Latter-day Saint Science Fiction Page 1 is the main page, and contains science fiction/fantasy references to Latter-day Saints, statistical analysis, and some links.
This page contains the list of science fiction references to Utah below, as well as:
NOTE: Novels and stories with titles show in bold face are those with extensive Utah references. On this page, these include: Brian Aldiss' "Becoming the Full Butterfly", Stephen Baxter's Voyage, Philip K. Dick's The Game-Players of Titan, Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny's Deus Irae, Damon Knight's "Not with a Bang", Damon Knight's "Strangers on Paradise", Damon Knight's Humpty Dumpty: An Oval, and Elliot S. Maggin's Superman: Miracle Monday Nearly all novels and stories with extensive references to Utah also contain references to Latter-day Saints, however; hence, they are listed on the pages that accompany this one.
Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency. New York: Simon and Schuster (1987)
Approx. year of story: 1987
Unfortunately, this Electric Monk had developed a fault, and had started to believe all kinds of things, more or less at random. It was even beginning to believe things they'd have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City. It had never heard of Salt Lake City, of course. Nor had it ever heard of a quingigillion, which was roughly the number of miles between this valley and the Great Salt Lake of Utah.
Special units of the National Guard had been drafted in to control the crowds. Half of Utah and Arizona was cordoned off by razor wire. Counter-insurgency posts had been established.... Heligunships circled overhead, cracking the eardrums of Monument Valley with spiteful noise... Private automobiles were banned. They were corralled in huge parks as far north as Blanding, Utah; at Shiprock, New Mexico, in the east; and at Tuba City, Arizona, to the south. The Hopis and Navajos were making a killing.[The most important location in the story is Monument Valley, in Utah, which becomes a focal point for an experiment that the entire world watches. Utah is mentioned by name just twice, but there are many refs. to Monument Valley throughout story.]
That made sense. Now, where would they put her? They tested those things--where? New Mexico. Nevada. And that town in Utah where John Wayne made Westerns. St. George, wasn't it? To protect the population centers in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the bombs were always exploded when the wind was blowing eastward toward St. George. That town got a heavy dose of radioactive fallout.
Dr. Kim, who has made millions in real estate and construction businesses in his native land, is also a big investor in American enterprises. He is reported to be a confidential partner in many American businesses. He is, for example, an owner of 34.7% of the preferred stock issued by Grist Construction Company of Salt Lake City.
The sun has shattered Glick's mask and Leeds can read the colonel's face easily now. There is awe there, but over that are annoyance and incomprehension. He looks like a man who, upon finding the stone rolled away from Jesus's grave empty, has been asked about the time.
"If we stay here without airdrops, we'll all die eventually. I want you to get the wounded into the trucks. The uninjured can walk. I want you to take the people off the mountain. "Take them to Flagstaff. They'll have to share once the problem's in their laps. I know they're getting supplies from Utah."
Robin Williams' character, the android named Andrew, searches for any other remaining androids like himself. In part of his search he is shown in Beaver, Utah (identified on screen), and later he is shown walking through the one of the National Parks of southern Utah.
A unique novel set in prehistoric Utah and written by a professional paleontologist is told from the point of view of a female dinosaur named Raptor Red, who embarks on a year-long struggle for survival.
Friday, December 8, 1978[An extended scene at Morton Thiokol takes place on pg. 182-188.]
As he flew into Salt Lake city Gregory Dana got a spectacular view of the lake. Freeder streams glistened like snail tracks, and human settlements were misty gray patches spread along ribbons of road. The morning was bright and clear, the sky huge and transparent and appearing to reach all the way down to the desert surface far below the plane.
Dana allowed himself briefly to imagine that he was landing on some foreign planet, a world of parched desert and high, isolated inland seas.
To most people, he reflected, the complex world of human society was the entire universe, somewhere disengaged from the physical underpinning of things. Most people never formed any sense of perspective: the understanding that the whole of their lives was contained in a thin slice of air coating a small, spinning ball of rock, that their awareness was confined to a thin flashbulb slice of geological time, that they inhabited a universe which had emerged from, and was inexorably descending into, conditions unimaginably different from those with which they were familiar.... If spaceflight gives us nothing else than an awareness of our true nature, he thought, then that alone will justify its cost.
...Morton Thiokol sent a car to meet him at the airport. The driver--a young, breezy, anonymous behind mirrored sunglasses--introduced himself as Jack, and loaded Dana's bags into the trunk, although Dana kept his briefcase with him.
Jack drove onto the freeway heading north, toward Brigham City. The driver told him that he was to be taken straight to the first test firing of the SRB, the new Saturn VB-class Solid Rocket Booster... The car delivered him to the Wasatch Division of Morton Thiokol, a few miles outside Brigham City. With a touch of Dana's elbow, Jack led the way to a small prefabricated office module set on trestles a little way from the dusty road.
Smoky haze hung high over the valley from fires in the east: Idaho, Arizona, Utah. The morning sun glowered bright orange through the pall, casting all Yosemite in a dreamy shadow-light the color of Apocalypse.
I stood before the freezer chest and looked more closely at the two maps. Red and blue pushpins marked locations on both. I leaned forward. In Siberia, a red pushpin had been stabbed into the northern end of Lake Baikal. Red pins also marked parts of Southern California, Utah--the Great Sale Lake--and Yellowstone.
Poem which starts out:
They brought us here to Utah, Juliet,Entire poem available online from Bell's website.
And I will love you again.
In the very first battle between the fledgeling Spider-Man (15-year-old Peter Parker) and a super-powered villain, the hero faces Norman Osborn, who has transformed himself into a super-strong green-skinned monstrosity who will later become known as the Green Goblin. After the battle (which begun at Parker's high school) is over, one of Parker's classmates (nicknamed "Kong") incorrectly identifies the assailant as the Hulk. Flash Thompson, one of Peter Parker's classmates in high school, is correct to be doubtful that it was the Hulk who attacked the school, but Flash incorrectly suggests that the Hulk lives in Utah. (Actually, the Hulk was captured in Utah, before being brought to a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in New York.)
[Flash Thompson:] What was that thing? Dude, did you get a look at him? Did you see Spider-Man?Details/images: Ultimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility: Is the Hulk from Utah?
[Peter Parker:] Who? No. I got pinned under some stuff and--
[Flash Thompson:] Dude, what was that thing?
[Kong:] It was the Hulk!
[Flash Thompson:] Man, the Hulk lives in Utah or something.
In a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in New York, an incarcerated Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) mentions refers to the Hulk's capture in Utah.
[NORMAN OSBORN/GREEN GOBLIN:] Actually, I do have a question. These collars we wear . . . These are an advanced model of the Richards gene nullifier they used to collar the Hulk in Utah that time, correct?Details/images: Norman Osborn refers to the Hulk's capture in Utah in Ultimate Six
[HANK PYM/GIANT MAN:] They are standard issue S.H.I.E.L.D., prison--
Story takes place in southern Utah.
The last third of the novelization takes place in Utah. Pg. 45:
"I am leaving for Utah in the morning. The Union Pacific railroad-construction crews are about to meet at Promontory Point." Grant pointed across the room, to a large map of the United States. Two railroad lines had been drawn in, one in blue and one in red, with a small gap between them.[Other refs. to Utah by name include pages 106, 120, 151, 211.]
Three years later I received a registered letter from Seattle, Washington. It contained round-trip tickets to Seattle from Tulsa, with stopovers in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Spokane.
For her part, Bonnie Jo seemed perfectly content to have Spence spend most of his time on the remote missions. She herself began to fly back to Salt Lake City every weekend.
[The naming of places on Mars by Earth colonists is discussed. Also, oddly enough, Utah is the native Martian word for "father" (page 126).] Pg. 119:
He returned to his philosophy of names and mountains. The Earthmen had changed names. Now there were Hormel Valleys, Roosevelt Seas, Ford Hills... on Mars. It wasn't right. The American settlers had shown wisdom, using old Indian prairie names: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Ohio, Utah, Milwaukee... The old names, the old meanings.
The novel (which won a 1st place Campbell Award), does not explicitly refer to Utah. The first part of the movie version, however, takes place in Utah, identified on screen as the film starts. Filming was done partially on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and other locations. Also of interest: There are interesting parallels between the "Restored United States" in the book and film, and the Restored Gospel of Latter-day Saint theology.
The primary setting of this novel is the Rocky Mountains. The events mainly take place in Colorado, but Utah is mentioned as well (page 13). Salt Lake City is mentioned elsewhere in the book.
"Preventive transportation." That's how Doctor Jake, Marissa's cousin, sardonic of mind but optimist, describes bicycles. Claims that every heart attack costs the medial system, the patient's living group, the patient's work group, etc. something between a year and two years' salary. Saving one heart attack can thus pay for something like 500 free Provo bikes. Besides, he claims that the bicycle is aesthetically beautiful because it is the most efficient means, in calories of energy per person per mile...
FBI Agent Dana Scully tells her partner, Fox Mulder, that the Bureau has transferred her to Utah. Utah was apparently chosen by the authors because it is the "Beehive State" (officially nicknamed this because of the state's industrious work ethic). This is a subtle "in-joke" reference to bees, an important element in the movie's plot. Source.
There would never be a better time to fight the monster, either. Godzilla was entering a remote area of Utah, where lives and property would not be endangered by an attack.Pg. 238
Still, as he had done for weeks, the president held them back...
In the end, the attack against Godzilla was delayed for many weeks, mostly because of the actions of the governor of Utah. In a political and constitutional battle, the governor forbade military action within the borders of his state. Editorial writers and television journalists all over the country sided with Governor Constable, and the attack was finally postponed until Godzilla left Utah.
[Referring to U.S. centers of high tech/software industry.] Pg. 13:
Anyway, I went with this little startup in Seattle because I liked the area, liked the culture and the scenery. It was also a damned sight cheaper and cleaner than Silicon Valley, didn't make me feel like I was undressed in somebody else's church like central Utah, didn't have New England winters or south Florida's crime rate, and wasn't the government.P. 155:
"This would be great cover for one of those supersecret hidden bases or toxic sites or whatever, like the ones they had in Nevada. Probably not, though--you'd either have to have everybody commute in by air like there, much more obvious in central Washington than in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, places like that..."
Utah is seen on a map (along with Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado) on page 13.
The side of the canyon looked craggy and wild and the trees were gone.
"I don't know," Jill said. "I saw it change this time. It was sudden."
"Are we heading for Vasquez again?"
"Maybe, but this looks more like Utah or Arizona than California."
I had to agree--for the time being, anyway; because over the next few minutes the landscape underwent a gradual sea change. The coloration of rocks turned a few shades darker, losing pinks and tans and picking up grays and browns."
What other group was his group--Pretty Blue Fox--in closest contact with? Probably Straw Man Special, which met in Las Vegas and represented Bindmen from Nevada, Utah and Idaho. Shutting his eyes, he tried to remember what the women of Straw Man Special looked like.[The main character's doctor lives in Salt Lake City (pg. 11). One of the main characters is probably from Utah. Pg. 37: Carol Holt, who becomes Pete's new wife, and is one of novel's main characters, comes from Straw Man Special. Also, a scene takes place in (or over) Utah, pg. 56-59.]
"But--I can't trade Berkeley back to you, Pete... I don't have it. When I got home last night a broker was waiting for me... A big wheeler and dealer from the East, Matt Pendleton Associates." Walt looked glum.Pg. 11:
"And you sold Berkeley to them?" Pete could hardly believe it. It meant that someone who was not part of their group had managed to buy into California. "Why'd you do it?" he demanded.
"They traded me Salt Lake City for it," Walt said, with morose pride. "How could I turn that down? Now I can join Colonel Kitchener's group; they play in Provo, Utah. Sorry, Pete." He looked guilty. "I was a little stewed, I guess. Anyhow it sounded too good to turn down at the time."
Or, he thought, I could try something much stronger. Emphytal.
Three of those, he thought, and I'd never wake up. Not in the strength capsules I've got. Here . . . he let the capsules lie on his palm as he stood considering. No one would bother me; no one would intervene--
The medicine cabinet said, "Mr. Garden, I am establishing contact with Dr. Macy in Salt Lake City, because of your condition."
"I have no condition," Pete said. He quickly put the Emphytal capsules back in their bottle. "See?" He waited. "It was just momentary, a gesture." Here he was, pleading with the Rushmore Effect of his medicine cabinet--macabre. "Okay?" he asked it, hopefully.
In this alternate history novel, the Japanese and Germans won World War II and occupy the United States. Japanese control Hawaii and the West coast; Nazis control the East and South. The one region their influence extends very little to, however, is the Rocky Mountain States. The main character, a Jew, considers moving there. The relatively unchanged way of life is attractive, but the region is portrayed as backward and far removed from centers of influence and cultural importance. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't specifically mentioned, but the states described are within the area sociologists refer to as the Mormon Cultural Region. Utah is mentioned specifically.
It was a good thing to see the Nazi rockets go by overhead and not stop, not take any interest in any sort in Canon City, Colorado. Nor in Utah or Wyoming or the eastern part of Nevada, none of the empty desert states or pasture states. We have no value, she said to herself. We can life out our tiny lives. If we want to.
At three-thirty A.M. on the night of June 5, 1992, the top telepath in the Sol System fell off the map in the office of Runciter Associates in New York City. That started videophones ringing. The Runciter organization had lost track of too many of Hollis' psis during the past two months; this added disappearance wouldn't do.
"Mr. Runciter? Sorry to bother you." The technician in charge of the night shift... "We got this news from one of our inertials. Let me look." He fiddled with a disarranged stack of tapes from the recorder which monitored incoming messages. "Our Miss Dorn reported it; as you may recall, she had followed him to Green River, Utah, where--"
[PKD writes autobiographically.] Pg. 7:
A couple of weeks before I left California I said to Kathy, "You know, one day you're going to come over here and I'll be gone. And you won't know where, until you get a letter from me." "You've been all over the country, haven't you?" I told her about Colorado and Utah. "I think I dig it," Kathy said. "where your head is. You go tripping around all day; I see you go by my place in you Pontiac. You're just here with me now, with us, gathering material for a book. And then you'll go tripping on somewhere else and blend in there like you do here."
"I've processed the material you have me, Mr. Mayerson. It adds up to a convincing case that your employer Mr. Bulero--who is also a client of mine--is at present on a small artificial satellite orbiting earth... Sigma 14-B. I have consulted the records of ownership and it appears to belong to a rocket-fuel manufacturer in St. George, Utah." He inspected the papers before him. "Robard Lethane Sales. Lethane is their trade-name for their brand of--"Pg. 84:
"I suspect," Barney said, "that Leo is not on Luna any longer. That he's on an Earth-satellite called Sigma 14-B which belongs to a St. George firm that you own. Isn't that the case?..."Pg. 162:
His horizontally slotted artificial eyes seemed to pleas him; almost at once he had appeared at the dedication ceremonies of the new St. George opera house in Utah, and had mixed with his near-peers without embarrassment.
[Utah is the main setting of this novel, especially Richfield and Charlottesville. The Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City and Provo are also mentioned.] Pg. 81:
Tibor said, "What's the story on this apple tree? Is this the tree from which the Christian-Jewish idea of the serpent in the Garden of Eden come?"[Latter-day Saints are not mentioned explicitly here, but note the location (Richfield, Utah), the idea of the Garden of Eden having been nearby/in America, and the use of "Jackson" as a character name (a reference to Jackson County, Missouri, the location Joseph Smith associated with the Garden of Eden).]
"It's our understanding that the Garden of Edem [sic] is located around a hundred miles to the east," Jackson said. "You're a Christian are you?" Tibor nodded.
"Gays and boy-lovers are sent to Camps in Utah in this sf novel set in a decaying mid-21st century. Two 13 year old boys heroically fight for freedom." [Pro-pedophilia novel. This is apparently the only published SF/F work by Esser, and is apparently the only book that was ever published by the Acolyte press. The author chose Utah as the setting for the novel because he felt Utah would be the state least tolerant of pedophiles and child molesters. Interestingly enough, this book shows up on a list in The Newsletter on Civil Liberties of publications which "were detained, seized and/or banned by Canada Customs (up to 6/30/97)". ]
Page 83: A soldier (codenamed Screaming Fist) is severely injured in a helicoptor accident in Helsinki, and is shipped out to a military facility in Utah to be treated and patched up with extensive artificial body parts and cosmetic surgery.
The back cover identifies the book as The Frickin' Idiot's Guide to Dr. Evil and the first page has an introduction ostensibly written by Dr. Evil from Park City, Utah. (This introduction. also mentions jello.)
The last leg of my flight was from Chicago, but it overshot Seaside by a few miles so we could get a glimpse of the Inland Sea. "Sea" is a little grandiose; it's only half again as big as the Great Salt Lake.
He'd been the first Xian [Christian] artist to receive full media superstar treatment, with his "Don't Forsake Me" video in constant rotation worldwide, an interactive disc, global concert tours, and Trip's face on the cover of every mainstream magazine and gracing computer screens from Salt Lake City to Beijing.Pg. 325:
Two years ago they found the remains of one of the balloons in Utah...
Salt Lake City is mentioned, along with some other major U.S. cities, on pages 358 and 360.
Interestingly enough, Dmitry N. Feofanov (Chicago-Kent College of Law) has compared the family structures envisioned in this novel to those practiced by the Mormon pioneers in their settlement of the Western U.S. [Source: Luna Law: The Libertarian Vision in Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.]
[The planet 'Uttan' is apparently named after Utah, plays a key role in the plot. Pg. 162:
"Okay, so exactly what is this Eubeleus offering to do?"Pg. 307:
"His proposal is that Uttan would be stripped of its military potential, and the planet bioformed into a habitable condition for assignment to the Axis of Light as its own sovereign world. It would become a spiritual retreat, open to all of sincere intent, who come in search of truth. He says he got the inspiration from hearing about Earth's monasteries. The Axis would pay its way by managing Uttan's industrial capacity as a supply facility, converted to peaceful ends... There it is. I detect that your enthusiasm is what the English would call somewhat less than total."
"It seems that for some reason our mystical friend is attaching a lot of importance to Uttan, doesn't it? What would he want with an airless, waterless, inhospitable ball of rock like that, light-years from anywhere? It makes you think there must be something about that planet that we're not aware of--and from the blithe way they're reacting, something that the Thuriens aren't aware of, either."
"...and on Uttan there's a caretaker crew of Thuriens expecting a shipload of religious pacifists who'll dismantle the military installations."[Many other refs. to Uttan.]
[In this passage, a character rejects an assignment to live on the planet Utah. This is one planet among many settled by Americans, who are in a war against a Japanese/Shinto-based empire called Yamato, which is the antagonist of the novel. The novel also has a spaceship named "Palmyra", but this is probably not a reference to Palmyra, New York, the site of the First Vision.]
Lubbock's anger showed but he locked it away. "All right: keep your word and you'll be a world-state governor. You'll have the federal warrant for Utah. What do you say to that?"
...For what reason did Lubbock want a valuable privateer commander to kick the butts of clansmen in barbarous Utah? It's a diversion--shelve me, keep me from the Zone, keep me from Reba also. Stick me in a backwater, neither at home nor away.
"What do you say?"
"I say no."
"The offer's good."
"Utah? To be governor of a piss-pit like that? No chance."
"You will oblige me in this."
For the first half of February the alien stayed in the Washington state area... Incidents in Boise on February 13th, Salt Lake City February 14th and Austin February 20th, with a probable in Santa Fe on February 16th. When he plotted these on his map, George felt the air in the room quiver with meaning. Olympia, Boise, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe and Austin, state capitals all, lay on a northwest-southeast line of almost mathematical precision.
[After a nuclear war and a devastating plague, the last man on Earth and the last woman on Earth have come together in Salt Lake City. The following paragraphs are the beginning of the story. The woman is actually from Colorado, and the man is from elsewhere, but the entire story takes place in Salt Lake City.] Pg. 3:
Ten months after the last plane passed over, Rolf Smith knew beyond doubt that only one other human had survived. Her name was Louise Oliver, and he was sitting opposite her in a department-store cafe in Salt Lake City. They were eating canned Vienna sausages and drinking coffee.
Sunlight struck through a broken pane like a judgment. Inside and outside, there was no sound; only a stifling rumor of absence. The clatter of dishware in the kitchen, the heavy rumble of streetcars: never again. There was sunlight; and silence; and the watery, astonished eyes of Louise Oliver.
He leaned forward, trying to capture the attention of those fishlike eyes for a second. 'Darling,' he said, "I respect your views, naturally. But I've got to make you see that they're impractical.'
She looked at him with faint surprise, then away again. Her head shook slightly. No. No, Rolf, I will not live with you in sin."
[The main character has relatives in Utah.] Pg. 16:
She shook her head. "We don't have any family in Oregon. I have a sister in Iowa, and Don's brother lives in Utah."Pg. 28
Cooley put the file down and began to turn over the cards at the back of the box. "Canada," he said. "Wyoming. Utah..."Pg. 49:
He remembered that his Uncle Bruce lived in Provo, Utah; that had stuck in his mind because of the funny name. He got the number from the operator and called on a Saturday afternoon.[More of this conversation, pg. 50.]
"Hello?" A woman's voice.
"Hello, is this--Does Bruce Anderson live there?"
"Yes, he does, but he's not home right now. Can I help you?"
"Well, this is Gene Anderson, I'm his nephew--"
"Why, Gene! It's real nice to hear from you. How's your mom and dad?"
"That's what I was wondering. You haven't heard from them?"
"Why, no. Is there anything the matter?"
"Well, it's just that--I was away from home, and they kind of moved..."
Most of this story takes place on the planet "Paradise," and much of it takes place in a small city called "Provo," which the author modeled in many ways after the actual Provo, Utah. Pg. 2:
...waiting to get to the place he had dreamed of with hopeless longing all his life: a place without disease, without violence... The Paradisans had pumped out his blood and replaced it with something that, they assured him, was just as efficient at carrying oxygen but was not an appetizing medium for microbes.Pg. 13:
They passed mile after mile of growing crops--corn, soybeans, then acres of beans, squash, peas... The forests stopped at the borders of the fields as if they had been cut with a knife.Pg. 13:
Provo was now a town of about a hundred thousand; when Eleanor Petryk had first lived there, it had been only a crossroads at the edge of the boonies. Selby got off the tube in the late afternoon.
A woman in blue stepped forward. "Mr. Selby."[Much more.]
"I'm Karen McMorrow. Was your trip pleasant?"
She was a little older than she had looked on the holotube, in her late fifties, perhaps. "Come with me, please." No monorails here; she had a little impulse-powered runabout. They swung off the main street onto a blacktop road that ran between rows of tall maples.
"You were Miss Petryk's companion during her late years?"
"Secretary. Amanuensis." She smiled briefly.
"Did she have many friends in Provo?"
"No. None. She was a very private person. Here we are." She stopped the runabout, they were in a narrow lane with hollyhocks on either side.
The house was a low white-painted wooden building half-hidden by evergreens. Miss McMorrow opened the door and ushered him in. There was a cool, stale odor, the smell of a house unlived in."
Pg. 179: Salt Lake City. Pg. 223: Great Salt Lake. Pg. 248: Green River, Utah. Pg. 248-258: an extended scene takes place in Mexican Hat, Utah.
When Lois Lane next saw daylight, the Rocky Mountains, swathed in an eight-foot base of snow, flowed majestically beneath them. Lois thought Superman had changed his mind about where they were gong.[More, pg. 103.]
"Aha," she said. "The bathing suit was just a clever ploy. You were planning on forcing yourself mercilessly upon me in the wilderness along, you cad you."
"It is a wilderness, my dear Miss Lane," he said, "but I am capable of getting quite a lot more merciless than this."
"Can't tell by me," she said, shedding the cape when they landed on a rock outcropping near a bubbling spring. "What is this place?"
A narrow stream of water flowed from a crack between two rocks on the mountainside into a mostly frozen river that was no more than six or eight long strides across. When the stream hit the river, there was a constant hiss of steam. Around the intersection of the two flows of water were a few square meters of snowless scrub grass, with a heated pool half the width of the otherwise frozen river on one side, and on the other side unearthly configurations of ice that were made directly from steam. It was a valley boxed in on all sides by six peaks, a misty oasis in this crisp frigid desert.
"Welcome to my newest discovery," Superman bowed at the waist, his cape draped over one arm. "Our own private hot spring."
"It's stunning. Where are we?"
"Near the northeast corner of Utah. I think this place is really undiscovered. It would be pretty tricky to get even a helicopter through the air currents into this valley. May I dust off your seat?" He grinned as he clapped the cape over a flat rock and then reached into the pocket in the cape's lining for Lois's studiedly scanty swimsuit.
"What else've you got in there?"
"A handful of marbles, a rabbit's foot, two frogs and a road map to Metropolis."
While she changed into the swimsuit he turned his back, ostensibly in order to dig in the nearby snow for a small floating table and the picnic dinner that he had buried there a few hours earlier. The now melted at the touch of hands which were still warm from friction. Dinner was his own concoction, made out of mushrooms, walnuts and fresh vegetables, with a mixture of fruit juices that Martha Kent had once taught him how to make. He defrosted and cooked the platter with the wink of an eye. He sat down in the steam-heated pool, surrounded by winter...
[Reference to Bryce National Park in Utah] Pg. 235:
"Thank you for the memories of things we did together and with the children... Thank you for all the lovely national parks we saw together. For Sequoia and Yosemite, Lassen and Shasta, Olympic and Mount Ranier, Glacier and Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Bryce..."
[This famous novel actually contains no apparent explicit references to Latter-day Saints, but the story takes place entirely in Utah, within the monastery of a Catholic religious order. Not only did Canticle received the 1961 Hugo award, it was selected by Amazon.com as the 2nd best SF/F book of the century. It remains one of the three most important works in religious-themed science fiction.]
If you piled 75 multi-megawatt powerplants into one slice of a state in the west, such as California, and left two or three states a few hundred miles away pretty much alone, such as Nevada and Utah, a temperature differential was built up. Air would not accept that. That was entropy. Air scooped up heat from Malibu and transported it to Salt Lake, and on the way it blew the roof off your house if you happened to live in they way.
That's Bailey and somebody in the Packard, she thought, and behind us could be any pair of a dozen of the guys that work for him... They're probably cars on 91 too, east and west, to stop me if I was going to run for L.A. or Salt Lake City.[Person is currently in Nevada.]
Utah national parks Bryce and Zions are mentioned. (Zions National Park was named by Mormons after a word from their theology. The word is also used by some other Christian denominations and by Jews.)
[Some geology on Mars is compared to two national parks in Utah.] Pg. 97:
The embayment between the Geneva Spur and Cape Solis had always been a deep one, but now several fresh landslides showed that it was getting deeper fast. Even the freshest scars, however, as well as all the rest of the fluting and stratification of the cliff, were dusted with frost. The great wall had the coloration of Zion or Bryce after a snowfall-stacked reds, streaked with white.
Panguitch, Utah is mentioned in the movie version (but not the book) as the place where authorities locate a hideout and video left by the terrorist who blew up the first Machine.
[In the novel, many radical fundamentalist, separatist and quasi-military groups claim responsibility for the Machine's destruction. In the novel, as well as in the book, the responsible party appears to be Rev. Billy Jo Rankin, a Christian fundamentalist preacher].
Pg. 81 (paperback ed.):
"How do you announce something like this, I wonder? In a medical journal? Or do you just call the newspapers?"[These characters are referring to Fleischmann and Pons, scientists at the University of Utah who, in 1989, mistakenly announced they had discovered cold fusion. Neither of them were Latter-day Saints, but they made their announcement prematurely in order to not be scooped by a scientist competing in the same field, Dr. Steven Jones at Brigham Young University (who happens to be a Latter-day Saint).]
"I don't know. I've only just begun to think about that. I suspect I'll call a press conference."
"Remember Fleischmann and Pons," cautioned Sarkar.
"The cold-fusion guys? Yeah, I know they jumped the gun, and ended up with egg on their faces..."
When he was eight he'd driven through Utah with his parents and he'd made them stop at Vernal. They'd gone on the Prehistoric Nature Trail, and Arnie had run ahead to be by himself with the life-sized dinosaur models. Dinosaur Island would look like that, he thought, the rugged brush-covered hills in the background, the diplodocus big enough that he could walk under its belly, the struthiomimus like a huge, scaly ostrich, the pteranodon crouched like it had just glided in for a landing.
Woodland Height. Seven miles from the Johnson Flight Center, flat as the Bonneville Salt Flats and as devoid of trees save for the precariously supported saplings in every yard...Pg. 143:
Late that night, while Maggie slept against his shoulder, Baedecker watched out the window as they changed engines in a remote corner of the switching yard in Salt Lake City... In the morning both he and Maggie awoke just before dawn as the first false light touched the pink rocks of the desert canyon through which the train was hurtling.
I'd gone skiing with Gwen. Not that weekend, but later. Telling Kay I had a conference in Louisville and flying out to Vermont or Utah...
"Where are you headed?" asked the cop.Pg. 155:
"West," said Bremen, taking care not to shrug again...
"Where you coming from?"
Bremen squinted against the glare. A pickup passed them in a roar and cloud of grit, giving him a second. "Salt Lake was the last place I stayed awhile."
"What's your name?"
"Jeremy Goldmann," Bremen said without a pause.
"How'd you get way out here on this country road without a car?"
"Where'd you say you saw it? In the Denver paper?"Pg. 242:
"Salt Lake," said Bremen...
"That's right. Salt Lake." She finally looked at the cop. "By God, Howard, you do have my hired man back there. He wrote me last week sayin' the wages was agreeable to him and sayin' he was coming out for an interview. Salt Lake. Jeremy Goldmann."
He drove a hundred and twenty-five miles south, cut west again at Long Valley Junction, passed through Cedar City and over Interstate 15 just before dawn, continued west on State road 56, and found a place to park the Jeep out of sight behind some dry cottonwoods at a country rest stop east of Panaca, twenty miles across the state line into Nevada.[Also: pages 157-158, 259.]
Stephen Simon evidently thinks, at least subconsciously, that if benign aliens visited humans, they would first want to go to Utah. In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the aliens meet the humans at Devil's Tower in Wyoming, but Simon incorrectly recalls this meeting as having taken place in Utah. From: Simon, The Force Is with You, page 118:
[Steven] Spielberg's first foray into this arena [movies about aliens] came with the 1976 release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which aliens begin planting visions in the minds of ordinary people, personified by Richard Dreyfus... As a telephone lineman, Dreyfuss has a close encounter of the second kind when he experiences an alien craft. From that point forward, he is obsessed with the image of a mountain that he knows is important but can't identify. Even as his marriage begins to collapse around him, he feels compelled to leave home and travel to Devil's Mountain in Utah, which he recognizes on television as the mountain of his obsessions.
SF thriller. Takes place partially in Utah. (beginning in Chapter 13). On a flight from California to Boston the main character, Nick Aubrey, ends up sitting next to somebody who dies suddenly. The airplane stops in Salt Lake City and Aubrey is interviewed by Salt Lake police officers... Book does not appear to have any overt Latter-day Saint elements.
"Anyone Here From Utah?" is a brilliant and subversive little story (just 5 pages long). It doesn't mention Latter-day Saints by name, but this cautionary tale about the far-reaching power of television is one that resonates with Latter-day Saints readers, and anybody else concerned about culture and freedom of thought.
The seemingly crazy ramblings of a stranger who comes into a bar speak of a conspiracy which has taken control of the United States through hypnotic mind control delivered via television. Exactly who is behind this conspiracy is never revealed in the story, although Communist Chinese are specifically mentioned as being in control of North Dakota.
Utah is mentioned specifically twice: the man who has discovered the conspiracy asks if anybody has actually ever met anybody from Utah? Apparently, nobody has. (Perhaps Utah's population was destroyed by the conspiracy, as was New York City, or perhaps it is a center of the conspiracy. The details are not clear.) The agent of the conspiracy who apprehends the man mentions that he picked up his trail in Utah.
Also, the invention of television is described by the rambling man as a miraculous or mysterious event. He says the device appeared out of nowhere, instead of gradually being developed like the radio, and he's certain that its invention was a key fact in the conspiracy. The television, of course, was actually invented by Philo Farnsworth, a young Mormon from Utah. The author's choice of Utah as a key state in this story may be linked to this fact, or may derive from Swanwick's perception of Utahns as people one is unlikely to cross paths with in a bar on the East Coast.
...the first few columns were solidly rooted in the census figures of 1970, while the following columns on the following pages were his projections going forward to 2050...Pg. 136:
Births: legitimate and otherwise, predicted annually by race and by geographical area (down sharply along the Atlantic seaboard below Boston... figures did not include unpredictable numbers of laboratory-hospital births by artificial means; figures did not include unpredictable number of abnormal births in Nevada and utah due to accumulation of radioactive fallout).
Deaths: with separate figures for murders and known suicides... figures did not include infant mortalities in Nevada-Utah fallout area..."
"...What did you think of 1980, mister?"
"I don't like it, and I'll be liking it even less when I'm living in it. That milquetoast was re-elected and the country is going to hell in a handbasket. A forty-eight state sweep! Did you see the election results?"
"I saw them, and by this time Williams has passed the news to Seabrooke and Seabrooke is calling the President. He'll celebrate tonight. But I'm not going to vote for him, mister--I know I didn't vote for him. And if I'm living Stateside then... I'm going to choose one of those three states that voted for the other fellow, old What's-his-name, the actor fellow."
"Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah."
"What's Utah like?"
"Dry, lonely, and glowing with radioactivity."
"Make it Hawaii..."
The Guyver finds an alien ship filled with weapons during an archeological dig in Utah which draws him into a war against the evil, mutant Zoanoids, who have the ability to destroy the world. Live action movie based on the popular Japanese manga/anime series.
The babble had suddenly stilled and his words hung as in a balloon in the room's breathy silence. I felt the regulars' baleful looks. This could turn uglier than it already was. Without relaxing his grip on the woman, Holmes swung his dark glasses toward the crowd, then slowly flashed the badge pinned to the underside of his pea jacket's lapel. It was that of honorary sheriff of Salt Lake County, Utah, but it served well enough.
"Blimey," the barman said. "It's a fair cop." He shrugged and went back to polishing glasses.
That defused the moment. The babble rebuilt.
And nearly everybody at HiTek's working out of their field. Science has its fads and crazes, like everything else: string theory, eugenics, mesmeism. Chaos theory had been big for a couple of years, in spite of Utah and cold fusion, or maybe because of it, but both of them had been replaced by genetic engineering. If Dr. O'Reilly wanted grant money, he needed to give up chaos and build a better mouse.Also of interest, the novel includes an extended section about the non-smoking and anti-smoking trend in the U.S., but the book does not explicitly tie this to the Latter-day Saint non-smoking example.
"...Recreation vehicles are banned in all but four states. Texas has legislation in committee, and Utah has a full-divided bill coming up next month. Arizona will be next, so take lots of pictures, Davey boy. This may be your last chance."Pg. 50:
Even if they got off, even if they didn't end up taking away the Winnebago for unauthorized use of a tanker lane... Utah was all ready to pass a full-divided bill, and Arizona would be next.
The authors, who live in Colorado, based a location in their novel on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. Only a small sample of the novel's related material is included here. Pg. 169:
Sometimes it seemed to Delanna that they could gave gotten out and walked faster than the solarises could drive through the Salt Flats. The tires squeaked most of the time because they were constantly tuning and probably also because the top layer of salt was so damp from moisture-laden air. Usually it was dry in the Salt Flats, they had told her, but the storm stuck over there on the horizon was pushing a mass of warm, wet air before it, and the high pressure behind them was just holding it in place...
"That will cut two days off the best record ever through the Salt Flats," Sonny said...
"Whoa, one at a time! I'm just temporary here--this company just kinda recruited me because I look like Tim, and I'll just be with him till he finishes his tour next month. We'll be going to Denver next week, and after that, Phoenix, Salt lake City, Seattle, and finish up in L.A. What I do is keep track of schedules and make sure he gets everywhere he's supposed to be, and sorta look out for his safety..."
Action thriller in which Slater faces off against rogue fellow soldier Travolta, to thwart a plot to steal nuclear weapons. Takes place mostly in Utah.
With regards to his specific examples, it is true that the science fiction books he cites perpetuate the stereotypes his paper is tracing through popular fiction. But we would point out that the overall treatment of Latter-day Saints in Bear's Moving Mars, Anthony's Tarot series, and Niven's The Gripping Hand is not negative. For instance, Austin's brief description of the Mormon element in Moving Mars completely fails to mention that this book's Mormon senator is one of its most sympathetic and likeable characters.
Even more useful, but pertaining less specifically to science fiction, is Austin's 1994 paper The Function of Mormon Literary Criticism at the Present Time.
William O. Nelson's article on Anti-Mormon Publications is interesting, although it applies to non-fiction and fiction genres other than science fiction and fantasy.
Taylor's Heaven Knows Why is the only novel on both lists.
In Stephenson's The Big U, the Temple of Unlimited Godhead is a Mormon-Buddhist hybrid group which has splintered off of the mainstream church, and is popular among college students in North Dakota and Saskatchewan. The Mormon and Buddhist theological elements seem fairly evenly mixed, but the personalities of the TUG members are primarily Mormon. (There is very little exploration of the theology of the group, however.)
Barnes's Kaleidoscope Century describes a near-future in which the Catholic church has absorbed/re-united with most all Christian churches, including the Mormons. The newly Catholic Mormons likely constitute a Uniate-like grouping, however, and have no apparent influence on the "Ecucatholic" church as a whole.
Article of Faith, 13: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."The fields of Science Fiction and Fantasy contain many good things that are praiseworthy, lovely, and virtuous. They contain truths that could not have been expressed in any other genre. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that truth is being revealed to people on the Earth everyday. Anyone who seeks truth with an open heart will find it. Whether it be truth found in a laboratory, on a mountaintop, or in the pages of a novel, we seek after these things.
Source: "About BYU" page on the "Life, the Universe and Everything" symposium home page.