Simon & Schuster, New York
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While on a walking tour through England, Dr. Elwin Ransom becomes an unwilling guest at the home of Dr. Weston, a physicist. Weston and his colleague Dr. Devine kidnap Ransom and take him to the planet Malacandra. Ransom believes that he is meant to be handed over to the inhabitants of Malacandra as a human sacrifice.
Escaping but alone on an alien world, Ransom discovers that he has no survival skills that apply to his surroundings. Barely able to tell the difference between animals and plants or plants and rocks, he is unsure what to trust as safe—even his sanity begins to dissolve. Driven by curiosity, he establishes contact with what appears to be a friendly seal-like animal. The creature gives him food and drink and takes him to its village.
Ransom settles into a peaceful life with these beings, the hrossa, and slowly finds his ideas about life, religion, divine providence, and humanity stretched to new horizons.