Book Review: Strange Gods

Strange Gods

As is frequently the case, this anthology is spotty.  There are a couple good stories, a lot of what would be filler in the pages of Weird Tales or Astounding, and there are a few pretty crappy ones.  For a book called Strange Gods, it ends up featuring almost exclusively Christian takes on religion. Sadly, several of the authors bring that particular brand of condescending smugness you get in a lot of Christian themed movies (like God is Not Dead).  

There’s also a lot of post-50s anti-urban sentiment that was so popular across political and spiritual spectra (and still is).  If it’s urban or technological, it’s dehumanizing and evil. Still, a few stories are fairly good, even with those elements. What Hath God Wrought? by Lloyd Biggle Jr., The Director by James Howard, and Musspelseim by Richard A. Lupoff were the highlights, particularly the last, which was the best of the book.

I can not recommend tracking this one down.  The concept of the anthology, that of science fiction writers tackling concepts of the divine, is absolutely an interesting one.  But I don’t think editor Roger Elwood drew from a wide enough breadth of writers or concepts. It definitely skewed toward the Evangelical Christian side of things.  Reading his own story, I get the feeling he was trying to keep it close to his own take on the subject.

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