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Out of the Silent Planet

(The Space Trilogy #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  71,215 ratings  ·  3,719 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 December 5th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1938)
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Julier Yes, 13-year-olds would enjoy it especially if they take the time to visualize the world and creatures, and then discuss it with someone older who per…moreYes, 13-year-olds would enjoy it especially if they take the time to visualize the world and creatures, and then discuss it with someone older who perhaps understands the story goes beyond the literal meanings. (The messages about peace, ecology, taking care of the environment.) Sorry I don't speak Spanish.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  71,215 ratings  ·  3,719 reviews


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Brad
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
You don't review C.S. Lewis. He reviews you.
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
...more
Hope
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
...more
Phrynne
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so much better than I expected. In fact it was really beautiful. I do not know why I have never read it before. As someone who loved Narnia as a child, reread it as an adult and who loves sci fi I really should have come across this trilogy before.

Anyway, better late than never. It was a beautiful book with some amazing imagery, a great story, and some very interesting ideas. I loved the characters, especially Ransome who turned out to be a remarkable human being - the type you would wa
...more
Manny
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
...more
Allison Tebo
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: v, science-fiction, own
WARNING: This review contains some spoilers.

How can I review a C.S. Lewis book? I feel completely inadequate. To properly summarize his work, one feels that you would have to be Lewis himself.

In the end, I feel that I can do nothing better than to let him speak for himself and to include a few quotations. But then I am left with the impossible task of choosing those quotations, for any writing by Lewis is a series of building blocks, one concept layered upon another.

And so, in the end, all my
...more
Edith
Dec 30, 2008 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
...more
Terry
Jul 11, 2008 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
...more
Michael
Jul 23, 2011 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
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Around the turn of the last century and a little before, a number of 19th century writers turned their hand to a brand new genre. Nowadays we call it Steampunk, which is just a hipster name for Science Fiction written during the late Victorian and pre WWI years.

Most of them painted a bleakish picture of our future. Maybe they were afraid of change or had a pessimistic view of man's ability to rein in the technological age the industrial age was ushering in. There were many unknown factors. Would
...more
Celeste
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
How many times have I started this book only to flounder within the first chapter or two? Honestly, too many to count. This trilogy is one of the very few things written by C.S. Lewis that I have never read. He’s one of my favorite authors of all time, so I want to read everything in his canon. But there is just something about this tiny book that has defeated me time and time again. Seriously, it’s less than two hundred pages. I have read some gigantic books, so something this teensy should not ...more
kellyn
Feb 08, 2008 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
Apatt
Jan 01, 2012 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
Natalie Vellacott
They were astonished at what he had to tell them of human history—of war, slavery and prostitution.
"It is because they have no Oyarsa," said one of the pupils.
"It is because every one of them wants to be a little Oyarsa himself," said Augray.
"They cannot help it," said the old sorn. "There must be rule, yet how can creatures rule themselves? Beasts must be ruled by hnau and hnau by eldila and eldila by Maleldil.”


Honestly, at the end of this audio-book by the much loved C. S. Lewis, I found m
...more
Julie Davis
Good Story 202. Julie and Scott were kidnapped and are now on a spaceship headed for Mars. Julie misses all of humanity. Scott just wants a cheeseburger.

============
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 s
...more
Stephen
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.


Jenny
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review: 2014
The only thing I've read by C.S. Lewis until now is the Narnia Chronicles. I love them. They are some of my favorite books and some of my favorite stories. Lewis is part of my childhood and an author that I always think fondly of. I didn't know he had written a Space Trilogy. The only other books I'd heard that he wrote are his nonfiction works. Discovering this in the used bookstore and realizing that it happened to be the first Space book by him made me happy.
I really enjo
...more
Kat  Hooper
Oct 25, 2011 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
...more
Gabi
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a lot better than I expected.

It starts with a bit of H. G. Wells' "The First Men in the Moon" feeling (which Lewis concedes to in his introduction) and since I had fun with that book I was preparing myself for a similar reading experience. And, indeed, the 'scientific' approach was as lovely naive here as well. I just adore the imaginations of strange new worlds and aliens within the solar system. It's the stuff my childhood was made of.

But once the unlikely Earth astronauts reach thei
...more
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
...more
Erin Clemence
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quarantine has served one useful purpose- introducing me to books that I may have overlooked before. Now, I am a huge fan of C.S Lewis and his Narnia books have left an indelible mark on my reader soul. I know he had written other novels, and when I got the chance to pick up “Out of the Silent Planet”, his first novel in his “Space Trilogy”, I was over the moon (no pun intended).

In performing a good deed, Ransom is abducted by two scientists, who admit they are bringing him to another planet t
...more
Megan Baxter
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
David Mosley
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in the following years:
2007
2010 (28 January)
2013 (27-28 March)
2015 14-18 August
2016 (3-7 May)
Amy
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: c-s-lewis
A bit heavy on the adjetives, but I enjoyed it!


What would it be like to sit in on one of the conversations between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien? Today they are some of the best loved and well-read authors. In their day they were leading British faculty members at Oxford University. Perhaps one of the most fascinating conversations to hear would be the beginning of C.S. Lewis’s “Space Trilogy”.
According to A.N. Wilson, Lewis’s biographer, it began when J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis lamented th
...more
Elizabeth Dragina
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memorable
This world was so much more than I was anticipating! It's magical, and realistic.... designed to drag you along on a marvelous adventure.

The ending was so heartwarming and only those who look really close and are willing to find it, will discover the deep truth this book hides.
Rafael Salazar
Positively surprised. Lewis' fascination with the Middle Ages and horror towards naturalistic humanism are both unmistakably present. Well-written and very engaging. Overall, good fiction with some gold lines and worthy lessons. I even think I want to read the next one.
Matthew Manchester
We seriously need to produce this trilogy for film Christians! A la the film “Silence”.
Hannah
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this whole trilogy again this spring, and I think it's the first time I've done so in one continuous read-through, without other books in between. I recommend it.

I confess, I'm not much of a sci-fi fan (too many unanswered questions on the one hand, and too many nerdy answers to questions I never cared to ask, on the other), but I do love the vision of "outer space" as not an empty and airless void but as "the heavens"—filled with living beings declaring the glory of God. It's a fun adve
...more
Wreade1872
So this is Lewis's knockoff and attack on H.G. Wells novel 'The First Men in the Moon'. Its also basically Narnia in space but with even less happening. A sort of dry utopian story with religious allegory. I could have easily given it 2 stars but wanted to differentiate it from some even worse books like A Journey in Other Worlds .

Most of the fun comes from comparing it to First Men in the Moon so i;m not sure how much those who havn't read that book will get. For example, 'First Men' has two p
...more
Sue Burke
C. S. Lewis wrote this novel in 1938 after a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien. They lamented how little fiction was available to their liking, and Lewis agreed to write a space-travel story. He’d written little fiction so far, but as he says in a note preceding the story, he’d enjoyed H.G. Wells’s “fantasies” and owed them a debt.

The resulting novel, more science fantasy than science fiction, contains many pages of imaginative worldbuilding and thoughtful philosophizing. At times, though, the pl
...more
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Clive Staples Lewis 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
...more

Other books in the series

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

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