Tochi Onyebuchi. Place of Worship. (Asimovs September 2014)

asimovs201409An excellent story from an author new to me. He has a way with words that is rare in SF, with more classier writing in most of his paragraphs than many SF writers manage in a whole story.

It could be argued that there isn’t a strong sfnal element to it, with only the fact that part of the story is set in an orbiting colony. But the setting is key to the story, as the protagonist, who relates his life-long struggle with alcoholism, has been seeking god and fighting the battle with the devil within and without that drives him to the bottle.

We find out about his relationships with his mother and family, how christianity plays a role in his his life, and how from an early age he looked up at the stars, wanting to get above them, nearer to his god. And in orbit, still closer to his god, and via recollections of time spent on barstools (some very clever and insightful writing), he finally is able to bridge that gap.

It’s worth a couple of reads, even if you’re a religion eschewer like myself, as the story is fundamentally about humanity and what lies within, rather than some bearded dude on a cloud.

More from this issue here.

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