Perpetual Light Author:Alan Ryan (Editor) "Speculative fiction -- including everything from hard science fiction at one end of the spectrum to dark fantasy and horror at the other -- seems to me eminently well suited to examine the question raised by thoughtful people about God and religion. When we first began corresponding about Perpetual Light, Brian Aldiss suggested in a letter... more » that it is impossible to write science fiction without at least acknowledging the religious considerations. Religion, he wrote, "is an integral part of the sf vision. Directly we look to the future or to mankind in the mass, we have a pararational situation on our hands." "I think he's right." -from the introduction to Perpetual Light by Alan Ryan.
Certainly, religion has provided the subject matter for some of the best writing the field of science fiction has ever produced. Coming immediately to mind are such works as James Blish's A Case of Conscience, Walter M. Miller, Jr's A Canticle for Liebowitz, Roger Zelazny's Lord of the Light and Michael Moorcock's Behold the Man.
Perpectual Light follows well in that tradition. The 23 original stories collected in this anthology range widely, from hard science fiction and fantasy to unnerving horror to sly and rollicking humor: from space adventure to metaphysical speculation. But they all explore the tremendous variety of ways in which human beings both inside and outside formal religions try to come to grips with the questions of existence, God, and the role of humanity in the Universe.
In stories by Robert Silverberg, Tanith Lee, R.A. Lafferty, Alan Dean Foster, Hilbert Schenck, Gregory Benford, Charles L. Grant, Brian Aldiss and 15 others, we meet a group of chimpanzees who may have invented their own religion...a Japanese-American journalist who finds himself believing in a new god born from the fires of Hiroshima...a clergyman sent back through time to assassinate the Inquisitor Torquemada...a spaceship captain who must justify the ways of man to God...or else!...a housewife who has to deal with the inconvenience of being a living saint
...Plus a variety of skeptics, believers and seekers of all descriptions. Together, the tales create an outstanding anthology that may shock you, enlighten you -- but will definitely enthrall you from the first page to the last.« less