I am starting to make notes and do research for a novel, whose plot will follow the adaption of the protagonist from a theist position to an atheist one. I am envisaging something similar in style to a confluence of Huysmans and Marius the Epicurean, in the alternation of passages of exposition and narration, as told from the point of view of a first-person narrator, possibly other than the protagonist.

What other atheist fiction is out there? I would like to read more, and see how atheism is approached and handled by other sympathetic writers.

Tags: atheism, fiction

Views: 59

Replies to This Discussion

I'm not a huge book reader, but I guess I can recommend the His Dark Materials trilogy
Have you read A Canticle for Leibowitz? Then there is Philip K Dick (Valis, The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer). And Camus. Douglas Adams. Parke Godwin. Terry Pratchett. HG Wells. George Orwell (The Clergyman's Daughter is really good.). Olaf Stapledon. Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End.. Robert J. Sawyer.

That's a start.
Thank you, Matt and Mary, I have read some of those, and are familiar with th less of the latter.

Although I am a fan of Pratchett, and have read most of the Discworld series, and Douglas Adams I am more interested in exploring, at this point, material that is neither of the fantastic or of the comedic, in line with my proposed novel. So, then, to define it further, literary fiction, such as Camus' work, would be the ideal. I do enjoy The Outsider, btw, and my favourite novelist is Patrick White, if that helps.
The protagonist Anna Pigeon in the mysteries by Nevada Barr started as an atheist. Unfortunately, as the series has progressed, she seems to be changing her position (she married a minister!). Still, the early stories at least have a strong character who has no need of the supernatural.
Thanks for the heads-up. I'll see what I can find.

I have picked up a couple of books by joyce Carol Oates, both short stories, and the first volume of Proust, from the library today. Does anyone know if they're atheists or believers?
I have a wonderful reference book called Who's Who in Hell by Warren Allen Smith. It's a large biographical dictionary of Freethinkers and topics related to Freethought. Both Oates and Proust have entries. The one for Oates appears to indicate that she dislikes religion, but that she was raised Catholic. It is unclear on whether or not she believes in a god. The one on Proust says "he was an outright freethinker".

There is an appendix which lists entries by profession. Perhaps there are 250 names listed. Here's a small selection: Ambrose Bierce, Anthony Burgess, Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, William Faulkner, Federico Garcia Lorca, Longfellow,Anais Nin, William Styron, Gore Vidal, Walt Whitman.

This book is available on Amazon both new and used. According to WorldCat it's also held by the State Library of New South Wales. Perhaps your local library could interlibrary loan it for you, or have certain pages copied. I'd also be glad to scan or copy sections if they are not so extensive they would violate copyright laws.

Actually, I think this is so useful that it's worth owning. I wish it would come out in a second edition since there are some omissions that I've noticed.
There is a handy website (http://librariesaustralia.nla.gov.au/apps/kss) which lists items held in many Australian libraries. So I checked, and found a small number of copies.

Since I am in New South Wales, and there are copies in public libraries in the same state, it will cost a maximum of $4AUS administrative fee to order a copy ILL. I will do so, asap.

Thanks for the heads up.
I'm so glad. I had the feeling your libraries would serve you well.
Thanks for the thought. Australia actually has a very good public library system, despite it being often under threat from funding cuts and similar stringencies.
I'd completely forgotten that Anna Pigeon is an atheist! I loved those books at the beginning.

She married a minister and is getting religion you say? Argh. I knew there was a reason I gave up on those books.

Why do authors who write detective novels call that character development? They take great hard-boiled detectives and turn them into total wimps by giving them religion, marriage, families, etc. Gah! Lucas Davenport. Harry Bosch. Kay Scarpetta. I finally gave up and stopped reading the genre.

IIRC, Bosch is an atheist at the beginning of his series. It's been such a long time ago since I read any books in that genre outside of James Ellroy.
I'm picking up on this old thread as it represents the query I was about to post. It's one thing to have a top atheist reading list of non-fiction. But I would like to see a bibliography of fiction (plus poetry and drams) illustrating themes dear to nonbelievers. Obvious candidates would include Voltaire, Mark Twain, James Branch Cabell, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Philip Pullman, but I've never seen the various references mentioned pulled into a single frame. Perhaps this has been done already?
Terry Goodkind did a science fiction series based on athiesm if that helps.


Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today



Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon



© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service