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    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2008
    Spike's doing some interesting things with religions over at Templar, Arizona, especially with the Jakeskins. Do go have a look at Templar; if you're not reading it, you're missing out.
  1.  (2810.22)

    The Anarres lot in The Dispossessed could probably also count as a "religious group".
    There is Bokononism from Cat's Cradle. There is also the Tralfamadorian fatalism that Billy follows in Slaughterhouse-Five also by Vonnegut.
  2.  (2810.23)
    Currently half way through reading Brave New World for the first time, even though the society in the book has abolished religion, Fordism and all of the society's rules and conditioning is still very much like a religion.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2008
    Dammit Jane, you beat me to it! While not really a religion, the Sincerists are a very cool look at ethically "pure" cultures. What's even better is how easy it is to fall out of that particular pureness.
  3.  (2810.25)
    @James Sharpe

    In addition to Brave New World (a great book...but let me know what you think of the ending) I was going to bring up 1984.

    This idea of dystopias replacing God with an iconic man is interesting in that if begs the question whether it's something humanity would arrive at, or return to.

    I tend to favor the latter, what with the deification of Ceasars etc. but that could be a knee jerk defense of my own idea of a primarily materialist Utopia.

    I like tasting the idea that an empathy box would negate the need for an organized faith.
    Likewise a God that I could touch...even if It was a huge ugly monster.
  4.  (2810.26)
    Anthrocosmology - from Greg Egan's Distress. The person that first completely creates and comprehends the Theory of Everything is the foundation stone of the universe. That book actually has a few good religions in it. Like the various "Ignorance Cults" who don't want the TOE solved because they don't want the mystery/excitement of life and the unknown to be solved.

    Greg Egan's dope as fuck.
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2008
    The Church of the Shrike in Dan Simmons' Hyperion (I've only read the first of 4 books in the series...) as it stands at the close of the first book, the people worship this entity called the Shrike that seems to exist outside time and is a walking pile of very sharp steel that revels in killing almost anyone in its immediate vicinity. They seem to think the Shrike exists to eventually lash out and kill everyone in the universe at some point in the future, thereby cleansing it in violence.
    It's a really great novel, can't wait to read the next ones.
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2008
    Anybody mention Scientology yet?
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2008
    howyadoin: While I get that the founder wrote science fiction novels, I kinda wanted to avoid this turning into a thread dominated by that. But if you know much about religion in the books, that would be really interesting 'cos I don't think anyone has talked about that.
  5.  (2810.30)
    I thought the (forgive me if I spell this wrong) pequeninos' belief structure in Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card was particularly interesting, although I'm not sure it constitutes a religion.
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2008
    While I get that the founder wrote science fiction novels, I kinda wanted to avoid this turning into a thread dominated by that. But if you know much about religion in the books, that would be really interesting 'cos I don't think anyone has talked about that.
    Sorry, I was mainly being a smartass there. Couldn't help myself. I'm happy to say I haven't read the books, though.

    Getting back to the subject at hand, I definitely like fiction that adapts or updates elements of existing religions, like William Gibson's use of voodoo in his first trilogy, for example. Or - as already mentioned - the melding of Catholicism and Islam in Frank Herbert's books, especially when coupled with the idea of the Missionaria Protectiva.
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2008
    I was wondering if someone would bring that up - that was in Mona Lisa Overdrive, right? I liked the voodoo aspects a lot, when I first read it, it wasn't something I was familiar with, which made it even more cool somehow.

    Hooray for smartass. ;) I just try to hold back the avalanche by holding a stick of dynamite under it.

    Didn't L.Ron have a comics series for a while, as well? I've avoided everything he's done, but it's creepy how he keeps penetrating different media.

    It's been a looong time since I read the Dune books... I will probably read them again at some point. I gave up after the first three though, I felt like the point had been made and I was happy with quitting there.
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2008
    It was in both Mona Lisa Overdrive and Count Zero.

    As for the Dune books, I've always found it a bit of a slog getting from Dune Messiah to God Emperor, but the payoff is the final two books, which I think are as good as the first one.
  6.  (2810.34)
    In L. Neil Smith's The Crystal Empire, he invented an off-shoot of Christianity called The Church of Jesus Christ In Hell.

    To summarize, in this alternate history the Black Plague had killed 9/10ths of of Europe's population, rather than 1/3rd, and Christianity was wiped out on that continent by Muslim invaders. The only remnant of Euro culture consisted of a few dozen tribes of Europeans who found refuge in the northeastern portion of North America (largely, our Canada's Maritime Provinces). As they struggled to work out why their God had let this calamity befall them, a new doctrine emerged which held that Jesus Christ was stranded in Hell, and would remain there until his believers attained perfect affinity with the Divine. Or something like that. It was a fairly diseased and rapine priesthood that dominated a culture which was otherwise primarily concerned with just surviving.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeJul 6th 2008 edited
    Leibowitz worship in A Canticle For Leibowitz is a good example.

    This probably doesn't count, but I'm working on creating a religion for an RPG I will be running soon (Burning Wheel, to be specific) which is basically what would happen if about 20,000 years passed and all modern languages died as the world descended back to the middle ages. The idea is that there are surviving scraps of Christian texts, including bits of novels, criticism, etc., that have been completely mistranslated and misunderstood. For example, the idea of communion has spawned a sect of roving cannibal self-flagellators (sp?).

    In all honesty, the world is kind of a rip-off of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series, but with less technology.
    Oh, btw, the forthcoming, real-life Hadron Collider is what caused the ancient collapse of all civilization, when it basically merged several quantum foam segments into one, creating magic, dwarves, elves, etc. It'll be a while before the players figure this out though.[/tangent]
    • CommentAuthorHernan
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2008
    I love Dune and the whole Misionaria Protectiva concept, and the Endless (both of them already mentioned).

    I donĀ“t know if it belongs here but Discordianism (Principia Discordia and Illuminaus) is pretty interesting.