Science fiction is a genre that many Christians view with ambivalence. After all, many of its most prominent writers over the last century have forthrightly (and with relish) predicted a future without God. I have not read thoroughly in this genre, but I do remember some years back encountering an Isaac Asimov short story (can’t recall the name) where an artificial intelligence somehow survives the gradual entropy of the universe and performs a new act of creation by proclaiming, “Let there be light!” You see, Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who will strain at a gnat and swallow a camel to avoid seeing God.
Yesterday my older brother forwarded me a link to this article from National Review Online reviewing the first volume of a new biography of one of the other great 20th-century sci-fi writers, Robert Heinlein. I learned several things about Heinlein from this piece; for example, I had no idea he had written Horatio-Alger-style novels before he turned to science fiction. (I also learned that Isaac Asimov can be partially blamed for Paul Krugman.) I confess I’ve never made it all the way through a Heinlein novel, even though my brother’s copies of his books littered our house for many years. At that age I was much more interested in dragons and spells than in spaceships and lunar colonies. I hope one day to get around to reading some of Heinlein’s more famous volumes like Starship Troopers, the movie version of which I have been told completely misses the point.