Owning the Unknown: A Science Fiction Writer Explores Atheism, Agnosticism, and the Idea of God

Pitchstone. Sept. 2023. 216p. ISBN 9781634312424. pap. $17.95. REL
When contemplating the existence of God, how does one determine what questions to ask in order to find the most correct answers? While this may seem like a strange question for a science-fiction writer to pose, Hugo Award–winning Wilson (Spin) proves himself to be just the person to tackle it. He masterfully intertwines stories of his childhood in Toronto with discussions of everything from Egyptian history to the Kalam cosmological argument that everything that begins to exist has a cause. He invites readers, whether theist or atheist, to question what they believe and why, but in a more approachable manner than many intellectual or philosophical books on atheism. The book traces the history of science fiction as a genre and points out how this saga correlates to modern atheistic thinking. Wilson puts forward his own brand of “intuitive atheism,” while encouraging readers to come to their own conclusions and, along the way, consider how and why they arrived at them.
VERDICT Skeptics of religious belief and fans of science fiction are likely to love this book. People of faith may be somewhat uncomfortable with the topics discussed, but Wilson handles these subjects in a respectful and considerate manner.
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