Saturday, 11 March 2017


A fiction writer can assume a hereafter when writing fantasy, as Poul and Karen Anderson do in The King Of Ys. The voices of the deceased are heard and Dahilis returns as a seal. But I remain sceptical of a hereafter in real life - or rather in real death.

Every possible belief exists. The clergy of each tradition merely repeat what they were told in their theological training. Reincarnation is widely assumed and accepted on the ground that it "makes more sense" than a single life. It might make more sense if I believed that we were designed for a spiritual purpose rather than evolved as a biological process.

Wiccans, whom I both know and read of in SM Stirling's The Protector's War, accept reincarnation and add a sentimental Summerland between incarnations. I thought that Gardner made this up, along with other things, but apparently the idea has a longer history. But why should we accept this version rather than any other imaginative account of a hereafter?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, we do disagree about such things as whether an after life of any kind exists after death.

But I want to focus here on an idea I forgot to add to my earlier comments about the neo-paganism we see in Stirling's Emberverse series. The Wicca we see in those books seem too implausibly "nice" to be convincing. Esp. when compared to how GRIM real, historical pagans religions could be. But, we do get occasional hints that not everything is bright and cheerful among these somewhat implausible Wiccans. I recall, in either DIES THE FIRE, or THE PROTECTOR'S WAR, one Wiccan outraging his Catholic girl friend that their child be aborted. And how the young lady appealed to Lord Bear to judge their dispute. So, darker things do move beneath the surface of Wiccan life.