A Novel Society

Science Fiction Novels as Religious Actors


  • Robert Geraci Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York




Actor-network Theory, China Mieville, Perdido Street Station, science fiction, sociology of religion


Science fiction—as a literature of the fantastic—has become a part of the religious landscape of modernity. In a secular world, not all of religious activity is explicitly so; indeed, much contemporary religious thought and practice happens implicitly, in ostensibly secular arenas. Yet the human need for meaning and enchantment has gone undiminished in the age of secularism, and science fiction is a powerful route for such desires. In China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station, we see how traditionally religious themes are woven into a science fiction story, but also how the book itself illustrates a religious goal of divine creation. Using actor-network theory, this essay contributes to the building of a sociology of religion that acknowledges the powerful ways in which science fiction texts like Perdido Street Station offer transformative experiences for readers and for culture.


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How to Cite

Geraci, R. (2014). A Novel Society: Science Fiction Novels as Religious Actors. Implicit Religion, 17(4), 417–431. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.v17i4.417