This month, as part of Bards and Sages blogtours, I’m hosting SF/Fantasy author Carole McDonnell. Carole writes Christian-themed science fiction/fantasy and is the author of Wind Follower, Spirit Fruit; and most recently The Constant Tower, an outstanding novel that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. She’s also been published in numerous anthologies including Steamfunk, and So Long Been Dreaming. So without further adieu, fellow geeks, readers and writers Carole McDonnell. . .
I like examining religion and anthropology, especially the way religion, ethnic groups, history, and clans all work together.
Different planets have different gods, of course. Some planets — like earth— have no gods. Some planets, like earth, also have unbelievers. In my novel, The Constant Tower, I created the following Great Covenant Principles of the Creator of Odunao — all of which the inhabitants of that planet are free to obey, skew, disobey, or rationalize away. And believe me, they do play fast and loose with these laws:
The Constant Tower (excerpt)
To those who would be holy, hear the laws of the Creator:
Let not Samat usurp your pleasures and your sorrows. Guard the doors of your heart against his wiles. Do not allow him to overtake your senses or rule your mind. The Malevolent One lies near and far, in small matters and in large. He roams the world like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Therefore, hear the Creator’s laws and do them:
If you find a night-tossed child, you must by no means leave it bereft but you will take the child into your home and rear it as one of your sons and daughters. You shall in no wise allow Samat to allow you to ignore the poor and the outcast. If you find a foundling marked as outcast, feed him and do not search out the nature of his crimes. Nevertheless, let him not enter your longhouse that his guilt does not defile you. If you meet the poor, you shall give to them all they ask of you, whether thing living or non-living, whether thing tangible or intangible. For the Creator’s eye is upon the orphan and the outcast, and the poor are Children of the Creator as you are;
If you fight your enemy and he falls weak at your feet, you shall in no wise leave him bound at nightfall, no not to living, dead, or non-living thing. You shall in no wise allow Samat to lead you to sin. You shall in any case provide your enemy shelter and leave his feet, torso, and hands unbound. If you fight your enemy and capture his house, and find foundling and the night-tossed living with him, you shall in no wise harm the foundling; the night-tossed is not your enemy. If you find a corpse unburied, you shall in all wise, bury it and not leave the dead uncovered. If you desire to kill, refrain from killing. Nevertheless, if you fight your enemy and he dies, you will cover his body that the land may not be polluted; Your enemy is the Child of the Creator, as you are;
If at any time, the night brings you to a place where you find your enemy’s landmark, you shall in no wise remove it, for other clans are Children of the Creator as you are. You shall in no wise allow Samat to convince you otherwise. If the night tosses you to an unclaimed place, you may reclaim the land by fire, water, or axe. But only that which you can reclaim in a single day shall be yours. All that fire, water, and axe have not claimed within each day shall not be included within your landmark. The land, fire, water and even your strength belong to the Creator and it is He who creates each day and apportions your lot;
You shall in no wise lie with or marry a woman born in the same longhouse as you. Whether your longhouse contains ten or ten thousand, she is your sister, and your daughter, and your aunt, and your mother. If at anytime you war and find among your enemy’s clan a woman your heart longs for, you shall take the woman but for her sake, you shall spare those in her longhouse. You shall ally yourself to them, or you will destroy their crystals that their tower be night-tossed. But you shall not in any wise slay her kinsmen, for your children will be her children and they will rise up against you. The woman shall grieve a month—forty-nine days. Then you shall take her to your bed; If the day brings you a woman, living alone without a clan, if she has no child and desires one, you will give her a child. Nevertheless, in no wise shall you force her to lie with you. Nor will you refuse her request to give her a child. If you desire another man’s woman, refrain from taking her. If you desire another woman’s man, refrain from seducing him. The man and the woman are Children of the Creator, as you are;
If the night brings you to a fertile place and the animals of that region threaten to over-run you, you shall in no wise kill one kind of animal and let all others roam free. You will study the numbers and the kinds, then you will apportion and kill. For the Creator has set one kind of animal against another that all Odunao will live in harmony;
The Firstborn of your clan shall be unto you as the Greater Light. You will bring all disputes and grievances to him and he will resolve them. The law from his mouth will be like the law from the Creator’s mouth. If there arises among you, one who disobeys the Firstborn, that one shall be cut off from the people. You shall not kill that disobedient one but you shall make him outcast because he has disobeyed the Firstborn who is your Greater Light. If there arises one among you who willfully and continually murders, then the Firstborn—the Heir of your clan—shall mark such a one and judge him, for all judgment has been given to the Firstborn, the Heir of your clan. You shall not kill the murderer but you will send him into the cold dark climes or cast him into the night that his Creator might unmake him…
Find Carole McDonnell’s books at these stores
The Constant Tower at Wildside