Monday, June 19, 2017

Science Fiction is … Not in the Spaces We Know



Here at the CoastConFan Blog, I did a post called Ancient Tanis, Forgotten Occasionally But Not Lost – From Rosemary’s Baby to Indiana Jones, on Sept 29, 2014.   I’m surprised that  it’s still a popular post, but then again, it covers a lot of ground and a couple of genres.  In fact, I just went back and posted a map on that original post showing the Nile delta for clarification as to the location and importance of ancient/medieval Tanis.  Part of the turf I covered was Biblical, about the Ark of the Covenant and there was a prop bible with and a nice pseudo original woodcut print showing the Ark zapping the baddies (a little foreshadowing). Additionally, I talk about Tannis Root, from the film Rosemary’s Baby.  Along with that, the Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark writers added some fiction and some fantasy into the mix:  the destruction of Tanis and the location of the Well of Souls for example, but it’s really all about the Ark which is the central MacGuffin, and everything else is extrapolation and chase.  But oh, what a chase!

Like it or not, religion(s) and the Bible/Torah writings are bound up with our culture and also with science fiction and fantasy as exploratory material for writers.  From Paradise Lost to His Dark Materials, writers have speculated about our place in the worlds(s) and our place everywhere else and if you follow Lovecraft, the places lurking in between. 

But let me cut to the chase.   I have turned up a fairly obscure clutch of associated articles, incorporating six different writers and their ideas about the Bible in the context of Science Fiction and comics.  It’s called, Not in the Spaces We Know: An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible.  It’s an excerpt from the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (Vol 16, Article 9  DOI: 10.5508/jhs2016.v16.a9).  Now that being said, you might find this particular SF discourse somewhat different from your initial expectation of a SF/religious exploration.  But, it’s a free download, so what can you lose?  After all, part of the title of this exploration of SF in a religious context is a H. P. Lovecraft quote, “Not in the spaces we know, but between them” is from the Dunwich Horror.  That pretty much sets the pace. 

 Here’s what's in this provocative 93 page read:

Not in the Spaces We Know: An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible
Introduction by Frauke Uhlenbruch

Seers, Fictions and Other Worlds by Francis Landy

Faster than a Speeding Bullet, More Powerful than a Locomotive, Able to Rule by Sense of Smell! Superhuman Kingship in Prophetic Books by Ian Wilson

Science Fiction, the Bible, and the Narrative Mode by Harold Vedeler

Hacked Aquedah – Gensis 22 in Dialogue with Contemporary Political Science Fiction by Frauke Uhlenbruch

Of Gods and Monsters:  Supernatural Beings in the Uncanny Valley by Ryan Higgins

What has Coruscant to Do with Jerusalem? by James McGrath
For example, one section in this exploration muses about canon, how it’s created and how it is modified/amended/destroyed.  Given how canon has become a fan hot topic recently, it might make interesting for some fans out there.  Another talks of the uncanny valley – you can’t get more topical than that in recent techno talk or SF. Anyone who has read Dune knows about Frank Herbert’s stories about humans becoming gods or godlike and how they handle the situation.  I don’t think many of these articles will be heavy sledding for most of you, although I’ll admit that some of it wasn’t my cup of tea (hold the Tannis Root).  The real takeaway from these six musings is that they point to even more articles and books, allowing the reader to immerse even deeper in SF lore.  If you can’t find a dozen great ideas for stories reading this stuff, you need to give it up.

Anyway, since the Tanis/Ark post still seems popular, I thought this article would be of interest to SF readers and rather than stick it amongst the many footnotes and links in that previous article, I thought it would be better for a stand-alone post.  Can you believe it, I made it through this post without a single footnote. 



                                                                 CoastConFan



Links

Download Not in the Spaces We Know: An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible.  It’s an excerpt from the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures http://www.jhsonline.org/Articles/article_221.pdf

Read H. P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/fiction/dh.aspx

For the light hearted, Cthulhu for Young Readers comic book by Dr Faustus http://drfaustusau.deviantart.com/gallery/34469914/The-Call-of-Cthulhu-for-beginning-readers



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