Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Last Judgement

In the Christian mythos, the tribunal set to follow the Apocalypse, and in fictional accounts frequently combined with it. Fantasy writers often express doubts as to the quality of the justice that might be handed down; Judgment Day (1928) by Norman Davey (1888-1949) is more optimistic than most. "The Judgement Seat" (1929) by W Somerset Maugham suggests God might have more interesting things to do than arbitrate in humanity's petty moral squabbles. "The House of Judgement" (1893) by Oscar Wilde, Portrait of Gideon Power (1944) by S H Lambert (Neil Bell) and Heaven Takes a Hand (1949) by Eliot Crawshay-Williams attempt in different ways to illustrate the difficulties inherent in the judgement business, as does "The Irreverence of God" (1933) by Shane Leslie (1885-1971), in which the Last Judgement is also the Last Laugh. [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.