THE MADONNA AND THE STARSHIP is funnier than you’d expect and full of a great-hearted love for all mankind
Andrew Wheeler on his The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. reviews James Morrow’s The Madonna and the Starship.
Madonna is another retrospective novella in the SF world of the past, like Morrow’s Shambling Towards Hiroshima (and like a thousand other stories of the past two decades), but it’s not about SF the way so many of those stories are. It’s also not marinated in self-loathing and alternate-world angst the way Hiroshima was, much to its benefit. And the solution Kurt and Connie eventually find is much more Hegelian than usual for Morrow – more measured, more even-handed. For a long time, Morrow seemed to identify most with Job: raging at a God he conjured up in story after story, castigating the Supreme Being for His own flaws and those of mankind. Madonna transfers that anger to the alien lobsters, who are the antagonists, to move beyond that dichotomy. So this book shows us a Morrow still obsessed with the same questions, but not as angry about them – still deeply concerned with the place of spirituality and the religious impulse, but not as accusatory or partisan. It’s a fine short novel, funnier than you’d expect and full of a great-hearted love for all mankind.
Read the rest of Wheeler’s insightful comments at The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
For more on The Madonna and the Starship, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover and design by Elizabeth Story.