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Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  52,153 Ratings  ·  2,290 Reviews
In the first novel of C.S. Lewis's classic science fiction trilogy, 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 plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there. Ransom discovers he has come from the 'silent pl ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published April 1st 1938)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
It is strange to me how often Lewis is mentioned as a leading Christian apologist, since his views on Christianity tend to be neither conventional nor well-constructed. Of course, he's not taken seriously by Biblical scholars or theologians--I suspect this is because his Jesus is a cartoon lion and his God is a space alien.

As Michael Moorcock pointed out, the prominent tone in both Tolkien and Lewis is condescension, and I admit my general impression of Lewis is that he's talking down to the aud
First of all, this book has a cool title. I mean, seriously…Out of the Silent Planet… Say it to yourself a couple times. It sounds pretty, almost spooky, sort of dramatic and enigmatic. Ooh.

Man, I love a good title.

I also love a good allegory. And it’s my opinion that C.S. Lewis pretty much wrote the best allegories. Like, for real dude. This is like The Chronicles of Narnia for big people.
(I’m still partial to the childlikeness of The Chronicles though).

So basically, this book is about a ma
Not C.S. Lewis's best or most popular book - for every person who reads this, there must be at least ten who read Narnia. However, the exchange between the humans and the Oyarsa (the angelic ruler of Malacandra/Mars) is extremely effective satire, and deserves to be better known. Ransom is the only one in the party who has been able to acquire any fluency in Malacandran. He is given the task of translating Weston's fascist rant, which he clearly rather enjoys:
'Speak to Ransom and he shall turn i
Oct 11, 2013 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terry by: Cornelius
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
3.5 stars

_Out of the Silent Planet_ is the start of C. S. Lewis’ ‘Space Trilogy’ a series that, for me at least, comprises his best works of fiction. I’ve never been much of a fan of the Narnia books and Till We Have Faces fell totally flat for me so aside from his purely academic texts this is generally the series I go to when I want to read Lewis. In a nutshell the Space Trilogy documents the adventures of academic and philologist Elwin Ransom as he finds himself embroiled in events of cosmic
Dec 30, 2008 Edith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book and its companion volumes--Perelandra and That Hideous Strength--sometime after college, which must have been in the early eighties. I have re-read all three books numerous times since then.

The books show Lewis' deep love of and knowledge of European literature and languages. I stand in awe of his ability to bring together elements of Scandinavian and Celtic and Greek and Roman and English literature to create a universe that can hold the galaxy-spanning intellects of the eldila
Jun 13, 2013 kellyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this first about 7 or 8 years ago, but found it difficult to get through. This time it was over too soon-I felt like I was on Malacandra myself and feel like I experienced everything that went on as much as Ransom, the main character in the book. Lewis explores philosophical questions that if not discussed in the context of another species' existence would strike me as really basic; by discussing these questions in the setting of another world, he refreshes them and has insights that we o ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Apatt rated it really liked it
After all the post-cyberpunk, Steampunk, New Weird, Post-Singularity, Post-Scarcity etc. books I have been reading lately it is nice to turn to an old school sf book for a change of pace and a bit of coziness. Out of the Silent Planet is in fact more of a science fantasy than something you would expect Asimov, Heinlein or Clarke to write. C.S. Lewis is best known and loved for his wonderful Narnia books, where religious allegory is woven into exciting and wondrous fantasy adventures aimed primar ...more
3.5 stars. First book in the classic "Space Trilogy" by C. S. Lewis. Much like the Chronicles of Narnia, this story has a very "Christian" feel to it and deals with the nature of the universe, the struggle of good and evil and the status of "Earth" as "The Silent Planet." Well written, entertaining and thought provoking.

Kat  Hooper
Sep 19, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

You probably know that C.S. Lewis was a Christian apologist who wrote many popular books — both fiction and nonfiction — which explain or defend the Christian faith. His most famous work, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, some of the most-loved stories in all of fantasy fiction and children’s literature, is clearly Christian allegory. Likewise, his science fiction SPACE TRILOGY can be read as allegory, though it’s subtle enough to be enjoyed by those who don’t appreciate alle
Apr 12, 2013 Brad rated it really liked it
You don't review C.S. Lewis. He reviews you.
Jul 23, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CS Lewis once wrote a poem entitled “An Expostulation: Against Too Many Writers of Science Fiction”. In it, he complains that science fiction writers transport us light-years away, only to give us “the same old stuff we left behind...stories of crooks, spies, conspirators, or love.” He then asks why he should leave the Earth unless “outside its guarded gates, long, long desired, the Unearthly waits.” It’s easy to see his point. Most of the science fiction written during his lifetime were twice-t ...more
Jun 21, 2016 April rated it really liked it
Shelves: inklings, scifi
There is a certain breed of science fiction that I tend to sneer at. These usually contain made up languages, strange creatures, and some sort of, "this is the first time in HISTORY that..." motif (See also: The first time two tributes survived, the first time our test showed someone as divergent, the first time someone so young showed such rare promise...). In listing these three details I realize that I am likely describing much of what science fiction is--made up things loosely based in reali ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Mahomet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Through his Cosmic Trilogy, and in opposition to the Wellsian archetype, C.S. Lewis attempts to carefully reconstruct the common, horrific fallacy that falls under what (or rather who) lies in outer space. He offers a—supposedly—fictionalised account of Martian events which, in a way, scoffs at the purely scientific intellect, and is thoroughly nourished with incorporeal elements which, again, contrive to set pleasant connotations for alienness.
Becca Campbell
Oct 19, 2012 Becca Campbell rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book more for the abstract ideas behind the story than the plot itself (although Lewis' creativity in developing a foreign world, several alien species and a foreign language is notable).

There are some very intriguing ideas about the nature of our world, mankind, and existence behind the story. Lewis examines society's preoccupation with trying to extend the lives of ourselves, our world, and our species as a whole. No matter how hard man tries, be it through medicine or good heal
Julie Davis
Sep 05, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The library had the audio for this and recalling how audio has helped me through other books which left me cold in print (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, for example) ... and also knowing how many people have urged me to read this trilogy ... I am attempting it for the third time.

All this is to say that I am 36 minutes in and for a second I almost forgot what I was listening to, because I felt as if C.S. Lewis were telling me about John Carter of Mars (another book I've never been able to ge
Aug 19, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Aug 2016: better than I remembered it. Still weird. But now that I have the entire series in my head, this one has a lot more depth than I realized.

January 2014: I read this a decade ago and remember not being overly impressed. I think that I am more satisfied with it this time but I still find it to be slow and overly descriptive. I am 46% and am invested but not gripped.

Finished. Not my favorite Lewis book, slow and laborious start but it grew into quite a good tale. I understand now that it r
John Bonilla
Mar 25, 2016 John Bonilla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2016
Al inicio se hace un poco difícil leerlo ya que, como es común de la época de Lewis, son muy detallistas en el escenario más que en lo que sucede al momento, pero una vez ya en Malacandra se hace tan amena la narración. Ramson hace que te sientas a su lado en todo momento, viviendo y viendo lo mismo que él. Me gustó mucho es parte donde empieza a entender la cultura de Malacandra.

Es ficticia la historia pero no por eso no deja un bonito mensaje de paz y armonía que viven, algo que a los humanos
May 19, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, scifi
It is interesting, and wholly fortuitous, that I read this book almost immediately after H.G. Wells's The First Men in the Moon. In that book, one of the two characters on the expedition attempts to communicate with the Selenites, while is partner is little more than a 19th century conquistador.

In Out of the Silent Planet, author C.S. Lewis has one character -- Ransom -- kidnapped by Devine and Weston, who are interested primarily in exploiting the gold on Mars (called Malacandra in the book). R
Jenna St Hilaire
Mar 20, 2013 Jenna St Hilaire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the decade or so since I first read Lewis' Space Trilogy, I've re-read Perelandra once and That Hideous Strength many times, but never—till now—returned to the the first in the series.

It's a short read, and might be called light if not for the fact that as with most of Lewis' fiction, the more you understand of what Lewis knew and studied and believed, the more you'll get out of the tale. I'm not referring just to Christianity. This book made me wish I understood astronomy much more than I do
Nov 03, 2008 BJ rated it liked it
No long summary here...A novel about how men dehumanize humanity.

Though it does not have to do with the one-sentence summary, I like the words of abducted Ransom before he embarks on his journey on the planet Malacandra:

"The adventure was too high, its circumstance too solemn, for any emotion save a severe delight." (Macmillan Publishing, Twenty-third Printing, 1978, 30)

And on another mater, the words of the old sorn speaking of how humanity on earth must be ruled: "'There must be rule, yet how
Mike (the Paladin)
Fantastic trilogy.

Here we get to meet Ransom and follow him on a trip to "Mars". Lewis sets up an allegorical story (somewhat heavily influenced by his classical education it must be admitted.) A thought provoking work. His picture of "God" (and the angelic beings) brought to mind (for me) somewhat, the "picture" painted in The Silmarillion by J.R.R.Tolkien (maybe that shouldn't be that surprising as they were friends and read their work to each other also discussing it with each other as well a
Joshua Ray
Jul 09, 2016 Joshua Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lewis-in SPACE!

Lovely little book with several quite inventive ideas. I especially liked Hyoi and Ransom's conversation in chapter 12 and the explanation later on of the difference between the eldil and the hnau. A fun adventure that was thought-provoking as well.
This book was a little hard for me to understand and get through, and I think part of that had to do with my trying to visualize the descriptions, and failing. Not only that, but the conversations that Ransom has with some of the creatures about life and that sort of thing confused me.

Other than that, the book was good, but I wasn't crazy about it.
Sierra Faith
Eh, just okay. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. CS Lewis is a very intersting author and I love how his mind works!
Jul 17, 2016 fromcouchtomoon rated it liked it
MY FIRST CS LEWIS BOOK! I KNOW, RIGHT! Preachy moments as expected, but with a more humanist perspective than I expected, and the planet is an overall more interesting place to explore than some of the same era pulp planet adventure stories (Burroughs, Doc, etc). The aliens are slightly reminiscent of fellow Inkling Tolkien's characters, and it at times feels like LOTR in spaaaace. Lewis' attempts at universal awe are saddled by ethnocentric, monotheistic thinking, and though he tries to put on ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Diletta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lewis colpisce ancora, ma con più delicatezza (leggi: non è cattolicone come al solito).
Se nelle Cronache l'ideologia era in certi passaggi quasi logorroica, fin troppo invasiva, in questo primo capitolo della Space Trilogy riesce a instaurare, tramite gli occhi del suo protagonista Elwin Ransom, che si trova faccia a faccia con creature completamente diverse, eticamente e moralmente opposte all'uomo, un dialogo con il suo lettore. Il risultato è una storia d'avventura, un viaggio che ci fa attr
What an absolutely beautiful book. I love love loved it. C.S. Lewis had such an infectious imagination! And I love the allegory here - that Lucifer (it seems to be implied) was responsible for our planet becoming "bent" and therefore out of sync with all the others, but that on other planets that have a benevolent angel-being watching over them, life is so much sweeter. I have to admit, if I ever found myself on Malacandra I wouldn't be all that anxious to return to Earth. What lovely worlds Lew ...more
M.G. Bianco
Jun 14, 2014 M.G. Bianco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Is this book science fiction? Is the "Space Trilogy" or what is sometimes called the "Cosmic Trilogy" qualifiable as a "Science Fiction Trilogy?"

Out of the Silent Planet, the first in the trilogy, tells the story of a pseudonym-ed man, Ransom, as he travels to Malacandra, Mars, for a reason unknown to him. There, he meets the sentient life forms of that planet and learns a little about his own planet and his own people. Malacandra didn't 'fall' as Earth did, its people know nothing of violence a
Bart Breen
May 25, 2012 Bart Breen rated it it was amazing
Narnia for Adults?

CS Lewis was a tremendously diverse and engaging writer. Apart from being the most celebrated modern apologist for the Christian Faith, Lewis brought to the table a very sophisticated appreciation and understanding of great literature.

Out of the Silent Planet weaves a tale of Science Fiction before the genre became vastly more popularized in the 50's and following(in large part due to the influence of contemporary friend and member of local literary group, The Inklings, JRR Tol
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Space Trilogy (3 books)
  • Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2)
  • That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, #3)

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“The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.” 205 likes
“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” 67 likes
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