18)  French (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I love all of the books individually (although they're so different in style and, dare I say genre, that it's hard to think of them as a trilogy). But having all three bound in one is floppy and unwieldy. I haven't reread them since I got this volume! ( )
  muumi | Jun 28, 2022 |
That Hideous Strength was published in 1945, the year in which World War II came to its conclusion and is the concluding work of the trilogy that began with Out of the Silent Planet published in 1938, the year of Munich, and continued with Perelandra, published in 1943. It is great book, but one that will frustrate both the casual science fiction fan because of the absence of anything supernatural, extraterrestrial, or fantastic through roughly the first half of the book. On the other hand, it has been criticized by reviewers, most prominently, George Orwell, who reviewed Lewis' novel for the Manchester Evening News on August 16, 1945 (in the immediate aftermath of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forcing Japan's surrender). Orwell writes "One could recommend this book unreservedly if Mr. Lewis had succeeded in keeping it all on a single level. Unfortunately, the supernatural keeps breaking in, and it does so in rather confusing, undisciplined ways." I cannot judge as to how undisciplined Lewis is, but I can agree with Orwell that it is certainly difficult to follow.

The action takes place in an English university town called Edgestow, more specifically at a college known as Bracton. The college administration decides to sell a part of its property, the Bragdon Wood, to a newly constituted organization called the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments, or the N.I.C.E. for short. The ostensible mission of the N.I.C.E. is to accelerate the development of science-based solutions to the problems that continually beset humanity - hunger, housing, crime, sickness - and to eliminate the "Red Tape" that has hitherto frustrated the activities of scientists and administrators to organize and implement ways and means of improving mankind. In our time there is no shortage of government and non-government organizations dedicated to, in Francis Bacon's famous phrase, "the relief of man's estate". For a very good discussion of what was in the air in Britain between the two world wars by way of fixing what ails humanity (at least the British share of it) see Richard Overy's "The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars".

It transpires that the leadership of the N.I.C.E. is not at all focused on the improvement of the human race and the amelioration of the problems that beset it. Rather it is engaged in a conspiracy to subdue humanity and all of nature in what could be characterized as an attempt to make manifest an extreme version of what today we would call transhumanism. As one of the characters, a Reverend Straik, puts it, "It is the beginning of Man Immortal and Man Ubiquitous...Man on the throne of the universe". However, as his colleague Professor Filostrato elaborates "...the power will be confined to a number - a small number - of individual men. those who are selected for eternal life".
When his naive colleague, a sociologist by trade, suggests that it will be extended eventually to all men, Filostrato responds "No, I mean it will be reduced to one man." And in Filostrato's future vision for the Earth all organic life is extinguished, with the barrenness of the Moon being his model for the future of Earth.

Given that the N.I.C.E. has the support of the British establishment including one its higher ups in Parliament, it has little trouble in advancing its agenda. It has its own independent police force which has been given a free hand not only on its own property but in the town of Edgestow beyond the N.I.C.E. offices. The N.I.C.E. leaders eventually gin up a riot in the town that is used to justify the suspension of civil liberties and give the N.I.C.E. police under the leadership of a nasty, sadistic lesbian plenary police power from which there is no appeal - a cautionary lesson for our times. Indeed the N.I.C.E. is able to plant accounts of the riot in both highbrow and tabloid papers written in advance of the riot. These articles are presented in full one after the other and it is sobering to reflect on how easy it is to spin reality to shape public opinion for political benefit. Orwell published "Politics and the English Language" in 1946, a year after reviewing Lewis' novel.

Happily for humanity there is a small company of men and women organized around a Director which has understood what it really going on the auspices of the N.I.C.E. and who are committed to wage war against "That Hideous Strength" a reference to a medieval poem about the Tower of Babel. Both the good guys and the bad guys are in communication with spiritual beings that correspond roughly to the angels who waged battle in Heaven against the angels who rebelled against God. The McGuffiin, or the X-factor, in the tale centers around the search for the grave of Merlin, the magician of Arthurian legends. It transpires that Merlin's tomb is located in the Bragdon Wood which is why the N.I.C.E. decided to set up shop in Edgestow and acquire the Wood from the fellows of Bracton. More of the plot than this I will not relate as I don't want to spoil it for any potential reader.

In That Hideous Strength Lewis gives fictional form to the arguments made two years earlier in his classic "The Abolition of Man" which I commend to your attention either as a preface or a postscript to the novel. This work can be read on a standalone basis, although I all three books in the trilogy are excellent. Indeed, I would guess that the typical science fiction devotee prefers the first two volumes to the third.

Finally, this is a book that I have had occasion to read multiple times over forty something years since I first purchased it. It never fails to refresh my spirit and give me hope. I feel obliged to let any reader of this review know that in present day Great Britain there is an actual organization called the N.I.C.E., the National Institute for Clinical Excellence that is a part of the National Health Service. Nothing to be concerned with, I'm sure. ( )
1 vote citizencane | Feb 25, 2022 |
[bc:Out of the Silent Planet|25350|Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1)|C.S. Lewis|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1310984018l/25350._SY75_.jpg|879622] [2/5] review, [bc:Perelandra|100924|Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2)|C.S. Lewis|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1388623162l/100924._SY75_.jpg|3148586] [2/5] review, [bc:That Hideous Strength|979598|That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, #3)|C.S. Lewis|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1298785859l/979598._SY75_.jpg|964487] [4/5] review ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
I have yet to find any book by C.S. Lewis that I did not thoroughly enjoy. This was certainly not an exception - wonderful as usual.

Out of the Silent Planet
Dr. Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet's treasures and offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there.

Perelandra
Having escaped from Mars, Dr. Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus. When his old enemy also arrives and is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom finds himself in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of this Eden-like world.

That Hideous Strength
Investigating the truth about her prophetic dreams, Jane Studdock encounters the fabled Dr. Ransom, who is in great pain after his travels. A sinister society run by his old adversaries intends to harness the ancient powers of a resurrected Merlin in their ambition to subjugate the people of Earth. ( )
  Gmomaj | Sep 26, 2021 |
So much to learn about many different christian topics, hidden in this science fiction book. I enjoyed every page of it. ( )
  hoyd | Dec 13, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[Out of the Silent Planet]
To my brother W. H. L.
a life-long critic of the space-and-time story
[Perelandra]
To Some Ladies at Wantage
[That Hideous Strength] To J. McNeill
First words
[Out of the Silent Planet: Note] Certain slighting references to earlier stories of this type which well be found in the following pages have been put there for purely dramatic purposes.
[Out of the Silent Planet] The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled hi pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.
[Perelandra: Preface] This story can be read by itself but is also a sequel to 'OUt of the Silent Planet' in which some account was given of Ransom's adventures in Mars--or, as its inhabitants call it, 'Malacandra'.
[Perelandra] As I left the railway station at Worchester and set out on the three-mile walk to Ransom's cottage, I reflected that no one on that platform could possibly guess the truth about the man I was going to visit.
[That Hideous Strength: Preface] I have called this a fairy-tail in the hope that no one who dislikes fantasy may be misled by the first two chapters into reading further, and then complain of his disappointment.
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This striking one-volume edition marks the 75th anniversary of Lewis's classic SF trilogy featuring the adventures of Dr Ransom on Mars, Venus and Earth. It includes an exclusive Foreword compiled from letters by J.R.R. Tolkien, who inspired Lewis to write the first volume. The Space Trilogy is a remarkable work of fantasy, demonstrating the powerful imagination of C.S..Lewis. This new one-volume edition marks the 75th Anniversary of the first publication of Out of the Silent Planet with an exclusive Foreword by J.R.R. Tolkien, on whom the main character of Ransom was largely based. OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet's treasures and offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there... PERELANDRA Having escaped from Mars, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus. When his old enemy also arrives and is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom finds himself in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of this Eden-like world... THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH Investigating the truth about her prophetic dreams, Jane Studdock encounters the fabled Dr Ransom, who is in great pain after his travels. A sinister society run by his old adversaries intends to harness the ancient powers of a resurrected Merlin in their ambition to subjugate the people of Earth...

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