Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Book Review: Infinite Space, Infinite God

Infinite Space, Infinite God
edited by Karina and Robert Fabian

Science fiction has always explored human nature in a variety of imaginative settings and situations. Infinite Space, Infinite God stretches a bit further and examines the human soul. This science fiction anthology's theme is Catholicism and outer space. In one guise or another, each story raises an element of spirituality, faith, and worship for our consideration.

The editors have grouped the stories in various categories such as humanity, evangelism, mission, and souls. The commentary provided for each category is insightful and well written. The only complaint one might have is that each story's plot is slightly revealed therein. Those who wish to let the stories unfold without preconception would do well to read the editors' section comments after finishing the stories. Whichever method one uses, the comments provide good food for thought and should not be missed.

It has been a very long time since I have read a science fiction anthology and this one reminded me of the pleasure to be had in sampling a variety of writers' work this way. Especially thought-provoking for me were:
  • Hopkin's Well in which a soldier encounters settlers on Mars who force im to consider what constitutes a soul
  • Brother Jubal and the Womb of Silence where a monk who seeks the ultimate solitude for contemplation has a mystic experience that leads him to the exact opposite of what he expects.
  • Far Traveler where a secret project sends a man back to witness an event in Jesus' time that has unexpected repercussions in the future.
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment in which a terrorist chooses a punishment called "the light" instead of the death penalty and discovers that hey may not have chosen the lesser of two evils.
No anthology is without its weak stories and this one is no exception. A few are included that treat faith and Catholicism both obviously and unimaginatively, leaving the reader with no maneuvering room for their own thoughts o a subject. Thankfully, there are very few of these and the other stories are so good that the reader can quickly move on.

This book would be a good one to consider for Easter reading, when new possibilities and new life in Christ is vividly with us. This is not available in regular book stores but check the link above to order it from Amazon.

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