Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ghosts in the machine

More musings inspired by my recent re-reading of Out of the Silent Planet.

Ransom wakes up in the spaceship (which is spherical, like the early satellites).

For the first time a suspicion that he might be dead and already in the ghost-life crossed his mind.

Another ghost reference, when Ransom asks Weston where they are:

"You mean we're - in space", Ransom uttered the word with difficulty as a frightened child speaks of ghosts ....

This made me think of how similar to the cliche of Egyptian mummies astronauts are; wrapped up, with the body inside virtually invisible, except through the face-plate, somewhere between life and death like Schrodinger's cat: if you unwrap the windings, or remove the helmet, what will you find? Indeed, this was part of a recent Dr Who plot.

Spacesuits, however, are still far in the future when Lewis is writing.

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