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While I’m at it…I liked this too…

February 16, 2009

On the NPR program,  Speaking of Faith, Krista Tippett recently interviewed Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow and it’s sequel, Children of God. If you haven’t read them, they are very, very interesting multilayerd science fiction books that look at the moral, ethical, and theological implications of finding extraterrestrial life, and mingling our humanity with that life on their home planet.

The exploration crew is manned by a Jesuit priest who is a mystic, a damaged man with a deeply personal relationship with God, and some other experts who are close friends of his – all of whom have their own levels/kinds of spirituality – from atheistists, to agnostics, Christians to Jews.

It’s an excellent read – and this is an excellent interview.  Russell is an anthropaleontologist turned author.  Her background is interesting, as is  the story of her faith journey .  I highly recommend this interview as a pleasant way to spend an hour if you’ve read these books – even if you haven’t!  I’ve read The Sparrow twice, but I have not had a chance to read Children of God.


The Novelist as God

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2009 9:58 pm

    …on my list… ((((((((E)))))))

  2. February 16, 2009 10:11 pm

    Several years ago “The Sparrow” was my book discussion group selection. I could not get through it. It was one of those books I had to give myself rewards for reading every 30 minutes, like when I read “Confederacy of Dunces” (which I hated, but finished). I do not like sci fi at all, which I’m sure was the problem. It is still on my bookshelf unfinished. Having said that, I listened to this interview and thought it was great. Just because you do not enjoy an author’s work does not mean you cannot hear what she has to say when she speaks.

  3. February 17, 2009 7:34 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, even if the books weren’t your thang!

  4. February 18, 2009 9:44 am

    As quite the science fiction and fantasy reader, I ADORE this pair of novels… and have recommended them to more than one non-sff reader who has enjoyed and appreciated them. They’re an amazing read.

    Have you read The Time Traveler’s Wife? It doesn’t have overtly religious themes, but it does really make you think about the nature of being and of reality.

  5. February 18, 2009 11:39 am

    While I enjoyed the rest of the book, the ending of The Sparrow was horrifying for me, and I’ve found it can triggering for people who have been sexually abused. Children of God just didn’t sit right with me.

  6. February 18, 2009 11:41 am

    Oh, I say all that and then forget to plug The Final Planet by Andrew Greeley. Also a story about first contact, but it’s a thousand times more overt in its religiosity, and a much better read. I think. That’s just me.

  7. March 10, 2009 7:29 am

    I am so hopelessly behind in blogging. And in listening to SOF podcasts. I loved loved loved those books. It was interesting to read Laura’s comments because so many of friends felt the same way. Not me. I still think of those books often.

    It is also interesting to read Mary Sue’s comments as I am someone who has been sexually abused. That said, my manner of healing – and we all have to find our own path there – is to delve into this kind of reading.

    Peace and healing to all.

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