Friday, 16 December 2016

God In Fiction

How often does the One God Himself come on-stage as a character in fantasy or sf?

Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker and Nebula Maker;
CS Lewis' Aslan and Maleldil;
the Chief in Isaac Asimov's "The Last Trump";
a senile angel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials;
the descending Hand of Light in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing;
Satan as the new God in James Blish's The Day after Judgment;
Jahweh, then His successor, in Mike Carey's Lucifer.

(Jahweh's successor is not Lucifer Morningstar but a British schoolgirl called Elaine Belloc.)

Does this happen anywhere in Poul Anderson's many works?
Maybe the closest approach is a saint from Heaven in Operation Chaos?

Addendum: John Constantine also meets God.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think you are right, Poul Anderson never directly shows us God. We do see a saint from heaven coming to assist Steve and Virginia Matuchek in OPERATION CHAOS; and we get a glimpse of "God Incarnate humbly at meat with His disciples" in one of Gaia's simulations in GENESIS. And that's about it.

I would have included in your list JRR Tolkien's THE SILMARRILLION, because he shows us God, or as people in Middle Earth called Him, Eru or Iluvatar. See the chapters called "The Ainulindale" and "Of Aule and Yavanna" for examples.

And in Volume X of THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE EARTH, MORGOTH'S RING, ed. by Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien revealed to us in the "Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth" how the Edain of the House of Beor preserved a tradition declaring that Iluvatar had not forgotten mankind, that He would somehow personally intervene in the world Morgoth had marred.

Merry Christmas! Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Despite including Lewis, I forgot Tolkien.
Page views are up but posts are likely to be down in the next fortnight.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

On the whole, I prefer how Tolkien handled religion in his fictional works--because he FAR was less heavy-handed about it compared to Lewis' fictions. In fact, some readers and commentators remained puzzled on why THE LORD OF THE RINGS has so little, at least explicitly, about religion.

And the same could be said about how Poul Anderson: he avoided hitting people over the head when it came to philosophical and religious ideas. Which reminds, I plan to soon reread PA's Christmas story, "The Season of Forgiveness."

I'm glad page views are up, even if you will be too busy in the real world to blog much during the next two weeks!

Time I told you, I will be going to visit my brother again in Hawaii next week. And I won't be back until at least a week after New Year's.

Merry Christmas! Sean