C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Peter Schakel (Hope College)
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C. S. Lewis's first novel,

Out of the Silent Planet

(1938), grew out of his love of early science fiction writing, especially “the 'scientifiction' of H. G. Wells” [

Surprised by Joy

, Chapter 2].

Out of the Silent Planet

is not, however, strictly (or mainline) science fiction itself. Because there is little emphasis on science or technology, it seems closer to “space fantasy” than “science fiction”. The story takes us out of our own world and enables us to live for a while, imaginatively, in a fantasy world; at the same time, it enables us to look back at our world from a fresh perspective and to reassess our familiar life and values.

In Out of the Silent Planet a middle aged professor, Elwin Ransom, who reminds one of both Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, is kidnapped by a

1724 words

Citation: Schakel, Peter. "Out of the Silent Planet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 June 2003 [https://www.literaryencyclopedia.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12301, accessed 30 May 2024.]

12301 Out of the Silent Planet 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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