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The Dark Tower... A heresy???

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The Dark Tower... A heresy???

Postby Erekose » 13 Oct 2007, 19:43

First of all.. this isn’t a “heresy” in my usual vein of such things.

Since I haven’t actually read The Dark Tower it would be extremely difficult to do one.

This is more in the sense of a “thought experiment heresy”.

In essence I’ll start on the assumption that a 4th book was intended to exist, and from that try to produce a rough concept of what the book would have been about, and where in the series of the Space Trilogy (although “trilogy” in that context is a bit of a misnomer I know) it would have fitted.

Then those who HAVE read the book can shoot it down in flames (the “TEH” that is, not the book), or even perhaps add to what I put forward in the context of the “Did CSLewis write it or not” argument (a subject on which I obviously have no views)

And so, after the brief or not so brief waffle of introduction, onto the Heresy.

The first thing to consider is the “universe” in which The Space Trilogy exists. That Universe is very akin to our own, and may be considered perhaps as being accessed through one of the other “pools” in the Wood Between Worlds… but that’s a different Heresy.

In that Universe, the most dramatic physical difference is the nature of the planets within our solar system. In particular, Mars and Venus being of the type which exemplifies so many of the “Classic Era” of Science Fiction stories

And so, we have the three books.

1) Out of the Silent Planet. Which deals with Ransoms first adventure, being to Mars.
2) Prelandra (Voyage to Venus). Which is the account of his adventures on Venus
3) . That Hideous Strength. Which tells of the Conflict that occurs here on Earth.

Which leads to the question, what could a 4th book have been about?

There is actually a topic which does allow for a 4th story. The 4th “inhabited” world… The Moon. Eons in the past, the inhabitants of the moon (presumably under the surface dwellers) died or were killed off. But this would not discount the possibility of Weston heading there, and perhaps even awakening members of that ancient race (some survivors who went into deep sleep perhaps, ala Jadis)

This would have a number of consequences.

1) It could be the background behind the manner in which Weston finds himself coming under the Heavy Influence of (gahhh I need the books… I’ll call it the Bad Earth Spirit)
2) It would be an indication of the weakening of the sphere of influence of The Bad Earth Spirit, when the awoken Moon Dwellers themselves are converted back to the straight and narrow.

Remember that the Moons orbit defined the enclosed Sphere of Influence of the Bad Earth Spirit. This weakening would be the prelude to the final encounter that occurs in That Hideous Strength.

The story would also be able to tell of the formative days of NICE and so be a “bridge” between the differing styles/emphasis of the first 2 books and the last one.

Obviously this “extrapolated” Dark Tower would have to be placed between 2 and 3


Now remember I haven’t read The Dark Tower, and this is just a thought experiment that popped into me brain a short while ago (the heretic neurons a tad rusty I’m sorry to say).

Lets see the reactions (good or bad)
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A 4th book

Postby liriodendron » 10 Nov 2007, 02:39

Well, That Hideous Strength did have a tantalizing paragraph about the moon in which the back side is rich with life while the earth side, influenced by earth's spirits made itself sterile. It seemed kind of odd to me that Lewis brought it up but never did anything with the idea.
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Darth Tower

Postby aeryck » 09 Dec 2007, 08:05

:read: it a long time ago, but I don't remember making any connection between it and the Trilogy. From what I remember it was STRANGE .... ?

It is definitely begging to be read again.


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Postby The Revanchist » 10 Dec 2007, 06:33

The Dark Tower...

If I recall correctly, that did have Ransom in it. It's been a while...

That was the one where the one guy switched places with the guy with the horn on his forehead, wasn't it?

If I recall, it seemed like it took place before That Hideous Strength, and possibly before the entire Space Trilogy.
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Postby aeryck » 10 Dec 2007, 10:33

The Revanchist wrote:If I recall correctly, that did have Ransom in it.

Yes. I was reading that it is not uncommon for writers to develop certain characters throughout their lives. Also the matter of the missing pages and the uncertainty of origin and authorship on one side, and the insistence of others that it was read by Lewis to them, certainly is intriguing. Personally I just did not associate the writing style with what I have always associated with Lewis. The way he holds back, and holds back and then simply blows your mind. That just seemed to be absent in Dark Tower. The whole idea of the dispute of authorship is not a new thing with this and other incomplete writings attributes to Lewis.

:coffee: I am working through the Trilogy ... again, and am going to search for a copy of The Dark Tower, when I am up in the North.
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Postby Stanley Anderson » 10 Dec 2007, 13:46

The Revanchist wrote:The Dark Tower...

If I recall correctly, that did have Ransom in it. It's been a while...

Yes, Ransom, as well as Lewis himself (it is written in the first person as is Perelandra (the first portion of Perelandra anyway, until the narrative of Ransom's journey begins and the first person pov fades -- also THS lapses into first person narrative at points), and also MacPhee from THS.

There are also many very interesting parallels in style and structure between TDT and other Lewis works, most notably to me being Lewis' tendency to utilize the "dual" character approach that we see in so many of his works where the two (who are sometimes the same physical person as we see in Out of the Silent Planet where Ransom for a while has two personalities) seem to contrast each other for whatever reasons.

And there are some other interesting bits of comparison (eg, the parallel beteween Knellie's book titles and Tumnus' library book titles)

…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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The Dark Cliffhanger

Postby alcazal » 05 Jul 2008, 20:00

I just want to say thanks to those who even knew about the Dark Tower and decided to mention it. I read enough of the posts in this topic to become intrigued. That led me to read the article and then search for a copy of TDT, which I found, along with some short stories at a local library. Has anyone else read TDT and those stories? I would be inclined to believe that Lewis authored them. There's no particular reason why an author should write in exactly the same style from one book to another and it is sufficiently Lewisesque to convince me, though it is sadly it ends right as it is getting going. The element of time travel is indeed intriguing, though. Anyone else have thoughts on that book or on the other sci-fi short stories he wrote?

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