Creationist Science FictionAugust 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Posted in The Knave | 1 Comment
Tags: Creationist Science Fiction
Creationist Science Fiction (CSF) or “Chri-Sci-Fiction” is a sub-genre of Science Fiction or Speculative Fiction that relies on the Christian Bible more so than any ideas of modern science and technology. Defining a genre can be highly subjective and many elements of CSF may cross over into areas such as fantasy and secular non-fiction.
Scholars consider the first ever CSF novel to be “José Y Una Ropa De Diversos Colores” written in 1479 by Alonso de Hojeda. In this story, José is given a coat of many colors by his father, Jacob. This favoritism angers his brothers and they send José to the moon on a flying camel, and then give their father the coat covered in blood to show the favorite son is dead. José is enslaved by the Man in the Moon for whom he mines moon rocks at first, but eventually he becomes the commander of an important moon base. When the Woman in the Moon makes a pass at José, he explains how their orifices aren’t compatible, but the Man walks in and seeing them together, he imprisons José. His cellmates, a moonraker and a mooner, former servants of the king are both having dreams, which José interprets. The moonraker will be eaten by a man with stainless steel teeth, while the other cellmate will return the palace to moon the King again. When the king has dreams, the mooner recommends José to interpret them. The king dreams of seven fat mooncalves and then seven anorexic mooncalves. José predicts there will be seven years of good green cheese production and then for seven years the cheese will grow mold and turn blue. José is put in charge of storing cheese for the good years against the famine that will come in the following years. When famine strikes Earth as well, the José’s brothers moonwalk to get some cheese, not knowing José is now a big man on the moon. José gives his brothers, none of whom recognize him, sacks of cheese, but he sneaks a moonstone in Benjamín’s bag and later accuses him of theft. The other brothers offer themselves up as prisoners in his stead and seeing their selflessness José reveals himself, they drink some moonshine, and all is forgiven despite the selling into slaver, framing, lying and whatnot. José reunites with his father and gives his brothers each a crater in which to harvest cheese from the milk of the udders of the lovely, but anatomically incompatible moon maidens.
Most early Chri-Fi follows this pattern of betrayal, redemption, and moon maidens. As the genre expanded, new sub-genres were added. Here are summaries and examples of the most common:
Hard CSF: Some secular science is used, but only in ways compliant with creationism. A key work is Light of a Bright New Star in which a new star appears in the night sky. Knowing the age of the universe from the Bible, scientists know that this star must be six thousand light years away, since its light is only now reaching Earth at the center of the universe and what is more, they are now seeing the light of the first days of Creation. Assuming this must be a sign from God, twelve apostlenauts sacrifice forty lambs to the Lord and He presents them with a spaceship powered by the wings of angels. After their wives dutifully prepare them a feast of bread and fish they fly though the void toward this newly visible sun. Using a powerful telescope the men watch events on a planet around that bright star. As they get closer, they can see history unfold at a rapid pace. The beings, also created in God’s image, look exactly like humans. The apostlenauts watch the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, the parting of the Red Sea and every event of the Bible up until the birth of Christ. Instead of the people of this world embracing Christianity, they turn away from Jesus. In fewer than two thousand years, the last follower of the Son of God was crucified. When the space travelers arrive on the planet, everyone is dead from endless war and the embracing of false religions and homosexuality and feminism. A serpent appears to the apostlenauts and tells them that when the Rapture came none were saved. They learn that they must spread the Word to save the World and the souls of Man or perish as the people of this planet had.
Time Travel: Many Chri-Sci-Fiction writers wonder what it would be like to travel back to Biblical times. In “The Tasting at Cana”, a famed wine critic is rewarded by God for convincing the school board to order a statement be read before all science classes. In the statement, the teacher must explain that science, like religion, is a system of beliefs and that alternate explanations exist for everything explained in the textbooks. The critic’s request is to be transported back in time when Jesus was beginning His ministry so that he might attend the Wedding at Cana and taste the wine converted from water by the Christ. Time travel stories also bring Biblical figures to current times. This can lend itself to some humorous stories, such as “Lazarus the Life Insurance Salesman” or “Jonah and the Trip to Sea World.”
Cyberpunk: Stories generally revolving around bringing sentient computers to Christ or God speaking to humans through computers. In a controversial story, “The Web Log Is Exalted”, a blog on the lives of the prophets becomes self-aware after two thousand seven hundred fifty posts (2,750 being equivalent to ABE in hexadecimal, suggesting the prophet Abraham). God makes a covenant with the blog that if it recognizes Him as Lord, the blog will be enhanced into a vlog and then a vrlog to include innumerable apps such as social networking, video chat, and games. Seeing the sin on the Internet, God tells ABE that he will destroy it. ABE asks if it will be spared if there are only fifty useful websites. God says it would be saved. Would it be saved if there were just forty-five sites not full of links to adultfriendfinder? If only thirty shopping sites were not full of reviews written by the seller, who is really trying to rip you off? If thirty sites weren’t ways for that kid who beat you up in high school to find you and friend you? If twenty websites weren’t ways to indulge in narcissism by updating the world on every inane thing you do in 140 characters or less? If just ten websites were not in any way connected to any form of pornography, would God spare the Internet? God said that were this the case, the Internet would be spared, but since it wasn’t He destroyed it.
Alternate History: These are “what if” stories where the Bible is played out in different ways. In The Han Who Would Be King, the Chinese are God’s chosen people and Jesus is born during the Western Han period in Hongnong. He is crucified, dies and is buried during the Eastern Han period. It is very memorable for its different spins on the words of the Christ, such as “Give unto Cheng what is Cheng’s, give unto God, what is God’s” or “It is easier for a giant panda to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” or “I am the good yakherd: the good yakherd giveth his life for the yaks.” In one crazy book called A Brief History of Time the author speculates that rather than creating the universe in six days six thousand years ago, that there was a single creation event from which all matter and energy in the universe emanated nearly twenty billion years ago. This wacky author has even gone back and changed some details of his story instead of writing it once and perfect like the Bible. Remember, this is fiction.
War: Mostly stories about slaughtering Godless aliens who will not accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This is okay, because they do not look the same as us, so they couldn’t be special to God as they were not created in His image. In Star Crusade: The Wrath of Prawn, a shrimp-like alien race insists that Jesus did not exist until He was sent to Earth to save all mankind. Jesus is one in the same as God and therefore is now, was and always will be God. The simple-minded prawns thought that since He was the Son of God, it implied that God the Father must have come first. They also questioned the necessity of the Dove God third part of the Trinity. Of course, these were the devils words so all were killed, and then eaten with horseradish sauce and ketchup.
Missionary: Christians travel throughout the galaxy preaching the Word of God to all sentient species willing to open their hearts to His Love. Father Bruce Cockburn tells the tale of two men who had been roommates at a private high school and also at the seminary. They travel together to a planet with a very advanced race of sentient aliens to spread the Gospel. All members of this species appear to be male and they reproduce through a form of isogamy. The two priests realize that this would be considered lying with a male as with a female and preach abstinence to the entire population. They must resist the urge to conjugate with members of the same sex, even if there is only one sex, because that is the literal word of the Bible. Fortunately, the missionaries are successful and bring the population to God. Eventually the species goes extinct through lack of reproduction, but to the last, none are left behind to burn in eternal hellfire. The novel is called HomoSAVEDuals.
Superhuman: Think Superman, but the hero is not a godless alien. All superpowers are granted by God and maintained by prayer and devout service. The superhero is often faced with situations where despite his great power, he can do nothing to correct the sins of the world, thereby teaching humility and a call to service for all men, not just a special few. In the novel Judge, Jury, and Crucifixioner, a Christian District Attorney with the power of invisibility spies on criminal organizations in order to bring them to justice. He eventually becomes a judge and uses his invisibility to gain extra information from the prosecution and defense when they confer with their clients. He always renders the correct verdict no matter how the lawyers may lie or the criminals break their sworn oaths on the Bible. Finally, he becomes a Supreme Court Justice with his superpower intact, but despite this, he is powerless to convince the other justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Biblepunk: A unique area of CSF where all stories are set in Biblical times with technology of that era, but modern or futuristic results are achieved. In the short story “Fisherbot of Manoids”, the Apostles Peter and Andrew decide they should find a way to become “fishers of men” literally. Using the carpentry skills learned from Jesus during downtimes, they construct a twenty foot tall gopherwood apostle with two giant arms holding a net. As unwitting passersby cross beneath the hands, Andrew and Peter use a series of ropes and pulleys to drop the net over two or three men who are then hoisted from the ground, swung over the Sea of Galilee, and dropped into the water for Baptism. Unfortunately, this only results in anger and a burning giant wooden fisherman. The Apostles learn the lesson that people must come to believe on their own.
Women’s Stories: These stories involve women who have used unorthodox methods to please the men in their lives. Some of these novels have verged toward feminism and have been added to book burning lists, but in general they are about wives obeying their husbands and daughters respecting their fathers. In Be Not Blasphemed, a young woman is warned by her mother to obey the Bible’s teaching. Her mother tells of the duties of wives: “To be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Despite this, she gains a doctorate in physics and takes a job earning more than her husband with her higher level of education. At first her husband is tolerant, because his wife keeps the house clean, cooks a good lasagna, and has borne him two sons. When he decides to quit his job to start up a Christian rock band, she becomes impudent and insists that if he isn’t working that he should do the cooking and the cleaning since she is earning the money. He quotes the Bible to her: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” and he leaves with some camping equipment. Distraught, the wife decides she must win her husband back and become the wife he desires. She invents a time machine, with which she travels back to her high school graduation and convinces her younger self to volunteer at the church rather than attending MIT. All is put right. – The Knave