Rudy Rucker’s blog (one of the best blogs on the web, by one of the best science and fiction writers) has new interesting posts on SF religions, part of Rudy’s public brainstorming with self in preparation for a new novel.
SF Religion 1: The Central Teachings of Mysticism – “Two teachings: All is One, and The One is Unknowable. The third (and last) teaching is The One is Right Here. Plus: (4) God (or the Cosmic Light) is Love, and (5) The One will help you if you ask.”
SF Religion 2: Xiantific Mysticism – “I’m presently working on a novel called The Big Aha in which I might have my characters be involved in a religion based on the experience of telepathy. The telepathy is brought on by a (SFictional) biophysics maneuver that I’m calling quantum wetware.”
Rudy recalls The Church of the Fourth Dimension, “an idea invented by the famed and beloved science writer Martin Gardner in one of his columns.” Gardner’s story, an old favorite of mine that I have been happy to find again, is in his book The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. The Church of the Fourth Dimension is a short story with a historic review of some ideas at the intersection of science and religion.
SF Religion 3: Qwet – “I’d like to have the founding of a religion be a plot element in my next novel, The Big Aha. I’ll start with a physical process that produces an unusual state of consciousness. And then I’ll trace out the sense of excitement and personal liberation among the adepts; the wider public’s incomprehension and fear; the denunciations and attacks from the politicians and the exponents of existing religions; and the inescapable international tsunami of interest. I want the catalyzing, mind-altering spark to be something involving quantum mechanics. Not a drug. A technique of mind-alteration that’s literally physics-based. I’m going to call it qwet, which is short for quantum wetware.”
Other results of my last visit to Rudy’s blog:
Turing & Burroughs, A Beatnik SF Novel, by Rudy Rucker (recommended reading) – “Turing & Burroughs is an SF novel set in style of a 1950s-movie “alien invasion” story. Computer pioneer Alan Turing and the Beat author William Burroughs connect in Tangier and begin a love affair. The novel fuses SF themes with beatnik styles and attitudes, switching between Turing’s and Burroughs’s points of view.”
A mini review of The Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross (recommended reading) – “It’s great fun, very clever and postsingular. The cloud of simulated minds living in outer-space dust is a real place now, an accepted SF trope. The novel resets the bar of what one expects from an SF novel—indeed, for an SF writer, it’s a bit daunting to read. And, rather than being a straight-on geek-fest, the book gains transreal richness by getting into the main character’s issues with his/her parents. (Gender is mutable in the postsinglar world.)”