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Religious Science Fiction - External Resources

Adherents.com/lit/ has extensive resources for the study of religious science fiction and fantasy. The resources available here include an extensive database with over 20,000 categorized citations from speculative fiction novels and stories, as well as summary pages derived from the database. A list of authors, grouped by religious affiliation, is also available.

This page provides some reference to selected external resources: books and selected external web sites helpful in the study of religious sf/f. The list of religious science fiction/fantasy anthologies provided here is fairly extensive. The list of novels, however, only includes selected, major works of this sub-genre. See also: Science Fiction Featuring Various Specific Religions.

Novels    *    Links

Anthologies of Religious Science Fiction/Fantasy

  • Flame Tree Planet ed. Roger Elwood (Concordia, 1973). Featuring an introduction and essay by Roger Lovin, and stories by Lovin, George H. Smith, Raylyn Moore, Dean R. Koontz, Clancy O'Brien, Leigh Brackett, Raymond F. Jones, Gail Kimberly, Barry N. Malzberg, and Thomas N. Scortia.

  • Chronicles of a Comer and Other Religious Science Fiction Stories, ed. Roger Elwood (John Knox Press, 1974). Featuring stories by Poul Anderson, Edward D. Hoch, Joan C. Holly, Philip Jose Farmer, K. M. O'Donnell and Ray Bradbury.

  • Other Worlds, Other Gods, ed. Mayo Mohs (Doubleday, 1971). Featuring an introduction and essay by Mohs, and stories by Nelson S. Bond, Henry Kuttner, Lee Sutton, Winston P. Sanders, Philip Jose Farmer, Arthur C. Clarke, John Brunner, John Brunner, Anthony Boucher, Lester del Rey, Damon Knight and Bradbury.

  • Strange Gods ed. Roger Elwood (Pocket, Sep '74). Stories by George Zebrowski, J. F. Bone, K. M. O'Donnell, William K. Grasty, Terry Dixon, Rachel Cosgrove Payes, Barry N. Malzberg, Kidd, Lloyd Biggle, Jr., Elwood, James Howard, John B. Thomas and Richard A. Lupoff.

  • Wandering Stars, ed. Jack M. Dann (Harper & Row, 1974). Jewish science fiction. Featuring stories by Asimov, Davidson, Carr, Silverberg, Horace L. Gold, Pamela Sargent, Bernard Malamud, Sheckley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ellison and Tim Kirk.

  • More Wandering Stars, ed. Jack M. Dann (Doubleday, 1981). Jewish science fiction. Featuring stories by Asimov, Gotlieb, Malzberg, Gold, Mel Gilden, Harvey Jacobs, Hugh Nissenson, Singer, Haldeman, Woody Allen, Cynthia Ozick, Dann, Howard Schwartz, Ellison and Dozois.

  • The New Awareness: Religion Through Science Fiction, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Patricia S. Warrick (1982). Stories by Sturgeon, Zelazny and others.

  • Perpetual Light, ed. Alan Ryan (New York: Warner Books, 1982). Stories by Silverberg, Tanith Lee, Daniel Gilbert, Lafferty, Richard Bowker, Alan Dean Foster, Steve Rasnic Tem, F. Paul Wilson, Joel Rosenberg, Gregg Keizer, Frank Ward, Hilbert Schenck, Nicholas Yermakov, Michael P. Kube-McDowell, Mel Gilden, Gregory Benford, Craig Shaw Gardner, Shariann Lewitt, Damien Broderick, Suzette Haden Elgin, Alan Ryan, Charles L. Grant and Brian Aldiss.

  • LDSF: Science Fiction by and for Mormons, ed. Scott Smith and Vickie Smith (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Millennial Productions, 1982). Stories by Abbott, Absher, Bentley, Collings, Duncan, Evenson, Gillum, Hurst, Lacoe, Lankin, Littke, Newell, Reeve, Stephen Scott, Urrutia, and Vestal.

  • LDSF 2: Latter-Day Science Fiction, ed. Benjamin Urrutia (Ludlow, Massachusetts: Parables, 1985). Stories by Graffam, Haddad, Hagios, Lacoe, Menashy, Mykals, Shunn, Scott S. Smith, Straubhaar, and Weyland.

  • LDSF 3: Latter-Day Science Fiction, ed. Benjamin Urrutia (Ludlow, Massachusetts: Parables, 1987). Stories by Bates, Card, Collings, Cutler, Gillum, Heimerdinger, Lacoe, Salmon, Scott S. Smith, Tilton, Urrutia, Weyland, James L. Wright Jr., and Bruce Young.

  • Sacred Visions, ed. Andrew M. Greeley & Michael Cassutt (Tor, 1991). Catholic science fiction. Featuring stories by James Blish, Jack McDevitt, Robert Silverberg, Michael Cassutt, Nancy Kress, James Patrick Kelly, Jeff Duntemann, Gene Wolfe, Boucher, Greeley, Walter M. Miller Jr., and R. A. Lafferty.

  • Washed by a Wave of Wind, ed. M. Shayne Bell (Signature Books, 1994). Latter-day Saint/Utah science fiction. Featuring essay by Barbara Hume, and stories by Dave Wolverton, Nicita, Fogg, Cummings, Bell, Diana Lofgran Hoffman, Shunn, M. W. Worthen, Diann Thornley, Gifford, Dalton-Woodbury, Virginia Ellen Baker, Harmon, Boyer, Doering, Glenn L. Anderson, Lyn Worthen, Bezzant, Pendleton and Orson Scott Card.

  • Divine Realms, ed. Susan MacGregor (Turnstone Press, 1998). Canadian spiritual, religious sf/f. Stories by Diane Walton, Jason Kapalka, Donna Farley, Peter Watts, Van Begamudre, Jena Snyder, Erik J. Spigel, Brent Buckner, Allan Lowson, Louise Marley, Ursula Pflug, Claude-Michel Prevost, Sandra K. Riedel, Keith Scott, Steve Stanton, Mary Woodbury, and MacGregor

  • God: An Anthology of Fiction, ed. Stephen Hayward and Sarah Lefanu. Short stories (not necessarily s.f.) from authors with religious backgrounds incl. Zoroastrian, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, others. Authors include Maureen Duffy, Allan Gurganus, Joyce Carol Oates, Michele Roberts, James Morrow, David Plante, John Wakeman, Bapsi Sidhwa, and many others.

  • Jewish Sci-Fi Stories for Kids, ed. (Pitspopany Press, 1999), ed. Rivka Lisa Perel. Stories by Stephanie Burgis; Eliot Fintushel; Miriam Baskin; Dan Pearlman; Mark Blackman.

  • Devil Worshipers, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh (DAW, 1990). Stories by McSherry, Bloch, Asimov, Boucher, Cartmill, Derleth, Gibbon, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hoch, C. M. Kornbluth, Murray Leinster, Price, Quinn, Wellman, Yarbro, Beaumont.

  • an anthology, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh (DAW, 1990). Includes fantasy, sf, and horror. Stories by McSherry, Silverberg, Charteris, Dozois, E.K. Harris, Hoch, Jonas, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, Wagner, Wellen, H. G. Wells, Sturgeon.

It is interesting to note that many authors have fiction which appears in more than one of these religiously-oriented anthologies. Boucher and Silverberg have the most: their work appears in four anthologies each. Asimov, Card, Hoch, Lacoe, and Malzberg all have work which appears in three of these anthologies. These may be authors with more particular interest in writing about religious topics.

Works of Commentary and Literary Criticism about Religious SF/F

This is a very incomplete list, but it includes works which address the writing of the four most prominent religious science fiction writers: Lewis, Tolkien, Chesterton and Card.

Some Major Religious-themed Novels

Most science fiction novels touch upon religious themes to varying degrees. This may be simply by including generally human issues such as morality or ethics as thematic elements, or it may be by explicitly portraying religious characters, cultures, and institutions.

"Religious science fiction" is a sub-genre in the speculative fiction genre which includes fiction in which explicitly religious topics such as organized religion, God, life after death, etc. are major thematic elements.

The following books are some of the major works of religious science fiction. They represent a variety of viewpoints, from atheistic to devoutly religious.

1931The Weigher of SoulsAndre Maurois
1951The Illustrated ManRay Bradbury
1958A Case of ConscienceJames Blish
1959A Canticle for LeibowitzWalter M. Miller
1962The Eleventh CommandmentLester del Rey
1962Stranger in a Strange LandRobert A. Heinlein
1962Something Wicked This Way Comes Ray Bradbury
1967The Last Starship From Earth John Boyd
1968The Masks of TimeRobert Silverberg
1972The MissionariesD. G. Compton
1979The Fountains of ParadiseArthur C. Clarke
1981VALISPhilip K. Dick
1984ContactCarl Sagan
1985Radio Free AlbemuthPhilip K. Dick
1986Speaker for the Dead / XenocideOrson Scott Card
1993The Mote in God's EyeLarry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
1997The SparrowMary Doria Russell

Source: Much of this list comes from the "Religion / Theology / Gods / Faith" theme page, part of the "Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy" section at SciFan, by Jim Harris and Olivier Travers.

General Essays and Lists of Science Fiction Dealing with Religious Themes




  • Von Aurum's Islam in Sci-fi - Excellent resource. Sections include: Islam in Sci-fi Literature; Islam in Sci-fi Movies; Sci-fi by Muslims; Islam in Alternative History Genre; Original Works of Fiction.

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