Religious Science Fiction Books

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A theme in science fiction just as much as it might be treated as a specialized subgenre (think Christian SF). Religion as a power force on mandkind has naturally been heavily explored by the science fiction genre. Religious science fiction tends to focus on how religion, either a made up one reflecting some or a combination of ideas from present religions or a straight out recognized religion, extrapolated into the future affects humanity. But religious science fiction is certainly not just limited to this use of "religion" in science fiction. It can be used to critique a religion in the form of a dystopia or ask deep questions about a religion when you take humanity out of the equation (alien regions).
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Doomsday Book

by Connie Willis

5 avg rating
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
Nebula
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
BSFA
Arthur C. Clarke
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Calculating God

by Robert J. Sawyer

An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges and says, in perfect English, “Take me to a paleontologist.”

In the distant past, Earth, the alien’s home planet, and the home planet of another alien species, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at the same time (one example: the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e., he’s obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets. From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, morally and intellectually challenging story of ambitious scope and touching humanity. Calculating God is SF on a grand scale.

Calculating God is a 2001 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
Hugo
John W. Campbell
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Star Maker

by Olaf Stapledon

Star Maker is a science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon, published in 1937. Star Maker tackles philosophical themes such as the essence of life, of birth, decay and death, and the relationship between creation and creator. A pervading theme is that of progressive unity within and between different civilizations. Some of the elements and themes in Star Maker prefigure later fiction concerning genetic engineering and alien life forms. Arthur C. Clarke considered Star Maker to be one of the finest works of science fiction ever written.
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Inferno

by Larry Niven

5 avg rating
After being thrown out the window of his luxury apartment, science fiction writer Allen Carpentier wakes to find himself at the gates of hell. Feeling he's landed in a great opportunity for a book, he attempts to follow Dante's road map. Determined to meet Satan himself, Carpentier treks through the Nine Layers of Hell led by Benito Mussolini, and encounters countless mental and physical tortures. As he struggles to escape, he's taken through new, puzzling, and outlandish versions of sin--recast for the present day.  
Nebula
Hugo
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Gather Darkness

by Fritz Leiber

"Gather, Darkness!" (originally serialized in "Astounding Science Fiction" in 1943) remains of of Fritz Leiber's classic novels, a tale of the world 360 years after a nuclear holocaust, when priests rule using trickery and techology -- and of Armon Jarles,
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Project Pope

by Clifford D. Simak

Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
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The Chrysalids

by John Wyndham

5 avg rating
The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God’s creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction—unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.

At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that the he too is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce h im to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.

The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work form the classic era o science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.
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The Star

by Cynthia Miller Lovell

THE STAR: A STORY TO HELP YOUNG CHILDREN UNDERSTAND FOSTER CARE is an easy-to-read, short story with beautiful, watercolor illustrations. The book follows a fictional young girl, Kit, who is taken from her mother to the safety, and different world, of a foster home. On Kit's first night in foster care, she becomes friends with a star outside her bedroom window. The star tells Kit about other foster children it has seen. Through the story, the star is a source of comfort for Kit as she experiences many emotions and adjusts to all the new things in her foster home. To get the most out of this book, the author recommends also reading QUESTIONS & ACTIVITIES FOR THE STAR: A HANDBOOK FOR FOSTER PARENTS.
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The Omega Point Trilogy

by George Zebrowski

6599 A.D. The war between the Earth Federation and the Herculean Empire had been over for more than three centuries. The planet in the Hercules Globular Cluster was a cinder; the few descendents of the surviving Herculeans lived on Myraa's World, half a galaxy away, in what seemed to be a religious commune. But on an unnamed planet, deep within the Hercules Cluster, two survivors, father and son, gather their resources and plan reign of terror against Federation worlds. But the woman Myraa has a different vision- one which excludes empires and warring armies. Subtly, she strives to shape events toward a different end. Rising to one the most unusual climaxes in recent fantastic literature, this novel of chase and vengeance depicts a colorful, poetic future which is struggling to overcome its past. Filled with striking twists and vivid ideas, this is space opera at its most modern.
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A Romance Of Two Worlds

by Marie Corelli

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
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Anonymous | 2014-11-26 03:35:09
I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, if you do not rank Dune, Hyperion, and Childhood's End, in that order as the best of the best you need to keep reading. They stand head and shoulders above the rest on this list. Behold The Man, A Year of Rice and Salt, seriously. Kim Stanley Robinson is a preachy, smug, and boring writer. I ask anyone to read all three of his Mars trilogy and then, be honest, NOT be glad when its over. Micheal Moorcock's book is a good entry, but when compared to my top three, it pales in comparison.

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