Spiritual Science Fiction

Spiritual Science Fiction is a subgenre of SF that examines Mankind's spiritual awakening as a direct cause of scientific achievements or extraterrestrial events. It is important to note that spirituality does not necessarily mean religion or dogma, but an emotional connection to something greater than oneself, often existing within or a property of nature.

Spiritual SF uses all the standard plot devices of classic SF, such as alien contact, quantum exploration, biotechnology, etc., to suggest ways that humans might discover their connection to the natural world and the purpose for their existence.

Spiritual SF is a new and promising subgenre of SF that is becoming more relevant as Mankind moves into the 21st Century, balancing traditional religious dogma with amazing scientific discoveries.

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Spiritual Science Fiction

Assignment in Eternity by Robert A. Heinlein

Here are two of his greatest short novels: GULF: In which the greatest superspy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can't quite decide what to do with the rest of us. LOST LEGACY: In which it is proved that we are all members of that league -- or would be, if we but had eyes to see. PLUS TWO GREAT STORIES: Two of the Master's finest: one on the nature of Being, the other on what it means to be a Man.

A Case of Conscience by James Blish

The Lithians are nothing if not moral. Not only do they lack the seven deadly sins, they also lack original sin. And without any sort of religious framework, they have created the Christian ideal world, one that humans would be eager to study and emulate. But is it too perfect? Is it in fact, as Father Ruiz-Sanchez suspects, the work of The Adversary? And what role does Egtverchi, the young Lithian raised on Earth, play? Is he an innocent victim of circumstance, or will he bring about the Dies Irae, the day of the wrath of God, upon the earth? The fate of two worlds hinges on the answers to these questions, and will lead to an ancient earth heresy that shakes the Jesuit priest's beliefs to their very core.

Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer

An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges, who says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist." It seems that Earth, and the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species traveling on the alien mother ship, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time (one example of these "cataclysmic events" would be the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e. he's obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets.From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, and morally and intellectually challenging, SF story that just grows larger and larger in scope. The evidence of God's universal existence is not universally well received on Earth, nor even immediately believed. And it reveals nothing of God's nature. In fact. it poses more questions than it answers.When a supernova explodes out in the galaxy but close enough to wipe out life on all three home-worlds, the big question is, Will God intervene or is this the sixth cataclysm? Calculating God is SF on the grand scale.

Children of God by Mary Doria Russell

Children of God is the sequel to Mary Doria Russell's 1996 The Sparrow, which saw a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat end in disaster. The sole survivor of that mission, a priest named Emilio Sandoz, returned a beaten and broken man, having suffered rape and mutilation at the hands of enigmatic aliens. Now the Jesuits want to go back to Rakhat, and they want Sandoz aboard the new mission. But Sandoz has renounced his priesthood and even found a measure of happiness with his new wife and stepdaughter. Meanwhile, on Rakhat, contact with the humans has thrown the local culture into turmoil, precipitating a war between Rakhat's two sentient races. As forces conspire to send Emilio back to Rakhat--and toward a possible reconciliation with God--the planet verges on genocidal destruction. Children of God is a more polished novel than The Sparrow, and the story is equally compelling.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

In Roger Zelazny's Hugo-award winning masterpiece of speculative fantasy, a planet's population lives in utter subjugation to the ancient crew of the original colony ship, who have used a combination of advanced technology and genetic engineering to set themselves up as gods in the Hindu pantheon. Each "god" has his or her own genetically engineered superpowers, as well as access to technology that for all intents and purposes allows immortality. But Sam, once known as Siddhartha, and now called the Buddha, the Lord of Light, is attempting to break this age-old system of tyranny, fighting his fellow crewmembers on their own turf and introducing Buddhism as an alternate religion for the oppressed masses. The story veers between the magical and the technological with exhilarating ease, and Zelazny's signature talent for combining the ritualistic with the matter-of-fact has never been more apparent.

Mind Tribes and the Arrival of the Others by Willard Van De Bogart

Mind Tribes are traveling across the universe, with messages coming from beings from other dimensions, as well as expressions of science and art which penetrate the limits of our understanding.

Let us free our spirit, our creativity, and our quest to explore the unknown reaches of our minds. We are like ancient mariners on the sea of our dreams, and bring to the world a new sense of wonder.

Nephilim by L. A. Marzulli

Journalist Art Mackenzie follows a lead and discovers a supernatural plot that sheds the light of Scripture on the mystery of extraterrestrial life and UFOs.

Oceans of the Mind, Issue XII

This is a special issue of the quarterly magazine that features nothing but short Spiritual SF stories.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

A stirring portrait of 21st-century America by the author of Wild Seed. Forced to flee an America where anarchy and violence have completely taken over, empath Lauren Olamina--who can feel the pain of others and is crippled by it--becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a new faith christened "Earthseed."

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Lauren Olamina, a black teenager, grew up in a 21st-century America that was tearing itself apart. Global warming, massive unemployment, gang warfare and corporate greed combined to break down society in general and her impoverished southern California neighborhood in particular. A victim of hyperempathy syndrome, a disorder that compels its victims to believe they feel others' pain, Lauren found herself homeless and alone in a violent world. Escaping from the urban jungle of Los Angeles, Lauren founded Acorn, a hard-working, prosperous rural community based on the teachings of Earthseed, a religion she herself created and centered on the ideas that God is Change and that humanity's destiny is to go to the stars. Butler's extraordinary Parable of the Sower (1996) detailed the aforementioned events. In this equally powerful sequel, Acorn is destroyed by the rising forces of Christian fundamentalism, led by the newly elected U.S. president, the Reverend Andrew Steele Jarret. A handsome man and persuasive orator, seemingly modeled in part on Pat Robertson, Jarret converts millions to his sect, Christian America, while his thugs imprison, rape and murder those they label "heathens," all the while kidnapping their children in order to raise them in Christian households. The narrative is both impassioned and bitter as Butler weaves a tale of a frighteningly believable near-future dystopia. Lauren, at once loving wife and mother, prophet and fanatic, victim and leader, gains stature as one of the most intense and well-developed protagonists in recent SF. Though not for the faint-hearted, this work stands out as a testament to the author's enormous talent, and to the human spirit.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

This is the story of Valentine Michael Smith (a.k.a. Mike), the Man from Mars. He is child of missing colonists, raised by Martians. He is brought to Earth but because of his odd innocence the Federation keeps him hidden. Nurse Gillian or Jill Boardman sneaks in to see him, befriends him, and becomes his first water brother. Jill helps Mike escape to the compound of opinionated doctor, lawyer, and author Jubal Harshaw. They learn that Mike has unusual psi powers. Mikes tries to "grok" humanity, and gets a confused notion of what religion is. After his safety is assured Mike visits a Fosterite Tabernacle of the unconventional Church of the New Revelation. Mike and Jill go out in the world to increase Mike's education. They join a carnival where they meet tattooed lady Patricia Paiwonski who handles snakes. Later Mike and his growing circle of friends found an unusual church to teach his ideas and the Martian language, the Nest of which is a commune that practices nudity and free love.

The Eleventh Commandment by Lester Del Rey

Earth was a teeming, desperate hellhole... overpopulated beyond the wildest nightmare and rife with starvation and disease. And still the people multiplied. They had no choice. The Eleventh Commandment ordained it, and the militant ruling religion enforced it. For the billions of devout and dutiful, life was merely unbearable. For Martian-born Boyd Jensen, it was a seething pulsating hell. Nefariously deported to his ancestral homeland, Boyd was now trapped on a world of unholy horrors from which there was no escape. All his medical and scientific training was less than useless... it was even dangerous. There seemed no point in trying to fight the new, omnipotent church. Then he fell in love and had to learn to understand... or to perish!

The Godmakers by Frank Herbert

Lewis Orne makes planetfall on Hamal and finds that his extra sensory powers are without measure. Soon he is invited to join the company of 'gods' on the planet.

The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert

A determined group of colonists are attempting to establish a bridgehead on the planet Pandora, despite the savagery of the native lifeforms, as deadly as they are inhospitable. But they have more to deal with than just murderous aliens: their ship's computer has been given artificial consciousness and has decided that it is a God. Now it is insisting - with all the not inconsiderable force of its impressive array of armaments to back it up - that the colonists find appropriate ways to worship It.

The One and the Golden Circle by Don Allen Beene

The sequencing of the human genome is complete and great strides forward in medicine are anticipated. But what other secrets await us in our DNA internal roadmap of life? Do we have ancestral and evolutionary memory locked in our genetic make up? Do we have the ability to consciously recall the events that led to modern man? This book examines that very possibility in an ingenious and compelling way. Learn what man may become thousands of evolutionary years from now! Wind your way through the fascinating world of the human genome. Savor the mystery, intrigue and romance. Live in the mind of primitive man. Trace further back into your personal past to common ancestor to all life on this planet, and beyond! Experience the shocking and controversial conclusion!

The Seven Circles by Richard Omura

A story harmonizing science, philosophy and religion and using the science fiction genre as a vehicle, The Seven Circles is the account of a man who awakens in the far future when spiritual reality is a proven fact. This future world is the Era of Light and Life, a time when mankind has evolved to a higher state. The narrative of William Drake, the protagonist, tells of his falling in love with the person who had revived him, Sheila, and of his own spiritual uplift and downfall as he encounters a myriad of personalities, celestial and human, and undergoes transforming experiences that make his soul evolve in cosmic growth.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer

In this fast-paced thriller, Dr. Peter Hobson's investigations into death and afterlife lead him to create three separate electronic versions of himself: one has no memory of physical existence and represents life after death; one has no knowledge of death or aging and represents immortality; and the third is left unaltered as a control. But all three have escaped into the worldwide matrix...and one of them is a killer.

The Unveiling by Dennis Gilmour

Millions of people from all over the earth instantly vanish off the face of the planet and not even the world's best scientists can explain why. Then suddenly the leaders of the world, via a special worldwide television broadcast, introduce the citizens of all nations to a powerful race of beings known as the Balazons.

Valerie Saunderson, and her children Nick and Stephanie, watch the special telecast from their home but struggle with uncertainty about whether or not to trust the aliens, as the Balazons admit responsibility for the disappearance of the millions of people as well as earlier attacks on her husband, Jeff.

Jeff Saunderson, local pharmacist in the small town of Star City, had been assaulted at work by one of his best customers, and later Jeff had almost been killed by mysterious men in black suits before being rescued by an equally mysterious woman named Monica.

Shocking words of revelation from Khur-ak, the alien leader, threaten to destabilize the world, as the aliens claim to have been invisibly influencing human development for millions of years and are the "gods" that humans have always worshipped. They bring a message of universal peace and prosperity, and communicate a desire to continue to aid mankind's forward evolution, but now openly and with full knowledge.

The Balazons admit to making mistakes but claim that they acted with pure motives. They claim they will prove their sincerity if only the inhabitants of the earth will give them a second chance.

Jeff and his family face the same difficult choice all humanity must face: fear and reject the Balazons because of what they did, or forgive and accept them with open arms. Jeff refuses to embrace the Balazons after what they did to him. He cannot shake the feeling that something more sinister is afoot and starts a determined search for confirmation that his instincts are correct. Will, or even should, the world trust the Balazons?

They've been watching us for millennia...now it's our turn to see them!

To Save a Dying Planet: A Spiritual Science Fiction Love Story by Ron Figueroa

This book examines the questionable concepts of spirituality and alien encounters and brilliantly weaves a tale of suffering, hope and the ability of the soul to overcome any obstacle. This book is more than an inspiring story. It also provokes you to think, feel and examine deeper motivations of the soul, at times scary, at times enlightening. This is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

About the Author: Ron has spent much of his 49 years on this planet investigating aspects of spirituality, love, and the workings of the human mind. As a Masters level psychologist and spiritual seeker, Ron has written articles and stories that provoke independent thought and internal reflection.

VALIS by Philip K. Dick

Valis is the first book in Philip K. Dick's incomparable final trio of novels (the others being are The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer). This disorienting and bleakly funny work is about a schizophrenic hero named Horselover Fat; the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity; and reality as revealed through a pink laser. Valis is a theological detective story, in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime.

Related Non-Fiction

Mind into Matter: A New Alchemy of Science and Spirit by Fred Alan Wolf

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith by Stephen M. Barr

Radical Amazement: Contemplative Lessons from Black Holes, Supernovas, And Other Wonders of the Universe by Judy Cannato

Science and Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method, And Truth by William H. Chalker

The Mind of the Universe by Mariano Artigas

The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by The Dalai Lama

Related Sites

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Central

Copyright © 2007 Roger Deforest. All Rights Reserved.

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