m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...


At Newsday, Doris Lessing recalls the religion inspired by her space fiction series (the one she wishes more people would read):

My science fiction books. “Canopus in Argos” had a great readership way back when, and it even started a religion. “Shikasta” [the first in the series] was taken literally and they started up a commune in America. They wrote to me and said, “When are we going to be visited by the gods?” And I wrote back, and said, “Look, this is not a cosmology, this is an invention.” And they wrote back and said, “Ah, you are just testing us.”

Lessing took the title Shikasta from the Farsi shekasteh, broken, and her inspiration from Sufism, so it’s not so surprising that fans found a cosmology in there.