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The irreducible strangeness of the universe was first made manifest to Anthony Van Horne on his fiftieth birthday, when a despondent angel named Raphael, a being with luminous white wings and a halo that blinked on and off like a neon quoit, appeared and told him of the days to come.
What Raphael tells Van Horne is that God, for unknown reasons, has died. “Died and fell into the sea.” Soon Van Horne is charged with captaining the supertanker Carpco Valparaiso (flying the colors of the Vatican) as it tows the two-mile-long divine corpse through the Atlantic—northward, toward the Arctic, in order to preserve Him from sharks and decomposition. Van Horne must also contend with ecological guilt, a militant girlfriend, a father who won’t talk to him, sabotage both natural and spiritual, a crew on (and sometimes past) the brink of mutiny, and greedy hucksters of oil, condoms, and doubtful ideas.
Morrow explores the difficulties facing God’s twentieth-century offspring, complete with virgin birth. Julie Katz is a New Jersey girl—the miracle child of a celibate Jewish recluse whose sperm sample, donated to an Atlantic City baby bank, spontaneously gestates.
George Paxton was an ordinary man until something extraordinary happened—nuclear holocaust. Now George Paxton is about to discover what happens after the end of the world.
“Astute, highly engaging, and finally moving”.—Los Angeles Times.
Jennet Stearne’s father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life’s mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see justice prevail, Jennet hurls herself into a series of picaresque adventures—traveling from King William’s Britain to the fledgling American Colonies to an uncharted island in the Caribbean, braving West Indies pirates, Algonquin Indian captors, the machinations of the Salem Witch Court, and the sensuous love of a young Ben Franklin. For Jennet cannot and must not rest until she has put the last witchfinder out of business.
A brilliant philosopher with a talent for self-destruction, Mason Ambrose has torpedoed a promising academic career and now faces a dead-end future. Before joining the ranks of the unemployed, however, he’s approached by a representative of billionaire geneticist Dr. Edwina Sabacthani, who makes him an offer no starving ethicist could refuse. Born and bred on Isla de Sangre, a private island off the Florida coast, Edwina’s beautiful and intelligent adolescent daughter, Londa, has recently survived a freak accident that destroyed both her memory and her sense of right and wrong. Londa’s soul, in short, is an empty vessel—and it will be Mason’s job to fill it.
Exploring his new surroundings, our hero encounters a lush Eden abounding in bizarre animals and strange vegetation engineered by Edwina and her misanthropic collaborator, Dr. Vincent Charnock. And Londa, though totally lacking a conscience, proves…[more]
Job’s back on the old dung heap, and he wants a rematch with God. A Series-700 computer successfully reconstructs the tablets with the Ten Commandments from a million indecipherable shards—only to have second thoughts. Sheila, the lascivious sinner fished from the Flood by the captain of the Ark, has an agenda all her own. A congregation of sexless androids believes Darwin’s theory of evolution applies to them and awaits the Great Genital Coming. And God justifies why he once beset mankind with an unusual plague. Why? Spare the rod, spoil the species, He says. (And He’s always right. That’s why He’s got the job.).
James Morrow unabashedly delves into matters both sacred and secular in this collection of stories buoyed by his deliciously irreverent wit. Among the dozen offerings is “Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge,” winner of a Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Humorous, cheerfully blasphemous, and ultimately poignant, these tales show Morrow at his divine best.