Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

The supreme being of monotheistic religions, signified in the Judeo-Christian tradition by the tetragrammaton variously expanded as Yahweh and Jehovah, and called Allah by the followers of Islam. Reverence demands He maintain a dignified absence from most Christian Fantasies, which often employ Angels as His agents, but He is much more frequently glimpsed – usually in unflattering guise – in antireligious fantasies and exercises in Literary Satanism (see Satan), especially those offering irreverent accounts of the Last Judgement. Stories which work towards a climactic confrontation with God are often calculatedly bathetic; stories in which He puts in a long-anticipated but less-than-satisfactory appearance include Jurgen (1919) by James Branch Cabell, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (1932) by George Bernard Shaw and The Jehovah Contract (1987) by Victor Koman (1944-    ). In Lester del Rey's heretical fantasy "For I Am a Jealous People" (1954) He decides that humans are not His chosen people after all, and who can blame Him? The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) by G K Chesterton is supposed to provide a more inspiring climactic confrontation, but opinions as to its propriety vary. His appearances in the work of T F Powys, often as "Jar" but sometimes as "Mr Weston", are far more extensive but distinctly ambivalent; other works in which He makes substantial and moderately impressive appearances include The Green Isle of the Great Deep (1944) by Neil M Gunn, "The Adventures of God in His Search for the Black Girl" (1973) by Brigid Brophy, The Living End (1979) by Stanley Elkin and Towing Jehovah (1993) by James Morrow. God: The Ultimate Autobiography (1988) by Jeremy Pascall is unrepentantly silly. [BS]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.