Other Worlds, Other Gods – Mohs (ed.)

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The best collection to date of religious-themed science fiction is sadly out of print — as you can tell from the condition of my copy, pictured above.  It includes an often-collected Clarke story, along with rarer jewels from the Golden Age (C.L. Moore’s husband, along with the author of the “Meg the Priestess” stories), author/editors Damon Knight and Lester del Rey, and others.  The average story quality is very high — plus, they represent a good cross-section of pretty interesting views of religion.  (The two don’t necessarily go hand in hand — even some awful stories have introduced some pretty good ideas.)  Here’s the ToC:

  • Nelson Bond – The Cunning of the Beast
  • Henry Kuttner – A Cross of Centuries
  • Lee Sutton – Soul Mate
  • “Winston P. Sanders” – The Word to Space
  • Philip Jose Farmer – Prometheus
  • Arthur C. Clarke – The Nine Billion Names of God
  • John Brunner – The Vitanuls, and Judas
  • Anthony Boucher – The Quest for Saint Aquin, and Balaam
  • Lester del Rey – Evensong
  • Damon Knight – Shall the Dust Praise Thee?
  • Ray Bradbury – Christus Apollo

It also led to the most embarrassing mistake (so far) in my own book.  I made an off-hand mention of “The Word to Space.”  I wanted to focus on influential authors, and hadn’t heard of Winston P. Sanders, but it was such a good story.  What I didn’t realize (and thus neglected to mention) is that “Winston P. Sanders” was a pseudonym used occasionally by Poul (William!) Anderson.  I’m not a huge fan of Anderson … but based on “Sanders,” I think I better give him another try.

It could have been worse.  I could have cited “Anson MacDonald.”

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