Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
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 allegorical stories and just want to read a thoughtful science fiction adventure with an intelligent hero.
In Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in the trilogy, Dr. Elwin Ransom, a Cambridge philology professor, is kidnapped and taken by spaceship to Mars, which is called Malacandra by the alien species that live there. Suspecting that he’... Read More
Clive Staples Lewis, known as Jack to his friends, was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and one of the most influential Christian writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, children’s literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. Lewis and his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the The Lord of the Rings, were part of the Inklings, an informal writers’ club that met at a local pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis’s fascination with fairy tales, myths, and ancient legends, coupled with inspiration drawn from his childhood, led him to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the best-loved books of all time. Six further books followed to become the immensely popular The Chronicles of Narnia. The final title in the series, The Last Battle, won the Carnegie Medal, one of the highest marks of excellence in children’s literature. His other distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.Here’s Harper Collins’ C.S. Lewis website.
(1938-1945) The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
Before he published his celebrated children’s high fantasy series THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, C.S. Lewis tried his hand at science fiction with a series of three books called THE SPACE TRILOGY or, sometimes, THE COSMIC TRILOGY. First published in Britain in 1938, Out of the Silent Planet is the first book in the story and introduces us to Dr. Elwin Ransom, the Oxford don who leaves earth and travels to another planet.
Ransom is going on a walking tour over the summer holiday when he is abducted by a mad physicist and a former school-mate. They bring him aboard a space ship the physicist has invented, intending to take Ransom to a planet they have visited before and offer him as a sacrifice. Once they land on the planet of Malacandra, Ransom escapes and makes his way through a strange landscape, filled with water that is blue – not sky-colored, but actually bl... Read More
Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
Perelandra is the second volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY and I liked it even better than Out of the Silent Planet, its predecessor. Cambridge professor Dr. Elwin Ransom is back on Earth and has told his friend Lewis about the adventures he had on the planet Mars and the supernatural beings he met there. When Ransom explains that there’s an epic battle between good and evil, that the planet Venus is about to play an important part, and that he’s been called to Venus to do some unknown task, Lewis begins to worry about his friend. Yet he decides to help him get to Venus anyway, so Ransom goes and eventually returns to tell his tale, which Lewis has transcribed for us.
Venus is gorgeous — a lush conglomerate of archipelagos where the land floats on top of the water, so that walking on it is like walking on a waterbed. The sky is... Read More
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
Nature is the ladder we have climbed up by. Now we kick her away.
That Hideous Strength is the final volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY. This story, which could be categorized as science fiction, dystopian fiction, Arthurian legend, and Christian allegory, is different enough from the previous books, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, that you don’t need to have read them, but it may help to vaguely familiarize yourself with their plots. Generally, in the previous stories, Dr. Elwin Ransom has been to both Mars and Venus and discovered that the planets are governed by heavenly beings and that Earth’s governor is a fallen angel. These forces are at war and the fate of the universe is at stake.
In That Hideous Strength, Ransom is back on Ear... Read More
(1950-1956) Ages 9-12. Boxed sets are available. Publisher: Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil — what more could any reader ask for? The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis, had all this and more. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia. For the past fifty years, The Chronicles of Narnia have transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. Each of the seven books is a masterpiece, drawing the reader into a land where magic meets reality, and the result is a fictional world whose scope has fascinated generations.
Available for download at Audible.com
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Magician's Nephew was the sixth book that C.S. Lewis wrote in the Chronicles of Narnia, although chronologically it is placed first in the series, as a prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This leads to many debates on when and where it is supposed to be read — but really, it doesn't make much of a difference considering that all seven of the books are complete stories within themselves. However, if you take my advice and are new to the world of Narnia, I suggest reading The Magician's Nephew after The Lion, as half the fun of reading it is to piece together the history of Narnia and how it fits into the rest of the books.
Digory Kirke is a young boy in London, living with his great aunt and... Read More
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
How does one review this book? Everyone knows about it, everyone has an opinion on it and not everybody likes it. Any discussion on the matter seems somewhat redundant. Deemed controversial because of its religious connotations, adored by millions of readers young and old, the subject of hundreds of different interpretations and now the focus of a blockbuster movie (with sequels still to come), it doesn't seem the "Lion, Witch and Wardrobe" debate will end any time soon.
The four Pevensie siblings are evacuated to the country estate of Professor Kirke during World War II: responsible Peter, worrisome Susan, sullen Edmund and imaginative Lucy. During a game of hide-and-seek Lucy creeps into an old apple-wood wardrobe, pushing aside heavy fur coats, and "a moment later she was standing in the middle of a wood at night time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the ... Read More
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
In many ways The Horse and his Boy is the odd one out in the context of the Narnia series — unlike the other books, this one is set completely in the fantasy world rather than describing the movements of children from this world into that. Although two children are still used as the main protagonists, the entire tone, setting and atmosphere of this book is a little different — here we are simply meant to take this other-world for granted, rather than journey into it from hum-drum life.
Though written and published as the fifth book, chronologically it is third in the series (or if you want to get really technical second-and-a-bit) considering it takes place whilst Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are kings and queens of Narnia — grownup, but before they return as children to their own world. C.S. Lewis once more brings a wonderful fantasy adventure to children's literature, adding in a touch ... Read More
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian is the direct sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This novel was published second, but technically comes chronologically fourth in the Narnia series. In The Lion, the four Pevensie children become kings and queen of the magical Narnian realm and reign for many years, but when they return home they find themselves back in their child bodies, on the exact same day that they stepped into the wardrobe many years ago. A year later, the children are waiting at the station for their train to take them back to boarding school when they feel a strange pulling at them — and all of a sudden they are back in Narnia!
But something is different — their beautiful castle of Cair Paravel is in ruins, and the land seems ominous and empty. Realising that the time-difference between the two worlds means that a thousand years have passed in Narnia whilst only one has gone by in their own worl... Read More
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
The third book in The Chronicles of Narnia (or the fifth if you're reading them in chronological order), is a rather unusual book within the context of the series, considering the good-against-evil theme that permeates the other six books in the series is largely absent here. Of course there are dangers and trials, as well as personal conflict that need to be resolved, but because there is no central villain nor any fundamental evil that needs to be defeated, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is more thoughtful, more carefully paced, more obviously spiritual and more episodic than any of the other books.
Likewise is the role that the children from our world play within the story. Sadly, Peter and Susan are too old to return to Narnia, and so the adventure belongs to Edmund and Lucy, as well as their horrible cousin... Read More
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
I am always vaguely amused at the debate that goes on over the reading order of The Chronicles of Narnia and how worked up some people get over it. True, some books should be read before others and The Last Battle should definitely be read last; but in my own experience The Silver Chair (published fourth, written fifth*, and chronologically sixth in the series) was read first! Was my love and appreciation of Narnia ruined because of this? Of course not!
The Silver Chair is set about a year after the proceedings of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in which Eustace Scrubb accompanied his cousins Lucy and Edmund Pevensie into Narnia and became a much better person for it. Returning to school as a reformed bully, he happens upon a fellow school-student Jill Pole crying behind the gym, and in an attempt to cheer her up, divulges the secret of Narnia and the great Aslan. Interrupted in their discussion, Eus... Read More
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Say what you will about the correct reading order of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, one thing is certain — The Last Battle needs to be read last. It is not simply because it was written and published last in the series, that it clears up all loose ends in the previous installments and leaves no possible room for any sequels, but because it will change your entire understanding and perception of the last six books. Do what you like with the other books' reading order, but trust me on this one: The Last Battle needs to be read last.
It has been over two hundred years in Narnia after the events in The Silver Chair, when Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole saved Prince Rilian from imprisonment and restored him to his father and the throne. Now Rilian's descendant King Tirian enjoys the solitude of his hunting lodge with his best friend, Jewel the unicorn. But there is treachery in Narnia like nothing t... Read More
Till We Have Faces — (1956) Publisher: One of Lewis’s works of allegorical fiction, this text is a reinterpretation of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche’s great beauty incurs the wrath of the goddess Venus, who sends her son Cupid to punish her.
Boxen — (2008) Ages 9-12. Publisher: The lost tales of ‘Animal-land’, written and illustrated by C.S. Lewis and his brother Warnie, which they developed into the chronicles of the kingdom of Boxen, newly published to mark the centenary of the first story. Half a century before the publication of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis created another imaginary world. The tales of ‘Animal-land’ which eight-year-old Jack (as his family knew him) had shared with his brother Warnie developed into the chronicles of the kingdom of Boxen. In a succession of stories over the next few years, the young Lewis explored its history, geography and the colourful exploits of its inhabitants in vivid detail, writing the last of the papers, his Encyclopedia Boxoniana, in April 1928. This new landmark edition marks the centenary of the very first Boxen manuscript. Here are all the stories, some never before seen, sensitively edited and arranged to make the most of the fabulous and inventive fantasy while retaining all the vigour of a child’s imaginative writing. Lavishly and charmingly illustrated by the author, and published for the very first time in colour, together with facsimile pages from the original notebooks, this book will provide a unique insight into one of the most extraordinary minds of our age. For every reader who has been captivated by the magic of Narnia, Boxen will open a window on to another enchanted land.