First if you haven’t read the posts – SS 01.1 – SS 01.2 – SS 01.3 or SS 01.4 please read them before you read this post – there will be spoilers. You can get to them by clicking on the titles in the previous sentence.
For Christmas this year I received a C.S. Lewis book call…
you guessed it…
“The Dark Tower”
Not to be confused with another author that has a book by the same title, which I haven’t read.
It is a collection of mostly incomplete short stories of Lewis’ that were published after his death, with the exception of one – (more on that later). I wanted the book because the first short story “The Dark Tower” plays a role in “That Hideous Strength” a book by Lewis that is the 3rd book in his space trilogy.
In 1955 Lewis wrote a short story titled “Ministering Angels” that was published in “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1958 and then again in a book called “Other Worlds.” He wrote the story in response to an article titled “The Day After We Land on Mars”, which was published in “The Saturday Review” May 28th, 1955.
The story bothered me for several reasons of which I will not unpack here, but just to say it is a story about two women being sent to Mars. There isn’t anything out of sorts with the way Lewis wrote the story and he ends it with Dickson and two of the Astronauts leaving early from the planet to escape the women. However, they left the rest of the “men” behind with them.
A few things…
First – it is amazing to me that in 1955 people were thinking about how people would live on Mars, seeing as how we hadn’t even landed on the moon as of yet and would not do that until 1969.
Second – The story bothered me so much I felt I just needed to write an ending to it, and seeing as how we are looking to send people to Mars in our present day I thought, how appropriate to connect what Lewis wrote to today with an ending that I was more comfortable with.
Now, I am – as you know – no where near the level of writer Lewis is. But, I really wanted to finish the story if you will, in our present context. Good or bad, that’s what I did.
Third – There are of course characters that cross over from Lewis’s story. Dickson (which I gave him a first name), The Captain (who also I gave a name to) and Clare (The Captain’s wife).
Fourth – There are new characters of course. Emily, Elon Musk (though his name is never mentioned) and C.S.Lewis.
Fifth – It is possible for the events in SS 01.4 to happen. Which to me is an intriguing thought. (or maybe not I haven’t done the math – “wink wink”)
Well – whereas this blog will not turn in to a “Phillip’s Short Stories Blog”. I did enjoy writing these four post and may do that again in the future.
That said thank you for reading them, hopefully they were interesting and sparked your imagination.