Tales from the Vatican Vaults
28 extraordinary stories by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Garry Kilworth, Mary Gentle, KJ Parker, Storm Constantine and many more
By David V. Barrett
28 science fiction and fantasy stories based on an extraordinary secret history
A captivating collection of original science fiction and fantasy stories based on the same alternate world premise: a collection of documents that have been suppressed by the Vatican and hidden away for years, in some cases centuries, are revealed when the vaults are thrown open by a reforming pope.
In this alternate reality, Pope John Paul (I) does not die a month after his accession in 1978; instead he lives on for over 30 years to become the most reforming pope of all time. In addition to relaxing the rules on birth control and priestly celibacy he also opens up the most secret parts of the Vatican Library to scholars . . .
In the Vatican's deepest vaults, documents are discovered which shed new light on world history, containing information which, if true, would cause many parts of accepted history to have to be rewritten. These include not just the undercover involvement of the Catholic Church in world affairs, but documented accounts of what really happened in historical conundrums, the real lives of saints and popes, miracles, magic, angels and even alien encounters.
David V. Barrett is a British sociologist specialising in alternative religions and esoteric belief and history. He has contributed to, amongst others, the Independent, Fortean Times, New Scientist, New Statesman and the Catholic Herald. He edited Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association, for four years, chaired the Arthur C. Clarke Award for three years and has contributed to several encyclopaedias of SF and fantasy. Many of his twenty-plus books have been on religious and esoteric movements, beliefs and practices, including The New Believers, A Brief History of Secret Societies and A Brief Guide to Secret Religions. His most recent book, The Fragmentation of a Sect, is based on his 2009 PhD thesis from the London School of Economics. He also co-runs the London Fortean Society, for lovers of the weird and wonderful.
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- Publication date:
06 Aug 2015
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a fascinating anthology of Forteana. Not one of the 28 stories is a dud and several are excellent. — Morning Star
a fascinating and enjoyable collection of short stories by different authors, all based on the (alternative reality) premise that Pope John Paul I did not die a month after his accession but instead reformed the Vatican and opened up its 'secret vaults'. Each writer takes this as a starting point to spin a strange and entertaining tale, encompassing everything and everyone from Charlemagne, Captain Cook and witches to gargoyles and apocrypha. The stories are all written with verve and an attention to detail, yet also demonstrate great imagination. — Catholic Herald
Imaginations run wild here — Weekend Sport