We are delighted to reveal the cover to our seventh CfP, Follow Me: Religion in Fantasy & Science Fiction!
I have started this series a few years ago - I'm keen to go beyond the stories we love, discovering their authors and exploring the context in which they were written. It is a series that has allowed me to meet incredible researchers, and with whom I have shared many moments of recognition from the SFF community.
The covers have always been created around images or paintings which are dear to me, for different reasons. Each one is then worked to further convey the focus theme of each edition. At times, the process is backward. I love to scroll through my favorite art pieces, and that gives me the inspiration for new research. So, where did I go this year?
This year I went back to the Third Intermediate Period. It is taken from the Book of the Dead, made for Nauny, the Singer of Amun-Re. Egypt and the Ancient Near East, feature in a few of our articles, this year, and given that my passion and specialty at uni has always been the Ancient Near East, it was not too difficult to make this choice. As for the design and its colours, there is a sense of fragmentation but also of diversity in both humanity and deities, reflected through the works of many writers, spanning centuries. Religion, however you want to define it, is seen through the eyes of humans, which carry their own personal lenses and filters. And it is on these different approaches that our contributors have built their analysis.
Our Award Winning series, welcomes essays from academics, independent researchers, fans and creative writers, appealing to both the casual reader and a more research-oriented one. We consider this cross-disciplinary collaboration a strength, and the beginning of many more journeys.
In the next few weeks we will share more about each contributor and their papers.
The release date is set for the 20th of June, 2023, and pre-orders will open toward the end of the month.
Here they are, our 'Followers', in alphabetical order, with their respective contributions:
(Top row, left to right)
Eugen Bacon (Australia) Presenting the paper:
“Toxic religion in utopian and cultural worlds”
Steph P. Bianchini (Italy) Presenting the paper:
"An Agnostic's Prayer. Egyptian gods in the speculative fiction of Roger Zelazny"
Kevin Cooney (USA) Presenting the paper:
“The Sacred and Profane: UFO Religions and Alien Messiahs in Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama”
Giovanni Carmine Costabile (Italy) Presenting the paper:
“This is my story: Girardian Theory and the Christian Subtext of Final Fantasy X”
Catherine A. Coundjeris (USA) Presenting the paper:
“A Christian Fellowship: Inklings’ Perspectives on Religion, Myth, and the Word”
(Bottom row, left to right)
Mark Kirkbride (England) Presenting the paper:
“Heaven, Hell, and Virtual Reality”
Cheryl Morgan (Wales) Presenting the paper:
“Darling, You’re Just Divine! Queer Gods in science fiction and fantasy”
Ivano Sassanelli (Italy) Presenting the paper:
“Who Is Eru?: Literary, ethical and theological reflections about God and Religion in Tolkien’s Middle-earth”
Barbara Stevenson (Scotland) Presenting the paper:
"Aestheticism versus Christianity in the Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde"
Elyse Welles (USA) Presenting the paper:
"Neo-Pagans & the Ainur Pantheon"