Posts Tagged ‘Beliefs’

. . . the idea of faith is more general in the sense that it covers any devotion to a higher being or spiritual power.  It could be anything, from a religion-based god to alien overlords to the Force.  The point is that you believe in something outside yourself that, in some way, shapes, influences, or even controls the nature of our world.  Yet somehow, regardless of the faith, the path to getting there is always the same:  you have to hear the call, and then yoarrival_movie_posteru have to take conscious steps to overcome that adversity within and without to reach its source, taking you from a non-believer to a believer.

Well, no, I haven’t seen ARRIVAL yet, I tend to wait sometimes for what I think may be important films to be out long enough on DVD to bring the price down to buy for myself, but that’s my problem.  The above, from “Communication and Faith in ARRIVAL”  by Michael Moreci, on TOR.COM a day or two back, piqued my interest however (cf. below, for instance, November 3, August 26 ; September 17 2015):  the question of faith, belief, in science fiction as well as, perhaps to be more expected, in fantasy and horror.  The need for an author — or reader — to know a people’s traditions in order to build their world.

Or that’s how I see it.  Moreci also brings up Joseph Campbell (the hero’s journey), and the movies STAR WARS:  A NEW HOPE and CONTACT; while in my own writings I might note the upcoming TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH as well as, at least in part, THE TEARS OF ISIS.  And in any event I may look into ARRIVAL myself sooner than I had expected.  Moreci’s critique, on the other hand, may be read right now here.

Of all the genres, science fiction and fantasy are the ones where humans can tackle their deepest societal problems and thought experiments. Because of this, it’s a natural place for people to explore ideas about religion, faith, and the meaning of life. . .  So begins Leah Schnelbach’s “19 Positive Approaches to Religion in Sci-Fi and Fantasy” on TOR.COM, brought via today’s post-Halloween email.  I thought it would be interesting to look at some examples of books and short stories that have tackled re[SCM]actwin,1352,0,3288,736;Blogger: Adventures of a Grad Student - Edit post - Google Chrome chrome 9/12/2013 , 11:39:59 PMligious questions in respectful and positive ways, she continues and, yes, “The Nine Billion Names of God,” a short story by Arthur C. Clarke is included, as is his “The Star.”  Also there are Roger Zelazny with LORD OF LIGHT, A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ by Walter M. Miller, a couple of shorts by Ray Bradbury. . . .  Well, and many others, some of which I’ve never heard of myself but may now consider looking into.

But why religion?  That is, isn’t science fiction (at least) in some way opposed to that?  Maybe, maybe not, but I would suggest that even if not on the surface, the people in a future — or a fantastic — society will still have some unexplained beliefs, that rely on faith.  Perhaps it’s just custom, the way things are done, but for example (and yes, this is a plug, my novel-in-stories due out next year cf. October 31, et many al., and some stories in my other books as well) in my TOMBS stories there’s an implicit belief in the existence of souls, of some kind of life after death — there’s even some description of the nature of souls, how they themselves are made up of parts, and how souls of lovers might be later reunited.  Or in horror in general, if one accepts vampires or ghosts or other supernatural beings, again a subtext of belief is implied, whether in formal or informal terms.  So call it world building — or adding texture.  But even if not overt in a story, religious assumptions may lurk in the background.

And of course, in some, they may be in the foreground, for more on which (and don’t forget to scroll through the comments too) press here.




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