Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

It’s World Religion Day today!


There’s little doubt that religions play a big role in our world, for good and for bad. This also means you can use religious themes to tell a lot of interesting stories in our fictional worlds. Luckily, there are fantasy authors who did just that.


The religion scholar within me is not easily pleased when it comes to self-constructed religions and the incorporation of religious themes in speculative fiction. However, here are two stories that thoroughly impressed me in these regards.

The Daevabad Trilogy 
First on the list, The Daevabad Trilogy, written by S.A. Chakraborty. 


The story of this trilogy is loosely set in our own world, in the Middle-East. As such, it heavily draws from the mythologies and religions of these regions. The Islam and Zoroastrianism, in particular. Chakraborty uses these various elements in her own worldbuilding and manages to create a captivating setting that is still respectful of the source material. 

This is already an impressive feat in itself. Still, Chakraborty also succeeds in telling a story in which the different aspects of faith, both beautiful and ugly, come into light. 


 Religious themes aside, The Daevabad Trilogy consists of a thrilling plot and well-developed characters. Definitely a recommendation, even if it’s not World Religion Day! 

Small Gods

Something a little more manageable than a whole trilogy, is Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. 


This story revolves around a god that’s down on his luck, who has to rely on a humble novice to try and regain his divine powers. In a true Pratchett fashion, this premise is used to tell a humorous story laced with philosophical contemplations.  What if deities rely on their followers for their divine powers? What distinguishes institutional doctrines from personal faith?


Small Gods is the perfect book to low-key dive into religious philosophy, without actually having to wade through long-winded texts by incomprehensible scholars. What’s not to love?

Hopefully this list has given you some suggestions you weren’t yet familiar with! If you read any of these books, let us know what you thought of it. 

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