Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis

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Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis, Image: Amazon

Most people associate C.S. Lewis with The Chronicles of Narnia but his body of work encompases far more, including a science fiction trilogy that is available for the first time in ebook format. Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in the trilogy, tells the tale of a man kidnapped, taken aboard a spaceship, and transported to Malacandra or, as we know it, Mars.

Dr. Ransom is not a man of action and adventure, but an academic, and he is ill-prepared to deal with his captors. They plan to turn him over to the creatures of Malacandra as a form of sacrifice, hoping it will allow them to eventually loot the planet and return to Earth as wealthy men. On landing, Ransom manages to escape and there his real adventure begins. As he explores Malacandra and meets the aliens who call it home, he begins to understand them, and himself, in an entirely new way.

Reading this feels like reading classic science fiction, and really, it doesn’t get much more classic. This was originally published in 1938, long before we sent men into space or walked on the moon, but Out of the Silent Planet still captures the wonder and danger of discovering a new world in a way that resonates today. Malacandra is a beautiful and vivid world, but you’ll find that exploring it along with Ransom will turn into an exploration of the human spirit at it’s best and worst.

A copy of this book was provided for review.

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5 thoughts on “Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis

  1. The Space Trilogy is so good! It’s a pretty quick read too, the first two books are pretty short and the third is about the length of the first two put together. It should definitely go on your reading list!

  2. I also think that his insertion of Christianity into the narrative works much better in the Space Trilogy than it does in Narnia; rather than crude allegory it is actually some sophisticated speculative theology.

    1. Indeed it’s a very different sort of insertion but some of that is the difference in the intended audience. Perelandra especially has very interesting theology.

  3. I need to hang my head in shame that I haven’t read Chronicles of Narnia. I’ll definitely rectify that in the next few years. I love that it doesn’t matter how long ago a book was written; the themes are still very much applicable to today’s world.

    Thanks for being on this tour!

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