The Cosmic Trilogy
This volume includes three books, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, chronicling Dr. Ransom's space adventures. The first book takes place on Mars, the second on Venus, and the third on Earth. In the first story, Ransom is kidnapped and taken to Mars by an obsessed scientist and his partner. There, he meets three intelligent native races, all living in perfect harmony. Living on the planet (although not native) there is also a fourth race, the eldila, spiritual beings, invisible to human eyes. In Perelandra, Ransom is sent to Venus by the eldil leader of Mars, because there exists a nascent human race that at all costs he must defend and prevent it from being corrupted. Finally, in That Hideous Strength, we find Ransom leading a small group of people who oppose a powerful secret society that intends to seize power in England and beyond.
In these books, Lewis' greatest merit (apart from the narrative) is to mix the concepts of Heaven and space, science fiction and mythological literature, associating subjects as diverse as the nature of angelic bodies with the theory of relativity.
The geographic (or cosmographic) progression of the stories led to the creation of a cover that showed the three planets, in the order presented by the books. The Earth appears bigger, being the one where the last battle takes place.
The back cover displays the image of a rocket, making reference to the beginning of the stories. This is the image that will appear undercut in chapter openings. In the background, an angel and an astrolabe and antique-looking mechanical equipment are mixed (well suited to the 1930s, when the books were originally published). These images demonstrate the strangeness and originality that Lewis achieved in presenting the planets of the material universe as a playing field for angels and demons.