The Anomalous Archive, Part XXIV: 'Bloomship' by G.L. Francis

[This review was originally posted on the Anomaly forum on November 25, 2011.]

"Bloomship," 1st in Issue 9 of The Cross and the Cosmos

Characterizing the template world of the Bermuda Expanse from the "Twin Universes" of The Cross and the Cosmos, G.L. Francis has written an episode that captures what may be the best application of science fiction -- the existence of mystery beyond our experience. The mystery of this story is centered in a feature of the Bermuda Expanse boilerplate -- a gaseous cloud within the Bermuda solar system called the Anomaly. The protagonist's awe of the Anomaly is transferred to an awe of the universe, and of its Creator. The race called JellyFish is brought to life in such a way that they seem bizarre without feeling sinister. Even though the more proper name for this race (in this story) is "Medusaens," these creatures are not necessarily ugly. Like the Anomaly itself, the Medusaens are beyond understanding.

That protagonist is very interesting character, a member of short race called the Latolcians, people who seem like "Space Hobbits." I think Francis is deliberately using Tolkien's characterization of Hobbits as good, stalwart, down-to-earth people but reversing it. The Latolcians have fallen, and now their shortness is a matter of bitterness, at least for the protagonist. It seems our conception of Hobbits is the romantic fantasy of the Latolcians' past, one that may yet be revived, even in a cold age of science.

"Bloomship" has a lot to offer Christians in our confused days. We hear of scientists who say they've found planets in other solar systems that should be able to support life, along with a popular fervor for the notion of colonizing other worlds. The debate about Creationism versus Evolution and aliens and the meaning of the Bible goes on and on. We even hear of some people saying that the concept of a multiverse is a scientific fact! We look at this "Anomaly" -- this agonizing confusion -- and we wonder, like the protagonist of "Bloomship", how it all hangs together. Then we look at the stars, and we remember that the question of how anything hangs together has always been beyond us. He is.

[The other story in Issue 12 was reviewed on this blog.]


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