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Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet / Perelandra / That Hideous Strength

(The Space Trilogy #1-3)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  9,507 ratings  ·  431 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, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Scribner Paperback Fiction (first published 1938)
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Dorothy Davies The first time, perhaps, read them in order. My favourite is "That Hideous Strength" . …moreThe first time, perhaps, read them in order. My favourite is "That Hideous Strength" . (less)
Isabel Livieva I don't think so.... The Lion series was for children. This series is for adults. It is by far my favorite from CS Lewis. …moreI don't think so.... The Lion series was for children. This series is for adults. It is by far my favorite from CS Lewis. (less)

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May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Michael Perkins
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Given what Lewis is trying to do with this trilogy, it's important to know that Lewis knew absolutely nothing about science. And he was quite hostile to scientists, as comes out loud and clear in his Space Trilogy.

One of the evil scientists in the Trilogy is based on a distinguished British scientist, J. B. S. Haldane, who defeated Lewis in an Oxford Union debate. Lewis was quite the bully and didn't like losing. It seemed as if Lewis was out for petty revenge by portraying Haldane, and other s
Bart Breen
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a festival of shapes, colors, alien and strange beings doing awesome deeds in odd and remote worlds….

The Space Trilogy is at the same time and adventure novel, plus a thriller saturated with fantasy and even horror elements!!

Only the legend called C. S. Lewis could be able to birth such a tale, and deliver it to the reader in this unique and magnificent literary way full of magic.

Reminiscences of The Lord of The Rings and The Chronicles
Erin Foster
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
Could also be called "The Cosmic Trilogy" or "The Ransom Trilogy."

See here for information about the "Lost Lewis Tapes."

See Plodcast, Episode #1. That Hideous Strength is objectively Wilson's favorite book, based on the number of times he's read it (~15); see some comments here about the kind of women that appear in it.

Lectures on Out of the Silent Planet (here), Perelandra (here), and That Hideous Strength (here).
Justin Wiggins
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It has been a great joy to re-read C.S.Lewis's cosmic trilogy again!
I found this version of the book at a favorite used bookstore here in Asheville, North Carolina for quite cheap, which was incredibly exciting.
Out of The Silent Planet is such a fun adventure story of Ransom going to Mars and encountering the angelic Eldils and Oyarsa, the godlike ruler of Mars; Lewis's prose in Perelandra is just amazing, and I really like the Arthurian Legend influence on That Hideous Strength, that Lewis's f
Chad Johnston
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reading with new bookgroup Nov 2015.

Because of time, skipped #1, went straight to #2. Perelandra. Can be read and enjoyed as sci--fi even though one may get lost at the end. OR can be read seriously as theological discussion of an alternate Adam/Eve story on another world, even though one may get lost at the end nonetheless.

Really, although I'd like to review this very much, it would take too much time. I should write myself a paper on it, just for fun. Ha! Not sure where time for that would c
David Haines
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 3 volumes of the Space Trilogy. There is no way I can even begin to describe all that happens in a brief review. Suffice it to say that Lewis makes us dream of and desire to be in the very world that that he describes, in which men go to the planets (and meet extraterrestrial life such as we cannot imagine), and in which the planets also come to men; and yet, one gets the eery feeling that, somehow, we are already living in such a world.
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Out of the silent Planet was the best of the three. Honestly I lost interest midway the second book and drag myself to finish it because it was interesting enough to finish but not enough to pull me away from other books or duties of life if that make sense .

Maybe the trilogy is better enjoyed reading one book at the time and leave plenty of time between the reading of each book ?
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
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to read these. Do you ever have "back burner" books that you read when you're not reading anything else?

I am not surprised that Perelandra is Kathy Keller's desert island book. If you could only choose one book to have with you on your lone island, Perelandra would give you enough brain-stretching content to last a lifetime. It is C. S. Lewis's retelling of Eve's temptation on a different planet and as a reader you wonder, "Will this end differently?" Will she capitulate as on
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, inspiring
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Fantastic read. This edition includes the entire Space Trilogy. I think that even though this is an older book you'll find it strangly applicable.

Example: In That Hideous Strength the "evil group" threating the world is identified by the acronym "NICE". That's also the real acronym used for the real group in England to decide wh gets what medical treatment. And Lewis wrote this 1945.....
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So strange and so long (all three together) but so good. I know there's a lot of the layers I've yet to unpeel but I really can't stop thinking about the end of That Hideous Strength. Lots of good notes and quotes. Need to spend more time with these books for sure. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I've read this trilogy in the past 25 years. It was good the first time, even better this time. ...more
Nathan Clark
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some of the most valuable fiction I've read. I believe one of the most powerful elements is how the books dare the reader to imagine, that is to stop buying to the cheap answers that have been given to us since we were young and really think about reality. He does not demonstrate how to reason about reality (as we western thinkers so often do) but how to imagine reality. I love this trilogy because I have found a much truer world in our own than I ever thought. I have found that reading these bo ...more
Sarah Rodgers
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jake Leech
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this would generally be a three or four star review. C. S. Lewis is writing fairly OK science-fiction-ish stuff, but it's all got this Catholic angle to it, which is kinda hokey if you think that thing is kinda hokey, and the plots aren't all that great, and there are some kinda dumb bits (the bad guys in That Hideous Strength are called "N.I.C.E."). So yeah, nothing out of the ordinairy. The reason I gave it five stars is for the confrontation between Ransom and Weston in Perelandra. Absolut ...more
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Dan Mayhew
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I went years without reading Lewis' celebrated sci-fi trilogy. Of the three I remember Perelandra most vividly, although with a little effort all three come back to me. That Hideous Strength was different from the others in that it seemed a cautionary tale about the direction our cultural trajectory is taking. All-in-all I felt the three novels deserved their place in classic sci-fi and Christian lit. ...more
Matthew Sampson
Out of the Silent Planet: 5 stars

New favourite book. The story follows a simple plot but is rich in philosophical questions and spiritual truths. I wish to remain on Malacandra, and this, I believe, was part of Lewis's hopes for this story: that we would see the beauty of Heaven in the beauty of this alien world.
Nelleke Plouffe
I really enjoyed the first two books, but then got totally bogged down in the third. It took me about a year and a half to get through it. I know it’s because I didn’t really “get it”, but I enjoyed reading it so little that I don’t think I will put more effort into it. Four and a half stars for the first two, two stars for the third.
Ciara Anderson
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Wonderful, one of the few sources that has started to convince me of the my need to read more sci-fi ;) Grand themes explored in fun, inventive ways.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and riveting series of books.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story. Loved the world CS creates in this book. He has a couple of “long” monologue bits that could be overlooked but overall a great read and exciting exploring adventure.
Oliver Trevor
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (Reviewed & Analyzed by Oliver Trevor)

WARNING: The following material contains spoilers. However, the beauty of this book is that knowing the plot is only half the story. The other half is drawing your philosophical conclusions about what C. S. Lewis was trying to say.

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis is the powerful finale to the Space Trilogy. With this book, C. S. Lewis again challenged the norms of twentieth-century theology and philosophy. That Hideou
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C.S. Lewis Books: A Lament that so few have read The Space Trilogy. 6 30 Mar 22, 2017 10:43AM  
Themes in the Cosmic Trilogy vs the Lord of the Rings 1 9 Oct 09, 2015 03:40AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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

Other books in the series

The Space Trilogy (3 books)
  • Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1)
  • Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2)
  • That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3)

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