Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent PlanetDr. Ransom, a philologist, was taking a walking tour of England when he happened by a scientist’s home. A school chum of his was there, and he needed a place to stay for the night. He did not realize that one night would turn into many months and travel to an unbelievable destination.
His school friend, Devine, gives him wine laced with a sleeping drug. When Ransom is finally allowed to wake up, he finds himself above Earth, looking at the Moon, in a spaceship. Westin, the scientist, is curt with him, telling him to settle and enjoy the ride. Devine is more friendly, but also will not reveal the destination or Ransom’s part in the trip.
Through overheard conversations, Ransom realizes he is supposed to be a sacrifice. Devine and Westin had been to Melachandria (their destination) before. They are going to give him over to the native Saurans. After they land, Ransom escapes as soon as he can.
Out of the Silent Planet can be read on different levels. The surface story is intriguing and well written. C.S. Lewis tells the story as fact masquerading as fiction. Realistic problems are encountered, realistic people drawn. Fortunately, Ransom’s studies in languages helps him overcome communication barriers. There are deeper meanings that can also be found in Out of the Silent Planet if the reader wants. No matter what, it is classic science fiction, written (I believe) in the 50’s that stands up even today.