Is C.S. Lewis’ ‘Space Trilogy’ a Good Example of ‘Christian Speculative Fiction’?Lewis , famous for his later series The Chronicles of Narnia. A philologist named Elwin Ransom is the hero of the first two novels and an important character in the third. In , the publishing house Avon now an imprint of HarperCollins published a version of That Hideous Strength specially abridged by C. Lewis entitled The Tortured Planet. An unfinished manuscript published posthumously in , named The Dark Tower by Walter Hooper , its editor,  features Elwin Ransom in a less central role as involved with an experiment that allows its participants to view on a special screen their own location in a parallel universe. Its authenticity was impeached by Lewis scholar Kathryn Lindskoog in her scholarly criticism of Walter Hooper, but in Alastair Fowler established its authenticity when he wrote in the Yale Review that he saw Lewis writing the manuscript that would be subsequently published as The Dark Tower , heard him reading it, and discussed it with him. Lewis stated in a letter to Roger Lancelyn Green : .
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At the start of Prince Caspian as the four Pevensie children hunt through the dust-covered treasure chamber deep in the ruins of what was once Cair Paravel, Susan finds her bow and arrows magically preserved, but the enchanted horn that will always bring help is nowhere to be seen. Susan …. This inescapable human …. It is a big book, more than twice as long as the two earlier books of the trilogy combined. Admirers of the story find there a literary ….
Lewis is best known for his Narnia books, and also as one of the most powerful writers of Christian commentary of the 20th century. But he also wrote a beloved space-opera trilogy, beginning with Out of the Silent Planet. And one author argues that this book deserves to be mentioned among the great SF novels. Over at the Inebriate Me blog at Patheos, Catholic blogger Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has a reexmination of Lewis' space trilogy , in which he heaps praise on the first book. In case you think Gobry is just being a raving Lewis fan, he doesn't much like the Narnia books.
In one sense, it is. The inclusion of biblical imagery and ideas is the most obvious. Lewis hoped, in this novel, to present an appealing imaginative alternative. Unlike Lewis, Christian authors now publish in what has rightly been called a post-Christian culture. Lewis has gone down again into his bottomless well of imagination for a captivating myth.
Lewis declared, using one of the many names—nicked as well as given—of his good friend, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.
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A story that begins with the hero committing an act of criminal trespass and ends with a multi-species festival of sexuality is not, at least superficially, a work that can be described as a Christian morality tale. It is also hard to reconcile orthodox Judeo-Christian monotheistic doctrine with the idea that the classic pagan gods like Venus and Mars were in some way angels of the Lord. Yet C. Published between and the three books that make up the story of Arthur Ransom are not his best know works, but after nearly half a century they are still well worth reading. The first one, Out of the Silent Planet , tells how Ransom, a Cambridge don on holiday, is kidnapped by the physicist Weston and his partner Devine, a sleazy businessman, and taken to Mars, supposedly as a human sacrifice. Once on Mars be escapes, hides in a Martian village, and learns to speak the local language.