Home Page Religious Groups in Literature

34,420 citations from literature (mostly science fiction and fantasy) referring to real churches, religious groups, tribes, etc. [This database is for literary research only. It is not intended as a source of information about religion.]


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superstition, continued...

Group Where Year Source Quote/
superstition Transylvania 1897 Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Bantam (1981; c. 1897); pg. 6. " I quietly got my polyglot dictionary from my bag... one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either were-wolf or vampire. (Mem., I must ask the Count about these superstitions.) "
superstition Transylvania 1897 Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Bantam (1981; c. 1897); pg. 43. "These Szgany are gipsies; I have notes of them in my book. They are peculiar to this part of the world, though allied to the ordinary gipsies all the world over. There are thousands of them in Hungary and Transylvania, who are almost outside all law... They are fearless and without religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of the Romany tongue. "
superstition United Kingdom 1968 Roberts, Keith. "The Lady Margaret " in Modern Classics of Science Fiction. (Gardner Dozois, ed.) New York: St. Martin's Press (1991; story c. 1966); pg. 209. "It was full night, and the Great Heath was pitch black... This was the twentieth century, the age of reason; but the heath was still the home of superstition fears. The haunt of wolves and witches, were-things and Fairies... "
superstition United Kingdom 1988 Adams, Douglas. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. New York: Simon and Schuster (1988); pg. 14. "She was not a superstitious person, or even a religious person... But she was finding it increasingly easy to believe that God, if there was a God... did not want her to fly to Norway... "
superstition United Kingdom 1988 Adams, Douglas. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. New York: Simon and Schuster (1988); pg. 142. "
superstition United Kingdom 287 C.E. Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Lady of Avalon. New York: Viking Penguin (1997); pg. 286. "'Oh, my lady, you must not give way to such superstitions,' said her maid Julie, who had recently become a Christian. 'Birds are not evil, only men.' "
superstition United Kingdom: England 500 C.E. Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Mists of Avalon. New York: Ballantine (1984; c. 1982); pg. 48. "So, for fear of the dead man's shade--even though he thought he called it by another name and thought of it as respect--he would not eat nor drink nor lie with a woman till his king was buried. Christians said they were free of the superstitions of the Druids, but they had their own, and Igraine felt that these were even more distressing, being separated from nature. "
superstition United Kingdom: England 500 C.E. Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Mists of Avalon. New York: Ballantine (1984; c. 1982); pg. 79. "Father Columba came out ton the terrace. He said austerely, 'You should not talk to the child of Goddesses and superstition. Gorlois wishes her to be reared as a good Christian maiden...' "
superstition United Kingdom: England 500 C.E. Woolley, Persia. Queen of the Summer Stars. New York: Poseidon Press (1990); pg. 404. ".He loved to watch the golden eagles gliding high and free above the earth, for they reminded him of the Orkneys, and when I took him to Stonehenge for the druids' midsummer gathering, it brought out just as much superstitious awe in him as the Standing Stones at Castlerigg had in Gawain years before. "
superstition United Kingdom: England 1773 Morse, David. The Iron Bridge. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co. (1998); pg. 44. "Sometimes the women brought spinning wheels and gathered next door in Mrs. Merryweather's cottage to spin and talk... font of gossip and folk remedies. Superstition filled the talk: peas coming up white signified death; Polly's birthmark was caused by her mother's unsatisfied craving for port wine; and Maggie's clumsiness at spinning came from her mother's having squashed too many spiders. "
superstition United Kingdom: England 1985 Dickinson, Peter. The Green Gene. New York: Random House (1973); pg. 121. "'Hygienic beyond dreaming,' said the Welshman. 'He brushes his teeth between mouthfuls, and his religious code is such that . . .'

'Hold it,' said Mr. Zass. 'Let's leave religion out of this.

'Oh, I am not superstitious,' said Humayan, nervously eager to placate. 'If you could read my horoscope you would see it says I am not superstitious.' "

superstition United Kingdom: England 1987 Adams, Douglas. Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency. New York: Simon and Schuster (1987); pg. 237. The ghost looked at Dirk, and for a moment shivered inside with apprehension. A superstitious instinct suddenly made the ghost wave. He waved Michael's hand round in a circle, three times, and then said a single word.

"Goodbye, " he said.

superstition United Kingdom: London 1500 C.E. Moorcock, Michael. Gloriana. New York: Warner Books (1986; c 1978); pg. 51. "Dee was evidently astonished by this expression of a previous century's superstition--words which might have come from Montfallcon's famous witch-seeking grandfather. "
superstition USA 1869 Bethke, Bruce. Wild Wild West. New York: Warner Books (1999); pg. 167. "Gordon considered this a while. 'I see,' he said at last, 'the classic end-of-time redemption and afterlife myth, as is common is so many primitive cultures. I expect the accompanying ceremonies and superstitions--'

West interrupted. 'Superstitions? Gordon, I tried to tell you before, I've seen a shaman heal a gunshot wound overnight! I've watched 'em make pebbles roll along the ground just by looking at 'em! I knew one shaman who could turn himself into a bird--one time he turned into a crow and flew all the way to Galena, just to watch the Lincoln-Douglas debates!' "

superstition USA 1869 Bethke, Bruce. Wild Wild West. New York: Warner Books (1999); pg. 161. "'...This time of year, that means it's about half past midnight, and dawn is in six hours.'

Gordon snorted. 'Astrology.'

'Nope. Astronomy. You white guys don't have a monopoly on science, you know. The Navajo shamans have been watching these skies for over a thousand years.'

Gordon shook his head. 'Like I said,' he insisted. 'Magic, superstition, and astrology.' "

superstition USA 1952 Heinlein, Robert A. "Concerning Stories Never Written: Postscript " in Revolt in 2100. New York: Baen (1981); pg. 211. "...the idea that the United States could lapse into a dictatorship of superstition. "
superstition USA 1989 Wilson, Robert Charles. Gypsies. New York: Doubleday (1989); pg. 73. "The situation was desperate, or why would he have been sent here, eking out this dubious liaison with the Americans...? Because, Palestrina thought, for all their naive Protestantism and unrepentant superstition, they are more like us [Catholic empire] than the Arabs... "
superstition USA 1999 Hand, Elizabeth. Glimmering. New York: HarperCollins (1997); pg. 65. "'SUPERSTITION DIES HARD,' a voice rang out. "
superstition USA 2000 Gloss, Molly. Wild Life. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000); pg. 180. [Epigraph: Quote from On the Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions (1849), by Herbert Mayo]
superstition USA 2020 Maggin, Elliot S. Kingdom Come. New York: Time Warner (1998); pg. 130. [Clark Kent talking to Bruce Wayne.] "'You've turned a whole city into a superstitious and cowardly lot. Haven't you read Machiavelli?'

'My favorite philosopher. next t you, of course. Now Wayne was being facetious. Partly. "

superstition USA 2030 Disch, Thomas M. On Wings of Song. New York: St. Martin's Press (1978); pg. 196. "...was showing what must have been the oldest cowboy movie ever made... The heroine explained to the hero that her parents had been killed in the massacre on Superstition Mountain, which seemed a truth as inexplicable as it was universal. "
superstition USA 2077 Anthony, Piers. God of Tarot. New York: Berkley (1982; c. 1977); pg. 23. "'Crap,' the surly boy remarked. 'God doesn't exist, and the Bible is irrelevant. It's all superstition.' " [Also pg. 154.]
superstition Women's Country 1988 Tepper, Sheri S. The Gate to Women's Country. New York: Doubleday (1988); pg. 245. "In the end, it was Septemius who suggested that they raid the Holyland in the guise of devils, leaving ambiguous evidence of the supernatural behind them wherever possible.

'They're superstitious,' he had said. 'I remember that. They're self-righteous and superstitious and fearful and vengeful as all get out. If you go in and get her, they're likely to think in terms of retaliation, and that will put your sheep-camp women at risk. If devils and angels and whatnot go in and get her, the Holylanders won't know what to think or who to retaliate against. A good demonic raid could keep them confused for several generations!' "

superstition world -5000 B.C.E. Weis, Margaret & Tracy Hickman. Dragons of a Fallen Sun. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast (2000); pg. 2. [Fantasy novel. Actual year indeterminate or immaterial.] "Nonsense!' Talon Leader Ernst Magit swung around in his saddle at his scout and second-in-command, who walked behind him. 'Superstitious claptrap! But then you minotaurs are noted for clinging to old, outmoded ways and ideas. It is time you entered the modern era. The gods are gone, and good riddance, I say. We humans rule the world.' "
superstition world -5000 B.C.E. Weis, Margaret & Tracy Hickman. Dragons of a Fallen Sun. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast (2000); pg. 5. "At first sight of the black crystals rising from the ground, he had lowered his eyes, and he kept them lowered out of reverence and respect. Call it superstition, as Ernst Magit most certainly would. The gods themselves were not in this valley. Galdar knew that to be impossible; the gods had been driven from Krynn more than thirty years ago. But the ghosts of the gods lingered here, of that Galdar was certain. "
superstition world -105 B.C.E. Leiber, Fritz. "Adept's Gambit " in Swords in the Mist in The Three of Swords. Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday (1973; c. 1947); pg. 436. "'A fable!' the Mouser denied laughingly, double-daggering Fafhrd with a superstitious glare. "
superstition world 1000 C.E. Brust, Steven. Dragon. New York: Tor (1998); pg. 52. "There were some books about the East that aroused my interest, in particular one called Customs and Superstitions in the Eastern Mountains... "
superstition world 1000 C.E. Eddings, David. Domes of Fire. New York: Ballantine (1993); pg. 194. "'The serfs are uneducated and superstitious, but they're not nearly as stupid as the nobility would like to believe...' "
superstition world 1000 C.E. Lee, Tanith. Red Unicorn. New York: Tor (1998; c. 1997); pg. 190. "'It was just before one of the awful dinners. She was done up in a black dress with sort of silver claws all over it. It made me superstitious. But anyway. I said what I must. That I was sorry...' "
superstition world 1000 C.E. Williams, Tad. To Green Angel Tower: Part 1. New York: DAW Books (1993); pg. 388. "A few of the Thrithingsmen seemed to regard the onrushing Qanuc with a shock that seemed closer to superstitious terror than mere surprise. The trolls howled their Qanuc war-cries as they charged... " [Also pg. 397.]
superstition world 1000 C.E. Williams, Tad. To Green Angel Tower: Part 2. New York: DAW Books (1993); pg. 260. "Simon felt a twinge of superstitious fear as he thought about that. "
superstition world 1900 Leiber, Fritz. Our Lady of Darkness. New York: Berkley Publishing Corp. (1977); pg. 98. "In 1900... Spencer preached science. Ingersoll thundered against superstition. "
superstition world 1943 Rand, Ayn. Fountainhead. New York: Penguin (1993; c. 1943); pg. 365. "'Now you see how difficult it is to discuss these things when our entire language is the language of individualism, with all its terms and superstitions. 'Identity'--it's an illusion, you know. But you can't built a new house out of crumbling old bricks...' "
superstition world 1982 Norden, Eric. "The Curse of Mhondoro Nkabele " in The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: 24th Series (Edward L. Ferman, ed.) New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (1982); pg. 173. "All such conjecture is, in any case, rank superstition, and I am surprised to find a man of your knowledge and sophistication succumbing to it. There must be a perfectly logical explanation for your travails. Must there not? "
superstition world 1986 Bear, Greg. The Serpent Mage. New York: Ace Books (1987; 1st ed. 1986); pg. 20. "Magic like that worked by the Sidhe was more difficult on Earth; humans could not work Sidhe magic. This much Michael had gleaned from his training in the Realm, Sidhedark. But were these facts or merely superstitions? Breeds--part human and part Sidhe--could work magic... "
superstition world 1986 Grimwood, Ken. Replay. New York: Arbor House (1986); pg. 236. "The U.S. Navy refused to bow to what Defense Secretary Laird called 'superstition,' and the destroyer Evans proceeded on course... "
superstition world 1988 Anthony, Piers & Robert E. Margroff. Serpent's Silver. New York: Tor (1988); pg. 43. "'...Each universe, each world connecting in adjoining universes, only a little different from each other. Our world's people have pointed ears, while another world's people have round ears. One world has silver serpents, while another has golden dragons.'

'Bosh! Superstitious junk!' Matt declared. He seemed angry. 'The rules want us to believe that nonsense so's they can keep us repressed.'

'But it is so! I know it is, because my father originated on a world where they have horseless carriages and moving pictures and talking boxes and all sorts of strange things. Then there's the alien Mouvar, who left a chamber from which roundears could travel to other worlds...' "

superstition world 1997 Dorsey, Candas Jane. Black Wine. New York: Tor (1997); pg. 236. "'You are a woman,' says Hoj unexpectedly, 'after whom the Carrier of Spirit inquires.'

Was she here?' asks Essa with a pang.

'Here and gone last month,' says Hoj.

'Upper-class superstition,' sneers Ynra. 'Just the sort of thing to flatter the queen's daughter.' "

superstition world 2000 Anderson, Poul. Genesis. New York: Tor (2000); pg. 59. "In an age when science was reaching from the innermost atom to the outermost cosmos and scientific technology was transfiguring the human condition, ancient superstitions ran rampant, everything from astrology to witchcraft. What slowly overcame them was neither reason nor the major faiths but those lesser, often despised sects that had never compromised their creeds. Then slowly their own dominance eroded. "
superstition world 2000 Cox, Greg. X-Men & the Avengers: Gamma Quest: Book 3: Friend or Foe?. New York: Berkley Boulevard (2000); pg. 182. "The Super-Skrull hated being on the moon. Ex-Commander K'lrt, once the greatest hero of the glorious Skrull Empire, repressed a shiver of superstitious dread. Ten million Earth-years ago, on this same barren satellite, his revered ancestors had been savagely massacred by the treacherous Kree, commencing ten thousand millennia of bitter enmity between Kree and Skrull. "
superstition world 2001 Schindler, Solomon. Young West. New York: Arno Press & The New York Times (1971; c. 1894); pg. 171. "The question, however, was yet puzzling me why our ancestors needed so much and, therefore, believed so strongly in the interference of what they called, the 'Divine Power' in human affairs, and why we in our days can live most happily without resorting to all the suppositions or superstitions by which they tried to explain the order of the universe or to control the passions and vicious habits of the people. The professor thought the solution of the problem to be very simple. "
superstition world 2010 Clarke, Arthur C. 3001: The Final Odyssey. New York: Ballantine (1997); pg. 106. "Amazing people--often great scientists--superb scholars--did a tremendous amount of good as well as much harm. One of history's supreme ironies--sincere and brilliant seekers of knowledge and truth, yet their whole philosophy hopelessly distorted by superstition . . . "
superstition world 2030 Hogan, James P. Entoverse. New York: Ballantine (1991); pg. 30. "'...The reason we didn't do the same was that the Jevlenese retarded Earth's development by infiltrating agents to spread irrational belief systems and organize cults based on superstition and unreason. That's why it took us two thousand years to get from Euclid to Newton.' "
superstition world 2040 Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood's End. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World (1981; c. 1953); pg. 179. "'In the centuries before our coming, your scientists uncovered the secrets of the physical world and led you from the energy of steam to the energy of the atom. You had put superstition behind you: Science was the only real religion of mankind...' "
superstition world 2050 Clarke, Arthur C. The Songs of Distant Earth. New York: Ballantine (1986); pg. 206. "...the harsh verdict of the great philosopher Lucretius: all religions were fundamentally immoral, because the superstitions they peddled wrought more evil than good...' "
superstition world 2110 May, Julian. The Many Colored Land in The Many-Colored Land & The Golden Torc (omnibus). Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday (copyright 1981); pg. 98-99. "'The Connecticut Yankee had to content against Merlin in the story, didn't he? Modern technology versus sorcery. Science against the superstition of the Dark Ages...' "
superstition world 2150 Dick, Philip K. The Divine Invasion. New York: Timescape (1981); pg. 88. "Then he read the notes.

Ancient witchcraft was steeped in crime, immorality and imposture; and it debased the populace by hideous practices and superstitions. "

superstition world 2199 Clarke, Arthur C. & Gentry Lee. Rama II. New York: Bantam (1989); pg. 59. "'...And, according to him, of course there could be no Raman religion. In his opinion they would have left all the superstitious mumbo jumbo behind eons before the developed the capability to construct such a fabulous interstellar spacecraft.'

'Dr. Brown is an atheist, isn't he?' the pope asked.

O'Toole nodded. 'An outspoken one...' "

superstition world 2200 Arnason, Eleanor. A Woman of the Iron People. New York: William Morrow & Co. (1991); pg. 269. "'Did the oracle tell you about his dream?'

'Yes. It might mean nothing. He's been through a lot and he's in pain. I wish I could give him aspirin. Sometimes a dream means nothing important. Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar. However . . .' He paused. 'He is an oracle and this is a holy place..'

'Derek, you are a superstitious savage.'

'Call me names, my love, and I will remind you that I have tenure and you do not.' "

superstition world 2200 Lee, Tanith. "The Sky-Green Blues " in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Vol. 17 (Gardner Dozois, ed.) New York: St. Martin's Press (2000); pg. 470. [Year estimated] "I knew how to find the road. That was from his books, it must have been. It was an old processional way, used to link long-lost villages, or some ancient city of the jungle, to the temple. Perhaps it wasn't very overgrown. Perhaps more modern villages kept it clear out of respect or superstition. I met with no one. I saw lemasets, and once a boar digging at the roadside... "
superstition world 2546 Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: HarperCollins (1999; c. 1932, 1946); pg. 103. "'. . . about sixty thousand Indians and half-breeds . . . absolute savages . . . our inspectors occasionally visit... monstrous superstitions . . . Christianity and totemism and ancestor worship...' "
superstition world 500000000 Clarke, Arthur C. The City and the Stars. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World (1956); pg. 296. "During the Transition Centuries--which actually lasted for millions of years--the knowledge of the past was lost or deliberately destroyed. The latter, hard thought it is to believe, seems more probably. For ages, Man sank into a superstitious yet still scientific barbarism during which he distorted history to remove his sense of impotence and failure. The legends of the Invader are completely false, although the desperate struggle against the Mad Mind undoubtedly contributed something to them. "
superstition Wyoming 1984 Willis, Connie. "Blued Moon " in Fire Watch. New York: Bluejay (1984; story copyright 1984); pg. 262. ['Blued Moon' or 'Blue Moon' is a term derived from a superstition, and is explained on this page.]
superstition Xanth 1993 Anthony, Piers. Demons Don't Dream. New York: Tor (1993); pg. 281. "A dream, in a fantasy land, in the game, which was all imaginary to begin with. Still she felt a superstitious chill. "
superstition Zebulon 2275 Panshin, Alexei. "The Sons of Prometheus " in Farewell To Yesterday's Tomorrow. New York: Berkley Publishing Corp. (1975; c. 1966 in different form); pg. 26. "Only gradually did he realize that what seemed craven self-service and shameless subservience to the superstitions of the Confraternity was really a deep and universal fear of the megrim [a disease]. "
survivalists Oregon 2001 Callenbach, Ernest. Ecotopia. New York: Tor (1977; c. 1975); pg. 42. Pg. 42: "Above all, they don't have to manipulate men: the Survivalist Party, and social developments generally, have arranged the society so that women's objective situation is equal to men's. "; Pg. 81: "...many Ecotopians are prepared to accept an indefinite drop in their own number. In fact, some radical Survivalist Party thinkers believe that a proper population size would be the number of Indians who inhabited the territory before the Spaniards and Americans came... " [Other refs., not in DB.]
survivalists Oregon 2011 Brin, David. The Postman. New York: Bantam (1985); pg. 42. "The Mayor of Gilchrist went on:

We are having extreme difficulty with local gangs of 'Survivalists.' Fortunately, these infestations of egotists are mostly too paranoid to band together. They're as much trouble to each other as to us, I suppose. Still, they are becoming a real problem.

Our deputy is regularly fired on by well armed men in army surplus camouflage clothing. No doubt the idiots think he's a 'Russian Lackey' or some such nonsense.

They have taken to hunting game on a massive scale, killing everything in the forest and doing a typically rotten job of butchering and preserving the meat. Our own hunters come back disgusted over the waste, often having been shot at without provocation... " [Many other refs. to survivalists in book, most of whom are Holnists, listed under 'Holnists'.]

survivalists Oregon 2011 Brin, David. The Postman. New York: Bantam (1985); pg. 155-156. Pg. 155-156: "One exhausted man stumbled up the steps..., shouting at those hurrying to his side. Another messenger, apparently badly wounded, was being tended on the ground.

Gordon heard one word cried out loudly. It told all.


He had one word to offer in reply.

'Sh--!' ";

Pg. 193: "Survivalists were expert at this type of sneak and run warfare. Unaccustomed to such terror, the Willametters were their ideal prey. " [Other refs. not in DB.]

survivalists USA 1998 Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000; c. 1998); pg. 181. Pg. 181-182. Pg. 201: Timothy McVeigh; Turner Diaries by William Pierce
survivalists USA 2005 Tucker, Wilson. The Year of the Quiet Sun. New York: Ace (1970); pg. 237. "'...Do you know of anyone else? Anyone at all?'

Patiently: 'There were a few at first, those many years ago; we managed to keep in touch with some survivors by radio before the power failure. Arthur located a small group in Virginia, a military group living underground in an Army command post; and later he contacted a family in Maine. Sometimes we would make brief contact with one or two individual sin the west, in the mountain states, but it was always poor news. Each of them survived for the same reasons: by a series of lucky circumstances, or by their skills and their wits, or because they were unusually well protected as we were. Their numbers were always small and it was always discouraging news.' "

Swazi world 2020 Heinlein, Robert A. Friday. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston (1982); pg. 260. "Before your records wer destroyed, I once scratched my curiosity by listing the sources that went into creating you. As near as I can recall they are:

Finnish, Polynesian, Amerindian, Innuit, Danish, red Irish, Swazi, Korean, German, Hindu, English--and bits and pieces from elsewhere since none of the above are pure. "

Swedenborgian Sweden 1758 Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000; c. 1998); pg. 185. [1] "The Swedish mystic and mineralogist Emanuel Swedenborg wrote one of the first eyewitness accounts of a close encounter of the third kind. In his treatise of 1758, De telluribus [Concerning Other Worlds], Swedenborg explained how he became acquainted with the inhabitants of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn:
Whereas I had a desire to know whether other Earths exist, and of what sort they are, and what is the nature and quality of their inhabitants; therefore it had been granted me of the Lord to discourse and converse with spirits and angels . . . from other Earths; with some for a day, with some for a week, and with some for months.
Swedenborgian Sweden 1758 Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000; c. 1998); pg. 185. [2] "Mercury [according to Swedenborg's De telluribus] was inhabited by simple farmers of good character and orthodox Christianity. There were more good Christians on Venus, but also a rougher breed of alien--giants so tall that 'the men of our Earth reach only to their navels. Also . . . they are stupid, making no inquiries concerning heaven or eternal life, but immersed solely in earthly cares, and the care of their cattle.'

The trance-voyaging philosopher gave a very circumstantial account of the Martians he met. Though beardless, 'the lower region of his face was black,' while 'the upper part of the face was yellowish, like the faces of the inhabitants of our Earth who are not perfectly fair.' The Martians subsist on a vegetarian diet of fruit and beans, and their clothes are made of tree bark woven and gummed together. The men of Jupiter dress similarly and reposed on beds of leaves in conical tents resembling tepees. "

Swedenborgian Sweden 1758 Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000; c. 1998); pg. 186. [3] "Saturnians, like Jovians, were mostly God-fearing Christian aliens, except for one idolatrous minority that worshipped the planet's rings.

As a recent commentator on De telluribus observes, Swedenborg writing more than a century before space flight was imagined, 'did not visualize the alien as a traveler geared and helmeted for space flight [but rather] . . . as an inhabitant of remote space, modeled upon those who were familiar to him.' The 'remote space,' in this case, is the New World, as known to Swedenborg from the reports and apocryphal tales of the first explorers. The giants of Venus were modeled on the Patagonians of South America described by Magellan's fanciful chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, who witnessed 'a naked man of giant stature on the shore of the port, dancing, singing and throwing sand on his head. . . . He was so tall we reached only to his waist.' "

Swedenborgian Sweden 1758 Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Simon & Schuster (2000; c. 1998); pg. 186. [4] "Later reports held the Patagonians to be crudely developed cattle herders of bestial stupidity. The characteristics ascribed [by Swedenborg in his book De telluribus] to Martians, Jovians, and Saturnians--their beardlessness, tawny complexions, simple diet, and habitations--are similarly derived from what has been reported of (or imputed to) North American Indians. "

Swedenborgian, continued


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