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Empyrion

Empyrion
by Stephen R. Lawhead
Published by Lion Publishing, 1990
Amazon.co.uk: paperback
Amazon.com: paperback
Amazon.ca: paperback
Highly Recommended by: Florence Wright
[Empyrion]

Book Rating
Rated 3 (Highly Recommended) by: 3 people
Rated 2 (Recommended) by: 4 people
Rated 1 (Suggested) by: 3 people
Rated 0 (Reviewed) by: nobody
Total Votes: 10 people
Average Rating: 2.00 (Recommended)
Score: 2.00 (Recommended)

Empyrion is less science fiction and more social fiction. True, there is space and time travel, but for the most part it is a story of humans, interacting with each other as individuals and as societies. The author describes two societies, one that has adopted corporate structures, all the people living as prisoners in the city they built. They live, breathing recycled air, worshipping an evil god, working as drones, each hage ("town") specializing in their own tasks to benefit the whole enclosed city called Dome. They are oppressed, suspicious, mistrusting; yet there is a faction of rebels, who hope to bring about freedom and life. Their self-imprisonment is the result of a horrible disaster and to keep safe, to assure that they would never experience it again, they closed their entire city in a huge glass-like dome. There is another society, one that lives in freedom, enjoys life, worships the "Infinite", lives in peace and joy, laughing, loving and caring for one another in their open and beautiful city called Fiera. They too, carry sadness and pain related to the memory of the same occurrence that the others fear, but instead of closing themselves in, they allow the pain of the past to make the lives they live now, richer, more joyful and more full of light, because their hope and peace emanates from their relationship with "Infinite". Of course, there is conflict between the two societies, a classic conflict between good and evil. It is a rich and complete story and will draw the reader back to it, right to the end, in spite of the over-use of metaphor. Overall the book is well worth the time to read it. (February, 2005)

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Other Comments:

I loved Empyrion too. I think one of its other themes is the danger/selfishness of Christian isolation. A Christian colony, completely separate from the world, might work (or nearly work, if we were a bit more perfect) but it would be absolutely no use to the rest of the world, which is (IMHO) one of the reasons for its existence! (Salt, light, salvation ...) Not to mention, as Bob Blackman explores in The Commission, the danger of heresy getting in and running amok. – Rebekah Robinson (February, 2005)

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The story in Empyrion was originally published in two volumes as The Search for Fierra and The Siege of Dome.

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