by Jesse Marinoff Reyes ( Jesse Marinoff Reyes, Maplewood, N.J.)
Out of the Silent Planet
Illustration: Everett Raymond Kinstler (b. 1926)
Part one of the “Space Trilogy” of stories—also referred to in literary descriptions as the Cosmic Trilogy or Ransom Trilogy—encompassing Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra (also published as Voyage to Venus), and That Hideous Strength, first published in 1943, 1944, and 1946 respectively (a first edition hardcover set will run you anywhere from a couple grand to around $3500, best to maybe pick it up in paperback). C. S. Lewis (yes, THAT C. S. Lewis, of Narnia-fame et. al.) wrote the novel after a conversation with colleague and pal J. R. R. Tolkien, lamenting the state of contemporary fiction—is it ever thus? To wit, they agreed that Lewis would write a space-travel story, and Tolkien would write a time-travel one. Tolkien’s story only exists as a fragment, published in The Lost Road and other writings (1987) edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, but Lewis went all out with a three novel series.
Everett Raymond Kinstler, official portraitist of American presidents (Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan) has had a long career—dating back to his teens where he had begun as a comic book artist, book and magazine illustrator, and pulp paperback cover artist. He later transitioned to portrait work, and became one of the nation’s leading portrait painters (over 1200 notable figures). Well, you don’t just get yer name picked out of a hat to paint the president. Richard M. Nixon, George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush have also posed for him, but only the Ford and Reagan portraits are “official” and are hung in the White House. In 1999 Kinstler was awarded the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Copley Medal, its highest honor.
Not bad for an old comic book “hack!”: