Monday, September 14, 2015

INCI, by Mike Resnick and Tina Gower

Given the vastness of the universe, I have always thought that either humans were destined to expand to other planets, or there is life on other planets.  And if there is life on other planets, I have wondered, as a Christian, if we are destined to take the gospel to other beings, or if God became flesh and lived among life forms on other planets.  Mary Doria Russell explored the question of Christian missions to other planets the in The Sparrow.

In Mike Resnick and Tina Gower's novel INCI, they get into both questions.  Rev. Joshua Barker joins a scientific mission to Kaus, a newly discovered world.  He tells Bible stories to the natives, who have a rudimentary understanding of his language.  Soon he befriends on he calls "Click" and begins to send more time among the Kausians.  As he tells the story of Jesus, the Kausians respond with stories of "the steam." As Baker looks into the steam stories, he learns stories that strangely parallel Christ's crucifixion, not only on Kaus but on other planets as well.

INCI is a strange little book.  I enjoyed the depiction of evangelization among the Kausians.  But INCI didn't go deep enough to satisfy my theological interest, and the story wasn't compelling enough to satisfy my sci-fi interest.  It was just OK on both counts.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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