Catholic Authors in Fantasy/Fiction and Paulo Coelho

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if there are lists of fantasy fiction authors who are Catholics. We all know J.K Tolkien, but there must be some authors who are as devout as he is. Paulo Coelho would come into mind, but I believe that he is more of New Age than anything else.

Recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Stephen Lawhead might be catholic.

I am too, but I’m not published :wink:

Tim Powers is Catholic, a pretty serious one I think, though I've read very little of his work and can't vouch for it.

Tim Powers definitely is, and the Catholic themes in the last “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie were there because it was based on an earlier novel by Powers, “On Stranger Tides”. I like his stuff.

Other Catholic SF and Fantasy authors:

Walter M. Miller (A Canticle for Leibowitz)

William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night;s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth) (maybe)

Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange, the Wanting Seed)

G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday)

Gene Wolfe (a recent convert) (Book of the New Sun series)

R.A. Lafferty

Murray Leinster

Fred Saberhagen

Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy could be considered fantasy.

Cyrano de Bergerac (author of an early science fiction tale of a trip to the moon)

John C. Ryan

Anne Rice (on again, off again)

Karel Capek (R.U.R., War with the Newts - coined the term “robot”)

Anthony Boucher

Robert Hugh Benson (a Catholic priest)

William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)

Jules Verne

andrew j. offutt

Russell Kirk

Walker Percy

Jerry Pournelle (Lucifer’s Hammer)

Oscar Wilde (The Canterbury Ghost, The Portrait of Dorian Gray) - converted to Catholicism on his deathbed.

Brian Moore (his novella “Catholics” set in a future where the Latin Rite is banned, could be considered Science Fiction)

Pierre Boulle (Planet of the Apes)

J.R.R. Tolkien

Clifford D. Simak

Mike, that reads like my bookcase!! I love Tim Powers’ work by the way. :wink:

Walter M.Miller from that list sadly suffered from severe depression and committed suicide shortly after the death fo his wife. He apparently also became despondent about the existence of God in his final years. ‘A Canticle for Liebowitz’ though is one of the great science-fiction novels, no cancel that, one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

Yep. I read that he was involved in the bombing of Monte Cassino, the great Benedictine monastery, during WWII, and his guilt over that led to his conversion to Catholicism. Joe Haldeman (himself a Vietnam vet) knew him and said that Miller suffered greatly from what we would now call PTSD.

There is a sequel or prequel that was published posthumously, but I haven’t read it yet.

I never considered The Man Who Was Thursday fantasy literature. I’m having a hard time seeing that. Certainly Chesterton wrote a lot of good stuff though that sometimes started to touch on fantasy themes.

I’m fairly certain that he converted when he married his wife back when he was in his 20s and then took up a scholarly interest in Catholic/Religious theology. Single greatest author of this day and age btw.

I recall reading that Frank Herbert was raised Catholic but went into some pseudo-Buddhism in later life. So not sure if that counts, but if you haven’t already, you should definitely read Dune.

As fantasy and science fiction are my favourite genres, I do encourage you not to pass over other authors just because they are not Catholic. You will be sorely missing out otherwise.

Great thread! :thumbsup:

Sorry to hear about Miller. :frowning:

It’s actually named by David Langford as one of the 100 Greatest Horror Novels of all time (in “Horror: 100 Best Books”). It’s kind of a sui generis novel, partly fantasy, partly horror, partly thriller, partly mystery, partly humor, partly theological, with some very fearful images - the pursuit by Friday, the Satanic aura of Sunday as the hero approaches him (“he was gripped by a fear that when he was quite close the face would be too big to be possible, and that he would scream aloud.”). It’s ultimately a very Christian and very optimistic novel, but it is very dreamlike (things seem to make a sort of sense within the novel that they wouldn’t outside the novel), and I can see why the original subtitle of the novel was “A Nightmare.”

His novel about a future(?) Islamicized Britain (“The Flying Inn”) also could be considered fantasy, as could “The Napoleon of Notting Hill,” set in 1984, and which was an influence on Neil Gaman.

Thank you everyone for your contributions. I wanted to ask this question since I am curious how author incorporate their beliefs to their work. I have stumbled to so many Christian books that seems to have a hate against the Magisterium, and it would be great to see authors that upholds and values the Church.

I’m striving to be more of a catholic author. I grew up reading military science fiction and I have some works I want to do. I’m wondering if I can turn my series’ around to more catholic themes.

John C. Wright.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.