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Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  55,618 Ratings  ·  2,571 Reviews
Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which Out of the Silent Planet is the first volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's The Plague and George Orwell's 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytellin ...more
Paperback, #195, 159 pages
Published 1949 by Avon (first published April 1st 1938)
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Mark A blue ent with feathers, with an MS instead of an MA degree.
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Community Reviews

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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
Apr 06, 2013 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't review C.S. Lewis. He reviews you.
Jul 11, 2008 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
Feb 08, 2008 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
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.

Jan 01, 2012 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kat  Hooper
Oct 25, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan Baxter
Jul 20, 2011 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the Chronicles of Narnia are C.S. Lewis' attempt (and a wonderful one) to write Christian children's fables, then this trilogy seems to be his attempt to write Christian science fiction.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
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
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
Julie Davis
Dec 04, 2013 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading, in print this time.

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 Mar
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
Aug 22, 2014 Mehmet 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.
Brianna da Silva
I'm going to go ahead and say it: I liked this better than Chronicles of Narnia.

C.S. Lewis created such a beautiful, immersive, believable science fiction world that follows quite obviously in the H.G. Wells tradition. I loved the species of intelligent creatures he created, the language, and the descriptions of the landscapes.

Also, I thought this was a really cool way of combining Christian traditions about good, evil, sin, etc. with an old universe and even with evolution.

All in all, I'm mar
Apr 29, 2016 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Becca Campbell
Mar 29, 2012 Becca Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 18, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 03, 2008 BJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Bonilla
Mar 20, 2016 John Bonilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Joshua Ray
Jul 08, 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.
The middle drowsed but the ending was a spinning galaxy of philosophical and visual intrigue. :)

Looking forward to reading the next installment!
David Mosley
Nov 08, 2010 David Mosley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in the following years:
2010 (28 January)
2013 (27-28 March)
2015 14-18 August
2016 (3-7 May)
Douglas Wilson
Apr 11, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Just a lot of fun. Dated, as all early science fiction tends to be, but Lewis overcomes all of that. Also read in December of 1989. Also read in December of 1984. Also read in June of 1980.
I waffled between a 2 and 3 stars, because I did not personally enjoy this book much. The long winded descriptions reminded me why I hate The Last Battle, and the main character was too much of an everyman without a real personality to serve as an engaging point of view. However. What makes Lewis' work great is his ability to deal with matters of the soul and religion in a sincere and visceral way without a trace of sentimentality. It is easier for an author to seek catharsis with something horr ...more
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  • Phantastes
  • War in Heaven
  • The Tolkien Reader
  • Dream Thief
  • The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life
  • The Ball and the Cross
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • Crown of Fire (Firebird, #3)
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  • The Dark Foundations (The Lamb Among the Stars, #3)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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
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.” 219 likes
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