Do Not Offend the Gods: 8 SFF Books Featuring Deities

When I was growing up, my world was neatly divided into monotheism and pantheism. On the monotheism side there was the god of Abraham and on the pantheism side there were the Greeks—Zeus, Hera, Athena, etc. You’re probably noticing some signs of a very limited world view. I had been told that the Romans had gods just like the Greeks only with new names like Jupiter and Juno. I knew there were other religions, and I was at least passingly familiar with the Norse gods. My fifth-grade social studies textbook made sure I knew a little about the Sumer and Ur and the Egyptians, but their gods? Their gods just didn’t show up very often back then and there were so many other gods to whom I’d never even been introduced.

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Aslan the Demon: Religious Transformation in The Horse and His Boy

“I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best.” That’s what Jack “C.S.” Lewis wrote to one of his friends when he was 17 years old.

Lewis told us, years later, that The Horse and His Boy is the story of the “calling and conversion of a heathen.” He doesn’t mean the term “heathen” as something offensive, and would of course put his past self in that same category. He was also—when he was an atheist—sensitive to the arrogance of religious people who talked as though they had found the truth and he had not. Never one to shy away from strong opinions, he didn’t seem to take it personally when others thought him arrogant in the same way after his conversion.

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Series: The Great C.S. Lewis Reread

The Ashes of Around Twenty-Three Strangers

The world doesn’t make sense. All rain has moved indoors, wrecking houses from the inside out while the skies remain cloudless. With ever greater devotion, people worship giant, inert, humanoid bodies as gods as civilization falls apart.

Lucy, who has never been religious, has no way to properly mourn her brother after his untimely death. Now, a year later, she will travel south on a makeshift pilgrimage with the help of her best friend Carve, who was once himself a believer, trying to find peace and some better means of understanding the world.

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Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies Will Finally Be a Movie

Scott Westerfeld’s 2005 YA novel Uglies—and its several sequels—seemed like an obvious book to get optioned amid the big YA dystopian boom. But while DivergentThe Maze Runner, and others joined screens alongside the dominating The Hunger Games, Westerfeld’s series, despite being bestsellers, didn’t make it to a multiplex near you.

But that’s finally changing: Deadline reports that The Kissing Booth star Joey King is set to executive-produce and star in a Netflix adaptation of Uglies that will be directed by McG.

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Cowboys With Phasers: Star Trek’s “Spectre of the Gun” and the Genre of Space Western

“Space: the final frontier.” The opening words of the original Star Trek series intro handily sums up the logic of the space western genre. The Wild West is no longer wild, and has not been for some time. But space is unexplored, untamed, and not fully under the control of a central government, and/or federation. Exchange six-guns for lasers, a horse for a starship, and cattle rustlers for Klingons, and you’re ready to send those old adventure tropes off to the galactic rodeo.

In the original series, Captain Kirk swaggers like a border sheriff through many a lawless outpost. But the episode that most directly shoots at Star Trek’s Western roots is Season Three’s “The Spectre of the Gun,” aired in 1968. Faced with old timey gun fighters, the crew of the Enterprise both lean into the Western genre and try to escape from it—with mixed success. Even at warp speed, it turns out, it’s hard to outride the horse you’re sitting on.

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Never Say You Can’t Survive: Weirdness Gives Me the Strength To Keep Going

Charlie Jane Anders is writing a nonfiction book—and is publishing it as she does so. Never Say You Can’t Survive is a how-to book about the storytelling craft, but it’s also full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish in the present emergency.

Below is the nineteenth chapter, “ Weirdness Gives Me the Strength To Keep Going.” You can find all previous chapters here. New chapters will appear every Tuesday. Enjoy!

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Series: Never Say You Can’t Survive

Reading the Wheel of Time: Death Cannot Be Healed in Robert Jordan’s The Fires of Heaven (Part 5)

This week in Reading the Wheel of Time we get to learn so much more about the One Power. Chapter Seven is the only chapter we will cover today, but like Rand, we’ll have a busy time of it. There will be Darkhounds and balefire, Mat and his foxhead medallion, and Lanfear will show us more of herself than I believe we have seen thus far. I have feelings about Moiraine, and Rand has feelings about death. It’s going to be a real roller coaster.

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Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Vampires Are the Gentrifiers In the First Trailer for Netflix’s Vampires vs The Bronx

Gentrification has been a long-standing threat to communities of color in neighborhoods around the United States, the result of money and affluent neighbors moving in and forcing out their predecessors.

In Netflix’s new film Vampires Vs The Bronx, a group of friends discover that their neighborhood’s under threat from some supernatural newcomers—vampires.

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The Folio Society Is Releasing a Limited, Special Edition of Frank Herbert’s Dune

Five years ago, the Folio Society began regularly releasing science fiction novels in its lineup of high-end collectors editions, starting with Frank Herbert’s Dune.

With the film adaptation coming out this December, the publisher has announced a new special edition of the book, which goes above and beyond its already beautiful previous edition.

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