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Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel in Lewis's Ransom Trilogy (also known as the Cosmic or Space Trilogy), which is considered his chief contribution to science fiction. A planetary romance with elements of medieval mythology, the trilogy concerns Dr. Elwin Ransom, a professor of philology who, like Christ, is offered as a ransom for mankind. On a walking tour of the English countryside, Ransom falls in with some slightly shady characters from his old university and wakes up to find himself naked in a metal ball in the middle of the light-filled heavens. He learns that he is on his way to a world called Malacandra by its natives, who call our world Thulcandra, the silent planet. The Malacandrans see planets as having tutelary spirits; those of the other planets are good and accessible, but Earth's is fallen and twisted.