After reading Ender’s Game I thought that I should try a much older sci-fi adventure to see how the writing differs. When I discovered that C.S. Lewis wrote “Out of the Silent Planet” and the fact that the title is a very catchy Iron Maiden song, I set about to listen to that book next.
Lewis was extremely descriptive is his settings. So much that I literally allowed my mind to blur the scene together and not get to hung up on what the scene would exactly look like. I did like, however, the description of how Ransom could not make sense of much of what he saw on the new planet. I compare this to learning my new job. When I became a “pump man” for oil well bottom hole pumps, when I entered the shop for the first time…all the pieces were just bits of metal, that they had purposes and different sizes. It took my brain a moment to understand that and about six months to internalize the same, and just now after about my seventh month I am becoming useful.
I will comment that it was an exhausting mental effort to listen to the whole book as quickly as I did (about 3 days in the work truck and a little at home), but it was a fantastic story and even better from a viewpoint of science in the 1930’s and 40’s. It felt oldschool and classy as the characters were all gentlemen in their own way.
I fear that much of the philosophy was lost on me, I know that the book makes the alien planet out to be a heaven of blissful people that never think any harm and makes humans out to be monstrous…but there was a lot more that if I had been reading the book instead of listening to the audio, I would have underlined or highlighted.
Some great quotes from the book:
It is a little maddening to start learning something, get really excited or experience please from the learning and then want to know everything there is to know on the matter and all in the same night!
Opposition in all things makes the good enjoyable and the bad fearful…or something like that…
This makes sense in the book, but I fear that dwelling on one good memory instead of moving forward to make many more worth while memories is a dangerous thing.