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A "science" Series?


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#1 hazelm

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 08:51 AM

In the Physics / Astronomy / "Water on Juipter" thread  I slipped in C S Lewis's so-called Science Series.  I had a comment I wanted to add but not there.  Anyone who read these three books, can follow, I think.

 

Knowing C S Lewis's writings,  I  wonder how this series came to be called "science".   I have never seen an authoritative comment on this and, until I do - maybe even then - my notion is that Lewis would have disagreed. 

 

C S Lewis dedicated  his life to spreading Christianity around the world and almost all his writings were about religion.  Here is where those who have read this series come in.  If you remember,  everywhere Ransom went, there was religion and Earth was banished from the Solar System's community for going astray.

 

My contention is that Lewis would have called this a morality series.  I suspect it got classified as science - or, better, science fiction - later by the unknowing and/or because science and science fiction were becoming very popular topics.  I'd be interested in anyone else's thoughts.

 

 



#2 exchemist

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:02 AM

In the Physics / Astronomy / "Water on Juipter" thread  I slipped in C S Lewis's so-called Science Series.  I had a comment I wanted to add but not there.  Anyone who read these three books, can follow, I think.

 

Knowing C S Lewis's writings,  I  wonder how this series came to be called "science".   I have never seen an authoritative comment on this and, until I do - maybe even then - my notion is that Lewis would have disagreed. 

 

C S Lewis dedicated  his life to spreading Christianity around the world and almost all his writings were about religion.  Here is where those who have read this series come in.  If you remember,  everywhere Ransom went, there was religion and Earth was banished from the Solar System's community for going astray.

 

My contention is that Lewis would have called this a morality series.  I suspect it got classified as science - or, better, science fiction - later by the unknowing and/or because science and science fiction were becoming very popular topics.  I'd be interested in anyone else's thoughts.

Well yes I suppose one could make this argument. However, against that one could argue that a fair amount of good sci fi includes some explorations of alternative or future morality, philosophy or social systems.  Furthermore, in the climate of the times, Lewis could have relied on much of his readership to be Christians, reasonably educated in their faith, so for them an exploration of worlds without the Fall would be an interesting imaginative exercise. 

 

The Narnia books for children are of course also about Christianity transposed into other worlds - and none the worse for it. 


Edited by exchemist, 03 September 2018 - 09:03 AM.


#3 hazelm

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:44 AM

Well yes I suppose one could make this argument. However, against that one could argue that a fair amount of good sci fi includes some explorations of alternative or future morality, philosophy or social systems.  Furthermore, in the climate of the times, Lewis could have relied on much of his readership to be Christians, reasonably educated in their faith, so for them an exploration of worlds without the Fall would be an interesting imaginative exercise. 

 

The Narnia books for children are of course also about Christianity transposed into other worlds - and none the worse for it. 

About "future morality",  I have not finished the Venus exploration yet, but I am suspecting the story there may be one leading to the fall.  I am not really sure of my idea there but the thought crossed my mind  upon Weston's first night and he ranting about the devil really being "good" because he was pushing the people toward the "Life Force".   Then again, when Weston seemed to be really convincing the woman of a few ideas,  Only he has the King tempting the Lady.  I don't believe that happened with Adam and Eve but that's another story.

 

As for writing to an audience that he knew was educated in their religion, definitely that for purpose of commenting on points where wrong ideas were being promulgated.  But that is still morality, isn't it?  Of course, he had to create scenes on the planets which all scifi writers have to do. 

 

So, if you had written the books, would you call them a morality/religion series or would you call them a "science series"  as the book reviews that I have read all seem to be doing.  I'd accept scifi but not science. 

 

Hmmm.  When were the morality plays so popular?  Maybe earlier.  I shall check that.  Thank you. 



#4 exchemist

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 11:24 AM

About "future morality",  I have not finished the Venus exploration yet, but I am suspecting the story there may be one leading to the fall.  I am not really sure of my idea there but the thought crossed my mind  upon Weston's first night and he ranting about the devil really being "good" because he was pushing the people toward the "Life Force".   Then again, when Weston seemed to be really convincing the woman of a few ideas,  Only he has the King tempting the Lady.  I don't believe that happened with Adam and Eve but that's another story.

 

As for writing to an audience that he knew was educated in their religion, definitely that for purpose of commenting on points where wrong ideas were being promulgated.  But that is still morality, isn't it?  Of course, he had to create scenes on the planets which all scifi writers have to do. 

 

So, if you had written the books, would you call them a morality/religion series or would you call them a "science series"  as the book reviews that I have read all seem to be doing.  I'd accept scifi but not science. 

 

Hmmm.  When were the morality plays so popular?  Maybe earlier.  I shall check that.  Thank you. 

Yes scifi, not science, of course. It is not science by any stretch of the imagination and Lewis would never have claimed it was. I read these books as a teenager so I can hardly remember any details. My impression was they were a fantasy on the theology of the Fall, by way of imagining another world or worlds in which it had not happened. Lewis was interested in good and evil, obviously. 

 

You get the same sort of thing in Narnia, with evil represented by the White Witch, descended from the Green Witch who was accidentally introduced to Narnia (by the Magician's Nephew) the very day of its creation by the lion Aslan (Christ/God). There is even an analogue of the Crucifixion in one of the stories. I forget which.


Edited by exchemist, 03 September 2018 - 11:27 AM.


#5 hazelm

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 12:08 PM

Yes scifi, not science, of course. It is not science by any stretch of the imagination and Lewis would never have claimed it was. I read these books as a teenager so I can hardly remember any details. My impression was they were a fantasy on the theology of the Fall, by way of imagining another world or worlds in which it had not happened. Lewis was interested in good and evil, obviously. 

 

You get the same sort of thing in Narnia, with evil represented by the White Witch, descended from the Green Witch who was accidentally introduced to Narnia (by the Magician's Nephew) the very day of its creation by the lion Aslan (Christ/God). There is even an analogue of the Crucifixion in one of the stories. I forget which.

Scifi would work, especially when read by a teenager not yet into more serious philosophies and religions.  It actually took me a while to see the scifi in it.  Just definitely not science.  My particular copies call it a space trilogy.  That it is.   But the Bible religion stands out to me heavily.