altOf Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper (Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1966)

The essays in this collection (On Stories, On Three Ways of Writing for Children, Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to Be Said, On Juvenile Tastes, It All Began with a Picture, On Criticism, On Science Fiction, A Reply to Professor Haldane, and Unreal Estates) are all included in C. S. Lewis: On Stories, which contains several additional essays as well, making the latter by far the more interesting book..

The remainder of this book consists of two little-known stories that were published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the 1950's (The Shoddy Lands, Ministering Angels), one previously unpublished story (Forms of Things Unknown) and the beginnings of a novel inspired by the Trojan War (After Ten Years).

Forms of Things Unknown I enjoyed the most, for its clever, classical twist at the end, and because it alone has no female characters of any importance. The other three portray male attitudes toward women that lead me to despair of the human race. After Ten Years is nonetheless interesting, though only a fragment. Ministering Angels I wish I could forget. The Shoddy Lands has an appalling view of women, all the more so that I can tell from some of his non-fiction writings that it is somewhat reflective of Lewis's own experiences. Nonetheless, I find it the best of the four works, being an unforgettable portrayal of the self-centered blindness common to us all.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 8:10 am | Edit
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