Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis [These notes were made in 1983:]. I was going to write that I thought that the imaginativeness of this story more than made up for its submerged didacticism. But that gives an utterly false impression, for in fact, I like (and inwardly approve of) Lewis' didacticism. And this book has in common with Till We Have Faces a very nice way of creating what seems an entirely alien cosmo/mythology and gradually bringing it to our realization that it's the Christian system from another angle. What Lewis has done here is what he makes his narrator speak of - tear down the barrier between "science" and the supernatural. Only in this case, it's science fiction and Christian apologetics he has merged, and in an entirely satisfactory way. Arguably, none of the characters except Ransom, the hero, have much life to them, but the vividness of the settings (and particularly the technicolor of the first landing on Malacandra-Mars) is quite breathtaking. And the eldils (roughly, angels) are not only central to the ideology, but also a triumph of imaginative description, there and not there as they are. I hurried immediately on to the next in the series!