Lewis may have not been the first to speculate about other planets, but he wrote one of the best space books when he wrote Out of the Silent Planet.
When a university professor is kidnapped by two mad scientists, they launch him into space is a spaceship prototype. Destination: Mars. While the professor does not believe that living on Mars is possible, he is proven wrong. When he arrives on the red planet, he discovers several abnormal creatures. Actually, there are supposedly only three type of creatures on Mars. One is a tall human like creature, about the twice the height of an average human. They must be tall because of the atmosphere. The second he meets is a type of otter, only they have a language the professor eventually learns. They live just like people and are very deep into their arts. The third type of creature is a small little mole like creature that is very fast at digging and building things.
He also discovers that the nine planets have real names besides the ones the humans gave them.
After staying on the planet for a while, the professor discovers a drawing of the solar system on the side of one of the buildings. It depicts the entire solar system except for earth. Earth has been erased from the map. He soon finds out that earth is called the silent planet because it is the only one that does not have an angel ruling over it. Instead, Satan rules over it because of the Fall of Man.
The whole concept behind the book is both original and believable. I believe all of Lewis' philosophy in this book. The silent planet theory is highly probable.
As with most of Lewis' books, it isn't very long. He just wrote as much as he thought he should.
There is a "suspenseful" scene at the end involving a gun, but it's not what you think it might be. It's very different form modern "suspenseful" scenes.
If you haven't read this book, than you should as soon as possible. It's just as good as the Chronicles of Narnia.
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