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

(The Space Trilogy #1-3)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  8,665 ratings  ·  380 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, 753 pages
Published 1989 by Pan Books (first published 1938)
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4.12  · 
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 ·  8,665 ratings  ·  380 reviews

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May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bart Breen
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chad Johnston
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To ask what these books are about is to open quite the can of worms. You might say, "Its the story of a man named Ransom, and his adventures with space travel." and that "Written before the days that man had stepped onto the moon, it was far more imaginative (often mistaken, but oftener insightful) than what modern science fiction allows for." (It DOES take you on a rather fantastic trip; the scenery and creatures in this bemusing speculation of extraterrestial life runs far from the cold "littl ...more
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
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Sarah Rodgers
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oliver Trevor
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Hi
Dan Mayhew
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable and riveting series of books.
Ciara Anderson
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Paul Mitchell
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Hannah Espiritu
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Note: I never was good at writing objectively or critiquing books, so this will probably read more like a blog than a brief assessment of the series. Still, I hope you may be interested in what I have to say about C.S. Lewis's "Space Trilogy."

Having read the first book, "Out of the Silent Planet," as a student at Taylor University, I was always curious about the next two. Now, five years after graduating, I finally got around to finishing both "Perelandra" and "That Hideous Strength" back to ba
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Frank Peters
This is C.S. Lewis’ foray into science fiction. I read the books as a young teenager and then again only now. It is hard to know how to classify the books, from a twenty-first century perspective. The so-called science portrayed is closer to Jules Verne or Rice Burroughs, than it is to any modern science fiction. Also, these books are very much Christian fiction, which is totally OK from my end. All this being said: I enjoyed the first and third book, while Perelandra, the second was often weari ...more
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Chantelle by: My Brother
I loved it! My brother gave this book to me as a present. I love the way that I became completely submerged in the new world, it was as if I had traveled to another place where I slowly learned about the culture, people and language, whilst this magical tale unraveled around me, I would defiantly recommend it!
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.
I only read Out Of The Silent Planet and found it so dull I couldn't go on. This is a fairly nice little collection, though, if you're into that kind of thing.
Nathan Avery
What starts off as a great story of exploration and discovery quickly turns into preachy nonsense
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A good trilogy in terms of breadth and ideas. Particularly Perelandra covers subjects with such intricacy and depth that it is worth reading several times.
Jeremiah Herbert
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good Sci-fi with a purpose.
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved the trilogy. Perelandra (the second book) is my favorite. That Hideous Strength was difficult to get into, but the last third of the book makes it worth it.
Schuyler Hall
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bucket-list
Like his celebrated "Chronicles of Narnia", C. S. Lewis’s "Space Trilogy" is essentially profound Christian allegory.

This is the first of the author's science fiction trilogy with a strong Christian didactic message. Life has been found on Mars and it only goes to show up the inhumanities of life on Earth. So three scientists make the journey to Mars, but two only have the intention of searching for gold. They hatch a plan between them to over the third, Dr. Ransom, as
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C.S. Lewis Books: A Lament that so few have read The Space Trilogy. 6 29 Mar 22, 2017 10:43AM  
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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)
“It was necessary, and the necessary was always possible.” 4 likes
“I wasn’t sure whether I liked “goodness” so much as I had supposed. This is a very terrible experience. As long as what you are afraid of is something evil, you may still hope that the good may come to your rescue. But suppose you struggle through to the good and find that is also dreadful? How if food itself turns out to be the very thing you can’t eat, and home the very place you can’t live, and your very comforter the person who makes you uncomfortable? Then, indeed, there is no rescue possible: the last card has been played.” 4 likes
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