(1898 - 1963)
Clive Staples Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, and Christian apologist. He wrote as C. S. Lewis, and was known to his friends as Jack. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford (1925–1954) and Cambridge (1954–1963). At Oxford he was a faculty sponsor of the Oxford University Speculative Fiction Group.
He is best known both for his fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy. One of the volumes of Narnia was nominated for the 1951 Best Novel Retro Hugo and That Hideous Strength was nominated for the 1946 Best Novel Retro Hugo.
The Space Trilogy consists of the following:
- Out of the Silent Planet (1938), set mostly on Mars (Malacandra). In this book Elwin Ransom voyages to Mars and discovers that Earth is exiled from the rest of the solar system.
- Perelandra (1943), set mostly on Venus. Here Dr Ransom journeys to an unspoiled Venus in which the first humanoids have just emerged.
- That Hideous Strength (1945), set on Earth. A scientific think tank called N.I.C.E. (The National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments) is secretly in touch with demonic entities who plan to ravage and lay waste to planet Earth.
His non-fiction books included Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings. A wide variety of fanzines have been published devoted to the Inklings and several devoted to Lewis.