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Joel Schlosberg

I've often wondered about how Carl would have responded to the upsurge in militant, intolerant religion after 9/11. The silly pseudoscience fads like alien abduction/Roswell that were so popular just 10 years ago seem innocent in comparision. So this is both very cool and sad, given how much Carl's subtle and gentle yet rigorous critique of religion and ability to communicate it to the masses is needed today.

Incidentally, one of the things that bugs me about Keay Davidson's (generally excellent) biography of Carl is his dismissive attitude towards much of Carl's criticism of religion, which he regards as crude and passe:

"In the novel Contact, Sagan had depicted American religion in one of its more primitive forms: tent-revival evangelism. It is hard to believe that a sophisticated thinker like Carl Sagan, even writing as a "pop" novelist, could depict modern religion so simplistically, as if the world had not turned since the Scopes trial of 1925. Sagan wasn't fighting modern religion, he was fighting Elmer Gantry; he was still waging the "warfare of science with theology" that Andrew Dickson White had fought a century earlier. And this is why the novel Contact's treatment of religion is of far less intellectual interest than its treatment of scientific issues. Religiously speaking, he was beating a dead horse." (p. 409)

Given the rise of militant fundamentalism in the post-9/11 era (with the book appearing just a couple of years before), it seems to me that it's Davidson's viewpoint that comes off as dated.

Skeptical Inquirer magazine also recently featured a rediscovered Q&A session with Carl -- which landed on the cover! It's online at:
http://www.csicop.org/si/2005-07/sagan.html

Nick Sagan

"Very cool and sad" is how I see it too--the stakes seem so much higher now, and how I wish he could weigh in on the current situation, this powder keg we seem to be sitting upon.

I completely agree with you about Keay Davidson's criticism--the past few years show that this "dead horse" is very much alive and kicking.

And I'm so glad you turned me on to that Skeptical Inquirer interview! I'd not seen it before, and it pretty much made my day. Thanks for that.

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Idlewild Trilogy


  • i d l e w i l d

    "Sagan has a ferocious imagination."
    -- Stephen Baxter


  • e d e n b o r n

    "One of the best post-apocalyptic novels you will ever read."
    -- SFX Magazine



  • e v e r f r e e

    "Sagan's mind-blowing post-apocalyptic trilogy comes to a satisfying, terrifying conclusion."
    -- Kirkus Reviews

Shrapnel



  • Aristeia Rising

    "An intense and intelligent story partnered with art that makes your eyes drool."
    -- Ain't It Cool News



  • Hubris

    "Lord, this is epic. If you thought the first volume of the Shrapnel series was intense, brutal, and dark, just wait until you get your hands on its follow up."
    -- Comics Bulletin

Futurism



  • Future Proof

    "A delightful 'expedition in search of the future,' providing clear explanations of today's cutting-edge technologies to find where science fiction has become reality."
    -- Publishers Weekly

Star Trek



  • Voyager: Season 5

    "Year five of Star Trek: Voyager is the greatest achievement in its seven year run. This is Voyager in its prime, and in its absolute top form."
    -- DVD Answers


  • TNG: Season 7

    "One of Next Generation's best seasons ever... The series was at the top of its game, consistently turning out episodic sci-fi hours that felt fresh and captured the imagination."
    -- SciFi.com

Computer Games



  • Zork Nemesis

    "The story is dark and gripping. Numerous subplots and twists are heightened by a surprise climactic revelation. Character developments are complex. The portrayals of the dark side of mankind in these characters are chilling."
    -- The Adventure Collective

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