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Follow Me: Religion in SFF - Eugen Bacon

Pre-orders are now open for Luna's latest Call for Papers! Follow Me: Religion in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Pre-order yours here! Ebook also available on the usual retailers' sites.

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.

The book will be released on the 20th of June, so we have plenty of time to introduce you to our contributors.

Today we'll introduce you to Eugen Bacon - Australia - presenting the paper, Toxic religion in utopian and cultural worlds.


Religion is largely the belief in, worship or adulation of, one or more superbeings or controlling powers that may be a deity such as a spirit, god or goddess. In utopian fiction, religion manifests itself in belief and commitment to a people or an ideology. In African mythology, the spirit world and realms of the dead may come into play, with a witchdoctor as the conduit between the faithful and the deity—evidenced in British-Nigerian author Nuzo Onoh’s adoption of African spirituality in her fiction. It so happens that an individual or a collective may exploit societal faith, with devastating consequences. This essay looks at what religion is, how it manifests itself, ‘why religion?’, and abuse in religion, with exemplars in three expertly-crafted narratives on toxic religion in utopian and cultural societies: David Coleman’s short story “The Shaming”, and Nuzo Onoh’s works—her short story “Ogali” and novel A Dance for the Dead.

About the Author:

Eugen Bacon MA, MSc, PhD is an African Australian author of several novels, prose poetry and fiction collections. She’s a 2022 World Fantasy Award finalist, and was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. Her short story release Danged Black Thing received a 2021 Otherwise Award honor as a ‘sharp collection of Afro-Surrealist work’. Recent books: Mage of Fools (novel), Chasing Whispers (short stories) and An Earnest Blackness (essays). Eugen has two novels, a novella and three anthologies (ed) out in 2023, including Serengotti, a novel, and the US release of Danged Black Thing. Visit her website at and Twitter feed at @EugenBacon.

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