(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In Towing Jehovah, winner of the prestigious World Fantasy Award, the body of God falls from Heaven and lands in the Atlantic Ocean. Afterward, the Vatican calls on disgraced oil tanker captain Anthony Van Horne to tow his body to a final resting place in the Arctic. Thomas Ockham, a Jesuit priest interested in cosmology, accompanies Van Horne on the voyage in order to protect the Vatican’s interests. Both are searching for something: Keith seeks redemption for his role in the colossal oil spill that decimated Matagorda Bay, and Thomas wishes to discover the answer to the question, “Why did God die?” While they fail to transport God’s body in time to preserve his brain activity, they overcome obstacles including Cassie Fowler, a militant atheist who believes the feminist cause is threatened by the body’s very existence; a deranged World War II re-enactment society bent on destroying his corpse; and a side trip to a pagan island in order to put God’s body—the Corpus Dei—to rest in an iceberg.

Blameless in Abaddon begins as an arctic earthquake reveals God’s dead body to the world and the Vatican arranges to hook it up to machines in order to preserve the newly discovered signs of activity in his brain. The Corpus Dei, sold to the Baptists, becomes the main attraction in a religious theme park in Orlando. Martin Candle’s visit to the park fails to cure his cancer, his wife dies, and suddenly this contemporary Job...

(The entire section is 404 words.)