I usually spend part of the summer catching up on contemporary fiction, and often my summer reading ends up falling into some sort of theme. This summer I fell into a science-fiction hole, but I think I’m going to climb back out.
These days, in books from secular publishers, we expect to see pastors depicted as hypocrites and missionaries as agents of exploitation. That’s what we’d expect from Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things (Hogarth), which has as its protagonist a pastor called to be a missionary to the strange creatures of a planet galaxies away from his wife. Does he (a) steal precious minerals, (b) molest the females, (c) create a bizarre cult with himself as God, or (d) all of the above?
The answer is (e) none of the above.
The premise intrigued me, but unfortunately the answer “(e) none of the above” proved too true. Not a whole lot happens in the book’s 500 pages.