The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength
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The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy #1-3)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  5,146 ratings  ·  218 reviews
The Cosmic Trilogy relates the interplanetary travels of Ransom, C.S. Lewis's ill-informed and terrified victim who leaves Earth much against his will and who, in the first book of the trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, published by the Bodley Head in 1938, encounters the imaginary and delightful world of Macalandra. In the second book, Perelandra (1943), Ransom is transpo...more
Paperback, 724 pages
Published by QPBC (first published 1945)
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Bethany
This space trilogy should not be "confused" as a normal sci fi. C.S. Lewis writes all his fiction with a purpose of philosophizing and helping the read see parallels to Christianity and really, just "real life".

I value this trilogy as one of my favorite reads of all time. If you decide to read it, you can't approach it like a normal "fiction" read. You have to really pay attention to C.S. Lewis's characters' thought processes because therein lies the secrets to the books.

I would dare say that ev...more
James
I would rank this with Tolkien's Middle Earth work for skill in creating imaginary realities (Lewis and Tolkien were close friends and often gave each other feedback on drafts of their work) and with Stephen King's The Stand for its power as a story of good and evil. Also like those other two stories, I would caution that some of this might be - no, is - too dark for children or young teens.

I especially like the portrayal of evil as stupid, blind, and shallow rather than being intriguing, romant...more
Q
This trilogy is definitely something different from the most SF books I've read. I was 17 when I read it and it was the first time religious content in book was so overwhelming that I couldn't help but notice it. To the day my impression of it could be described as "pearly-pink bubblegum in the sunset": pretty, soft-looking but loses the taste fast and becomes sticky and annoying.
Bart Breen
Classic Science Fiction! Must read for many!

CS Lewis is best known for his Narnia Series for children and then as a Christian Apologist. An agnostic for many years, this English Don and Professor of Literature came to develop a friendship with JRR Tolkien (yes, THE JRR Tolkien)and over the course of that friendship, converted to Christianity and the Church of England, (despite the protestation of Tolkien to a small degree who was himself Roman Catholic.)

Lewis grew in fame throughout England in p...more
Sarah Rodgers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chad Johnston
While Dad is my family's resident sci-fi connoisseur, this year Dad and I trekked into interstellar space together, reading C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. I had reservations about reading sci-fi novels, as I thought I might end up becoming fluent in Klingon as a result. Surprisingly, the genre ended up teaching me a thing or two about theology, and even more about the mechanics of the writing craft.

Written in the 40s, Lewis' Space Trilogy has little to do with the...more
erin
I had extremely high hopes for this trilogy, especially after finishing the first book Out of the Silent Planet, an exceptional work of old-fashioned science fiction. The first half of Perelandra proved equally gripping, but took a turn for the unreadable once Lewis' Christian beliefs seeped too far (in my opinion) into the fabric of the plot. Without spoiling any details, I will say that the entire basis of the narrative came to rely on the acceptance from the reader that The Fall of Man occurr...more
Paul Mitchell
For a long time, I counted That Hideous Strength as one of my favorite books, and it very well fictionalizes that scientism vs. Faith debate that Lewis found himself in quite often (see The God Question pitting Freud vs. Lewis). Out of the Silent Planet, though, is a classic all its own displaying the utter silliness of the vanities of humankind when the protagonist (a philologist - be still my heart) has to explain the intent of other human "invaders" to conquer the planet and the species inhab...more
Vhernalyn
I borrowed these books from a friend in church and I loved the triology. It follows around the scientist, Ransom, who first finds himself kidnapped and taken to the planet Malacandra. He interacts with the beings there who are very far from human beings. This whole triology portrays how "the Devil" influenced people from planet to planet to bring about damnation and the only planet that will fall is Earth. On the second book, Ransom goes to Perelandra to save that planet from tempatation and it...more
Kimberly
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. Book One contains more sci-fi adventure than religion, but it illustrates the danger of ignoring inspiration in a way that has stayed with me for years.

The second book asks interesting questions about the Fall and the role of the Savior. I don't agree with all the theology in it, but it gave me a lot to think about. I still think of Ransom in the bubble trees when I'm tempted to eat an extra cookie.

The third book was thought-provoking as well, but I didn...more
C.L. Francisco
C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy follows his Narnia Tales as my second favorite series of books. Certainly darker than Narnia, they are addressed to adults rather to children. Anyone who has had personal experience with real evil will recognize Lewis' familiarity with it in these books, just as those who have experienced spiritual ecstasy will recognize its presence as well. Lewis can tend toward preaching at times in these books, and his perspectives on the relationship between the sexes leave me cold...more
Trey Rowzie
My rating is for the trilogy as a whole. "Out of the Silent Planet" was a great Mars story that is rather reminisce of Burroughs' "Princess of Mars" but more realistically character-driven. For example, Dr. Random is distressed when he damages one of the creatures; rather than the remorseless John Carter. "Perelandra" was set on Venus and opened the idea of what would a world look like if an alien Adam and Eve had not yet given in to temptation. Although a fantasizing idea of who would one teach...more
Joel Zartman
1 Perhaps because it is the last one I listened to, though I don’t think so, it is my favorite. I love the temperature of it (always winter there, though sadly no rain or snow), the thermal springs feeding all the waters (genius), the preponderant, high mountains and the closeness to what is awesomely Ancient. I think in this book Lewis must have picked the things he was most fond of.

In the appendices he gives tantalizing glimpses, in a purported letter to him from Ransom, of sharp and clear Mal...more
Chantelle
Apr 07, 2014 Chantelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Chantelle by: My Brother
I loved it! My brother gave this book to me as a present. I love the way that I became completely submerged in the new world, it was as if I had traveled to another place where I slowly learned about the culture, people and language, whilst this magical tale unraveled around me, I would defiantly recommend it!
Ken-ichi
I only read Out Of The Silent Planet and found it so dull I couldn't go on. This is a fairly nice little collection, though, if you're into that kind of thing.
Philippe Dubeau
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisbeth
Loved the trilogy. Perelandra (the second book) is my favorite. That Hideous Strength was difficult to get into, but the last third of the book makes it worth it.
Giles Catcheside
A good trilogy in terms of breadth and ideas. Particularly Perelandra covers subjects with such intricacy and depth that it is worth reading several times.
Tim Baldwin
It took a great while to read this book. Not because I didn't like the book but because of the complexity of language and depth of topic. I remember long ago plowing through several of CS Lewis's books in the Chronicles of Narnia series as well as other nonfiction books. So, I am no stranger to reading his work. However, I didn't pick this book up for pleasure of reading, rather I forced myself to read this book from beginning to end.

The first two books in the series Out of the Silent Planet an...more
Hannah
To ask what these books are about is to open quite the can of worms. You might say, "Its the story of a man named Ransom, and his adventures with space travel." and that "Written before the days that man had stepped onto the moon, it was far more imaginative (often mistaken, but oftener insightful) than what modern science fiction allows for." (It DOES take you on a rather fantastic trip; the scenery and creatures in this bemusing speculation of extraterrestial life runs far from the cold "littl...more
Rae
Well, this was a very intriguing read. This book contains three in one, all of which can be read on their own, but are part of a trilogy. My past experience with C.S. Lewis is strictly the Chronicles of Narnia so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I can say this though, these books are very open with regard to Christianity. Everything is put on the table. I found this both refreshing but also a bit uncomfortable in some of the books personally. To explain why would veer on the edge of spoile...more
Adam
What do you get when theology masquerades as space adventure? You get one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. At times, the story veers into the Randian pit of being overly symbolic, with one-dimensional characters whose only purpose seems to be the delivery of a monolog describing a particular viewpoint. However, Lewis's fantastic imagination and colorful writing style rescue the narrative and make it possible to read the entire lengthy trilogy.

One thing that impressed me is that each boo...more
Michael Reynolds
Mar 17, 2007 Michael Reynolds rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with rich imaginations
Shelves: fantasysci-fi
Wow. This series will absolutely knock you out. From the interesting possibilities raised by the consideration of the Eldila, to the rich landscapes of Perelandra, to the magnificent and thoroughly numina-filled way in which the Oyeresu are treated, there really aren't any stones left unturned. So much deep water is treaded just by dealing with the concept of life on other planets-or even outside of our normally visible sphere-as to make all other attempts at sci-fi seem laughable or even juveni...more
pchan
I think the first book is the least interesting, although still entertaining.

The second book is sublimely written. Some of the finest word-images CSL ever penned, in my opinion. Right up there with the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when the children and Reepicheep sail toward and finally arrive in Aslan's Country. Glorious prose. (Although, as I recall, the first chapter or two of this book could almost have been written as a horror story. Quite chilling.)

The third book takes a differen...more
Timothy Meixell
While somewhat imaginative, this trilogy is stupid. That's right, I said stupid. The characters are boring, and the inner musings of Ransom compare to those of any toddler exposed to the same circumstances.

You know what? I take back saying that it was imaginative. Lewis couldn't think of his own alien worlds, so he copy/pasted some christian mythology and then added some pretty scenery. He couldn't think of a good main character so he grabbed some dull professor (surprise!) and crammed him on to...more
Ashley
I was a little disappointed with the series, when compared with either the Chronicles of Narnia or George MacDonald's work...



Out of the Silent Planet: It was very superficial, and by that, I mean that my eyes were probably as round as quarters imagining the world on Mars. If you can suspend disbelief, it makes for good fantasy, but its not that deep on the first read-through.



Perelandra: My favorite, but I can't imagine reading it without having read Out of the Silent Planet. You would miss way...more
Lynn
I'm part of the way through the trilogy -- just finished the second book -- and I have mixed feelings about the books as a whole. His views on science vs. humanities bothers me some: The hero of the trilogy is a middle-aged, English philologist (like he sort of was) and the antagonist of the first couple books is a scientist whom he portrays as good at science, but kind of dense otherwise in matters of language and philosophy. (Counter-example = Einstein, among others.) I won't go into the other...more
Alana Bleness
This is one of my favorite things to read in the summer. Lewis's descriptions of the planets Malacandra and Perelandra left me with vivid memories as though I'd been there myself. "That Hideous Strength" is my favorite of the three. N.I.C.E.'s dehumanization and manipulation of information strikes a chillingly familiar chord, and the Order of Logres is the heroic secret society everyone wishes they were a part of.
Ann
While most of us know C.S. Lewis for his Narnia series, he has also written some great adult sci-fi. This trilogy is great, particularly Perelandra. Again, C.S. Lewis is definately writing from a Christian point of view, but like I said in my review of the Chronicles of Narnia, it never feels like he is proselytizing, only exploring. Perelandra in particular is one of my favorites, as it explores the story of Adam and Eve but on the planet Venus. Sounds crazy and cheesy, but what exactly might t...more
Kirsten
I like fantacy fiction because it has the unique ability to present single truths in a context where nothing else is familiar in order to show them as stronger, richer, and fuller than they could otherwise be shown. While I'll admit most of that genre neglects that trait, C.S. Lewis was a master at capturing truth, and didn't miss a beat for this trilogy.
Each of the books is very different than the others and each deals with distinct ideas and themes. All do a marvelous job both at being a story...more
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th...more
More about C.S. Lewis...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

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