R.P. Nettelhorst is a founder, the Academic Vice President, and professor of Bible and Biblical Languages of Quartz Hill School of Theology. He is also now a published novelist.
We assume a relatively primitive level of civilization for those who lived prior to the Great Flood of Noah. Yet, the biblical materials suggest that within a handful of generations of Adam (and several generations preceding Noah), people were using iron tools. A remarkable thing, considering that it is clear archeologically that the common use of iron didn't begin in the Ancient Near East until at least 1200 BC. Yet the flood predates that date by thousands of years.
What if, for the sake of fiction, we assume that the antediluvians developed a high-tech civilization? And what if we can tell the story of the end of a high-tech society by Noah's Flood in a way that remains faithful to the narrative of Genesis?
Imagine the last, wild days before the end of civilization and a cast of familiar characters thrust into unfamiliar settings:
Methuseleh - the world's oldest man: a despotic Kingpriest ruling the Solar Union, a political grouping of the warm inner worlds of the Solar System. A grumpy individual, he's planning a war of extermination against the Outworld Federation, an association composed of the cold moons of the distant gas giants.
Noah - the great-grandson of Methuseleh: that little old wine maker -- with a government sponsored monopoly on the bubbly. Johnson Shipyards has just received a strange request from him for a very large boat.
Shem - Noah's oldest son: on his way to Mars to accept a teaching position at the University of Mons. His trip is not without its difficulties, however: someone on the space liner seems to want him dead. Is the assassin an agent for the Federation?
Ham - Noah's number two son: a drunk geneticist with marital problems. He's also attempting to make a genetic map of the Sea Dragon.
Japheth - Noah's youngest son: gets himself kidnapped by agents of the Outworld Federation, who spirit him off to Titan City, Titan (a moon of Saturn). But he'll escape and get the girl.
God - Creator of the heavens and the earth: tells Noah that the world's days are numbered, with a boat being a good idea, unless he can tread water for a long time.
Methuseleh and the Solar Union plan on destroying the Outworld Federation. The Outworld Federation has similar plans, only in reverse.
So the question, of course, is who will destroy the world? The human race, with a nuclear holocaust, or God, with a lot of water? Or will it be a joint effort, with the great flood as a simple mopping up operation?
This three book series is a fantasy very loosely based on the Gilgamesh epic.
Question: what's a nice hermaphrodite like Longren doing in a myth like this? Funny you should ask...
In fleeing his own mortality, he got himself trapped in a quest for the Tree of Life. Now he's lost in an alternate universe thanks to his friend, a helpful disaster named Flet. Longren's biggest problem has been getting used to the idea that two-person sex could be "normal." Having a boy named Matthew and a young woman named Samantha along for the ride keep him facing the problem. But the little things -- ah, that's what put the camel in traction:
- in this universe, the world is flat, not round
- the oceans are light years across
- the sky is blue plastic and the stars are screw-in light bulbs
- the Aztecs are performing human sacrifices in St. Louis
- demons are out to get him
Longren had been a perfectly content astronomer teaching at the university on Alandra. When his best friend died, Flet showed up and nothing's been quite right since.
How would you describe Hell?
If your name happened to be Aramond Smith O'Reilly, you didn't describe it the same way as most men. You couldn't. Since most men would describe your life as Hell, and you -- well, they'd probably call you the Devil.
But Aramond Smith O'Reilly really didn't see it that way. By his lights, he was simply performing a service, doing a job that someone would have to be doing, and so why not him? He could use the money same as the next fellow. The next fellow didn't have his problems.
Now did he?
What are Aramond's problems?
His mother was raped and murdered before his eyes when he was sixteen; then the murderer kidnapped him and sold him to a coyote, a trader in human misery who moves desperate workers illegally from depressed time zones to more prosperous periods of history, where they wind up as virtual slaves, called mohados.
Through less than legal, let alone moral circumstances, he manages to rise above his situation, purchase a timeship, and make a prosperous life for himself -- as a coyote.
He's troubled by his past, though, which haunts his dreams, since he's cursed with a photographic memory.
And finally, as if all that isn't bad enough, for the first time in his life he falls head over heels in love.
But the woman wants to puke just looking at him.
Is there any hope for a man like this?
Warning: These books are in the fantasy/science fiction genre. Though evangelical in nature and purpose, they contain graphic violence, language and sex and are designed for the mainstream, non-Christian market. Bad people are shown doing really bad things. If such subject matter is offensive to you, you would probably not like these books.
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