Infinite Space, Infinite God
by Karina L. Fabian & Robert A. Fabian (Editors)
Review by Colleen Cahill
Twilight Times Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781933353623
Date: 15 August 2007 List Price $18.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Book Website / Show Official Info /
There are those who would consider stories with an element of Catholicism, never mind religion, to be very limiting. This anthology proves that idea very wrong, as there as so many avenues to explore. The book is set out in themes, such as "The Catholic Church and Evangelism" or "The Catholic Church and Our Souls", giving a hint to the stories, but only a hint. While "The Harvest", by Lori Z. Scott, is not the first science fiction story I have read that deals with human-created life, it does provide a new and thought provoking examination. Adrienne Ray's ghostly "Hopkin's Well" deals with the effects of teleportation, as soliders sent to wipe out a small Catholic settlement on Mars discover they might not have gotten the whole story on several issues. In Ken Pick and C. Alan Loewen's "The Mask of the Ferret", humans and aliens on a space ship are being picked off one by one in a story that combines elements of a Father Brown murder mystery along with its science fiction. It would be strange not to have aliens as the focus of some of the stories, and Karina L. Fabian's "Interstellar Calling" deals with a teenage girl who questions life and God when she learns her parents are divorcing. She discovers she might not be as clueless as she thought when aliens come to her with their questions.
There are stories where religion is the center of the piece, as in "Brother Jubal in the Womb of Silence", by Tim Myers, which shows the life of a hermit monk on the Moon, an interesting idea when such an existence would require lots of outside support. Rose Dimond's "Stabat Mater" gives us the surprisingly normal life of a woman who, as a child, was visited by the Virgin Mary, but as Armageddon comes, finds herself driving the Pope in a van across a bombed out America. The future is not always bright and sunny in these stories: "Little Madeline", by Simon Morden, tells of a 15-year-old-girl struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Only when Madeline runs into a Joan, a martial nun, does there seem to be a glimmer of hope. One of the warmest stories is closer to fantasy, as "Canticle of the Wolf", by C. Alan Loewen, revolves around a legend of Francis of Assisi and a man-eating wolf that threatens a village. The twist at the end adds to the magical feel of this wonderful story.
The best thing about all the stories in this anthology is that while religion is in all of them, the works are never preachy and the writers focusing more on fashioning a good tale then trying to convert anyone. I heartily recommend Infinite Space, Infinite God to any science fiction fan: you will find this an absorbing collection of stories that will explore the boundaries of our universe and just a bit beyond.
From Joan Fong
Congratulations to the Fabian duo for compilating a book which will be a landmark for the future development of science fiction. I hope this book will find its place among the greats!