For All These Worlds, a Messiah was published in the January 2019 issue of Outposts of Beyond, a biannual science fiction magazine published by Alban Lake Publishing. I say magazine, but with this issue, it switched to being a 190-page long book – a very substantial, very impressive publication.
Any description of this story is liable to sound like the opening line of a joke: “A Catholic priest and a Benedictine monk go looking for Jesus…” It could’ve been worse – they could’ve been walking into a bar.
As for the Jesus part, that’s the fault of the 40th century CE monk. He reasons that the Lord would want each planet with sapient life to have its own incarnated redeemer, its very own version of Jesus Christ. If they can happen upon a world where that savior is still alive, still teaching, still performing miracles, they could prove the existence of God. So begins a journey across the galaxy.
Here’s a short quote, from a scene where they check in with a missionary on an alien world to see how he’s doing and to find out whether he’s heard of any local prophets. It should give you a sense of the story:
Tran addressed the missionary. “And have you made many converts from among their number?”
“Not a single one,” replied Daly bluntly. “But I have plenty of gin and they haven’t killed me in my sleep, so I’m counting my time here as a win.”
This story is a standalone sci-fi tale, although it is set in the same fictional universe as The Unobservable Universe.
Besides exploring the question of whether God, assuming He is real, would provide every intelligent, self-aware species with a savior, this story also digs into a more general thought I had about science fiction. These days, a lot of sci-fi assumes that there won’t be any religion in the future. But I don’t see anything in the world today to indicate that might be true. If anything, the more our technology advances, the more superstitious and religion-prone people seem to become. If things continue on in that direction, religion is going to remain a large part of people’s lives centuries, if not millennia, from now.
For trivia about this story, see the “Behind the Scenes” section below, after the Magazine Contents.
To buy this issue of Outposts of Beyond, click here.
For All These Worlds, a Messiah by Mike Morgan
Fields of Joy by Gustavo Bondini
Starlet by Tyree Campbell
Blood Drums by Beth Hudson
The Mound of Gyja by Maureen Bowden
Paper Lanterns by D. A. D’Amico
Echoes and Whispers by Robert Anthony Smith
Another Man’s Treasure by Gregory L. Norris
Missing by Lisa Timpf
Bysen the Beggar Girl by Eamonn Murphy
A Note to Beauty by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Vexteria by Ashley Dioses
Chuck Berry at the End of Time by Alan Ira Gordon
The Mind of God by Peter MacQuarrie
Ascension by Stephanie Smith
Nuclear Freeze by John Grey
Infernal Eternal Youth by John Grey
School Computer Lab by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Interview with Adam-Troy Castro by Alicia Cole
The Lisa Timpf Page
cover Cohabit by Teresa Jay
Publisher: Alban Lake Publishing
Published: January 2019
Editor: Tyree Campbell
Behind the Scenes
This story features not one, not two, but three alien races from as-yet-unpublished tales. Hey, it needed a lot of different species. I had to get them from somewhere.
First, the Xim from Staxis Prime – they’re from another related story that I’m hoping will see the light of day eventually. In that other story, you see exactly why they hate their god so much.
As for the Hy-flum and Dashvani, those species are from my always-being-rewritten novel, because, yes, I have a novel that I keep working on. Doesn’t every writer?
Fun With Names
The missionary, James Daly, with his incredible stash of gin, is inspired by Jim Dale’s character, Dr. Jimmy Nookey, who is exiled to an island where it rains nine months of the year in the 1969 film Carry On Again Doctor. In the film, there’s nothing else to do except get drunk.
Click here for an alphabetical listing of all of my professionally published short stories.