New Short Story, “Choosing Faces”, in Arc 1.3

Arc is the new electronic SF magazine from New Scientist. Issue 1.3 is now out, featuring my story “Choosing Faces”, and it is free to download for a limited time.

There had been significant arguments and several UN resolutions regarding the genetic copyright ownership of Jesus of Nazareth. The Vatican was first but the State of Israel claimed previous right-of-way, and into the melee stepped various American pastors, the Mormons, and an obscure UFO religion claiming for Jesus under supposed evidence of alien DNA. The dispute was never resolved, but there are few conflicts one can’t resolve with a gun.

‘You will not pass,’ John the Baptist said in passable English. He was holding an Uzi and glared at me menacingly. His bones had been found in a Bulgarian monastery, on SvetiIvanIsland, in the early noughties. Church-approved cloners have since replicated him hundreds of time. He was a thick-armed, wiry Jewish man, dark skinned and humourless. I put a dart in him and was about to approach the reliquary when I found the cathedral’s real defences.

Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa, multiplied by seven.

Mother Teresa, multiplied by seven, and all of them holding big fucking machine guns.

I ducked as they opened fire.

Osama podcast and Jesus review

Jesus and the Eightfold Path is reviewed in Abyss & Apex:

What happens when Lavie Tidhar,  an Israeli and Jewish author,  visits the story of Jesus with Zen koans and a Kung-fu movie sensibility? What happens is a romp.

Another reviewer called this book,  Kick-A** for the Lord,  and I’d have to agree.  Jesus and the Eightfold path is a mash-up of the story of Christ and martial arts movies. The Monkey King becomes one of the Three Wise Men. Each chapter starts with a familiar Biblical quote from the Christmas and Easter stories,  and sort of goes downhill from there – but in a good way. It is fitting that the cover looks like a seventies Kung Fu movie poster,  and it all leads up to The Big Fight Scene where the Chosen One throws the money changers out of the Jewish temple. Everything after that is simply the denouement.

Add a star if you’re a fan of martial arts movies,  and add another one (believe it or not) if you’re a Christian. As Gardner Dozois remarked,  it’s great fun.

And I joined the Skiffy and Fanty show to talk about Osama, global terrorism, opium and a bunch of other stuff – you can listen to it here.