Friday, February 19, 2010

from Ed de Jong

Science fiction writer Tom Ligon wrote: 

"Devil" and "The Gardener"
But Mazra'ih is a special world. Although Earth-like, it orbits a star that is part of a deadly trinary system. About every 12,000 years, it passes thru the polar plume of a neutron-star binary, its sun flares, and all the interesting pre-biotic chemistry gets cooked. The planet is otherwise habitable, a fixer-upper for sure, but worth it for about 8000 good years, a long time by human standards. We've found hundreds of worlds capable of supporting Earth-like life. Mazra'ih is the first we've found on which we could establish a colony! 
I needed good victims. Recent news had offered an excellent group, the Baha'is, who had been horribly persecuted in Iran. The more I researched them, the more convinced I became that they would make excellent space colonists. My primary reference was an aged primer on the Baha'i Faith by J. E. Esselmont. I did receive some comments from several Baha'is suggesting that I'd portrayed them as too pacifistic, however, I'll stick by my guns on this.

My characters, while they believe in public defense, even armies, to preserve peace, are stubborn in living by a passage I found in Esselmont's book in which Baha'u'llah forbids the Baha'is from taking up arms in the defense of the faith. The story is carefully crafted to back them into this corner. Our hero is faced with a loss of his faith, which enables him to take action to save his people, but leaves him in a spiritual dilemma.

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