Astronauts discover 'God' on the far side of the moon. There's a giant highway with trucks running on it constantly, but no one is allowed onto it. Someone sneaks onto a truck and finds out that there's a giant alien insect of some kind, and the trucks are carrying parts for a giant 'man-suit' or something.

I have no other details I can provide. Hunting for this story for more than a decade now. Any suggestions appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I think this is M. John Harrison's story "Settling the World" (1975). To quote some reviewers on this story:

"Settling the World", the oldest story in the book, deals with God being discovered on the far side of the moon, and coming to earth to demand a giant highway for His exclusive use. [1]

Here Harrison's densely intricate prose mutated Science Fictional ideas into the absurdist surrealism of "Settling the World" where 'God' constructs a 40-lane Motorway across England for His machines to transport giant human limbs for His mysterious purposes. [2]

God is described in the story as an insect:

Ten square miles of earth lie between His six splayed legs. Rainbows of iridescence play across His vast black carapace. If He should ever spread the wings beneath those shimmering elytra! One compound eye a hundred yards across gazes fixedly into realms that we may never see. A mile in the air, gales thunder impotently round His stiff antennae and motionless, extended jaws. In the shadow of His long abdomen, the giant factories seem like toys, and it is as if He had brought with Him from the hidden obverse of the Moon an airlessness that makes the sky a harder, brighter place...

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    Wonderful. That sounds exactly like what I was looking for. I am very grateful you found it. Can you tell me, was it one you were already familiar with, or if not, how did you manage to find it? I was born in 1975, so perhaps that's why I was looking at it originally. I'm very pleased to finally have this mystery solved. I felt that I would go my whole life without knowing. Feb 7, 2018 at 10:40
  • I think I read or partially read this story many years ago, although all I remembered clearly was the image and phrase "God's motorway". Fortunately, googling that was enough to retrieve the story. Feb 7, 2018 at 16:47
  • That's wonderful. I'm sure I'd forgotten the British phrasing and would never have thought to use such a term. I have an extensive collection of SF on disk, but it turns out that not a single one of the collections that this story appears in is in my collection. So, it's no wonder I could never find it that way. But I'm very pleased your memory was working well enough. I can't tell you how pleased I am. Thanks again. Feb 7, 2018 at 22:03

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