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There’s an old rumour – unproven – that Robert Heinlein, author of “Stranger In A Strange Land” among other science fiction classics, made a bet with another SF author regarding religion. The bet was this: that the other author could not, as he claimed, create a religion entirely from his own imagination, and have people actually believe in it. Supposedly the bet took place in a bar, and both men agreed on stakes, which were never disclosed to anyone else. We don’t know if the story is true or not, but the other man in the story was L.Ron Hubbard, and he started Scientology within the year.

Or so the story goes.

Whether you believe the story or not, what’s definitely true is that religion has played a huge part in many classic stories, be they SF or not. How much do you know about the religious aspects of the books below?

1) In the James Bond novel ‘Live & Let Die’, what religion is Mr. Big?
2) To which monastic order does Brother Cadfael belong?
3) Of what faith is Robert E. Howard’s pulp-hero Solomon Kane?
4) What science fiction author created the character of a robotic monk, which believed things for you so that you could get on with your life?
5) In which Terry Pratchett series of novels do the gods live in Dunmanefestin, on top of the mountain Cori Celesti?
6) In Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ what is the name of the secret organization dedicated to preserving the ‘truth’ of the bloodline of Christ?
7) ‘Murder In The Cathedral’ by T. S. Eliot tells the story of the assassination of which Archbishop, in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170?
8) A murder mystery set in an Italian monastery during the time of the inquisition, who wrote ‘The Name Of The Rose’?
9) What Christopher Moore comic novel is sub-titled ‘The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal’?
10) Characters in which 1972 best seller are followers of Lapine Theism, and worship Frith, the sun god?

QM Bill

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