Friday, November 12, 2010

12 sci-fi & fantasy stories to help you deal with death

At io9, Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs came up with a list of science fiction and fantasy stories that can help you deal with death.

One title on the list:
Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer

A coalition of aliens land on Earth with the news they have discovered God and one alien chooses a cancer-ridden Canadian paleontologist to join them on their pilgrimage. God, of course, is not some guy with a white beard, but a vast interstellar being that survived the big bang.

Thomas Jericho is the rare protagonist who is already dying and spends a great deal of time reflecting on his mortality and the effects it may have on his wife and young son. Deciding not to spend his last months on Earth, Thomas is frozen and travels at near light speeds to encounter God. As Thomas approaches his death some 450 light years from Earth, he contemplates the possible futures (or deaths) of humanity that may already happened. He has this conversation with Hollus, an alien:
"I don't fear death," I lied. "I just don't want it to come so soon." A pause. "It still surprises me that you haven't conquered death." I wasn't fishing; really, I wasn't.

"More human thinking," said Hollus. "Death as an opponent."

I should show him The Seventh Seal — either that, or Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue