Life is Short, Manuscripts are Long

I have to cut over one hundred and fifty pages from my latest and greatest manuscript, THE HERMETIC MILLENNIUMS which is Part Two of my forthcoming COUNT TO THE ESCHATON quartet, which is a love story about a man who destroys the universe. Ugh. So far I have eliminated five nuclear wars circa 2400-2450, and a scene where a man is talking to himself (he is speaking with a computer emulation of his own mind ramped up to IQ 450 or so), and I have eliminated a mom from a eugenic Spartan military world empire circa AD 6000, who is thawed by unwise archeologists circa AD 10100. I just cut out the entire downfall of the electro-telepathic Locust subspecies circa AD 9500, after the Sixth Space Age. And I still have 25 pages to cut.

I want to keep the scene where the evil priest Father Reyes the Red Hermeticist, is on the dark side of the Moon, in the Sea of Cunning (real place, I did not make that up), hearing the confession of the posthuman Spanish grandee Ximen “Blackie’ del Azarchel, when that archvillain’s conscience is bothering him, and the evil priest tells him the genocide of mankind to clear the evolutionary underbrush for postmankind is perfectly in keeping with Catholic social teaching: the supermen must be evolved into existence before the alien machine intelligences arrive from the Hyades in  AD 11000.

Meanwhile I have also been stuck in one scene in my yet-unfinished paratime-travel yarn, SOMEWHITHER, where my hero (the unwitting son of an agent of the inter-dimensional Roman Catholic conspiracy founded when the Templars used the Ark of the Covenant discovered in the Temple of Solomon to rip open a dimensional portal to escape persecution by Philip the Fair of France)  has found a parallel timeline where the tower of Babel was successfully completed, and it is both a ‘beanstalk’ space elevator, and an astronomical tower in a dimension where astrology actually works and accurately predicts the future to any degree required. So of course the Astrologers, possessing nigh-omniscience, are thoroughly evil tyrants. He is in the middle of being rescued by a child from yet another parallel, a history where there was a John the Baptist but Jesus has not arrived as yet — the kid is immune to the predictions of astrology, on the grounds that the baptism of John is sufficient to wash away her earthly nativity and make her ‘twice born’ hence invisible to their prognostication.

The parallel timeline where the Deluge never happened, so giants or Niphilim still walk the earth and Gregorim still occupy the skies; or where Moses never freed the Hebrews, so that the Egyptians, never sufferied plagues nor loss of power, so that their system of Pharaochian magic actually works, and the mummies of ancient kings command the powers of the desert and the Nile, the Red Land and the Black ; or where Jesus Christ was never betrayed and never crucified, so that, unfortunately, the vampires of Transylvania had no crucifixes that repel them — all these timelines have come on stage.  But I have not found a way to introduce the prayer-powered Mecha of Mecca, a forty-story-tall suit of armor  abandoned by Michael the Archangel when he took a vow of peace, refitted by Heron of Alexandria with an articulated steam-powered robotic framework of gears and pistons to allow it to operate as an invulnerable walking fortress, with a platoon of archers camped in the helmet, using the eyeslits as arrowslits. (What? You thought all alternate history books had to assume secular history were the only events that ever happened? Come on.)

So if I can work out this plot, it’ll be great. Otherwise, it will suck like a shop-vacc on overload. And, by treating Biblical events as literal, I get to run the risk of unintentionally publishing blasphemy and scandal, and offending both infidels and fidels (if that is a word). Yeah, me.

In the midst of all this, I am informed by my Jesuit Confessor and Master of Counter-espionage, Father de Casuist, that mail arrived for me from another member of my ‘cell’ in Roman Catholic Illuminati conspiracy, the albino monk assassin from Opus Dei known as Mark Shea. Using my secret decoder rosary, I soon decrypt the message. Let me see. Today is Wednesday, and the Second Glorious Mystery is the Miracle of the Ascension, and it is the Feast of Saint Aidin of Lindisfarne, whose name starts with A …. hmmm…. so if A=1 and B=2 …. got it.

Bad news for Mssrs. Flynn and C. Wright Turns out, they can’t possibly exist!

You see, a guy on the internet is an atheist, and can name four science fiction stories by atheist authors which are critical of religion. Therefore, “Working from a religious viewpoint, there is no room for science fiction.” QED. There’s just not enough room, you see? It’s so crowded down there in your religious viewpoint! We have to free up some space. I got a sweet deal on this new coffee table that I want to put in, but there’s just no room for it! Religion or Science Fiction Authorship has to go.

I hope Michael Flynn, John C. Wright, Tim Powers, C.S. Lewis, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, R. A. Lafferty, Connie Willis and Clifford Simak get the memo and either start writing something other than science fiction or immediately drop their respective religions.

And those are just some Christian ones off the top of my head. Turns out, people from other religions are also tragically unaware that they are unable to write science fiction. Aldous Huxley was a convert to Hinduism. Ursula K. Leguin is famously Taoist. And Hellboy, while technically not an author, does simultaneously fight demons (so he is clearly religious) and technologically reanimated severed floating Nazi heads who control an army of cyborg gorillas (clearly science fiction). Even comic book characters aren’t safe!

We need to get the word out now, or a huge swath of the fiction-writing community may soon wink out of existence.

I confess I have not clicked through the link to read the argument as to why science fiction and religion are incompatible. I don’t have time.

I have time to write this nonsense here, of course, but other nonsense will have to wait. And I have time to post a picture of Aishwarya Rai after the cut. Priorities!

Science Fiction Bollywood Style!

My own opinion, of course, is that the Christian religion is incompatible with most or all worldly things, both in literature and without, whereas the pagan religions like socialism and postmodern secularism, seeking paradise on Earth, are perfectly compatible with Earthly things, but not capable of producing great art, since their world view is flat, boring,  false, smug, inhuman, and just plain stupid. (I make an exception for the film ALEXANDER NEVSKY, which is Commie art that is real art, and worthy of praise.)

I hope the writer of the article carefully qualified his conclusions, because it would be absurd to claim that HG Wells was a science fiction writer, on the grounds that he was a socialist, whereas Jules Verne, on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic, was not.

Indeed, one is tempted to argue that HG Wells, with his time machines and his antigravity cavorite metal, was a fantasy writer only, whereas Jules Verne, with his  ironclad submersible vessel of Nemo, heavier than air craft of Robur, and moon-canon of Barbicane, was not only writing science fiction, he was practically writing prophecy. HG Wells may be better known these days than Jules Verne, only because Vernes’ works, having come true, are no longer science fiction, whereas HG Wells, since fantasy can never come true, can never be out of date.

As for science fiction stories with openly religious themes or events, those are rare, of course: but the same could be said of Westerns or Love Stories or Detective novels or Pirate Stories with openly religious themes or events.

Since religion is truth, in order to be fiction, a fiction story must disguise or depict those truths under metaphors or figures: Paul-Muad-Dib of planet Dune can be considered a ‘figure’ for example, of the prophet Mohammad, peace be on him; or Patera Silk of the Whorl considered a Christ figure; Michael Valentine Smith of Mars is a figure of the Antichrist.

Nearly any story with a robot or an artificial man, provided it is something more than a mere ‘gadget’ story by Asimov, reflects the relation of the Creator to Adam — consider the parable of Frankenstein, for example, that if man attempts to make himself like the Creator, he creates only a monster (whom even so, he should have loved). The endless robot rebellions peppering the sci-fi field usually have Luciferian overtones. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE is the update of the Deluge, Noah with space-rockets. And so on.

Since, as regular readers of this journal have heard me argue before, the scientific world view is not only part of the Christian world view, it cannot exist without intolerable paradox outside it, and since both the idea of the romance is an unique invention of Christendom, and since systematic investigation of natural philosophy called physics is likewise an unique invention of Christendom,  to argue that the novel form of the scientific romance is incompatible with Christendom is like arguing that the  Samurai story is incompatible with Japan, or the Cowboy story is incompatible with the Western frontier.

There is a reason why the Science Fiction story first emerged in the West, and why, to this day, it appears rarely outside Western or Westernized nations, if at all.

I am, of course, a fan of science fiction from India, especially if made into a movie starring Aishwarya Rai.

And now for another pic of Robo-Aishwarya!