- When reading old science fiction it isn’t really the ‘science’ that you are shooting for (or the fiction, obviously); it is the plot, the characters, the human themes that lie beyond the surface. Which means that some books or stories are pretty much useless once beyond their ‘prime’.
Not so Perelandra by CS Lewis. The ‘science’ is almost non-existent (and what is left is ludicrously wrong: Venus does not have a nice, tropical climate.) but the underlying themes are eternal.
Set on a pristine, un-fallen Venus this story, the second in CS Lewis’s Science Fiction series, pits the hero (a British scientist) against an antagonist (ditto) who, in opposition, confront the ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’… particularly the Eve… Venusian equivalent. Together they act out the conflict of the garden: with the hero encouraging the ‘Eve’ to obey God and his antagonist encouraging disobedience.
- Warning to modern readers: this book consists of long, rambling chapters of philosophical speculation and argument. It is not for the faint of heart or easily distracted.
- Non-warning: For the entire book three of the characters are in the nude; however there is nothing at all graphic about any of the writing.
This book, although the second in a series, may well be read alone; or after the first book. The books get progressively harder to read with the first book being difficulty, this the second book being more difficult, and the third book being very difficult indeed.