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|Out of the Silent Planet|
by C.S. Lewis
Published by John Lane, 1938
Amazon.ca: audio CD, audio cassette
Amazon.com: audio CD, audio cassette
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac
Other Comments: Like much early science fiction, Lewis posits intelligent life in the canals of Mars. Edwin Ransom, an English philologist, is kidnapped by an old "friend" from school and his colleague, Dr. Weston, who has developed a space ship. The inhabitants of Mars have told them that they cannot take away any more of Mars' natural wealth unless they send one of their kind to meet with the ruler of Mars. Naturally enough, they assume that no good thing would happen to such an emissary, and they "volunteer" Ransom.
The twist is that the ruler of Mars is, in fact, an angel, and he is curious about what has been happening on earth since the angel which rules Earth had been "confined to quarters" some time ago. Earth is cut off from the rest of the universe, and is the "silent planet" of the title. Earth, you see, is the only planet affected by the Fall in Genesis. In this way, Lewis explores the possibility of "unfallen" races of aliens. His picture of such societies is necessarily fragmentary, but tantalising all the same. Greg Slade
Other Comments: For the print editions, check the book page.
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