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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
James Tiptree Jr.
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Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko, Ursula K. Le Guin
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33 A.D. - David McAfee #1, Vampire conversion. No I don't mean humans converting into vamps after bloodsucking, I mean vamps seeing Jesus and converting to Christianity. Okay then. #2, People with strong faith glow. Oh wait, it's only CHRISTIAN faith that glows. Presumably, if you only have pantheistic faith, or whatever, you don't get the glow. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the whole damn nation started glowing with faith in Jesus (completely ignoring the fact that Christianity remained a fringe group among the Jews, he wants instead to convert the whole lot of them to the glowing light.)#3, A centurion has a death knell conversion to Jesus just before he gets remade into a vampire, and retains this overlay of faith even after he rises!Pah.Seriously, this is Religious Fiction masquerading as a horror novel. Its premise, though interesting, would have been better served if the author had not attempted to stretch it around his obvious intent of retaining the concept of One True Faith. I gave it two stars based on the fact that I finished it, and the concept was interesting. Too bad the story had to go through so many gymnastics in order to stay on the "right" side of Jesus-Lit.Update: The author has contacted me privately to correct my "inaccuracies," and to let me know he disagrees with my review. He assures me that he is not a Christian, and feels the comparison to Religious Fiction is unwarranted, because apparently non-Christians are incapable of writing religious fiction. I'll be sure to share that with my writer friends who write stories that don't reflect their personal faith. In addition, Mr. McAfee, you'll note that I said you wrapped your novel around the "concept" of One True Faith, I did not suggest that it is your personal belief, so your correction is moot. He also wants me to know that the Christian "Glow" really wasn't Christian because Christians didn't exist until after the crucifixion. Because of this distinction, he claims, ANY believer in the One God, whether or not Christian, could "Glow" with faith. Point taken, I should have said "follower of Christ," instead of "Christian." My bad for confusing the two, they really ARE quite different. Heh. My point was that he clearly was tying the "Glow" with the religious persuasion, NOT with faith, as he so claims, or there would have been many "Glow"-ers of many faiths, including the pantheists.I don't review many books, maybe 10% of my "read" catalog, but I have to say this is the first time I've ever had an author write me to tell me I was wrong. My OPINION is that this book has serious problems. I've enumerated three of my problems with the book, and received a "correction" on those opinions, but my further opinion is that it is a correction without distinction. One star.Update:This update really should precede the last one, since the behavior took place during the few hours between when I posted the original review but before I responded to the email the author sent.I have noted, several days after the fact, that you, McAfee, have gone around to a couple other locations around the internet, whining about my review, and including some ad hominem attack supposing that I wrote letters to Clash of the Titans protesting pantheism? YOU made it personal. YOU wrote ME to tell me that my OPINIONS of your book were wrong, then YOU went around the internet on some sort of whining attack-fest. What the hell is wrong with you? The internet is a small place for niche readers, and if you want to go whining (in public!) to your friends regarding the mean old wrong reviewers, don't expect that your reviewers won't see it. And in ALL OF THIS, you have never satisfactorily addressed my original observations, other than to tell me you are not a Christian (which I never claimed,) and that I was just wrong. FAIL.