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10 thoughts on “The Messiah Choice

  1. Johnny Johnny says:

    The only time I met the late Jack L Chalker, I complimented him on a novel where Satan did his work through an advertising agency I thought this was both an intriguing idea for the novel but an understanding of the role of the personification of evil as a deceiver and obfuscator of truth reality I don t remember exactly how he put it, but he indicated that he had always had a fascination with the problem of good vs evil I hadn t read The Messiah Choice at that point, even though it had been The only time I met the late Jack L Chalker, I complimented him on a novel where Satan did his work through an advertising agency I thought this was both an intriguing idea for the novel but an understanding of the role of the personification of evil as a deceiver and obfuscator of truth reality I don t remember exactly how he put it, but he indicated that he had always had a fascination with the problem of good vs evil I hadn t read The Messiah Choice at that point, even though it had been publishedthan a decade before in 1985, or I would have understood how muchsophisticated his understanding of good vs evil could be To show something of where Chalker was going with The Messiah Choice, I should quote this word of counsel given to a main character on pages 186 187 without the shedding of blood there is no remission To save yourself is simply to choose the correct path, though that is hardly simple To save the world requires the ultimate choice, the Messiah Choice, That choice, as one might expect, is a tough and costly one The entire thesis of the book is predicated on two concepts First, the story is difficult to classify as either science fiction or fantasy within itself because the line between the two is as ambiguous as the oft cited remark I first read in Heinlein s Magic, Inc., any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic to aprimitive perspective So, even in 1985, before the days of 3D printing, Chalker was positing the idea that a sentient super computer could not only control the virtual but transform the physical Are the amazing phenomena experienced in this novel a result of computer or supernatural transformation Readers will need to decide this for themselves given the way the story wraps.Second, the story is built upon what philosophy and theology call theodicy, the problem of evil, particularly assuming the existence of a benevolent deity Such statements as the following reflect the theodicy problem Now, consider a God who would not only permit but encourage war and plague and massive suffering and misery Consider a God who would not only allow, but command the Lord Satan to do his worst to humanity p 116 Hell is rampant, as it always has been And do you know why Because that s the way God ordered it to be He s supposed to be all seeing, all knowing, omniscient and omnipresent, yet He s never gotten over the fact that He made humanity in His own image and humanity proceeded to screw itself up pp 123 124 Add to this the problem of seeming unanswered prayer She knelt there, head bowed, for quite some time, and prayed to God, to Mary, and Jesus and the saints, to deliver her, even to strike her down, but to end this thing But, as usual, there was no answer, no response at all p 161 But in dealing with the idea of evil, Chalker offers a rival perspective to those who simply question the idea of God they brought themselves to the brink of extinction And when by their own foolishness they brought this upon themselves, they blamed not themselves and their impulses but Heaven, and cursed it, and took the easy path that Hell always offers pp 184 185 Misery can be a learning experience, as can joy Evil promises immediate rewards, but an eternity of misery followed by oblivion Sacrifice promises immediate suffering, but an eternity of joy and reward p 185 Evil is always with humanity, for without it how can good be determined p 185 Chalker is even handed in presenting the philosophies behind the two at least factions in conflict.Naturally, in a journey replete with moral ambiguity and difficult ethical decisions, there is a third path That third path is relativism and not to be confused with being tolerant or easy going The Messiah s Choice also includes those who don t feel a need to choose, much like the early 20th century philosopher, C L Stevenson In our fictional form it reads Primitive, though, now as ever before, was a relative term, one used by modern man, modern civilization, to judge on the basis of the way a culture looked and what a culture used in relation to their own digital watches and jet planes and computers It did not measure the soul, nor admit that a different value system might be no less sophisticated than their own p 182 So, throughout the story, you can expect to be patronized by the arguments of evil, challenged by the arguments of good, and harangued by the arguments of relativism Yet, as in real life, that relativism doesn t really accomplish anything when both factions are trying to gain control and people are victimized by one side or the other even good has its collateral damage in this story.In addition to philosophical and theological references, I thought it was interesting that Chalker chose the Babylonian names used in Daniel for the three Hebrew men who were thrown into the furnace by Nebuchadnezzar Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego In Daniel 3, threatened with a fiery martyrdom, these heroes insisted that God could save them, but even if God didn t save them, they would remain faithful So, Chalker uses the three names as code names for three members of what appears to be a suicide squad In this case, though, instead of three, young Hebrew men, one is a Christian woman from Lebanon, one is a Muslim from Nigeria, and one is a Sikh from India That seemed like an interesting choice for me.While considering consequences of various moral positions, I found one reference in The Messiah s Choice to be most prescient One example of evil brought up by a character states, Now people take it upon themselves to drive into crowds and play smash the pedestrian in many major cities p 279 Written in 1985, this is long before the modern wave of driving into crowd incidents associated with terrorism I don t remember such incidents in the 80s, so it seems like Chalker was eerily ahead of his time in this observation.I enjoyed this book immensely I suppose one reason I hadn t read it before is that it was published by a short lived small specialty press named Bluejay Books The publisher ceased publishing in 1986, the year after this novel was copyrighted Although founded by an experienced science fiction editor and husband of a recognized science fiction author, the publisher must have been either so rushed, underfunded, or both that the copy editing suffered As a former editor, I often see typographical maybe, typesetting errors and page right by them I haven t read other Bluejay Books, so I m not certain, but it seems like these books have a lot of them judging from the small sample size of this book In The Messiah s Choice, I made note of a few Book of Revelations instead of Revelation p 64 , realy p 75 , chaple p 108 , somthing p 114 , utensiles p 139 , same of Christ instead of name p 194 and sometime instead of sometimes p 315 jumped out at me The Messiah Choice is quite enjoyable, so I ll complete this review with a comment by the main protagonist after he is captured by a villain and complimented for the challenge he had provided for the, apparently, victorious villain I appreciate the flattery, but it seems that fighting gallantly isn t enough to win the war I d rather be less impressive, get some breaks, and win p 270 , and sometime instead of sometimes p 315 jumped out at me Typographical or typesetting errors or not, I ll try to check out a fewbooks from this short lived line


  2. Chris H-C Chris H-C says:

    Though it covers a lot of ground I ve previously enjoyed in The Demons at Rainbow Bridge and its series techno satanism, transformation and what it means to the mind and the body, betrayal, religion, trans humanism, etc etc it is in a much less polished and less engaging way The characters in particular are less than interesting, and hoo boy do we feel the need to spend a lot of time complaining at the end about arbitrary things that don t seem earned And though I can t fault Chalker or the Though it covers a lot of ground I ve previously enjoyed in The Demons at Rainbow Bridge and its series techno satanism, transformation and what it means to the mind and the body, betrayal, religion, trans humanism, etc etc it is in a much less polished and less engaging way The characters in particular are less than interesting, and hoo boy do we feel the need to spend a lot of time complaining at the end about arbitrary things that don t seem earned And though I can t fault Chalker or the work for it, since this was published 35 years ago, it s hard to take some of it seriously, and hard to stomach other parts of it, given 2019 s understanding of gender dysphoria and ableism Read the Quintara Marathon instead Better science Better fiction Better characters Better theology


  3. Michel Clasquin-Johnson Michel Clasquin-Johnson says:

    Jack Chalker indulges in his hobby of stripping characters naked, then letting them have some not very graphic sex in between torture sessions All this in a book that can t make up it s mind whether it is science fiction or horror Even the characters don t know in the end, Spoiler ahead when you find out who the King is, you will be massively disappointed.


  4. Jeff Miller Jeff Miller says:

    Started out pretty good, but got weird in the middle, straightened out and then ended weird Plus there were the usual typical Chalker sexual quirks as I think of some of his other novels.


  5. Greg Greg says:

    An interesing book, a mix of science fiction and religion in the cold war era, where it s left up to you to decide if it s a story of technology run wild or something


  6. Jeff Wetherington Jeff Wetherington says:

    Got a littlethan halfway through and finally had to give up on this one It just wasn t worth it any.


  7. Mickey Stanfield Mickey Stanfield says:

    Typical Chalker line between tech and magic, where is it Evil vs good Good read.


  8. Redheadeb Redheadeb says:

    Bleh Good thing it was free Actually, I dumped it from my Kindle midway so as not to waste the space.


  9. John John says:

    Grade C.


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The Messiah Choice [PDF] ✓ The Messiah Choice By Jack L. Chalker – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Sir Robert McKenzie, owner of the Magellan Corporation, dies suddenly in a mysterious and grisly way His daughter may be next, for a Satanic cult is determined to herald the arrival of the apocalypseG Sir Robert McKenzie, owner of the Magellan Corporation, dies suddenly in a mysterious and grisly way His daughter may be next, for a Satanic cult is determined to herald the arrival of the The Messiah Kindle - apocalypseGreg MacDonald unravels the mystery of the cult, run by scientists with a distorted sense of duty and a computer that may be the Antichrist itself.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 380 pages
  • The Messiah Choice
  • Jack L. Chalker
  • English
  • 02 May 2017
  • 0812532902

About the Author: Jack L. Chalker

Besides being a science fiction author, Jack Laurence Chalker was a Balti City Schools history teacher in Maryland for a time, a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association, and was involved in The Messiah Kindle - the founding of the Balti Science Fiction Society Some of his books said that he was born in Norfolk, Virginia although he later claimed that was a mistakeHe attended all but one of the World Science Fiction Conventions from until He published an amateur SF journal, Mirage, from to a Hugo nominee in for Best FanzineChalker was married in and had two sonsHis stated hobbies included esoteric audio, travel, and working on science fiction convention committees He had a great interest in ferryboats, and, at his wife s suggestion, their marriage was performed on the Roaring Bull FerryChalker s awards included the Daedalus Award , The Gold Medal of the West Coast Review of Books , Skylark Award , Hamilton Brackett Memorial Award , as well as others of varying prestige He was a nominee for the John W Campbell Award twice and for the Hugo Award twice He was posthumously awarded the Phoenix Award by the Southern Fandom Confederation on April , On September , , during Hurricane Isabel, Chalker passed out and was rushed to the hospital with a diagnosis of a heart attack He was later released, but was severely weakened On December , , he was again rushed to hospital with breathing problems and disorientation, and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a collapsed lung Chalker was hospitalized in critical condition, then upgraded to stable on December , though he didn t regain consciousness until December After severalweeks in deteriorating condition and in a persistent vegetative state, with several transfers to different hospitals, he died on February , of kidney failure and sepsis in Bon Secours of Balti, MarylandChalker is perhaps best known for his Well World series of novels, the first of which is Midnight at the Well of Souls Well World, .