content by

Michael Clune

Five Books About Imaginary Religions

In fiction, religion is often cast as technology’s dark other: irrational, tradition-bound, and baroquely complex. Speculative fiction writers can’t look away. If technology represents humanity’s transcendence through reason, religion implies its eternal submission to mystical entities. But SFF tends to be conflicted about its imaginary religions. Fictional religions are often anti-science, they attract charlatans, they prey on ignorance—and yet there’s usually a kernel of real mystery at their heart, and the workings of the religion are often the coolest things about a book. Perhaps it’s no surprise. After all, sci-fi and fantasy writers create entire worlds; many of them feel that no imaginary world would be complete without an imaginary religion.

[Here are five of my favorites.]

Series: Five Books About…

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