More "authentic" Jesus in sci-fi

From time to time Christians world over act surprised about the notion that the usual image of tall, slender, long-haired and pretty pale Jesus does not confirm with the fact that he was a Jew from Palestine and shared the attributes of that ethnic group two thousand years ago. However, two examples show that science fiction authors were quite mindful of the historical and anthropological context.

Through links provided by Vladimir Simovski, it is quite obvious that presentations of Jesus, like those of various other shared iconic characters tend to reflect the influences of time and cultures that use them. On the other hand, forensic anthropological research conducted in 2000 reconstructed "The real face of Jesus" (PDF), based on data from the Scriptures which present him as "an average I century Joe," no different from his contemporaries: somewhat short, muscular, dark-skinned, curly-haired and bearded Semites.

The character of Jesus appears in the novelette Riverworld (1966) by Philip José Farmer. Widelly acclaimed as one of the best pieces of the series with the same name, based on the premise that alien intelligence resurrects all humans on a single planet, it juxtaposes the pacifist Joshua ben Joseph with the short, dark, green-eyed cowboy actor Tom Mix.

John Kessel's Corrupting Dr. Nice (1997) is a time-travel novel based on the premises of colonial exploitation of parallel worlds developed by Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner in their short story Mozart in Mirrorshades, first published in Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (1986).

The plot partly takes place in a 40 A.D. Palestine, and characters include Yeshu and one of his apostles, Simon the Zealot. Kessel's descriptions of the Roman world occupied by American time travelers, and the attempts of the locals to deal with it through adaptation or resistance (including terrorism) are insightful and entertaining, because the characters are modeled according to the latest scientific notions of the life at the time.


New sci-fi story by Damien Krsteski

Damien Krsteski, musician and science aficionado from Macedonia, published his short story "Not in a Million Years" on his blog under CC-BY-NC-ND license.

Initially, the story was
supposed to go alongside the new Machinesaw album. However, the album left on its own.

(info via Crapwerk, via Ping.mk)