Favorite Catholic Science Fiction Author

Happy Easter (Pascha) to you all.

This post probably doesn’t go in this section, but many of the social sections seemed to be locked to me, but I was wondering who was your favorite Catholic Science Fiction author?

Please feel free to suggest more.

Pax Christi,

Tex

The only one I can think of personally is CS Lewis. I recently read Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, and now I’m starting to read That Hideous Strength. The first two books were great though.

The poll only allowed 10 choices, so I had to leave many out: G.K. Chesterson might qualify.

Of course for fantasy…J.R.R. Tolkein would be a natural pick.

Ray Bradbury wrote one story: “Bless Me, Father, for I Have Sinned” which was very Catholic although Bradbury was not. Powers’ story “Through and Through” was powerful in a similar vein.

Kirk wrote primarily ghost stories, but they are too good and too profound to leave off the list.

Lafferty’s story “Name of the Snake”–not to mention his powerful spiritual allegory, “Fourth Mansions” are great.

Wolfe’s “The Detective of Dreams” is also beautiful and deep.

SMC’s novel “Brother Petroc’s Return” is a classic, as is Venning’s novel “The End.”

One of my favorite short stories is “Our Lady of the Endless Sky” * by Duntemann—it is sublime.

C.S. Lewis, alas, was not Catholic–although–I suppose he is now. His sentence “God created the human machine” haunted me for many nights. Are humans machines???

–Tex*

“Lord of the World” is probably the best Catholic themed s.f. novel–although “Fourth Mansions” would be a close second. Benson’s “The Dawn of All” is also good–although, like “Lord of the World” it reads as an alternative history now.

“Shaman” by Miesel is another novel to consider.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray”??? Wilde converted on his deathbed,after all. Better late than never.

“Past Master” by Lafferty–brilliant!

“Arrive at Easterwine” by Lafferty–not as obvious, but as brilliant. The Wild Wine of the Logos.

“Lord of the Hollow Dark” by Kirk–a must read–although not s.f.

–tex

Simak and Leister were Catholic, but were very discreet about it…but I suppose they should have some consideration too.

James White of Sector General fame was Catholic…several stories are Catholic themed too.

–tex

Walter Miller, who had some Catholic themed s.f. in the 60s, went crazy, wrote a very anti-catholic novel, and then killed himself in 1997…so he’s a hard one to consider

…although I don’t think “A Canticle for Leibowitz” is as Catholic as is assumed…

–tex

Does anyone know if Michael Flynn is Catholic, or is he just ineterested in the Middle Ages???

–tex

I forgot Saberhagen…“Peacemaker” is a great story of man introducing machine to God.

heh yeah, major mental slip on my part. :o I always consider him a Catholic in my mind for some reason even though I’m aware he isn’t…

Zena Henderson creator of “The People” stories…

Great thread, Tex! :D:thumbsup:

You’re right that, as far as anyone knows, C.S. Lewis never converted from Anglicanism, but I have read a great deal of his work (both fiction and non-fiction) and I think that he wrote from an orthodox (small ‘o’) Christian perspective, which would certainly be ‘Catholic-friendly’ at the very least … really, I can’t disagree with much theology in his writings.

And yes, Tolkien wrote from a Catholic worldview, although not allegorically (he specifically said at one point that he did not like allegory and that his work should not be read as such) but profoundly and deeply Catholic nonetheless. :slight_smile:

… cont’d …

I remember reading that Zenna was born into an LDS (Mormon) family, and later converted to Methodism. Did she convert to Catholicism at some point? How cool, if so!

And I absolutely LOVE “The People” stories!!! The People were so kind, loving, and deeply moral, weren’t they? Very uplifting reading. :slight_smile:

I’ll add another name to the list, a convert from atheism: John C Wright.

I read his Chronicles of Chaos series. It had an interesting premise, and was enjoyable reading, but it’s not something that I would want to go back and re-read for the sheer joy of it (like Tolkien and Lewis). I also tried his Golden Age series (which seemed to be more on the SF spectrum, while CoC was Fantasy), and just couldn’t get into it for some reason.

Here’s his conversion testimony … enjoy :slight_smile:

conversiondiary.com/2007/03/like-feeling-heartbeat.html

More on his conversion and some thoughts on SF and Christianity:

fatherjoe.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/sci-fi-author-john-c-wright-becomes-catholic/

I’m getting ready to start on Simak’s City very shortly: it’s next in my to-read stack … have to finish Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (not Catholic) first. Elantris is fascinating so far!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand: I enjoyed a short story of Simak’s called “Over the River and Through the Woods” … the theme is one that’s been “done to death” in the 40+ years since it was written, but even now it’s poignant reading, and I’m sure it was doubly so in 1965.

I agree Tolkien did not write allegories (with the possible exception of “Leaf by Niggle”).

But his work was uniformly informed by a Catholic perspective including thematic points in his works: fiction and non-fiction.

Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” (which I read years ago) had some objectionable points as I recall. Including the nightmare inducing line that “God is the creator of the human machine.” :hypno:

but the Narnia books and his s.f. series were pretty good as I recall.

–tex

I have also recently bought “City” and will read it soon. I am now making my way through Gene Wolfe’s “best of…” collection that came out a few weeks ago. It has all the great stories including “The Detective of Dreams.” Which if you haven’t read, you really ought to. It is amazing:thumbsup:

I have read some stuff by Wright on his blog, but not any fiction by him. I believe all his novels were written when he was an atheist. It will be very cool to see how Catholicism will manifest itself in his writing in the future! :slight_smile:

Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series comes to mind although that is fantasy.

Then there is A Canticle for Liebowitz - a classic of science fiction by Walter Miller and its sequel, St Liebowitz and the Wild Horse Woman.

Since we’re sort of expanding science fiction to include fantasy / ghost stories, etc. :smiley:

You’ve already mentioned Tolkien.

“Detective of Dreams” by Wolfe is very good, both disturbing and comforting.

Russell Kirk’s “The Peculiar Demesne of Archbishop Gerontion”–really spooky, really Catholic. “He genuflected before the crucified figure on the wall.”

Was M.R. James Catholic? If not, he was at least definitely “High Church.” ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING by M.R. James. The greatest at ghost stories, ever, anywhere.

This guy’s not Catholic, but intertwines really cool Christian themes in his “Silver John” stories: Manly Wade Wellman (real name). By the way: If you’ve read the Silver John stories or novels, *The Long Lost Friend *is a real book; I have a copy.

Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos. That haunting option at the end: End of the world, only the progressive, completely secularized group on the one hand, and the Catholic group on the other hand, survive. Which group do you choose to live in?

If you’ve not read anything recent by her, Anne Rice’s conversion seems very real. May God bless and help her.

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