My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this up dirt cheap after Scott Danielson told me that Jesse Willis brought it to his attention. Editor Michael Bishop is a Christian but is interested here in presenting stories by believers and unbelievers alike, as long as the stories are good ones. Therefore, this is a collection of pieces by some of the most celebrated science fiction authors around including Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, and Gene Wolfe. When any of the authors fall far out of line with Christian thinking it is because they don’t understand the basic underpinnings of the faith or simply outright reject them for reasons of their own. However, the stories are generally quite good.
As with many short story anthologies showcasing a wide variety of authors, it’s hard to give a five-star rating because individual taste varies so much. From my perspective as a science fiction fan I could appreciate the skill that went into the work included. From my perspective as a Christian, some of the stories from unbelievers were quite sad because they highlighted various authors’ misperceptions and, sometimes, their flippancy with the subject. Be that as it may, my favorite stories were:
• Lignum Crucis by Paul di Fillippo
• The Detective of Dreams by Gene Wolfe
• Shimabara by Karen Joy Fowler
• The Man by Ray Bradbury
• Early Marvels by Romulus Linney
Definitely recommended for anyone who wants to read thought provoking writing about Jesus and our human responses to Him.