Review Copy Available: Jim Clarke’s Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy (Gylphi)

ARB regularly posts updates about review copies—print and digital—received by the editors and available for review. We receive this as a result of editor-direct outreach to presses to inquire about specific books and topics, as well as via our page describing review copy policy, available here.


Update: As of 2.10.2021 this book has been assigned to a reviewer.

ARB has been offered a review copy of Jim Clarke‘s expert study of religion and genre, Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy, from Gylphi.

If you are interested in reviewing this book for ARB please reach out to the editors to express your interest.

From the publisher:

Aliens? Absolutely. Robots? Of course. But why are there so many priests in space?

For over a century, Science Fiction has had an obsession with Roman Catholicism. The religion is both SF’s dark twin and its dirty secret.

In this first ever study of the relationship between Catholicism and SF, Jim Clarke explores the genre’s co-dependence and antagonism with the largest sect of Christianity. Tracking its origins all the way back to the pamphlet wars of the Enlightenment and SF’s Gothic origins, Clarke unveils a story of robot Popes, Jesuit missions to the stars, first contact between aliens and the Inquisition, and rewritings of the Reformation.

Featuring close readings of over fifty SF texts, Clarke examines how the genre’s greatest invention might just be the imaginary Catholicism it repeatedly and obsessively depicts, a faux Catholicism at odds with the religion’s own intriguing interest in both science and the possibility of alien life.

About the author:

Jim Clarke is Senior Lecturer and Course Director of English and Journalism at Coventry University, where he lectures on Science Fiction and Fantasy literature. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Anthony Burgess, and has written extensively on JG Ballard, Doctor Who, and Iain M Banks. He is principal investigator on the ‘Ponying the Slovos’ project, which investigates invented languages in translation.

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