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Diversity in Australian Speculative Fiction : A Bibliographical Exhibition
Researched and compiled by Dr Catriona Mills
(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AustLit UQ Team
  • Religion in Speculative Fiction

    In the recent Netflix series Daredevil (based on Marvel Comics superhero Matt Murdock), a character asks the blind protagonist whether he has advanced healing abilities, given the amount of punishment he can apparently take. He laughs, and says, 'No, that's just the Catholicism.'

    Religion has played a role in speculative fiction for many years. Generally speaking, the works included in the list are based on a real-world religion. It's not uncommon for speculative fiction to build alternate modes of worship into their worlds, nor for protagonists to be introduced to those as they quest. Anthropological narratives, such as Kaaron Warren's Walking the Tree are often particularly strong in this area. But the Bokononisms of the speculative-fiction world are not the focus of this section. (That's not to say that a few might not creep in, where they make a particularly trenchant point on religious difference.)

    Just as the section on physical, neurological, and sensate diversity tried to stay focused on the human body and not extend too far into transhumanism, this section wants to begin by mapping closely to human experiences of religious diversity.

    Works included in this section fall into the following categories:

    • works that explore a clashing of religions.
    • works that position religion against other modes of thought, including 'crisis of faith' novels and science vs. religion novels.
    • works whose characters belong to religions other than Christianity (still presented as Australia's 'mainstream' religion).

    Not having started as a blog post, this is the most nascent of the four categories here, and we look forward to the possibility of expanding it in due course.

  • Explore the Works

    The works are divided into general sections, to make the lists easier to navigate. Click on a tile to open up the list. For the purposes of this list, a series is three works or more, so works that include a book and its sequel will appear under other categories.

    Note: The links take you to the AustLit record for the works.

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