I am a big C.S. Lewis fan. He won me over as a child with his Chronicles of Narnia books, but it was his thought-provoking and inspiring Mere Christianity that solidified his genius in my mind.
That being said, it is with great vacillation that I must reveal I did not care for his science fiction novel, Out of the Silent Planet, the first in the Space Trilogy series.
I did not like it for the reason I don’t care for much of the science fiction I read, and that is specifically the use of ridiculous words that are supposed to be the natural language of the foreign environment. I believe that doing this in abundance, as Lewis did, distracts from the overall story and breaks up the cohesion and fluidity.
Also, for me, Lewis really opened my eyes with Mere Christianity. He literally knocked me out with his elegance and ingenuity. But, most of what he talks about in Mere Christianity is employed as themes throughout Out of the Silent Planet. Ordinarily this would not be a bad thing, but it just didn’t work in my mind for this particular novel. I won’t ruin the plot for you if you choose to read it, but a man travels to a far off planet and there is life there that seems to represent everything we were meant to be. Where the story fell short was in the fact that Lewis spent so much time explaining everything, not very much actually happened.
Now, I’ve heard the second book in this series gets much better, and that the third is even better still. Based upon this news alone, I may try the second book. But, if I were to base my further reading of the Space Trilogy off of Out of the Silent Planet only, it would be the last.