grabbed the The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism
by John C. Sulak, figuring it would be fun bit of nostalgia, but then
it hooked me. In the early chapters, science fiction is mentioned on
almost every page, more often than drugs. Turns out that Oberon Zell
and Morning Glory, the founders of the Church of All Worlds were
science fiction fans, influenced by Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in
a Strange Land, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Doctor
Demento, the Firesign Theater, and later, even Star Wars and Harry
not just a book about an alternative lifestyle/religion; the
narrative intertwines science fiction, fandom, and the development of
home computers with the story of modern Paganism. They also make
unicorns and search for mermaids, and pioneer social networking before
and after the Internet. There's also the “it's complicated” soap
opera of polyamorous relationships. And
this kind of Paganism is so science-friendly -- even philic.
These are people who
didn't just consume science fiction – they lived it.
Ron Cobb, the underground cartoonist who designed the space hardware for
Alien, once said that
he considered science fiction to be a verb – something you do,
rather than a product you consume. And it's amazing what people can do.
kind of sad to see how today's nerds compare to yesterday's
fans. Kids don't really believe me when I tell them that in science
fiction conventions back in the Seventies you kept finding yourself
in scenes that looked like an indoor Woodstock. Now they all line up
to get their chance to worship their favorite corporate franchises.
there is something in the air these days. Maybe the discontent will
save the nerd identity from becoming just another marketing strategy.
This book could help. It's a wild read.