Monday, September 19, 2011

NPR 100 best SF--CS Lewis Space Trilogy.

A bunch of the bloggers I read have talked about the NPR 100 best Science Fiction and Fantasy list.  I've read at least part of 30 of the list--the list includes series.   I've decided to go through and at  least attempt the books I haven't read, (and possibly re-read ones I haven't read in a while) starting at the end of the list, The Space Trilogy by CS Lewis.

I read the first book and partway through the second before I gave up.  That's unusual for me, I rarely drop a book midway through, and I've read some pretty crappy books before giving up on a series--I even managed to finish Tom Clancy's Red Rabbit.

The book is set during WWII, but reads like a much older book.  In it the main character, a professor taking a walking tour of England is kidnapped by other humans and taken to Mars due to the kidnappers misunderstanding what the Martians wanted.  It turns out that three species of Martians live together in harmony under a supreme being.  We also discover that the reason Earthlings are uncivilized and violent is that our Supreme Being is bent--basically mentally ill, shunned by the other supreme beings.   Although the story has the hero learning the universal Martian language and is translated into English, many of the words are left untranslated for no good reason.   Book two has the hero volunteering to go to Venus, where he meets a pseudo-Eve searching for her lost Adam in a floating Garden of Eden.  One of the kidnappers from the first book shows up and details his evil plans.   I'm not sure what happens next, that's where I decided that it was no longer pleasure reading, and there wasn't likely to be a sufficient reward for finishing.

I can't imagine this making a top 10,000 list, let alone top 100.


  1. I must confess that I had a similar reaction to these tales.

  2. Anonymous9:09 AM

    The Perelandra books are a bit of a tough go to get through, but the rewards are substantial. Lewis was a contemporary and friend of Tolkien, and Perelandra is his take on epic fantasy. The trilogy is just as powerful as LOTR but in a different way. It's worth getting to the last book to see how Lewis handles Ultimate will chill your soul, and a number of other works have borrowed from it, including Harry Potter.