Saturday, March 22, 2008

Theological Sci-Fi


Sold a Philip Jose Farmer title today: Jesus on Mars.
I have a feeling I read one of Farmer's early novellas, The Lovers in Startling Stories, many years ago. It's about a man who falls in love with an alien parasitic insect that has taken the form of a woman. Certainly that plot idea rings a bell.
Farmer seems to specialise in stories that push the boundaries of sci-fi, especially pushing them in the direction of taking theology way beyond what we normally imagine. (Actually most of us are pretty unimaginative when it comes to things theological; we rely on those who are theologians to tell us stuff, and often they're not the best people to do so.)
I read some of Azimov's early stories a few weeks ago; things in them are already very dated, though the themes themselves are not. No doubt at the time he wrote the stories there was something amazing a computer that could keep track of all the world's data; or scanners that could read hardcopies in the blink of an eye. We now take such things almost for granted.
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