Out of the Silent Planet (1938)

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“It was all there in that little disc–London, Athens, Jerusalem, Shakespeare. There everyone had lived and everything had happened; and there, presumably, his pack was still lying in the porch of an empty house near Sterk.”
-Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

 

 

Well this is a strange phenomenon.

The Well-Red Mage returns to his roots by writing a book review, ever so briefly taking the focus off of gaming. This has been an aspect of our blog for some time now, thanks to the Midnight Mystic Mage (of Sublime Reviews). While this marks the first time I’ve written a literary review here, which is odd considering the pun in my moniker, we’re certainly open to reviews of all kinds. In fact, I’ll go so far as to state that we’re on the hunt for more reviewers and contributors specifically dedicated to literature. If you or someone you know would like to write for a blog without going through the hassle of creating and maintaining one themselves, and they’re hungry to write for an established readership, then definitely check out our Join the Party page and send me an electronic transmission. We would welcome you aboard starship W.R.M.

That’s somewhat misleading. I actually don’t own a starship of any sort. Sorry to disappoint. The statement merely references my perennial love of science fiction. Now that’s not the cheap, trendy, blockbustery, watered-down mashed potatoes we might call “sci-fi”. I’m talking about real science fiction: stories exploring concepts and ideas, thought-provoking, engaging, complex, imaginative stories.

Science fiction isn’t perhaps the genre that we best remember the beloved British author C.S. Lewis for. The most famous of his works is undoubtedly the Chronicles of Narnia series, with his heartfelt and rather casual theological explorations coming in a somewhat distant second (Mere ChristianityThe Four LovesThe Screwtape LettersThe Problem of Pain), which I recommend. But, truth be known, he also penned a unique and obscure science fiction trilogy comprised of Out of the Silent PlanetPerelandra and That Hideous Strength. The series concerns a scientist’s adventures exploring other planets in the solar system and combating spiritual evil there. Lewis called it “theologized science fiction”, a new genre with a very limited sample pool which emphasized the profundity of the deepest questions we as human beings can ask and an exploration of the answers within Lewis’s view of Christianity.hqdefaultThe trilogy begins with an author’s note reading: “Certain slighting references to earlier stories of this type which will be found in the following pages have been put there for purely dramatic purposes. The author would be sorry if any reader supposed he was too stupid to have enjoyed Mr. H. G. Wells’s fantasies or too ungrateful to acknowledge his debt to them.” The notation aptly frames the context of the book in that of late 19th and early 20th century science fiction. It bears the flavors of the grandfathers and fathers of the genre, particularly H.G. Wells (whose Time Machine is a must read). There’s a little bit of Arthur C. Clarke’s sense of galactic grandeur and Isaac Asimov’s fascination with minutiae, though both men wrote the bulk of their works after Lewis’s. It has been said of Out of the Silent Planet, however, that it “resembles an H. G. Wells novel in its plot, but it couldn’t be more anti-Wellsian in its themes.”

There is even more literary history surrounding this book than that. When Out of the Silent Planet was published in 1938, Lewis was an Oxford fellow and a member of a literary discussion society known as the “Inklings”. As if that weren’t cool enough, one of the members of the circle and a close friend to Lewis was none other than J.R.R. Tolkien. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of conversations these great thinkers had while (forgive me for using the term) “nerding out” over their favorite books and hobbies. What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall.

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The story goes, according to Tolkien, that Lewis said to him one day in typically adorable British fashion: “Tollers, there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to write some ourselves.” The thought of those two intellectual giants lamenting the state of storytelling in their day gives me some reflection upon what they’d think of the state of storytelling today, what with the slavery to agendas and identity groups in literature and appealing to the lowest common denominator in film.

The two authors established a pact between themselves to remedy what they perceived to be a negative trend in modern fiction. It was to be a return to legend, fantasy, and fairy tales. They agreed that Lewis would attempt to write a tale about space travel and Tolkien would write a story about time travel. Tolkien’s work, called the Lost Road, went unfinished before his death but a fragment of it has been posthumously published and edited by his son Christopher in The Lost Road and other writings. Yeah, somewhere in the world there’s an unfinished time travel story written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Out of the Silent Planet was Lewis’s take at keeping up his end of the bargain with his friend. The first book of the so-called space trilogy has always been out of the spot light. Would it be too much to ask for a film trilogy, or even better, a game series? Very few people have even heard of his trilogy so it would practically seem like new material. I’ve met only one person who has read all three books, and it’s not me. I’ve yet to finish the third one. So when I found the books stashed among sci-fi rubbish in a cheapo dollar-bookstore, I was ecstatic. Nearly as ecstatic as if I had visited another planet myself…

Out of the Silent Planet concerns a philologist (a doctor who studies linguistic history) by the name of Elwin Ransom. Allegory anyone? Ransom quite by accident suffers the intense experience of being drugged, imprisoned in a spaceship, sent hurdling headlong through the outer heavens, and landing upon a distant planet inhabited with ghastly creatures: sorns, hrossa and even pfiffltriggi. Say that ten times fast.

What Ransom discovers is a world called Malacandra, a planet wholly unlike Earth with inhabitants that challenge everything he’s known about physics, biology, intelligence and even religion. The honesty of that last challenge to the intellect is one which makes Lewis’s science fiction writing so robust. Of course discovering life on other planets would either conflict with or deepen religious convictions! This was something I found extremely beautiful about Out of the Silent Planet: its blending together of the scientific and the sacred. Even though Lewis lived in a modern time of academia and science, he clearly considered that theology remained the Queen of the Sciences, a rational, systematic presentation of fundamental beliefs about the world, humanity, existence, and Deity based in evidence and logic. Lewis was far removed from the parlor trickery and smoke and lights of today’s ritzy Christianity, a Christianity which is itself very far removed from its own biblical origins.

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Reading his works, it’s evident that Lewis was no irrational man. He didn’t compartmentalize his Christian beliefs separately from his science in studying and reinvigorating discussion concerning historical literature, medieval allegory, language, and poetry. It bugs me to no end when we hear in movies all the time: “Oh you’ve just gotta have faith”, as if faith were ever classically or biblically defined as the mere fairy tale belief in things without evidential basis. That was not Lewis’s brand of faith.

His kind of rationalized theology, a Pauline-esque theology, is peppered throughout this work. An example, without being too detailed, are the creatures which Malacandrians call eldil, beings with bodies of such speed that they exist in two places at once, so the alien explanation goes. Readers will have the sneaking suspicion that Lewis is attempting to physically explain the meta-biology of supernatural messengers: angels, to whatever degree Lewis actually believed they exist or not. To Ransom, his protagonist, they visually appear hardly at all, only as plays of light and shadow or a movement of wind where there is no wind, always just out of the corner of his eye.

Out of the Silent Planet occupies a style of literary genre which is all but extinct: classic science fiction. Lewis published this first book in 1938. How much more do we know about space now? A lot. We know that there aren’t people on the moon, but does that make Voyage Dans La Lune any less visionary? We know now that Mars has no incredible civilizations of slimy Martians, but does that make The War of the Worlds any less frightening? We now know that a portion of the works of Jules Verne is scientifically inaccurate, but does that render them any less great in terms of storytelling?

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There may be no DC Comics Martian Manhunter society on Mars, but the setting of Lewis’s book in the science-fantasy of his youth is a setting which is subservient to his point, no less claiming accuracy than Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I’m fairly certain Lewis didn’t actually believe his imaginative topography and ecosystem of Malacandra (Mars) was correct: entire forests and giant monsters on other planets. In my opinion, this lack of reality, this element of fantasy, enriches the literature in comparison with modern science fiction which is so… well, it’s blah sometimes, ordinary, mundane, mathematical, hugely tedious. Of course we appreciate stories like Interstellar and The Martian, and 2001: a Space Odyssey, you monsters, but who doesn’t love Star Wars: A New Hope? Nobody cares about the fantastical elements of Star Wars because it’s such a good movie and a good story with powerful emotional beats, memorable characters, and great conflict. Its setting is subservient and doesn’t pretend to accuracy (ahem, the Force = space magic).

That said, this book has more “scientific” tedium in it than an average adventure does and there may be little in the way of climax or emotional depth. Lewis often concerns his writing with explanation, even over-explanation, a habit which riddles the work of Tolkien his colleague. There’s a lot of Ransom trying to make sense of his surroundings, rationalizing how the lesser gravity allows for huge, spire-like waves on the sea, and so on.

I was fascinated with the careful world Lewis crafted and the way in which he tied alien culture together with Earthly spirituality while at the same time avoiding the allegorical exactitude we saw in Narnia, replacing it with mysteries sure to be resolved in the sequels. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. This alone made it truly unique and I recommend this quick and easy read.

What else should be expected from one of the greatest writers of last century?

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The 8-bit Review
linguistics Linguistics: 9/10
C.S. Lewis is one of the most famous British writers to come out of the first half of the 20th century. Often a household name due to his fantasy works, he was also an accomplished academic, apologist, and teacher whose contributions to the development and discussion of modern theology cannot be overlooked. His particular use of the English language is one marked by warmth, insight, a casual voice, and characteristic humor. Out of the Silent Planet is not his best written work, as it seems he consciously attempted to navigate around his own relaxed style for a more sterile and observational one. That’s befitting his protagonist but it isn’t the norm for the author and that’s apparent. Still, Out of the Silent Planet is all Lewis. A more adultish and less child-like Lewis but one which still holds the universe and beyond with a sense of awe. And yes of course there’s that classic, poetic Lewis style in his dialogue:

“When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it, what will it be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then – that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it. You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?”

story Narrative: 5/10
Being very much like Wells’s The First Men in the Moon, and also very much like other science fiction adventures of the time, the narrative will seem familiar. Or if perhaps you don’t read much old science fiction, maybe the story will seem quite new to you. As it is, there is an emphasis on explanation and not really on characters. As such, the environments and themes stand out more than do any members of the book’s cast. The way the story is told, leading up to what is essentially a giant conversation, is indulgent for the intellect without being satisfying in the sense of a real climactic confrontation, though the journey there is exceptional. This is a literary sin which unfortunately made its way into the sequel, Perelandra, where it took root and multiplied in size.

message Themes: 9/10
Despite having a fairly straightforward plot, Out of the Silent Planet contains some interesting themes. Redefining biblical events like the fall of Lucifer and equivocating them with the “bent” Oyarsa of the Silent Planet, Thulcandra, is a mark of Lewis’s unique imagination and talent for metaphor and allegory. Spirituality and space aren’t totally alien elements from each other, though we rarely see them so paired. Take the reports of quiet serenity and a sense of spiritual welcome during the moon landings as an example.

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But science fiction is truly valuable when it is futurist and not merely escapist entertainment. Some of the best science fiction in history are those books which have predicted social, economical, scientific advances or regresses in the real world. Bearing in mind that Lewis wrote this book in 1938, one year before Nazi Germany invaded Poland, he addresses what he foresaw as a fatal flaw in the ideology of atheistic “evolutionism”, a Wellsian concept, which purported that humanity would transcend Earth and evolve beyond itself to travel across the stars. Lewis saw in this the old temptation by Satan, “you shall become like gods”, and more contemporaneously he saw the rising philosophy of the idea of a “master race” stemming from “evolutionism”, one which could justify murdering “inferior” species for the eugenical good of the race just like the book’s villain Weston does with his proposed invasion and conquest of Malacandra and its “inferior” species on his progress of evolution for Man. This idea of superfluous or “extra” people isn’t something that died with the Nazis’ National Socialist German Workers’ Party and their use and abuse of a scientific concept, unfortunately. The fact that themes as significant as this went into Out of the Silent Planet speaks highly of the author’s foresight. We often get a cheesy monologue at the end of works today which drone predictably about how “all life has value”, yet Out of the Silent Planet takes on that fundamental truth with integrity and decision against a then-rising regime which said otherwise.

 Accessibility: 8/10
Much more accessible than its sequel while still a book for adults and not a childrens’ story, Out of the Silent Planet is a quick and fairly easy read. Its high concepts take some mulling over, though this is a benefit of its lasting appeal rather than a detriment to its readability.

diff Challenge: 7/10
Dr. Ransom’s adventure on a foreign planet is one which starts out rough but ends timidly enough. Ransom himself has little to do with resolving the conflict of the story and he’s well taken care of after reaching a certain point, but the thought of being a lone fugitive on an alien world is one which the book makes great use of early on to highlight a real sense of anxiety.

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replay Replayability: 7/10
Most of this book was a page turner. Some of the lengthier conversations and exposition can get burdensome, fascinating as its subject matter is. The handling of its themes is less apologetic or polemic than curious about the universe and its mysteries, so I think that this book would appeal to non-Christians, even as Lewis’s others works have, and this book is much less overtly preachy in its influences. Ending with what is essentially an anticipation for a coming conflict, I think Out of the Silent Planet has enough “replayability” to push one to read the sequel.

unique Uniqueness: 9/10
It ought to already be abundantly clear that Out of the Silent Planet is a unique book. If it could be adapted to film today, it’d be unlike any science fiction film we’ve seen in recent history. It would certainly be a welcome change from the often thematically nihilistic, despairing, and hopeless portrayal of an atheistic universe that we generally see in the crossover of science fiction with horror and monster movies. Can we ask the question via entertainment: Is there some meaning or some Mind behind the physical, an Infinite behind the finite?

pgrade My Personal Score: 7/10
I enjoyed this read. Out of the Silent Planet kept me up later than I thought it would as I read into the night. Here, Lewis maintains his pleasure of examining the human condition. Even the value of death as it gives value to life is pondered: “And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” I’d love to talk more about this book and its ideas with people who have actually read it, so go out and find your own copy and become one of those people!

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Aggregated Score: 7.6

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25 thoughts on “Out of the Silent Planet (1938)

  1. Awesome review and I look forward to searching out this trilogy when I am able. I just wanted to banter a bit about the point of Nazism and Darwinism. I admit that I can see where the Nazi’s may have taken points of Darwin’s work and applied it to their evil deeds. That being said, they were Catholics, never excommunicated at that, who were exterminating Jews. The hatred for Judaism is a tenant that can be found in the New Testament (Matthew 23:31-3 and many more, see Antisemitism in New Testament). I have a quote from Darwin I would like to add

    “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.” – Charles Darwin

    This is one frequently quoted when this topic is brought up (though they usually leave off that he says it would be evil). This is why I can see where Darwin had some influence in the matter. He does say it could only be done “with a great present evil”. Mentioning the idea and then saying, oh but you shouldn’t do that it would be bad, does beg the question of if he really thought it should be done or not. Anyways I gotta get back to work just wanted to drop a line and encourage the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks for the comment! I see that you can appreciate this argument and understand that I presented it because it was Lewis’ own argument from a contemporary perspective with the rise of Nazism.

      There are three things I want to say here: 1) As far as Hitler’s relationship to Christianity and Catholicism (a differentiation which must be made considering Christianity reformed itself), Hitler was raised a Catholic and never disavowed the church for political reasons but it’s clear from a lot of his writings and sayings that he was nowhere near a traditional Christian, rejecting several basic Christian doctrines such as the deity of Christ. He’s an example of what we talked about before with an evil human being choosing to twist and abuse religion to serve his own evil behavior. The same can definitely be said of the Germans and Catholics who did not oppose Hitler, though we know there were some who did.

      2) When you say “The hatred for Judaism is a tenant that can be found in the New Testament” I’m guessing you mean “tenet”, a basic principle or belief of religion. My response is to simply consider what the New Testament is and what it contains, if you actually think it’s main purpose or even one of its main tenets and principles is anti-Semitism. Almost all of it was written by Jews. Paul the apostle was Jewish and his authorship is widely attested to, see Ehrman even on that. There’s a massive emphasis in the New Testament on validation taken from the Old. The church for the entire New Testament period was almost predominantly Jewish. The center of the church was headquartered in Jerusalem with a Jew as its head. Jesus Himself was Jewish, born in a Jewish family, raised in a Jewish culture and community, ministered predominantly to Jews, spoke in Jewish synagogues, performed miracles according to the gospels primarily for the Jews. Anti-Semitism is yet another example of evil people trying to twist and abuse religious text for their own justifications when its clear that this is not the main point or any point that the NT includes as a command or principle. Christ prayed for the forgiveness of his own captors and executioners, directly the Romans and indirectly the Jews. Jewishness is all over the New Testament, though years of cultures have changed the perspective. That’s sheer subjectivity. Paul himself wished he could give up his own salvation for the sake of his brethren, the Jews who specifically didn’t believe in his Messiah. Does the NT not portray that kind of selflessness toward the Jewish people, even those who didn’t believe? As for the Scripture you quoted, there were many times when Jesus purportedly rebuked the religious leaders of the Jews without condemning the people they were abusing and taking advantage of, and He did not prescribe violence against them (Anti-Semitism) while defaming their character. They happened to be awful people that Jesus had choice words for, but He wasn’t attacking them on the basis of their Jewishness, Himself being a Jew. He rebuked them for their religious cruelty. If anyone today turned people away from charity and aid, or milked people for every penny they were worth by cheap charlatanry, all the while pretending to massive self-righteousness, don’t you think that person would be due some rebuke of some kind?

      3) Hitler may have used both religion and Darwinism to justify his actions… but here’s where it clicks for me. You quote Darwin to show that Nazism was not Darwin’s intention. I’m citing the New Testament to show that Anti-Semitism was not Christ’s or Paul’s intention. These are just two sides of the same argumentation. I don’t think that Darwin can be blamed for Nazism anymore than I think that the New Testament can rationally be blamed for Anti-Semitism, again it’s in both cases the result of evil humans seeking to find justification for their behavior, in one case in Darwin and in another in the New Testament. Which that’s really why these kinds of arguments aren’t helpful, but I shared it here with Darwinism since that was Lewis’ concern.

      Much more to study! Thanks for the robust conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Damn auto correct, lol. Very well made points and I am glad that I ran this by you for your input. I know it wasn’t a main point you were trying to make or anything. I had recently seen a documentary called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed by Ben Stein, I thought it was pretty good for the most part but he kept driving home the point that Darwin and evolutionary biology were largely at fault for the Holocaust and it just really irked me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That auto correct is the bane of many a purely textual conversation! At least we knew each other’s meaning. I’ve seen that documentary too. I can empathize with Darwinism being an indirect influence in Nazism but not being at fault or the direct cause of it, since a concept can’t actually kill millions, just people who take a concept to such a violent, hateful, evil extreme.

          I do want to say that appreciate your amiability. This is a talk I’ve had many a time and I very much like to try to avoid name-calling and character assault, which you’ve avoided like a boss. Thanks for keeping it civil and for being such a great conversationalist.

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  2. Such a wonderful post!! I had no idea this existed and now I really want to check it out. I love that quote about why Lewis and Tolkein set about writing on the subject matter they did- and have to say I am especially glad they wrote about what they did, because, man, where would we be without modern fantasy? (And apparently sci fi too)

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    • Thanks very much! I thought of your post I recently commented on while writing this, especially when I said: “The thought of those two intellectual giants lamenting the state of storytelling in their day gives me some reflection upon what they’d think of the state of storytelling today, what with the slavery to agendas and identity groups in literature…”. So I hoped you’d read it. I’m happy to know you’d like to check it out. Good luck to you finding a copy!

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  3. Well you’ve sold me on this. I’ve read both Lewis and Tolien’s magna opera, but I’m trying to add more sci-fi to my repertoire. Also, I had to laugh at that conversation between the two of them. That’s one of the reasons I started to write! There were stories I wanted to read that didn’t exist, so I thought I’d remedy that 🙂

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    • It’s good to know that there’s a long tradition of writers who wrote amazing works because the kind of works they wanted to read didn’t exist. With the hodge podge of drivel out there marketed to the masses, there’s even more incentive to write original material. I’m sure you’d like this book and I’d be excited to know what you think of it if you get a hold of it and finish it. Lewis was a genius at incorporating his faith into his work and this is an unusual instance of combining that into science fiction. I also read a Lewis/Tolkein biography a while ago. I wish I could recall its title.

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      • I think there are a lot of us, but because of what’s mass marketed, there are far less that get out there. It’s annoying that what’s a best seller is generally not the best written. *elitist warning* Books like that are written for the least literate, and while on one hand, getting people to read is great, on the other hand, what they’re reading really isn’t going to challenge them or enrich them. Even if it is something that would be challenging/enriching, they’ll miss the point. Like Hunger Games is wildly popular, but people miss many of the things it’s trying to say. I don’t want to pull that “well in MY day books were, blah blah blah,” because there are books out there that stir the imagine and intellect lie Tolkien and Lewis did. The one saving grace is it’s easier to get published in a way because there are more options for it, but it’s still hard to get your voice to a platform where it will be noticed. Granted, I have no intention of shutting up anytime soon, so for now WP is tuck with me 🙂

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        • From a marketing stand point, it certainly makes sense that accessibility would take precedence over literary skill, and unfortunately that often means pandering, my criminal vice for the 2010’s. I’ll come right out and say that people in general are stupider today than they were decades ago and that’s apparent to me in the degradation, selfishness, vapidness, and shallowness of pop culture. Look at the ruination of the English language in virtually every song and in many films. Heck, speaking of Tolkien, the Hobbit was a children’s book when it was published. What do you think the reading age is for it now? Of course, I can then say that none of the best literature was truly “in my day” since I’m in my thirties but I’m old enough to realize that most of my life has been occupied by entertainment that is increasingly explosive and stylish yet lacking in substance, generally speaking. I was just having a conversation with a friend the other day about Fahrenheit 451 and they couldn’t grasp the horror of burning books, and how that’s actually happening today (read an article about how SJW’s are burning Marvel comic books because Cap America became a Nazi. Now given that Marvel comics are pretty crappy books but they’re still books and they portrayed Nazi Cap negatively). What’s the point of having futurist and dystopian novels if we’re not going to heed their warnings? Because. They’re entertaining. Therein lies the pitfall.

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          • Do you think that it’s worse or do you just think that we’re more aware/informed? I’m torn on which one it is. The world has always been a pretty horrible place, but now we have more means of knowing about it. Ignorance, ironically, is more known, but I think it always existed, and I talk to historian friends who believe the same. Take selfie culture. We lambaste the younger generation for it (not me…I love selfies. It’s the first time I’ve ever looked good in a picture lol), but royals used to have painters come to their house to render them surrounded by all their possessions. I’m horrified by burning books, BUT there’s also the knowledge that even if the physical copy is lost, there’s probably a digital backup somewhere, so it might resonate with someone today, but in Fahrenheit, they were burning the LAST copy. It’s like that scene in Equilibrium where they burned the Mona Lisa. That made me queasy. Now if we’re talking about the Library of Alexandria, well that gives me an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, too.

            That’s odd that SJWs are burning them lol. I’m pretty SJWish myself, and I was annoyed about Cap being an agent of Hydra (I even recorded a drunken tirade of it), but I’d rather write a scathing article about it rather set it on fire. Marvel didn’t make Cap a Nazi and say how wonderful that was. They were more than likely attempting to show that even your most trusted heroes/symbols could be corrupt/corrupted. That’s a very important lesson. Look beneath the surface and don’t take anything at face value. However, if I could somehow obtain Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray without paying for them, I’d gladly build a great conflagration…and I’d still write a scathing review, though I’ve said plenty of derisive things about those “books.”

            You’ve hit on something that annoys the hell of me. How can anyone read Hunger Games of even play FFVII and NOT see that these narratives are warnings? But it’s because media is seen as just entertainment, which boggles my mind. It has ALWAYS been political and politicized, because people are political, even those who claim they aren’t since neutrality only helps the oppressor. Media is holds a mirror up to our society and forces us to face what we are or what we’ve become, but so many don’t want to look. They’d rather relegate it to the realm of entertainment where it’s safe, because it’s too much to consider that we could be wrong. Humans don’t like to see themselves as the bad guy, so anything that suggests that is either dismissed or derided as “just a story.” It makes me feel like I’m screaming into the wind.

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            • So I saw this comment and then went to respond to it and couldn’t find it! I thought you’d maybe deleted it but then I finally found it in the trash bin. Blasphemy! Anywho, sorry about that. I’m glad we could recover it and thanks for such a comment!

              Selfies I think are just an easy thing for older people to complain about. I think they might be vain and shallow when someone’s taking a hundred and one a day but what is that to me? A minor annoyance? It’s the inability to think on difficult subjects or educate oneself that seems more baleful to me than selfies. Your disdain of Twilight and Fifty Shades may be the equivalent of my feelings. And I think burning “a” book is still reprehensible, though there are digital copies and there’s no way they could burn them all today without some huge, coordinated move. SJWs doing extreme SJW stuff is no surprise and you’re certainly a moderate in comparison. Aristotle is credited as having said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I’ve seen you entertain thoughts without agreeing with them, so I know you’re no SJW extremist shouting down and drowning out all other opinions a la Berkeley. Writing a scathing article is much more significant than burning the comic.

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    • That was just the encouragement I needed to push through today. Trying to learn more about social media marketing. So thank you very much for your exceptionally kind words! This red mage appreciates it!

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  4. I don’t know if you follow them, but one of my favourite bands, Iron Maiden, actually has a song titled after this book. I didn’t know until seeing this that their song is based on this book. Fitting for a band who also has another older track titled Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I haven’t read it, but certainly must be quite note worthy for me considering it inspires some of my musical idols. I may just check this one one day, thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks for commenting, my friend. I was aware of the Iron Maiden reference but I didn’t know it was based on this book. That’s pretty cool! I’d recommend reading it as it’s a pretty good classic sci-fi adventure tale, even if you’re not a fan of Lewis and his worldview. Copies of the book are tough to come by so if you see one somewhere snatch it up! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I stand corrected, according to wikipedia, it’s actually inspired by a movie called Forbidden Planet, the title is just a reference to the books, but still cool 🙂

        Yea I would probably look for an ecopy on kindle or something, it’s only 99 cents there! I just need a good tablet to do some reading on

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah okay, I see. Forbidden Planet is a little more science-fantasyish than this book. I didn’t even think of an ebook copy. Good call! I haven’t used my Kindle in ages. Something about tangible books elitism blah blah blah. I’m sure you’ve heard all that before round about the time of the advent of ebook readers. But that’s how I run out of space in my house… too many books! :/

          Liked by 1 person

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