Words to end our time with The Space Trilogy by David C. Downing from his book Planets in Peril:
"By the time readers finish the trilogy, they have visited two other worlds, encountered creatures natural and preternatural, and witnessed a hnakra hunt, a fatal shooting, hand-to-hand combat, and finally mass destruction. Amid all these goings-on, readers have also had reiterated for them Christian teachings on creation, the revolt of Lucifer, the fall of Adam and Eve, the Incarnation, plus an intimation of the Last Judgment. One may argue about Lewis's admixture of narration and exposition or decry his tendency to reduce complex philosophical and sociological issues to a battle between Light and Darkness. But in the end one cannot help but admit the resourcefulness and conviction with which Lewis weaves his worldview into the fabric of his fiction."
The cover above depicts the end of the N.I.C.E. Did you know there is an actual N.I.C.E. in the U.K.? Here is their website. One would think the English would be more aware of this acronym within their recent literary history before creating the actual N.I.C.E.
"And the prophesy I make is this. To nine out of ten of you the choice which could lead to scoundrelism will come, when it does come, in no very dramatic colours. Obviously bad men, obviously threatening or bribing, will almost certainly not appear. Over a drink or a cup of coffee, disguised as a triviality and sandwiched between two jokes, from the lips of a man, or woman, whom you have recently been getting to know rather better and whom you hope to know better still - just at the moment when you are most anxious not to appear crude, or naive or a prig - the hint will come. It will be the hint of something which is not quite in accordance with the technical rules of fair play: something which the public, the ignorant, romantic public, would never understand: something which even the outsiders in your own profession are apt to make a fuss about: but something, says your new friend, which 'we' - and at the word 'we' you try not to blush for mere pleasure - something 'we always do.' And you will be drawn in, if you are drawn in, not by desire for gain or ease, but simply because at that moment, when the cup was so near your lips, you cannot bear to be thrust back again into the cold outer world ... to know that you had been tried for the Inner Ring and rejected. And then, if you are drawn in, next week it will be something a little further from the rules, and the next year something further still, but all in the jolliest, friendlists spirit. It may end in a crash, a scandal, and penal servitude: it may end in millions, a peerage, and giving prizes at your old school. But you will be a scoundrel."
From "The Inner Ring" A lecture given by Lewis in 1944 at King's College in London
"This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly, there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner. There may have been a time in the world's history when such moments fully revealed their gravity, with witches prophesying on a blasted heath or visible Rubicons to be crossed. But, for him, it all slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men."