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Rebel e Publishers: Age Of Certainty
The page below is the publishers blurb for Age of Certainty, an anthology of short stories on the theme of "What If Someone Were To Discover Proof God Existed"
When Age of Certainty’s call for submissions went out, we asked for stories about how the world would be different if we knew for a fact that God exists, or that He doesn’t. Considering how speculative fiction writers of my acquaintance are overwhelmingly atheist, I assumed they’d take this as an invitation to put paid to the whole concept of divinity. Other non-deists might have a character named “God” who mucks about, and we would draw from a smaller but more fervent cadre of authors who’d make their case in favor of the Lord of All. Age of Certainty was to be an evenhanded collection of stories postulating both the existence and non-existence of God.
That’s not what happened.
The first thing that became apparent once the reading period opened is that genre writers – as much as they consider theology to be complete hokum – love their speculative elements, and the ones who submitted the best work all took the position that God is among us. Without making a blanket statement, my further correspondences with the selected authors suggests that they, as a general rule, have little to no religion in their lives – but that doesn’t make God any less a fascinating character to them.
The next thing that I noticed is that there are quite a number of devout Christians who write speculative fiction. I was really rooting for one of them to break out of the slush pile with a story worthy of inclusion here. Sadly, all I got from that choir was Jesus Christ fanfic devoid of any social commentary, but replete with wish fulfillment.
I confess I’m disappointed by the paucity of good stories submitted which posited that it’s unlikely that God exists. Certainly, nobody can prove a negative thesis, but you can prove that there’s a simpler, more elegant explanation for phenomena up to and including the existence of the universe. Stanley Schmidt has no trouble filling up Analog with such tales every month, but Age of Certainty got few takers. Sadly, that handful of hard science fiction authors who did submit all misinterpreted the submission guidelines. They spent so much time on theory that they made the same mistake as the Bible thumpers and missed the whole point of the book: What would be the effect on society?
Still, I’m happy with how this collection ended up, whether through Divine intervention or happenstance. It’s my privilege to present to you tales from ten talented authors who answer the question, “What if God existed?”
Now Dave was all ears and very eager to meet Mr. Creeme. The meeting was arranged for the following day. Dave had pushed for the first available appointment because he did not want to tell Demelza about the possible inheritance, but Mr. Creeme insisted he could not spare the time that afternoon. Dave cursed Lady Luck once again; if there had been any justice he would have found out how much, if anything, he stood inherit while his partner was out at the Psychic Fair in town. It wasn’t that Dave did not care for Demelza, whose real name was Barbara but who knew people were more likely to part with money to have their palms or cards read by someone named Demelza, but that Dave was not into all the new age spirituality and life-is-a-quest stuff she was obsessed with. He could even put up with her vegetarianism so long as he could sneak off to Fat Andy’s greasy spoon for a sausage sandwich or steak pie and chips while she was busy selling elixirs and potions at her stall in the flea market. Dave knew if he had a bit of money he could have fun – he could buy a classic motor bike, a minge-magnet sports car and maybe a quad bike. He could see his old mates and get drunk. All the people Demelza knew were weirdie-beardies, sandal-wearing tree huggers whose idea of a good time was communicating with earth spirits. A few weeks earlier Dave had gestured at the New Age artwork and spiritual symbols with which Demelza decorated their home (really her home because Dave had only been around four years), and told her it was all bollocks. The fact that he had not backed a winner since that day had not penetrated his consciousness.