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Flynn, Tom

Entry updated 4 September 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1955-2021) US humanist, journalist who edited Free Inquiry magazine from 2010 until his death, and author whose first story, "Meanwhile on the Planet Vatican" for Free Inquiry in Fall 1999, feeds directly into his Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games sequence opening with the lengthy Galactic Rapture (2000; vt Messiah Games 2018); this first volume was also repackaged with possible revisions as the trio The Messiah Game: A Comedy of Terrors – Part 1 (2012), The Messiah Emerges (2012) and The Destroyer's Creed (2013). Subsequent volumes sequelling Galactic Rapture are Nothing Sacred (2004) and Behold, He Said (2018).

The setting is a moderately conventional Space Opera universe, in which a galaxy-spanning Forerunner race called the Harvesters has seeded life everywhere (see Panspermia); aeons later, the Galactic Confetory attempts to monitor the clashing growth demands of innumerable descendant civilizations through Enclaves which "protect" slow-to-develop races from predatory neighbours (see Uplift); but the humans of Earth, not being properly programmed with deficient genes, escape Enclave not to conquer but to entertain: our ability to infiltrate other cultures allows us to treat other civilizations in terms of spectator sport. Flynn's Satire on Religion – centred in the first book on a blatantly fake Messiah – is sometimes very sharp; but as the tale progresses, and various Christian sects compete for lebensraum across the galaxy, the tone darkens markedly. The second volume, a kind of Rake's Progress featuring the adventures of an Earth boy and his sentient Computer (see AI) among the vulnerable and not so vulnerable, is also savage in its erudite Humour; the adventures of this pair continue in Behold, He Said. [JC/DRL]

Thomas W Flynn

born Erie, Pennsylvania: 18 August 1955

died 23 August 2021



Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games

  • Galactic Rapture (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2000) [Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/Michael Carroll]
    • The Messiah Game: A Comedy of Terrors – Part 1 (Tucson, Arizona: See Sharp Books, 2012) [vt of the above, first part: Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/]
    • The Messiah Emerges (Tucson, Arizona: See Sharp Books, 2012) [vt of the above, second part: Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/]
    • The Destroyer's Creed (Tucson, Arizona: See Sharp Books, 2013) [vt of the above, third part: Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/]
    • Messiah Games (Ontario, Canada: Double Dragon Publications, 2018) [vt of the above: Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/]
  • Nothing Sacred (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2004) [Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/Michael Carroll]
  • Behold, He Said (Ontario, Canada: Double Dragon Publications, 2018) [Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games: pb/]


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