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How Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis Changed the Genre of Science Fiction

Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis: A Classic Sci-Fi Audiobook


If you are a fan of science fiction, fantasy, or mythology, you may have heard of C. S. Lewis, the famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters. But did you know that he also wrote a trilogy of sci-fi novels that are considered his chief contribution to the genre? The first novel in this trilogy is called Out of the Silent Planet, and it is a fascinating and imaginative story that will take you on a journey to another world.

out of the silent planet audio book


What is Out of the Silent Planet about?

Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel in Lewis's Ransom Trilogy (also known as the Cosmic or Space Trilogy), which is a planetary romance with elements of medieval mythology. The trilogy concerns Dr. Elwin Ransom, a professor of philology who, like Christ, is offered as a ransom for mankind. On a walking tour of the English countryside, Ransom falls in with some slightly shady characters from his old university and wakes up to find himself naked in a metal ball in the middle of the light-filled heavens. He learns that he is on his way to a world called Malacandra by its natives, who call our world Thulcandra, the silent planet. The Malacandrans see planets as having tutelary spirits; those of the other planets are good and accessible, but Earth's is fallen and twisted.

Why should you listen to Out of the Silent Planet?

There are many reasons why you should listen to Out of the Silent Planet, whether you are a fan of C. S. Lewis or not. Here are some of them:

  • It is a classic sci-fi novel that has influenced many other writers and works in the genre.

  • It is a powerful critique of human imperialism and exploitation, as well as a celebration of diversity and harmony among different rational species.

  • It is a rich and vivid depiction of an alien world and its inhabitants, with stunning descriptions and details.

  • It is a profound allegory of Christ's ransom for humanity, as well as a reflection on the nature and purpose of life.

  • It is an entertaining and engaging story that will keep you hooked until the end.

If you are looking for a sci-fi audiobook that will challenge your mind, stir your imagination, and touch your heart, you should definitely listen to Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis. You can find it on, where you can get a free trial and access a growing selection of audiobooks and podcasts.

The Plot of Out of the Silent Planet

In this section, we will give you a brief summary of the plot of Out of the Silent Planet, without spoiling too much of the story. If you want to avoid any spoilers, you can skip this section and go to the next one.

The abduction of Ransom

The story begins with Dr. Elwin Ransom, a Cambridge professor of philology, who is on a walking tour of the English countryside. He meets an old acquaintance from his university days, Devine, who invites him to stay at his nearby house. There, he also meets Devine's friend, Weston, a physicist and a space enthusiast. Ransom soon realizes that he has been tricked and drugged by the two men, who plan to take him to another planet as a human sacrifice for the natives. He is stripped naked and placed inside a spherical spaceship that Weston has built.

The journey to Malacandra

During the journey to Malacandra, Ransom overhears Devine and Weston talking about their motives and plans. Devine is motivated by greed and hopes to get rich by exploiting the resources and inhabitants of Malacandra. Weston is motivated by ambition and hopes to colonize and civilize Malacandra for the sake of humanity's progress and glory. Ransom also learns that Malacandra is what we call Mars, and that Earth is called Thulcandra, the silent planet, because it has been cut off from the rest of the solar system by a mysterious force. He also learns that there are three intelligent species on Malacandra: the sorns, the hrossa, and the pfifltriggi.

The encounter with the Malacandrans

When they arrive on Malacandra, Ransom manages to escape from Devine and Weston, who are attacked by some creatures. He runs into a valley where he meets a hross, a tall, furry, otter-like being who speaks a musical language. The hross, whose name is Hyoi, befriends Ransom and teaches him his language and culture. Ransom learns that the hrossa are one of the three rational species on Malacandra, who live in harmony with each other and with nature. They are poets and hunters, who value beauty and joy above all else. They also worship a god called Maleldil, who rules over all planets through his messengers, the eldila.

The escape from Weston and Devine

Ransom spends several months with the hrossa, learning their ways and enjoying their company. He also meets some of the other species on Malacandra, such as the sorns, who are tall, thin, white beings who are wise and knowledgeable, and the pfifltriggi, who are short, stocky, frog-like beings who are skilled in crafts and technology. He also learns that Devine and Weston are still alive and looking for him, intending to offer him to the ruler of Malacandra, Oyarsa, whom they fear and hate. Ransom decides to go to Oyarsa himself, hoping to explain his situation and prevent any conflict. He is guided by a friendly sorn named Augray, who takes him to the mountains where Oyarsa lives.

The meeting with Oyarsa

Ransom finally meets Oyarsa, who turns out to be an invisible eldil, a powerful spirit who governs Malacandra under Maleldil's authority. Oyarsa tells Ransom that he is not a prisoner or a sacrifice, but a guest and a marvel. He also tells him that Earth is under the control of an evil eldil, whom he calls the Bent One, who rebelled against Maleldil and corrupted humanity. He says that Maleldil has a special plan for Ransom and for Earth, which he does not reveal. He then summons Devine and Weston, who have been captured by some pfifltriggi. He questions them about their motives and actions, and exposes their folly and wickedness.

The return to Earth

Oyarsa decides to send Ransom back to Earth with Devine and Weston, along with some gifts and messages for humanity. He warns them not to come back to Malacandra or any other planet without his permission. He also tells Ransom 71b2f0854b


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