Posts Tagged With: speculative fiction

Revolt Against Captivity

I have occasionally examined the appeal of speculative fiction such as sci-fi and fantasy. Here is what astronomer Fred Hoyle, in the Introduction to the 1963 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, wrote on the subject:

…the potentiality for the highest form of writing lies also in science fiction…When most men had little chance to travel, distant lands on Earth still gave a setting for stories that could be exotic, mysterious and exciting. Nowadays our lives resemble one another perhaps too much…Man as a person has never materially had it so good. Yet the technical world that makes us affluent also holds us captive. Our existence is ruled by the clocks, whose ticks subdivide the days into dull monotony. We revolt against this pattern of existence. The storyteller is here, and those who listen escape to new horizons.

So now, 53 years later, has our captivity decreased, or exponentially multiplied?

Fiction reminds us to wake up before it’s too late.

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Categories: Books, Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enoch: The Merging of History and Fantasy

There are but a handful of vague references to Enoch in the Bible. One of those is one of the most enigmatic passages in the Bible, for it states Enoch was taken by God and did not die. That, combined with the non-canonical book I Enoch and its writings on the Watchers (another little-explained item in the Bible), has made Enoch long the center of speculation. Who was he? What did he do? Brian Godawa attempts to answer these mysteries in the second volume of his epic-ancient-history-based series, Enoch Primordial.

In his first book, Noah Primeval, the premise was, what had the world degenerated to that required its destruction? In that world the Nephilim controled the world, filling it with their evil corruptions. In Enoch we see how those beings rose to power and the first rebellions against them.

This book is actually a prequel to the first. I suspect the author released his story on Noah first because he is better known. In esoteric circles, Enoch is at the center of speculation on the nature of the Nephilim, The Watchers and Sons of God. In the appendix to the first book, Godawa delves into the biblical and historical backgrounds of these enigmas and also draws from the myths of contemporary cultures to the ancient Hebrews. The question is posed, what if those myths, and the Nephilim of the Bible, were references to the fallen beings of heaven?

That premise underlies Enoch and Godawa creates an action-laced adventure full of fantastic beings and battles that draws on the whispers of history. The early pre-Abraham chapters of Genesis have the feel of great antiquity – almost an outline of the distant past, short of detail. While Godawa’s book is fiction – and perhaps the best example of a new sub-genre of fantasy sometimes referred to speculative fiction – he has managed to piece together a story that is not only gripping, but with more hints of truth than all the oddball, esoteric “nonfiction” writers out there.

In the appendix he gives more background detail to his story. I generally don’t like when authors start explaining things, but here it adds to the story, making one wonder where fiction ends and fact begins. His stories are set during the Late Bronze Age or thereabouts. I would argue that these stories are much older and far removed from us. Nevertheless, whatever or preconceived notions are about a novel that draws from biblical accounts, if you are a fan of fantasy or historical adventure, this series should be on your must read list.

Categories: Bible, Books, Fiction, Prehistory, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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