June Books 1) Gather, Darkness!

1) Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber

This is a rollicking Golden Age of Science Fiction story (which I got electronically from FictionWise); the earth is dominated by a hierarchical religion which actually uses advanced science to perform what appear to be miracles; the subversive opposition organises as witches and warlocks. Published in 1943, it’s a precursor to Arthur C Clarke’s Third Law, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. It’s also in part a riposte to the two Heinlein novels, If This Goes On… aka Revolt in 2100 in which a religious dictatorship is overthrown by a few good men and women, and Sixth Column in which a sinister Asian invasion of the USA is overthrown by a resistance movement disguised as a religion, both published a few years earlier.

Leiber’s book is much more fun than I remember the Heinleins as being (it’s twenty years since I read them, of course). Much more theatrical; much more improbable (the scene of the haunted house comes dangerously close to being silly). But great fun, and fuel for pulp cliches for decades afterwards.

One thought on “June Books 1) Gather, Darkness!

  1. Thanks for posting those links – I understand now why we don’t talk about it.

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