Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Out of the Silent Planet

Many years ago, a trilogy of books was placed on my shelves as a gift. The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis, despite good intentions, has sat there ever since. Have you ever wondered what causes good intentions to never come to fruition?

Well, this last Christmas, I grabbed the first of the three off the shelf as a diversion. And diversion it was. "Out of the Silent Planet", despite being sixty years old, was an amazingly good science fiction novel. Yes, of course, the technology was rather like watching a black and white TV spot of Flash Gordon, but that was easily overcome as the story unfolded and the characters developed.

C.S. Lewis, if nothing else, understood human nature. He was unbelievably in tune with the way that we all think and feel. He could understand and then write about thoughts and feelings that make us say, "yeah, that's me." It is disconcerting at times, because typically it is our sin that he exposes. How could he understand the things that motivate me better than I can?

Anyway, the trilogy follows a gent named, Ransom, who finds himself the unwitting hostage on a space voyage to the planet Mars, also known as Malacandra. There he has several adventures, befriends the natives, and finally has a long discussion with the angelic ruler of the planet. For those of us with a Christian worldview, we can easily see themes that are near and dear throughout the story, but it is not nearly as alleghorical as Narnia. In fact, I don't think it is alleghorical at all.

If you are looking for something to read that is not your ordinary pop-culture fodder, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this gem. You won't want to put it down, and your mind will be engaged. It is certainly more valuable to read than say...the Da Vinci Code.

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