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A Stitch in Space Paperback – October 9, 2014
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Cower not, fierce reader! Today I have an excellent tale for you, that would have remained hidden from us. I was blessed to end up in a conversation with the author, Mr. Christopher Lansdown, through my friend Declan Finn, on Twitter. It was a small, and largely inadequate, conversation about the philosopher Josef Pieper and his Leisure, the Basis of Culture. I checked his profile, and found his books, and I look forward to more conversations with the gentleman.
Onto the crimes against Social Justice this book brings(minor spoilers, I'll try to avoid plot points):
Firstly, and permeatingly, this book follows a priest's journey from Earth to a new parish on a colony world. What criminal acts, to have Catholicism exist that far in the future, and to follow a priest within that time.
Second, our priest is no caricature. He is a real character, with a past, with interests and competencies other than his priesthood. And while Father Xris does evangelize, he never passes judgement or hate, which clearly is in violation of Social Justice. He is not a hypocrite when it comes to sex, and takes his vows seriously.
Thirdly, while we have a setting that is largely unchristian. However, it is not atheist or muslim. No, this future, while it largely abandoned Christianity, has embraced paganism. While the crowd of Social Justice might consider this good initially, they clearly have no knowledge of Christendom's early years. Pagans, that is, true pagans, are looking for truth and things that make life worthwhile. To an atheist, life has no inherent value(or they would not advocate abortion or euthanasia), nor can any revelation of truth change that. The search for truth and value is what opens the honest pagan to the possibility of Christianity.
Fourth, Mr. Lansdown has included at the end of his tome notes for both Christians and atheists. The note to Christians advocates for goodness and patience in evangelism, and the avoidance of shortcuts. His note to atheists defends his characters as pagans and not atheists, and notes his own surprise at their behavior, something I'm led to believe is common by several excellent writers.
For his crimes against Social Justice, I must ask Mr. Lansdown to write more(he only has two books at the moment). This was highly entertaining and properly, an great act of Injustice. 8/10 Fell Deeds.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.
The science is both cutting-edge and believable, but these the fascinating scientific musings do not dampen the narrative pace nor do they swamp the non-scientist into a maelstrom of astrophysics; the characters are the raison d'etre for this book. Father Guerin is a theologically astute polymath who kindly but resolutely shares his faith with his co-travelers. An unabashed and fundamentally religious work, A Stich in Space will immerse readers in Christian apologetics along with intergalactic space travel in a pleasant yet substantive yarn. Hurtling through space via "slipstreams," these passengers confront not only nature's most challenging realities but contend with the eternal questions of life and eternity.
The narrative pace here is quick and does not lapse into low gear. Yet the characters, particularly Father Guerin, manage to share spiritual insight throughout in an engaging style that might remind the reader of Dean Koontz' Brother Odd Thomas; few will be able to resist membership in the Guerin fan club!
This author has matched - and even perhaps surpassed - his first effort - "Ordinary Superheroes." Interested readers would be well-served to order both of these books off the menu and savor the delightful reading repast.