Speaking as both an infidel and a SF writer, religion fascinates me. I don’t say so in a spirit of Dawkinsinian secular hostility, and God knows (if you’ll pardon the rhetoric) that I speak neither ironically nor condescendingly. Philip Pullman once rather splendidly said he was an atheist, but a Church of England atheist, and more precisely a 1662 Book of Common Prayer atheist. I could claim something similar. Though raised without religious faith by unbelieving parents, I am nevertheless ineluctably the product of my (broadly, Protestant) cultural milieu, not least on account of my massive emotional investment in a body of English literature shaped as much by the King James Bible and Anglican liturgical tradition as by anything else. SF, to which I have been powerfully drawn from an early age, and where all my own imaginative, creative efforts are focussed, is a particular case of the same thing.
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