I just remembered a book I read when very young. Probably mid 80s or so. It may fall into the genre of Christian sci fi.

The main thing I remember is a young protagonist who is in a city which is ruled by several castes or sects divided by profession. I remember him going into a temple and coming out feeling sick at what he saw. I think one of the professions was Weavers. That’s all I can remember.

Ring any bells?

  • To help us to help you, have you gone through the Checklist - it may help jog a few other memories :) – Alith Feb 12 at 12:01

This could be the 1985 novel Empyrion written by Stephen Lawhead, who is a well know writer with a large interest in Celtic Christanity.

The novel is a omnibus edition of The Search for Fiera and The Siege of Dome. The story follows Orion Treet (a writer of history) in his mission to unravel the mystery of the colony world Fiera. Treet isn't young exactly but sometimes comes across that way in the writing I feel.

Orion Treet's job is to observe and chronicle the growth of a new extraterrestrial colony: Empyrion. Arriving on the planet Fierra, Treet discovers a civilization in decline; to survive, he must unscramble its mysteries before time runs out for the settlement.

In the colony, called Dome, there are various castes, and one of which does work with garments. Others are priests of a cult, or administrators or security. Some castes rank "higher" and have more prestige in Dome, or are feared more.

In addition, at one point Treet goes to a Temple to witness a rite that leaves him repulsed IIRC. It has been a fairly long time since I last read the book, so some aspects are a little hazy.

  • This was it! Thanks. I thought it was Lawhead, but I got stuck looking into the Dragon King books because I had a hazy recollection of the name “Quentin” being involved. I just have read a bunch of his stuff at the same time. – Bryan Feb 13 at 5:28

This vaguely sounds like Renaissance by Raymond F Jones, also known by the title Man of Two Worlds.

The setting is Kronweld, a city in an artificial universe populated solely by scientific thinkers and divided into their relevant professions. Children are introduced into world through a church-like sect isolated from the rest of the city and populated by women who volunteer for a life of isolation within its walls.

The protagonist, a young thinker called Ketan who delves into the forbidden mystery of the creation of life. He demonstrates his discovery of the miracle of birth infront of a council of his peers, many of whom promptly become physically ill at the revelations and Ketan is denounced and prohobited from any further scientific research.

In a continued effort to prove his theory, Ketan disguises himself as a woman and sneaks into the birthing citadel in the next batch of volunteers - but what he discovers changes the course of Kronweld for ever.

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