Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Jesus Incident and Beyond...SciFi Mania

OK, I don't know why but I've gotten on a Science Fiction kick at the moment. I'm trying to get in as much reading "for fun" before the semester begins again in September and I have chosen to do this by reading science fiction. To put it bluntly...I'm a nerd.

I began my quest reading a book by Frank Herbert, which some of you may recognize as the author of the acclaimed Dune series, entitled The Jesus Incident. You can find a brief synopsis of it here. It certainly was an interesting read. Voidship...Ship...Worship...figure that one out.

I then moved on to a book written by Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper called Building Harlequin's Moon. Unfortunately this book began stronger than it ended and I found myself pressing pretty hard to get through it. Here is a brief synopsis.

Since I just recently finished J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, I thought it would be best to tackle an equally thrilling and challenging epic. So, Dune here I come. Here is a synopsis.

There are several things I've learned about SciFi:

1. A truly good science fiction novel tells us something about our current social structure.

2. Nanotechnology will some day destroy the human race, unless we are very...very careful.

3. If there isn't a Messiah character, then it's just not good.

If so many good science fiction writers can't survive without the aid of a Messiah (i.e., telling and retelling our story/God's story), why do we think we can get by without the aid of a Messiah?

Another Question:
Does reality for these writers drive the ideas behind these stories, or are they simply making them up?

These are the things I think about.

I think about what pie to make over the weekend, and when I need to dust next... Is that bad?
This comment has been removed by the author.
i'm impressed that you can make it through books like that-

nice deductions from sci-fi. makes me want to read one...well, not really.

hope you've enjoyed your reading before the reading starts up!
Adam, nice reflections. Dru, your comment is hilarious.

You should check out this dude named Joseph Campbell. In college we read this book called "The Hero with 1,000 Faces" and it talked about the monomyth and how many elements of stories and myths throughout human history are similar. He develops this idea of "the hero cycle". Some of the elements for the hero-

-miraculous or amazing birth
-initiation of challenge
and you guessed it

So I would go round and round with the people in the class about how Jesus wasn't just another myth or derived by ancient Hebrews, etc etc.

So, all these sci-fi dudes are doing is drawing upon elements from thousands of years. Some would say thats what Christians are doing too.

George Lucas consulted Campbell during the writing and filming of the Star Wars movies. (the original, not that new rubbish)

Sorry this comment was so long, but a good post merits it! One last parting comment- the way you introduced your questions with the word "Question" is very Dwight from the office, and so I prefaced my statement with "FACT". Have a good day buddy.
Thanks for noticing the slight "The Office" reference...very keen.

Can I consider myself an assistant to the regional blogger?

Shane and Shane's new album came out today.
My comment reposted, this time with no grammatical errors:

You are weird. I think the last Sci Fi book I read was one from the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series about cats and outer space.

But maybe Dru and I are weird because of our desire to clean bathrooms.
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