Out of Print (I have some hard copies left. Contact me if interested.)
Is that religion in my science fiction or science fiction in my religion? The writers of the Catholic SF anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God have so seamlessly combined the two that it’s hard to tell. Infinite Space, Infinite God features fifteen stories about the future Catholic Church: its struggles evangelize aliens and lost human colonies and to determine the soul-status of genetically modified humans, genetically-designed chimeras, and clones made from the Martian sand; the adventures of religious orders devoted to protecting interstellar travelers or inner-city priests; and how technical advances allow monks to live in solitude on the Moon and help one criminal learn the true meaning of Confession. But it’s more than just a great read. With introductions exploring the issues at hand and current Church thinking, Infinite Space, Infinite God is bound to spark discussion and make people think–just as good science fiction should.
About the Stories:
The Harvest, Lori Z. Scott: Barry Martinez, a doctor-turned-priest, has the distasteful duty of harvesting the organs from a dead HuNome, a genetically engineered chimera used for work on the moon and for replacement parts for humans on Earth. HuNomes, made by combining human and animal DNA, are considered less than human; even the Church has remained undecided on just how human these workers are. Can Fr. Martinez see past the strange cat-like eyes into the souls beyond? And if he does, will he champion their freedom as Moses once championed God’s Chosen?
Hopkins’ Well, Adrienne Ray: Private Oscar Talbot is an ordinary soldier with an ordinary mission: to scout the defenses of the town of Hopkins’ Well in prelude to attack. Sure the mission means using transporter technology to get to Mars, but the tax break is great and what’s the big deal? When the mission goes wrong, Talbot discovers that his government doesn’t want to subdue the colony, but destroy it; that the sands of Mars are haunted by the last battalion sent on the mission, and that he, himself, is no longer human but made from the sands of Mars itself.
Brother John, Colleen Drippe’: Humans have spread across the galaxy, yet internal strife had caused it to lose track of many of its colonies, which subsequently lost much of humankind’s most basic knowledge, including knowledge of the True Creator. However, the intergalactic government, secure in its role as savoir of the race, would just as soon see the archaic Christina faith die. As Brother John and his fellow priests land on Rythar to evangelize, they risk their lives for their faith and for those to whom they would bring faith.
Interstellar Calling, Karina L. Fabian: A different take on evangelism. When aliens abduct Francis Marie, an average teenager, they’re not interested in scientific studies. They want this Catholic schoolgirl to return to their planet and explain this faith that has captured their hearts.
Our Daily Bread, Karina and Robert Fabian: Spending six months a year in space mining asteroids is tough, but for Personnel Supervisor Ray McHenry, there are compensations. His role as a Catholic deacon means the majority of the strong Catholics in the Company have flocked to Blair Asteroid Mining Station–the only station in the Company where weekly Eucharist provides solace and strength. When Blair’s shipment of Host is lost in an accident, Ray is ready for tough times–but not nearly as tough as when the Host start mysteriously multiplying!
Brother Jubal and the Womb of Silence, Tim Meyers: Brother Jubal finds tranquility and peace in the barren landscape of Oceanus Procellarum and dreads the days when he must visit the station for air and other supplies. Yet God often calls us to new avenues of service, and Brother Jubal must tremblingly open himself to a wilderness far more intimidating than the desolation of Luna.
Mask of the Ferret, Ken Pick and Alan Loewen: An agent of the Order of St. Dismas is on the trail of an ancient artifact that can destroy minds psychically. Fr. Eric Heidler’s faith and training are his shield against the artifact’s attack, but in the end, it’s also his insight and ability to accept a genetically-engineered passenger for both her human and animal aspects that saves them all.
Little Madeleine, Simon Morden: Is there a place for an overly strong, genetically mutated girl from a broken home in the slums? Madeleine may find her answer in the Order of St. Joan, a group of nuns with the special calling of acting as bodyguards for priests who live in areas too dangerous for even the most holy of men.
The Hosts of the Envoy, Alex Lobdell: After nearly starving to death on his damaged spaceship, Luke Kittery thinks he’s found salvation–or at least survival–on the Envoy, a multi-generational ship which had been lost in space itself for 120 years. However, in their despair, the people of Envoy have turned to a false god–the earth itself–and the leaders see Catholic Luke as a threat to their religion and their power. Only two children who were raised in isolation by the deposed Catholic priest know the true faith, and Luke must depend on them to save him from the wrath of the Hosts of the Envoy.
Understanding, J Sherer: When Detective Tack was a child, he saw his father endure the pain of being excommunicated from the Catholic Church he loved–not for something he did, but for what he was–a genetically engineered human. Even worse, it was only after his death that the Church issued and edict proclaiming all humans–engineered or not–welcome. So when a serial killer starts targeting priests and women religious, he’s none too happy about being on the case. However, as the case unfolds, and he discovers that all the targets were genetically engineered in the womb, Tack must confront his feelings and come to an understanding that will allow him to solve the case and forgive the Church he loved and hated for so long.
Stabat Mater, Rose Dimond: A complex story about the joys and trials of two children, now grown, who were visited by the Blessed Virgin. One, who has died a painful death from cancer, is being considered for sainthood, while the survivor’s faith is being rocked in a world turned upside down by war and the personal challenges of the untimely death of her husband and the estrangement of her violent son. Where is the assurance Mary had given her? How can Her promises come true when so much has changed? When the Pope himself comes to her to take her away on a colony ship, she must decide–follow the command of God’s earthly representative, or the directions of God’s own mother?
Canticle of the Wolf, Alan Loewen: In this new take on the old legend of St. Francis, St. Francis goes to confront the Wolf only to discover he is a genetically engineered traveler from a future in which his kind are enslaved. As he unfolds his story, St. Francis sees his calling, and in the end, the tender saint’s efforts lead to a future of peace between humans and lupines.
These Three, Karina and Robert Fabian: A freak accident has sent the space freighter Poubelle on a collision course with the L5 station. Tumbling wildly and without a distress beacon to alert the busy facility, it may be too late for the sisters of Our Lady of the Rescue to get a tow on it and pull it to safety. Peter, the sole survivor on Poubelle, is nonetheless badly injured, yet must make a long and painful trek across the internal chaos of the ravaged ship to auxiliary control. Fortunately, he is not alone; he has the prayers of Mary Elizabeth, a young nun of the “Rescue Sisters,” and the very personal intervention of the Blessed Gillian of L5. Faith, hope, and love–these three pull him through the physical and mental hell to a salvation both corporeal and spiritual.
Far Traveler, Colleen Drippe’: Special agent Mark Kendall is sent back in time to witness the crucifixion of Jesus. A lapsed Catholic, he feels he’s been made the butt of a sick joke by his Jewish supervisor, yet when he is there, he discovers the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice: that He died not the change the world, but to change us.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff: Liam Connor, a member of an IRA splinter group, considers himself a freedom fighter and true Catholic, willing to make any sacrifice to further his cause–including blowing up a busload of Protestant schoolchildren. After being convicted, he is given the choice: capital punishment or participation in a highly experimental rehabilitation program. When modern technology makes him confront his sin, Liam finds that the only way to save himself from insanity is to move from justification to true remorse, and finally, this “true Catholic” learns about the nature of Confession.