It appears C.S. Lewis took the phrase "men are from mars and women are from Venus" literally. In the first book, 'Out of the Silent Planet,' the main...moreIt appears C.S. Lewis took the phrase "men are from mars and women are from Venus" literally. In the first book, 'Out of the Silent Planet,' the main protagonist Ransom used all his emotional-scientific skills and fought against his evil kidnappers to protect the beings on Mars from being liquidated in an anti-colonial narrative. In 'Perelandra,' Ransom has been sent to Venus to advert disaster... Which turns out to be in the form of the Devil himself, now inhabiting his former kidnapper's body, Weston, who is trying to convince a pure "lady," the Queen, to fall from Venus's literally floating gardens of Eden. There were a few instances of interesting dialog on the sciences and faith, but overall this narrative crashes short of anything captivating. Convincing the Queen to realize she's beautiful with her reflection? Chasing down the Devil on friendly seahorse-fishes in the seas of Venus? A long allegorical hell-cave? A long philosophical talk with two consciousnesses of worlds? Such a narrative would need to be incredibly clever to work, and unfortunately C.S. Lewis only managed to scratch around familiar tropes.(less)
Can you recall the "voice of science" from videos in grade school? Or better yet, the narrator in black and white science fiction films? "Out of the S...moreCan you recall the "voice of science" from videos in grade school? Or better yet, the narrator in black and white science fiction films? "Out of the Silent Planet" should be read entirely in this voice. This is not difficult to do, for the sentence structure and tone of the novel is identical to the genre of white scientific authority in the '50s and '60s. Despite the novel's dated feel due to its register, Lewis's academic experience shines through in the beautiful constructions of alien languages, cultural and biological nuances of physiques, and a wonderful set of mysteries for the reader to piece together with facts. Much of what is explored in the novel remains highly relevant for a contemporary audience.
I found it amusing that the story begins by an academic coming across an old disliked schoolmate, whom abducts the main protagonist-- named Ransom, I kid you not--with an evil scientist in a spaceship. It's a such a professorial daydream: my colleagues are asses, but I'll be brilliant and save real scientific inquiry from corruption even if they drug my bourbon!! (less)
I LOVE the Honor Harrington series. About time a strong, smart female character takes political and military lead.
This book was a tiny disappointment,...moreI LOVE the Honor Harrington series. About time a strong, smart female character takes political and military lead.
This book was a tiny disappointment, if only because the others have excelled all expectations. First, there were a number of copy editing errors (boo!), and the book spent more time on political development than with any people. To this point, Weber has phenomenal with his ability to balance talk on technology and politics with moments of delightfully well executed social interaction. He's one of those authors that can tell all these narratives, and tell them well.
But this book? More politics and technology than people. More people, David. You nailed the other two fronts, but without the people, the book becomes flat.
with admiration, an author who can't get anything published without at least 5 rounds of revision.