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Mainstream Science Fiction and Fantasy
with Latter-day Saint (Mormon) Characters and References
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Eliot S. Maggin
Kingdom Come. New York: Time Warner (1998)
positive
1998

Pg. 215:

Everywhere this place was magnificent. Pillars graced the facades of buildings as in ancient Greece. A soft pink light suffused the air the way it did in Jerusalem. Boulevards were as wide and as airy as they were in Salt Lake City. Beautiful sculpture and art, as one might find in the streets of Paris or Rome, punctuated the scenery wherever the eye could rest.
Pg. ix [In Acknowledgments section, Latter-day Saint writer Orson Scott Card is included in a list of 26 of history's great "fabulists and philosophers"]:
"Legends pass from one hand to another... I must pay homage, in roughly reverse chronological order, to a number of fabulists and philosophers who--knowingly or not--worked to make what follows possible: Julius Schwartz and Mortimer Weisinger; Orson Scott Card and Isaac Bashevis Singer;... Joseph Campbell and Edgar Allen Poe; Walter Elias Disney and Samuel Langhorne Clemens; Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin; Terence Hanbury White and Thomas Malory; Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, and John; Aristocles and Homer; and those whose hands and minds have contributed and passed the legends along..."

George R.R. Martin
Wild Cards VII: Dead Man's Hand. New York: Bantam (1990)
neutral
1988

One of the many super-powered characters in this novel is the government super-agent Nephi Callendar, dubbed by the media "Straight Arrow." First introduced by Walter Jon Williams in an earlier "Wild Cards" book, this character's biggest scene in this book is on pages 242 to 245, where he is guarding Jesse Jackson at a major event. He is described in this novel as "a tall thin Mormon with a receding hairline, a gaunt chiseled face, and the best damn posture Jay had ever seen."

Click here to see the "Straight Arrow" action figure.

Also of interest in this novel: Many scenes take scenes take place in the Marriott Hotel in Atlanta (owned by the Latter-day Saint Marriott family). One of the main characters (Digger) has a sister who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and a mother in Oakland.


Richard Matheson
Bid Time Return. New York: Viking Press (1975)
positive
1897
1971

This entire novel revolves around the protagonist's love for famed Latter-day Saint stage actress Maude Adams (renamed "Elise McKenna" in the novel). The character manages to travel back in time and meet the actress, and the fall in love. An entire chapter is taken largely from actual historical accounts of Adams' life and career, but the story of time-crossed love is, of course, fictional, and "Elise" is a fictionalized version of Adams. This novel (which won the World Fantasy Award in 1976) was the basis for the film "Somewhere in Time", starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.

The fact that Adams was a Latter-day Saint may be alluded to by the description of her character, but is not explicitly mentioned in the novel. But Mormons are mentioned by name in an unrelated passage aboard the Queen Mary, pg. 12:

More memorabilia. Dominoes. Dice in a leather cup. A mechanical pencil. Books for religious services; Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Christian Scientist--that old, familiar book. I feel as though I were an archaeologist excavating in a temple.
[Driving from Los Angeles to San Diego.] Pg. 8:
The Music Center. Stunning place. Went there a week or so ago, B.C.--before Crosswell. Mahler's Second Symphony performed. Mehta did a brilliant job. When the chorus came in softly in the final movement, I began to tingle.

How many downtowns will I see? Denver? Salt Lake City? Kansas City?


Mary Catherine McDaniel
"A Little of What You Fancy" in
Writers of the Future: Volume III. Los Angeles, CA: Bridge Publications (1987), pg. 196. Also reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 14, edited by Arthur W. Saha (DAW)
neutral
1987
Even Nancy had grown peculiar. She turned up her nose at double cheese pizza. Grew bored with Sara Lee. Instead, like a caffeine addict in a Mormon household, she sneaked to the refrigerator in the night, snarfing platefuls of spinach and buckets of unshucked peas.

Julian May
The Many-Colored Land Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday (1981). [Locus Award]
neutral
2110

Pg. 101, 139: Two references to people dressed as Mormon pioneers, among the time travelers from the 22nd century emigrating to Earth's Pliocene era, representing many different ethnical and religious groups.


Vonda N. McIntyre
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. New York: Pocket Books (1986)
1986

Pg. 109:

"There's no point in my trying to explain what I was doing. You wouldn't believe me anyway."

"I'll buy that," Gillian said. She nodded toward Spock. "And what about what he was trying to do."

"He's harmless!" Kirk said. "He had a good reason--" He cut himself off. "Look, back in the sixties he was in Berkeley. The free speech movement and all that. I think . . . well, he did too much LDS."

"LDS? Are you dyslexic, on top of everything else?" She sighed.


L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Of Tangible Ghosts. New York: Tor (1994)
positive
1994

Pg. 88:

I tried to find a book that would suit my purpose... one that Miranda was unlikely to have had. When I saw the title after having scanned nearly two hundred books, it didn't exactly leap out at me: The Other World--Seeing Beyond the Veil. But I pulled it out and studied it. It was a sturdily bound book, published by Deseret Press, but not an original, written by Joseph Brigham Young, a former elder in the Church of the Latter Day Saints and later the Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church.

After leafing through The Other World, I decided it would do. An entire section dealt with the spirituality of music and the role of music in "piercing the veil."

[On other pages, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is mentioned as one of the major religious groups in North America.]
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Parafaith War. New York: Tor (1996)
negative
2800

Like many of his previous works, this novel draws heavily on Modesitt's previous career as an environmental policy maker and his penchant for environmentalist themes. Set in the far future, the story is about a war between the Eco-Tech Coalition (cybernetic humans who are terraforming the few worlds left in the sector not already occupied by alien races) and a vividly-imagined theocracy ("Revenants of the Prophet"), the future result of a joining together of the Muslim and Latter-day Saint religious cultures. Most Revenant details are based on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in a strangely distorted speculative, futuristic way). In the past, Eco-Tech and the Revenants (Mormon-Muslims) have fought alongside each other against alien invaders. But the Revenants now oppose Eco-Tech, considering them "abominations" because of the extreme degree to which Eco-Tech humans have incorporated technological hardware into their bodies and minds. Eco-Tech people, on the other hand, consider the Revenants to be expansionist religious fanatics.

Because the main character (Trystin) is an Eco-Tech soldier opposing the Revenants, many of the sentiments expressed about the religionists are negative and confrontational. This is a war story, and things get ugly on both sides. The Revenants are highly fictionalized, but readers will find a wealth of Latter-day Saint imagery and terminology, including the temple in "Orum", clean-cut military missionaries, prophetic leadership, altered passages from the Book of Mormon (called The Book of Toren in the novel), and even familiar Mormon cuisine. Orson Scott Card himself even appears, as one of the main Revenant characters (subtly named "Carson Orr"). Michael Ballam is mentioned. The historical antecedents for the military aspects of the plot, however, come primarily from pre-Industrial wars and expansionism in Catholic-Protestant Europe and Latin America, and also early Islamic Empires.

Another interesting topic to contemplate is the influence of Thornley's "Unified Worlds" series on Modesitt's The Parafaith War. Both, of course, share fairly unusual central thematic elements: military conflict between a far-future, space-faring Latter-day Saint-based culture and a more secular culture. Thornley's protagonists are from the Latter-day Saint-based culture, whereas Modesitt's protagonists are from the non-Latter-day Saint-based culture, but many plot elements are similar. Modesitt even "tipped his hat" to his source of inspiration by naming his main character "Trystin", after Thornley's main character "Tristan."

In The Parafaith War the author attempts to strike some balance by showing a more human, sympathetic side to the Revenants/Mormons when they aren't on the front lines of a battle, and also by showing that there is fanaticism on both sides of the war, including among the Eco-Techs. But the overall tone is critical of religious believers. One revealing passage from the main Eco-Tech philosophical book (revered as scripture, but not a prophetic work) presents what one can presume is the author's agnostic viewpoint: Religion is praised as having been the impetus for ethical behavior, positive social change and social morality, but criticized for lacking physical proof of God and for stifling the development of a society based on non-theistic principles, but with morality and compassion equal to that of religiously-based societies.


L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Ghost of the Revelator. New York: Tor (1998)
mixed
1998

This is an alternative history novel in which the United States was never formed. Instead, separate nations make up North America, derived from Dutch, Spanish and French colonies, as well as the separate Mormon nation of Deseret. Most of the novel takes place in Deseret, especially Salt Lake City, and deals extensively with Latter-day Saint culture, practice, and to a lesser extent theology. The "Revelator" referred to in the title is Joseph Smith.

It is interesting to note that The Ghost of the Revelator is in many ways the same book as Modesitt's earlier The Parafaith War: The cast is about the same (an environmentally conscious government secret agent; affable but underhanded government bosses willing to sacrifice the agent in a crucial mission to Mormon territory; a likable and creative open-minded Mormon friend; a high-achieving diva love interest; plenty of fanatical returned missionaries), although the names have been changed. The basic plot and themes are the same. Even some scenes are recycled (for instance, in both books the hero flips through channels in his hotel room and sees Mormon-centric programming, including an advertisement for a Book of Mormon game). The biggest difference between the novels is the setting: alternative history Utah in present times versus far-future Utah on a different planet.


Judith Moffett
Pennterra. New York: Congdon & Weed, Inc. (1987). [Part of the "Isaac Asimov Presents" collection of novels.]
positive
2233

This novel features a Quaker a colony living in difficult conditions on an isolated space colony. Here the characters are discussing their situation, pg. 9:

He swept an arm aound each of his companions, propelling them back into motion. "Just for the record, though, Andrew's perfectly right. Why whould we be here, if not to mend our fences and act as a buffer between the Sixers and the hrossa? And survive? The Mormons had it worse, didn't they? And lived to populate a desert and a dozen space colonies? What would George Fox and Margeret Fell think of all this fussing..., hmmm? Not much!"

Ward Moore
Bring The Jubilee
positive
1944

M.S.: This is an Alternate History where the South won the Civil War, and the US (north) of 1944 is as poor and backward as the south of 1944 was in our world. In Chapter 16 (pg. 144 of the Gollancz paperback):

"...in the United States women can't vote or serve on juries."

"Except in the State of Deseret" I reminded her.

"That's just bait: the Mormons gave us equality because they were running short of women"

"Not the way I heard it. The Latter-day Saints have been the nearest thing to a prosperous group in the country. Women have been going there for years, it's so easy to get married. All the grumbling about polygamy has come from men who couldn't stand the competition"


James Morrow
Towing Jehovah. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co. (1994)
1994

[A militant but mostly ineffective radical atheist group includes a member apparently obsessed with finances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, on page 111, the group is mentioned as having staged a counterdemonstration at an antiabortion rally in Salt Lake City.]

Pg. 114:

The League's treasurer, matronly Meredith Lodge, an IRS functionary whose lifelong ambition was to deliver a tax bill to the Mormon Church, popped open her ledger book.

James Morrow
Only Begotten Daughter. New York: William Morrow & Co. (1990)
1993

[Julie Katz, the novel's main character, apparently visits Hell.] Pg. 170:

Day by day, the categories of iniquity grew even more arbitrary and excessive. Julie could understand why there was an Island of Atheists. Ditto the Island of Adulterers, the Island of Occultists, the Island of Tax Dodgers. Depending on one's upbringing, the precincts reserved for Unitarians, Abortionists, Socialists, Nuclear Strategists, and Sexual Deviates made sense. But why the Island of Irish Catholics? The Island of Scotch Presbyterians? Christian Scientists, Methodists, Baptists?

"This offends me," she said, thrusting a navigational chart before Wyvern and pointing to the Island of Mormons.

The devil's [reply] "Throughout history, admission to Hell has depended on but one criterion." He gave the Island of Mormons an affectionate pat. "You must belong to a group some other group believes is heading there."

"That's perverse."

"It's also the law..."


Leonard Nimoy
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986 film). Directed by Leonard Nimoy. Written by Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett. Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and Jane Wyatt.
neutral
1986

In explaining Spock's odd behavior to a 20th century San Franciscan, Captain Kirk uttered the now famous line:

"Him? He's harmless. Back in the '60's he was part of the free speech movement at Berkeley. I think he did a little too much LDS."

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
The Gripping Hand. New York: Pocket Books (1993). [Published in U.K. as The Moat Around Murcheson1s Eye.]
mixed
3050

[This is the sequel to the extremely popular Mote in God's Eye. On a Mormon-colonized planet named Maxroy's Purchase, where Mormons are still the dominant group, the protagonists learn there may be a wormhole to the planet of New Utah, which the rest of human civilization had long since lost contact with. Many Latter-day Saint characters.]

Pg. 5:

She had a thick Maxroy's Purchase accent. "Oh, it's lively! I've never been here myself. You understand, you won't get a drink here?"

Renner had in fact chosen the place. It was a Mormon-Japanese restaurant. Maxroy's Purchase had first been settled by Mormons, and they were still a fair percentage of the populace...

He'd had his doubts about alcohol-removed sake, but it tasted fine...


Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Lucifer's Hammer. Chicago, IL: Playboy Press (1977)
positive
3050

[In this book, a massive comet is heading toward Earth.]

Pg. 126:

Then there were the mail-order 'survival packages' that had been sold for the past few weeks... The foods were nonperishable and constituted a more-or-less-balanced diet. (What religious sect was it that had required all its members to keep a year's supply of food? They'd been doing that since the Sixties, too. Harvey made another mental note. They'd be worth interviewing, after That Day had passed.)

Larry Niven
The Patchwork Girl. New York: Ace (1980), pg. 74
2100
"...Don't get the idea that Earth is all one culture. The Arabs are back to harems... and so were the Mormons for awhile."

Larry Niven and Steven Barnes
Dream Park. New York: Ace (1981), pg. 33-34
positive
2100
"Were your parents very religious, then?"

"Who wasn't, after the Quake?" Her answer was simple, and true. The Mormons, the Vincent de Paul Society, and Hadassah had been among the first to bring massive aid into California. The religious environment had filtered all through California society and California politics. For several decades California had been another word for conservatism.


Eric Norden
"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)
1982

Fictional letter from Harlan Ellison to Edward L. Ferman, editor of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Pg. 172

Edward me darlin':

Sorry you couldn't reach me on the phone... I've been batting my brains out on The Sound of Screaming, that TV musical comedy of mine about the Moors Murder Trial in England. Some... producer case cast Julie Andrews as Myra Hindley, and she's breaking my chops with script revisions. It's my first score, too, and the... is ruining the title song. ("And the moors echo now/With the sound of screaminggg. . . .") I'm not too happy with their choice of Donny Osmond for Ian Brady, either...

Love and Kisses,
Harlan


Frederik Pohl
Gateway. New York: St. Martin's Press (1977). [Hugo Award 1978]
neutral
2100

[Latter-day Saint pioneers are mentioned in a historical reference (page 228) and contemporary Utah is mentioned as a vital food producer for an ecologically-changed world (page 15).] Pg. 228:

I suppose it was the same with Columbus's seamen or the pioneers manhandling their covered wagons through Comanche territory; they must have been scared witless, like me, but they didn't have much choice.

Tim Powers
Earthquake Weather. New York: Tor (1997)
1995

Pg. 165:

Then, in a crackling of trodden dry leaves, all four of the figures in the meadow were lurching away back toward the stairs that led down to the beach, the two mannikins waving their free arms in perfect synchronization, like, Nardie thought giddily, a couple of Gladys Knight's Pips.
Pg. 108:
"It always starts with this," said Pete, visibly tenser now. "That's Mary Pickford, the old silent-movie star. A guy named Philo T. Farnsworth was the first guy in the American West to transmit images with a cathode-ray tube, in San Francisco in 1927, and he used this repeating loop of Mary Pickford as a demo." He sighed shakily.

Kristen D. Randle
Breaking Rank. Morrow Junior
positive
1998

[Young adult by from the award-winning author of The Only Alien on the Planet. Breaking Rank features an imaginative and highly unusual high school clique known as The Clan, but this novel may not be sf/f in a strict sense.] Casey, the book's main character, is a Latter-day Saint, but there are few explicit references to this. On page 103 she mentions that the Relief Society sisters are coming by. Also, pg. 101:

"You know," she said, "you're really kind of a surprise."

"Yeah?" he said... "Well, lately, everything is a surprise to me. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, when you start learning, everything--numbers, law, history, politics, science, whatever--it all follows, because it's all part of this huge organize whole. But it starts with finding your gifts. Shelly says, "To every man is given a gift . . . seek every good gift," which is part of a long Mormon passage; Shelly worked the God out of it and kept the rest."


Bill Ransom
ViraVax. New York
neutral
2015

This book does not appear to mention Latter-day Saints by name, but Ransom (who lived in Utah) included many Latter-day Saint elements when creating the book's primary fictional religious group, the Children of Eden. That organization's strength in Central America, two-year missionary service of all young men, vast wealth, and scientific acumen appear to be based in part on Ransom's experience with Latter-day Saints while he was at the University of Utah. Ransom borrowed elements of many other religious groups in creating the Children of Eden, including Catholics, Protestants, Seventh-day Adventists, and The Family (Children of God).


Bill Ransom
Burn. New York
neutral
2015

Pg. 89:


Richard Rich
"The Swan Princess" (1994 film). Directed by Richard Rich. Written by Richard Rich and Brian Nissen. Featuring the voices of Jack Palance, John Cleese, and Sandy Duncan.
positive
1500

Although nearly all of the people who wrote and produced this animated feature were Latter-day Saints, there were no overt Latter-day Saint references. The final scene is subtly indicative of the Latter-day Saint background of the film's creators: At their wedding, Princess Odette tells Prince Derick that they'll be together for the rest of their lives. He responds by saying, "No. Much longer than that." Then the "camera" pans back and up to show the couple standing in front of a beautiful castle and garden scene, drawn to suggest a Latter-day Saint temple.


Peter Rock
This is the Place. Anchor Books (1997)
mixed
1997

[This first novel by native Utahn Peter Rock is about a 60-year-old casino worker from Wendover who becomes obsessed with a 19-year-old Mormon from Utah. Thematically, the novel explores the fascinating and stark differences between anything-goes Nevada (especially Las Vegas and Wendover) and conservative, spiritually-oriented Utah. There are extensive Latter-day Saint references and a variety of Latter-day Saint characters. This book is not classified as SF/F, but the Random House web site says it has fantastic and "supernatural" elements.]


Bruce Joel Rubin
"Deep Impact" (1998 film). Directed by Mimi Leder. Sceenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin.
positive
1999

[One of the main astronaut characters, Dr. Oren Monash (played by actor Ron Eldard) is a Latter-day Saint from Utah. In one moving scene Dr. Monash bids a moving farewell to his wife and children in Utah via videolink from his doomed space shuttle.

There is also an interesting "inside" Latter-day Saint reference in the choice of Jackson County, Missouri and/or Utah as the government-created gathering place for a small number of chosen people selected by the government to rebuild society after the armageddon caused by an impending meteor collision.]


Rudy Rucker
Freeware. New York: Avon (1998; c. 1997)
2051

Pg. 2:

Monique's mother Andrea was very strange. Sometimes, under the influence of certain chelated rare-earth polymers, she would form her body into a giant replica of the Koran or of the Book of Mormon and lie out in front of the beachfront Boardwalk amusement park, babbling about transfinite levels of heaven, chaotic feedback, and the angels Izra'il and Moroni. Her body was more mold than plastic, and it looked like she might fall apart anytime now, but Andrea had gotten rejuvenation treatments for herself before, and she planned to do it again--if she could get the money.
Pg. 6:
In the past she'd used the gaseous verbiage of the King James Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Koran, but these days she modeled her speech patterns on the style of science journals.
Pg. 12:
Shaped like the Koran or the Book of Mormon? Or maybe like the... works of Shakespeare!"
[Also, pg. 8 refers to "Spike Kimball... a muscular Mormon missionary," and mentions the angel Moroni.]

References Salt Lake City, because of the extensive genealogical archives owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Pg. 104:

"I'm not a Heritagist, Randy Karl," said Jenny. "I'm a software simmie created for a certain loonie moldie who's also called Jenny. For fast Earth contact, I need to live down here on a serious machine. So I'm working for the Heritagists just to like pay the rent for my space on their machine. I'm living on the Heritagists' big underground asimov computer in Salt Lake City--but, um, Randy I could move? With a client like you, I could be a freelance agent for both you and moldie Jenny from the Moon. I could buy myself a proprietary hardware node in Studio City."
Pg. 106:
"...Well, the Heritagists have the Earth's biggest archive of bopper memorabilia. And it just so happens that their Salt Lake City Archives own the only existing copy of Cobb's S-cube..."
[Other refs. to Salt Lake City by name, pages 189, 233.]
Carl Sagan
Contact. New York: Simon & Schuster (1985)
neutral
1999

In the story, a message of extraterrestrial origin is received by the SETI radiotelescope program. Sagan describes the reactions of many major religious groups to this news. Sagan's awkward terminology and conjecture in this passage indicates a shallow knowledge of Mormonism. However, many of the central themes of the book closely echo many distinctly Latter-day Saint themes. Given Sagan's awkward use of terminology relating to Latter-day Saints, and the fact that he says so little about Latter-day Saints while writing so much about other religious groups, it seems likely that Sagan's use of Latter-day Saint-like themes with regards to science, cosmology, metaphysics, etc. were arrived at independently, without direct reliance on Latter-day Saint source materials.

Pg. 133-134

...the religious networks, where, with sustained and general excitement, the Message [from extraterrestrials] was being discussed... The Message, Ellie believed, was a kind of mirror in which each person sees his or her own beliefs challenged or confirmed... The Mormon Church declared it a second revelation by the angel Moroni.

Carter Scholz
"Radiance" in New Legends. Greg Bear (ed.) New York: Tor (1995)
Approx. year of story: 1995

One of the main characters is a Latter-day Saint physicist from Utah. Pg. 223:

Who's this you're talking about, sounds like he's figured out that free markets are diplomacy by other means. Everyone, this is Jef Thorpe, postdoc from the University of Utah, he's here to look us over. Jef worked with Fish and Himmelhoch on cold fusion, and I just want to say don't believe everything you read in Nature, something's happening there, someday we'll look into it ourselves. Jef, Aron Kihara, our new press officer, takes the heat for my excesses. Bernd Dietz, materials and research...
[More.]

[A Latter-day Saint senator and his LDS aide visit the physics research center in Arizona.] Pg. 258:

Others were there from J Section... Highet arrived in black Western shirt... followed by a Western senator, cadaverous and grinning in white Stetson, and his young aide plump and groomed to a sheen, with the zealous black eyes of a pullet.

--Look at em, young, brilliant, confident, said the senator. --That's how I felt at their age. They own the world.

--The world? retorted Highet. --They own their genitals. The rest of them's mine, raising his voice to introduce, --Gentlemen, the right honorable Howard Bangeter, R-Utah . . .

The aide asked if physics had yet succeeded in finding in the traces of Creation the fingerprints of God, and Highet nodded, a slow smile spreading and his tonguetip darting as his hands rose to conjure, --Not God exactly . . . as Quine walked onto the deck where three barbecue grills sizzled...

[More with these characters.]
J. Neil Schulman
"Day of Atonement" in Free Space: Tales of the Galactic Federation (Tor/St. Martins, 1997), edited by Brad Linaweaver and Ed Kramer
neutral
Both the first and second Temples would have easily fit inside any decent-sized city's synagogue -- a three-storey structure a hundred twenty feet by forty -- but the Third Temple was as large and ornate as any other religion's primary place of worship, from Saint Peter's in Rome to the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
Illuminatus, Vol. III: Leviathan. New York: Dell (1975)
neutral
1975

Pg. 16

...the Call of the Wild, Consciousness III, the Reorganized Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Standard Oil of Ohio, the Zig-Zag Men, the Rubble Risers, the Children of Ra...

Charles Sheffield
"Phallicide" in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Vol. 17 (Gardner Dozois, ed.) New York: St. Martin's Press (2000)
2010

This story takes place in southern Utah, among members of a splinter group which split off of the mainsteam Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over one hundred years ago. Pg. 399

She asked about my work, and after a couple of minutes of simplified description she nodded and said, 'A wonderful marriage, it will be. As I've told Naomi, she is very lucky. Everyone expects that Cyrus Walker will become--'

She paused, reluctant to voice the unspeakable. Cyrus Walker will become the new Patriarch when the Blessed Jasper dies.

'Mother, Elder Walker is an old man, at least 60...'"


William Shunn
"Dance of the Yellow-Breasted Luddites" in
Vanishing Acts (Ellen Datlow, ed.) New York: Tor (2000)
neutral
2300

In addition to the reference to Joseph Smith within the story, the introduction states Shunn is writing a books based on his experiences as a Latter-day Saint missionary. Pg. 204:

Moments later she had several different translations of the Bible open on her desktop, including the King James 1611, the Douay-Rheims, the New English, the Mons Olympus, the New Alpha Centauri Prime, the Joseph Smith, and the weirdly poetic Friarhesse Low Synod version used by the Stewardship. The exact phrase she recalled from her childhood occurred in every version but the Alpha Centauri and the Friarhesse, and even in those it was strikingly similar.

Clifford D. Simak
Way Station. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Robert Bentley, Inc. (reprinted 1979; copyright 1963). [1964 Hugo Award]
1963

[Not really a direct Latter-day Saint reference, but Latter-day Saints may be among those referred to by this character as "one of those people" interested in pre-Columbian American settlements. The notion may have seemed unlikely to the Simak, who wrote this novel before the evidence for such migrations became more widely accepted among archaeologists.]

Pg. 18:

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Hardwicke [referring to an alien form of writing found at a burial site]. "Not that I'm an authority. I really know little at all in this field."

"You can put your mind at rest. It's nothing that anyone knows anything about. It bears no resemblance, not even the remotest, to any language or any known inscription. I checked with men who know. Not one, but a dozen of them. I told them I'd found it on a rocky cliff. I am sure that most of them think I'm... One of those people who are trying to prove that the Romans or the Phoenicians or the Irish or whatnot had pre-Colombian settlements in America."


Dan Simmons
Hyperion. New York: Doubleday (1989). [1990 Hugo Award]
neutral
2750

Pg. 223: In describing intentions to write a poem about the powerful alien being known as the Shrike, the character compares it various messenger/harbinger figures from different religions, such as the Archangel Michael and the angel Moroni.

In a newsgroup posting discussing "Endymion" (a sequel to Hyperion), Simmons disagreed with a comment that Mormonism differed significantly enough from other Christian denominations and that it constitutes a separate religion. He said "Mormonism, while peculiarly American, is another refinement of a desert religion [Christianity] from the mideast." [14 Aug. 1997. Source.]


Dan SimmonsCarrion Comfort. New York: Warner Books (1990; c. 1989)
mixed
1980

A major character at the beginning and end of the novel is a young, devout Latter-day Saint actress named Shayla Berrington. In this scene, a malicious movie producer is verbally abusive toward her. Example, pg. 31:

"...You were going to be another Julie Andrews in that cheap... rip-off of The Sound of Mucus. Only you weren't--and this isn't the flower child sixties, it's the... eighties and I'm not your agent or anything. Ms. Berrington, but I'd say that Momma and the crew have poled you pretty far up... creek as far as your film career goes. They're trying to turn you into a Marie Osmond type . . . yeah, yeah, I know you're a member of the Church of the L.D.S. . . . so what? You were a class act on the cover of Vogue and Seventeen and now you're close to pissing it all away. They're trying to sell you as a twelve-year-old ingenue and it's too late for that kind..."
[Also, pg. 278 mentions Morris Udall, the famed Latter-day Saint senator from Arizona.]
Dan SimmonsThe Crook Factory. New York: Avon Books (1999)
1934

[References to Special Agent Sam Cowley, a Latter-day Saint.] Pg. 105-106:

Every agent in the Bureau and the SIS had heard of Special Agent D. Some believed in him. These are the facts as I knew them:

At 10:30 P.M. on the night of July 21, 1934, the criminal John Dillinger and two women--one of them the infamous "Woman in Red," Ana Cummpanas, aka Anna Sage, who had betrayed the gangster--walked out of the Biograph Theater in Chicago. The squad of Bureau agents waiting in ambush for Dillinger was officially headed up by SAC Sam Cowley, but the real leader of the group was Melvin Purvis, who had already received more public attention than Mr. Hoover could tolerate in a subordinate... Melvin Purvis was credited by the press and the public for the kill, and the fact that several other agents also fired was public knowledge. But what everyone in the Bureau had heard were the real details of the shooting: Purvis never pulled his gun, much less fired it. SAC Cowley--who was later gunned down by Baby Face Nelson--also did not fire. The four men who fired were Special Agents Herman Hollis, who missed; Clarence Hurt and Charles Winstead, who might have wounded Dillinger; and a fourth agent, referred to in reports only as "Special Agent D," who was thought to have fired only one shot--the fatal one. In later reports, Special Agent D had disappeared completely, and although Hoover's credit for killing Dillinger went to the late Sam Cowley and the unofficial credit went to Charles Winstead, rumors continued to spread about Special Agent D.

[More, pg. 106-107.]
Robert Silverberg
A Time of Changes. Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday (1971). [1971 Nebula Award]
4500

This novel, which is primarily about religion and culture, with little science fiction elements other than its future and otherworldly setting, takes place on the planet Borthan in the world's principal nation, which is a theocracy ruled by the Covenant. The capitol city is named after and somewhat modeled after Salt Lake City. Pg. 44:

A walled city [Glain] is, like Salla's capital, but otherwise not much like it. Salla City has grace and power; its buildings are made of great blocks of substantial stone, black basalt and rosy granite quarried in the mountains, and its streets are wide and sweeping, affording noble vistas and splendid promenades. Apart from our custom of letting narrow slits stand in place of true windows, Salla City is an open, inviting place, the architecture of which announces to the world the boldness and self-sufficiency of its citizens.
Also one of the principle families has siblings with names apparently partially derived from the first family in the Book of Mormon: Halum, Loimel, Kinnall and Noim. "Kinnall" may be named after Pres. Kimball. The book states that Loimel was named after "Loimel Helalam" (a character in the book whose last name is apparently derived from Helaman in the Book of Mormon. Also note the health code based on the Latter-day Saint Word of Wisdom, with specific proscriptions against drugs (page 94), and other possible Latter-day Saint references, including, on page 87:
"And," I said, "this planet was settled by men who had strong religious beliefs, who specifically came here to preserve them, and who took great pains to instill them in their descendants."

"That too. Your Covenant. Yet that was--what, fifteen hundred, two thousand years ago? It could all have crumbled by now, but it hasn't. It's stronger than ever. Your devoutness..."

Latter-day Saint elements may not be the only, or even the primary, source of inspiration for the religion portrayed in the book. The author has doubtless drawn from other branches of Christianity, Judaism, and possibly elsewhere, to create a completely original religious culture.
Robert Silverberg
Tom O'Bedlam. New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc. (1985)
neutral
2103 Page 213:
"Where did you grow up?" she asked him.

"A whole lot of places. Nevada, I think. And Utah."

"Deseret, you mean?"

"Deseret, yeah, that's what they call it now. And Wyoming..."

The title character, Tom O'Bedlam, has lived in Utah and, as explained in a separate passage, was born in western Utah or eastern Nevada. Following a nuclear war, the Tom O'Bedlam was born a mutant because of lingering radiation. His mind projects his imagination and subconscious into the minds other others, which they perceive as religious visions. One result is a rapidly-growing Afro-Brazilian religious movement growing out of San Diego. Other than the change of Utah's name to the Mormon word "Deseret", Latter-day Saints are not mentioned in the novel. But it is interesting that the author has set the title character's birth and formative years in the Mormon cultural region. In one passage scientists say they have determined that the energy causing the religious fervor in other parts of North America as emanating from somewhere in the Rockies. (It is later traced to Tom O'Bedlam himself.)
Martha Soukup
"The House of Expectations" in
Starlight 2 (Patrick Nielsen Hayden, ed.). New York: Tor (1998)
neutral
2010

Pg. 122:

They finished their tests and Annie came to him, in a business suit... She told him they had one person who might suit. He would have to sign a nondisclosure agreement. A nondisclosure agreement. He imagined unsavory things--underage Mormon teenagers kidnapped from Utah. Women kept in cages twenty-four hours a day... What did they think they saw in their ridiculous tests?

Norman Spinrad
"A Thing of Beauty " in Kate Wilhelm (ed.),
Nebula Award Stories Nine. New York: Harper & Row (1974), pg. 195-196.
neutral
2050
I was in real trouble. I was very close to blowing the biggest deal I've ever had a shot at. I'd shown Ito the two best items in y territory, and if he didn't find what he wanted in the Northeast, there were plenty of first-rank pieces still left in the rest of the county-top stuff like the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the Disneyland Matterhorn, the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle--and plenty of other brokers to collect that big fat commission.

Brian Stableford
"Tenebrio" in
Vanishing Acts (Ellen Datlow, ed.) New York: Tor (2000)
neutral
2000

Pg. 147:

...he'd elected to destroy the village rather than the smaller hamlets, isolating the church. The church commissioners had refused to sell their own parcel of land but they hadn't been able to maintain the living. They'd closed the church and the cemetary and sold the vicarage with the proviso that its exterior aspect was preserved. When he'd bought it, Hazard had become the official keyholder of the church, although he had no more than a couple of inquiries a year from tourists wanting to look inside--mostly American Mormons hunting down scraps of evidence relating to the lives of their more remote ancestors

Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age. New York: Bantam Books (1995). [1996 Hugo Award]
positive
2040

There are many Latter-day Saint and Utah references in this novel, but Mormons Latter-day Saints are not a central element. Example (pg. 25):

The Vickys wouldn't take him in a million years, of course. Almost all the other tribes were racially oriented, like those Parsis or whatever. The Jews wouldn't take him unless he [underwent circumcision] and learned to read a whole nother language... There were a bunch of coenobitical phyles--religious tribes--that took people of all races, but most of them weren't very powerful and didn't have turf in the Leased Territories. The Mormons had turf and were very powerful, but he wasn't sure if they'd take him as quickly and readily as he needed to be taken. Then there were the tribes that people just made up out of thin air--the synthetic phyles--but most of them were based on some shared skill or weird idea or ritual that he wouldn't be able to pick up in half an hour.
Some of the other references in this book: On page 411, two Latter-day Saint missionaries are found murdered in China, in territory of the book's antagonist empire (Confucianists or Maoists who have conquered a region they call the "Celestial Kingdom"). Page 447: Mormons are also mentioned by name in a short list of other tribes, including Navajos, Tibetans and Kurds. There is a character named Mr. Oremland, but it seems more likely that he is named after film director Paul Oremland than after the realworld Latter-day Saint city of Orem, Utah. Kentucky Fried Chicken (the fast food chain which began in Utah) is mentioned. Also, there is a whole chapter (not part of the main narrative, but a story read by the characters of the novel) describing a battle between a Utahraptor dinosaur (named "Utah") and some other dinosaurs. ("Utahraptor" is a real species of dinosaur, by the way.)
Neal Stephenson
The Big U. Vintage Books (1984)
neutral
2010

This is the first published novel by the popular Hugo award-winning Neal Stephenson, author of The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicron. The book is about radical college movements in the near future, including, among others, the fictional "Temple of Unlimited Godhead" (TUG), which fills the conservative and religious niches on campuses. TUG is described as an "outlaw breakaway Mormon sect." [Source: Slashdot review.]

Many of the scenes and TUG-member characters are apparently based on the author's own first hand experience with Mormon friends and classmates. Interestingly enough, TUG is actually a radical Mormon-Buddhist hybrid, but is described as being "fully consistent with Judeo-Christo-Mohammedan-Bahaism."

The central plot of the book revolves around a rivalry that amounts to tribal warfare between radical leftist Communist terrorist students and right-wing students led by the Mormon-Buddhists in TUG.

Example, page 118: "Now what we don't need is... any of your Kool-Aid-stoned outlaw Mormon Jesuits..."

...the audience applauded. The TUGgies were galvanized, and spoke up for their renegade sect as eloquently as they knew how.

"But that man was a Communist! [referring to a member of SUB, the group TUG is opposed to] We found his card."

"Look at it this way. If TUG brainwashes people, how do you explain the great diversity of our membership, which comes from towns and farms of all sizes all over the Dakotas and Saskatchewan?"


Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash. New York: Bantam Books (1992)
negative
2025

The "all-Mormon burbclave of Deseret" is described as very "dull." Another tribe/nation which is compared to Deseret is described as populated by men who all wear dark suits and women who wear dresses.


Bruce Sterling
Islands in the Net. New York: Arbor House/William Morrow (1988)
-
2022

Pg. 11:

"Coffee?" Laura said.

"No, thank you. I never take caffeine."

"I see." Laura put the pot aside.

"...what if you run out with some Jell-O in your pocket . . . dangerous Jell-O . . . patented Jell-O."

Pg. 311:
"...he's got his covered wagons in a circle, every man to the ramparts..."

Michael Swanwick
Swanwick, Michael.
Station of the Tide. New York: William Morrow & Co. (1991). [1991 Nebula Award]
neutral
2300

The "visitations of angels" mentioned on page 129 may be a reference to Latter-day Saint angelic visitations, especially considering the exact usage of this peculiar Latter-day Saint wording, and the proximity of the phrase to fantastic elements from other American-born sectarian groups (Florida-based Koreshanity, for instance, the hollow Earth believers). Note that five years earlier Swanwick wrote the short story "Anyone Here From Utah?"

"...Here is where we store all the outdated, obscure, and impolite information that belongs nowhere else. Flat and hollow worlds, rains of frogs, visitations of angels. Paracelsus's alchemical system in one bottle and Isaac Newton's in another... It's all rather something of a lumber room now, but much of this information was once quite important. Some of it used to be the best there was."

William Tenn
"Eastward Ho"
neutral
2050

Short story about a post WW3 America being reconquered by the Indians. Contains a passing reference to the fall of:

the Mormon nation, under the August leadership of...

Sheri Tepper
The Gate to Women's Country
negative

One of the main cultures in novel is based in part on 19th Century literary stereotypes of Latter-day Saints.


Sheri Tepper
Grass
negative
SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com/06a/gr129.htm):
Sheri Stewart Tepper was born (in 1929) and raised in Colorado. For many years, she worked for various non-profit organizations, including the international relief organization, CARE, and she was the executive director of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, responsible for the administration of about 30 [abortion] in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico...

Sanctity, the noxious world-religion of Tepper's Earth, is explicitly modelled on Mormonism. Mormon readers ('saints') will not be flattered -- though Tepper has exaggerated for effect. Sanctity is not nice. At times it verges on cartoonish, but then I would reflect on the banality of evil.... Tepper does a good job, handling evil. Beauty (1991) is her masterwork of evil -- a remarkable book, but not for the squeamish. "Down, down, to Happy Land..." Ugh.


Jim Thomas
"Wild Wild West" (1999 film). Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Written by Jim Thomas and John Thomas. Starring Will Smith as James West and as both Artemus Gordon and President Ulysses S. Grant.
neutral
1869

The last half of this movie takes place in Utah, where the heroes go to prevent the villain's attempt to kidnap President Ulysses S. Grant, who is attending the famous "Golden Spike" event, when the East and West coasts of the United States are joined by a transcontinental railroad. Mormon railroad workers, organized by Brigham Young, completed this section of the railroad, and many of the people shown attending the Golden Spike event are Mormons.


Diann Thornley
Ganwold's Child. New York: Tor (1994)
positive
3290

The novel contains no overt Latter-day Saint references, but the Topawans are loosely based on Latter-day Saints. Admiral Lujan and Darcie's Latter-day Saint temple-style wedding at an alter is mentioned, and some other Topawan/Latter-day Saint beliefs are mentioned in passing. Most of the book focues on cultures other than the Topawans.


Diann Thornley
Echoes of Issel. New York: Tor (1996)
positive
3308

Pg. 263:

"There's one more thing I'd like to give you, Tris."

He looked up then. "What's that, sir?"

"My blessing."

The concept was no stranger to him than the passage of scripture had been, though he'd never experienced it before. "I'd like that," he said.

"Listen carefully then," the admiral said, "so you can remember." And he stood, and placed his right hand on Tristan's head, and bowed his own.

"Tristan Lujanic Serege," he said, "in the name of our God and with the authority passed on to me in this same manner by those who came before me, I assure you that you are prepared to accept the mission to which you have been called."

[These characters are referred to as "Topawans", from a people who are all considered "religious fanatics" by others. Although not identified by name as such, this father's blessing and other aspects of their religion are derived directly from Latter-day Saint practices.]
Tracy Torme
"Fire in the Sky" (1993 film). Directed by Robert Lieberman. Written by Tracy Torme. Starring D.B. Sweeney and Robert Patrick.
negative
1975

This film is based on the true story of lumberjacks who claimed they saw a UFO, and one was abducted, on November 5, 1975 in the White Mountains of Northeastern Arizona. One character refers to the town of Snowflake, Arizona (where much of the story takes place) as a "stupid Mormon town." (The real town of Snowflake is predominantly Latter-day Saint. In fact, the construction of a Latter-day Saint temple was announced for Snowflake on April 2, 2000.) Presumably the character refers to it as "stupid" out of frustration that the townspeople don't believe his story of alien abduction.


Harry Turtledove
How Few Remain. New York: Doubleday (1997) [1998 Nebula Nominee]
1881

["A novel of the second war between the states." In this alternative history novel, Abraham Lincoln is stranded in the Mormon-controlled territory of Deseret when the second civil war breaks out between the Confederate States and the North. Colonel George Armstrong Custer fights Indians, Mormons and the British. Latter-day Saint President John Taylor is featured prominently.]


Harry Turtledove
The Great War: American Front. New York: Ballantine (1998)
positive
1914

[In this alternative history novel, the South won the Civil War and formed a separate nation. The Mormons in the Utah territory formed a state, known as Deseret, which became a state in the Northern United States, but the state suffered extreme anti-Mormon prejudice from the U.S., including a murderous march by General Custer. In this novel, while World War II rages in Europe, the Mormon state of Deseret tries to assert independence and U.S. troops invade to put down the rebellion. Long passages in this book describe the WW II-era U.S. march on Utah and slaughter of Mormon civilians. Battles in Price, Provo and Salt Lake City are described in detail. The book also describes, in less detail, U.S. military campaigns against Quebec and American Indians.]

Pg. 279:

[Craddock] soon returned with a young, towheaded private who looked confused and worried. Morrell would have looked the same way if he'd suddenly been hauled up before his commanding officer. The soldier came to stiff attention. "Dinwiddie, Brigham," he said, rattling off his pay number.

"At ease, Dinwiddle," Morrell said. "You're not in trouble."... Dinwiddie was from the company he'd commanded. He'd always thought of the youngster as too good to be true. Dinwiddie didn't drink, didn't smoke, he didn't gamble, he wasn't out to lay every woman he set eyes on, and he obeyed every order promptly, cheerfully, and bravely. What little Morrell knew about Mormonism made him think it was a pretty silly religion, but it had to have something going for it if it turned out people like Dinwiddie. Picking his words with care, Morrell asked, "What do you think of what's going on in Utah these days, son?"


Harry Turtledove
American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold. New York: Del Rey
SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com/01a/ae143.htm):
...the second book of his American Empire trilogy. In this timeline, the Confederate States have won the American Civil War and a Second Mexican War. But then the United States joined with Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany to defeat their mutual enemies -- the Confederacy and Canada in the Americas, with their supporters England and France in Europe -- in a Great War fought on separate continents. The U.S. has regained the states of Kentucky and Sequyah (Oklahoma), as well as half of Texas, with occupying forces in English-speaking Canada putting down the remaining remnants of terrorist uprising (French Canada has ostensibly become a separate republic, albeit a puppet of the U.S.). Federal troops are also stationed in Utah to defend against Mormon insurrectionists and their outlawed religion.

Brian K. Vaughan
Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure. Published by Marvel Comics. First printing 2004. Presents material originally published in magazine form as: Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure #1-5.
neutral
2004

Within a few pages of each other in the graphic novel-format reprint book Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure, there are two references to movies created by Latter-day Saint filmmakers: Battlestar Galactica (created, written and produced by Glen A. Larson) and The Fox and the Hound (directed by Richard Rich). Originally these statements first appeared in two consecutive issues of the limited series Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure. From issue #3 page 14 (Spider-Man speaking to Mysterio):

Wow, the last time I saw this many lame costumes in one place was Battlestar Galactica.
From issue #4 page 11 (Aunt May speaking to Peter Parker/Spider-Man):
What's the matter, Peter? You haven't looked this down after a matinee since The Fox and the Hound.
Details/images: References to Latter-day Saint Filmmakers in the comic book limited series Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure
Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days (1873)
negative
1873

Latter-day Saints are the focus of Chapter 27, entitled "In Which Passerpartout Undergoes, at a Speed of Twenty Miles an Hour, a Course in Mormon History." It takes place on a train, where the character meets a Latter-day Saint missionary. See also Chapter 26.

Example:

...Elder Hitch, continuing his lecture, related how Smith, junior, with his father, two brothers, and a few disciples, founded the church of the "Latter Day Saints," which, adopted not only in America, but in England, Norway and Sweden, and Germany, counts many artisans, as well as men engaged in the liberal professions, among its members; how a colony was established in Ohio, a temple erected there at a cost of two hundred thousand dollars, and a town built at Kirkland...

Howard Waldrop
Them Bones. New York: Ace Science Fiction (1984)
positive
2002

[Pg. 123-125: On a U.S. military mission, some characters have traveled back through time, possibly to a parallel dimension, and have encountered pre-Columbian native Americans who possess greater tactical expertise than had previously been imagined. One character has a Book of Mormon with him. He explains to a fellow officer that he is a lapsed Mormon, but used to read the Book of Mormon avidly when younger, and now he wonders if some of the material in the book might give them strategic insight about the native American forces they are facing.]


Ian Watson
God's World. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers (this ed. 1990; copyright 1979)
neutral
1997

[Mormonism is mentioned along with other major religions such as Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc., as having had religious manifestations appear at major holy sites on Earth.]

Pg. 28:

The year 1997... As the world spun on its course that Easter Day a whole series of manifestations came and went... In Salt Lake City appeared Joseph Smith's angel, and in Mexico the Virgin Mary...

Ian Watson
The Embedding. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (1973)
neutral
1973

Pg. 172:

These three men were introduced to Sole as Chester, Chase and Billy. Chester was a tall Negro with a kind of ebony beauty about him that was just a bit too slick and superficial--like a tourist carving at an African airport. Billy and Chase were clean-cut out of cemetery marble, two Mormon evangelists. Sole imagined the two large steel suitcases they'd hauled on board and blocked the aisle with as packed with thousands of Sunday School texts.

Andrew Weiner
"Distant Signals" (published 1984) in
The Norton Book of Science Fiction (Ursula K. Le Guin & Brian Atterbery, editors). New York: W. W. Norton & Co. (1993)
1984

Pg. 526:

MACCOBY, VANCE (1938? - ). Actor. Born Henry Mulvin in Salt Lake City, Utah. Frequent spots in WAGON TRAIN, RIVERBOAT, CAPTAIN CHRONOS, THE ZONE BEYOND, etc. 1957-59. Lead in the 1960 oater STRANGER IN TOWN and the short-lived 1961 private eye show MAC PARADISE, canceled after 6 episodes. Subsequent activities unknown. One of dozens of nearly interchangeable identikit male stars of the first period of episodic TV drama. Maccoby had a certain brooding quality, particularly in b/w, that carried him far, but aparently lacked the resources for the long haul.

...--From The Complete TV Encyclopedia, Chuck Gingle, editor


Walter Jon Williams
Days of Atonement. New York: Tor (1991)
mixed
2010

[The entire book takes place in a small New Mexican town where Latter-day Saints are one of the predominant religious groups. In addition, the book's fictional religious group--Church of the Apostles of Elohim and the Nazarene (to which the main character belongs)--appears to be based partially on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has some shared historical elements, as that church's founder was a contemporary of Joseph Smith and had attended meetings of the Church. Both churches, the Apostles and the Latter-day Saints are featured extensively in the novel. The main character, Loren, is somewhat bigoted against Mormons, mainly because his own church harshly criticizes a variety of other churches, especially Mormons and Catholics. Loren is generally a sympathetic character, but his prejudiced attitude toward Mormons and Catholics is portrayed as negative and ignorant.]

Pg. 24:

Loren looked over one shoulder to make sure that no Mormons had come in while they were talking. None were in sight. "I don't say anything about the [Latter-day Saints]," said Loren, "but my working hypothesis is that I wouldn't choose a religion whose founder went and got himself lynched."

"Like Jesus Christ?" Byrne said.

Loren was speechless. Sandoval laughed at his expression.


Walter Jon Williams
"Feeding Frenzy" in
Wild Cards: Book II of a New CycleL Marked Cards (George R. R. Martin, ed.) New York: Baen Books (1994)
positive
1994

This story briefly mentions "Straight Arrow," the super-powered Mormon government agent, crediting him with capturing 'The Racist,' a villain. (Straight Arrow was written about more extensively in earlier books in this series, such as Wild Cards VII: Dead Man's Hand.)

Also, Utah is mentioned on pg. 241:

So President Barnett might trip on a tombstone and fall down. Big deal. He'd get right up again, and go right to work on getting the Quarantine Bill passed.

And then all he needed to do was confirm a finding from the National Security Council, then sign an executive order, and every wild card in the country would be on his way to a nice new tent city on a federal reservation in some picturesque state like, say, Utah.


Walter Jon Williams
Williams, Walter Jon. "While Night's Black Agents to Their Preys Do Rouse" in
Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle (George R. R. Martin, ed.) New York: Bantam (1991)
positive
1976

This story refers to the Democratic convention. Hartmann is a fictional senator from the Wild Cards series. The others mentioned here are Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy and Morris K. Udall, an LDS congressmen from Arizona. Pg. 193:

Summer 1976. Hartmann and Carter and Udall and Kennedy all slugging it out in the Garden [Madison Square Garden], cutting little deals with each other...

Walter Jon Williams
Williams, Walter Jon. "Witness" in
Wild Cards (George R. R. Martin, ed.) New York: Bantam (1986)
1975

[Refers to Eldredge Cleaver, a Latter-day Saint convert.] Pg. 138:

By the 1970s, Earl settled permanently into Lena's apartment in Paris. Panther exiles like Cleaver tried to make common cause with him and failed.

Robert Charles Wilson
The Harvest. New York: Bantam (1993)
neutral
1993

Page 303 [the characters are in Wyoming]:

"A lot of settlers came through here," Kindle said. "Mormons, especially, but also people on the Oregon Trail, the California Trail. You can still find their wagon tracks on the scrub prairie about forty miles north."
[There is also an extended sequence in which the characters are traveling through and camping in Utah (pgs. 287, 300-301, etc.). Brigham City is mentioned specifically.]
J. Steven York
Generation X: Crossroads. New York: Berkley (1998)
1998

[No explicit Latter-day Saint reference, but one of the main settings of the novel is Mt. Rushmore, which is pictured on the cover. Mt. Rushmore was carved by Mormon sculptor Gutzon Borglum. References include pages 140, 149, 152, 156 to 177, 192, etc.]


Roger Zelazny
Damnation Alley. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons (1969)
neutral
2010

The main character of this post-apocalyptic road trip is "Hell Tanner." The youngest of seven children, orphaned as a baby and raised by relatives, he is apparently an ethnic Mormon, but not a practicing church member. A significant section of the novel takes place in Salt Lake City, where the characters meet the President (pg. 51-53) -- apparently a man who is the secular leader of the region as well as the religious leader of the Latter-day Saints.

Example, pg. 23:

He followed the old smugglers' route he'd used to run candy to the Mormons. It was possible that he was the only one left alive that knew it.



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