I feel like this was a short story or novella, no timeframe really coming to mind. I don't think it is Angelfall by Susan Ee, as in my memory, the protagonist never meets an angel, or the angels never are characterised fully as they are in Ee's book. However he does witness an angel destruction event.

It is more a story about how the world responds to these semicataclysmic and spiritual events, than a paranormal romance, which is Ee's book.

  • I was part of a contest for art school, to illustrate the back cover for “fantasy and science fiction magazine”, released in 2001. The short story to be illustrated described angels transferring souls through a wormhole to heaven, but somehow the angels “overloaded” the wormhole, which in turn, destroyed all of humanity at once. I think I have the magazine at my parents house still. Will try to find the title of it. May 15, 2023 at 11:52

4 Answers 4


Your details are slightly sparse but are a possible match for "Hell is the absence of God" by Ted Chiang. It is a novella length story compiled in the collection "Stories of your life and others".

The story features manifestations by angels and the effects these manifestations have. This is an extract from the plot summary posted on Wikipedia.

The novelette is set in a world where the existence of God, souls, Heaven, and Hell are obvious and indisputable, and where miracles and angelic visitations are commonplace—albeit not necessarily benevolent. The story focuses primarily on Neil Fisk, a widower whose wife, Sarah, is killed by the collateral damage of an angel's visitation. Sarah's soul was seen ascending to Heaven, leading the non-devout Neil to desperately find the love and devotion needed to please God and enter Heaven to reunite with Sarah.

The entry also quotes the author commenting on the story.

Commenting on "Hell Is the Absence of God" in the "Story Notes" section of Stories of Your Life and Others, Chiang said that after seeing the film The Prophecy, he wanted to write a story about angels, but could not think of a scenario that would work. It was only when he started imagining angels as being "phenomena of terrifying power, whose visitations resembled natural disasters" that he was able to proceed.

This seems to match your notion of biblical angels and destructive events.

  • 1
    Seems likely to be the one.
    – Kyle Jones
    Nov 7, 2019 at 6:15
  • 3
    Despite the scant details, this is the most likely candidate. First story I thought of, good luck for getting there ahead of the rest.
    – a4android
    Nov 7, 2019 at 7:10

Another possibility would be 'Agents of Light and Darkness' by Simon R. Green. It is the second book of his 'Nightside' series This short novel involves Angels from Heaven and Hell going to war within the area of London known as the Nightside, to obtain the Unholy Grail, the cup Judas used at the last supper.


Another possibility would be some book by Frank Peretti, e.g. Piercing the Darkness, although I do not think they match particularly well, as they concern mostly with conflict between angels and demons and good vs. evil (and are rather religiously biased).

It follows the journey of Sally Beth Roe as she tries to escape her past and slowly overcomes her constant struggle to discern the Truth. Also told is the story of another small town, similar to that of This Present Darkness and called Bacon's Corner, and a resident named Tom Harris. His kids are ripped from his home by Child Services. Seeming to have no connection with other events at first, a young police officer, Ben Cole, is convinced what is being brushed off as a suicide is actually a murder, and ends up losing his job over the issue... which brings him to the side of the embattled Christian school. Caught in the crossfire is a little girl who's been forced into a curriculum of "meditation techniques" and "inner spiritual guides" that control her moods, attitudes, and actions, the little Amber, and her mother Lucy who realizes this lawsuit and the people who are "helping" her may be much, much more than she bargained for. Before the paths that Sally Roe and Tom Harris [and the others] are on collide, the Ashton Clarion editor and his wife, Marshall and Kate Hogan (from This Present Darkness), make a return appearance as veteran fighters in this war against the powers of darkness that threaten freedom of religion everywhere. As the story unfolds, the lawsuit and its participants are soon locked in a struggle of ethics versus non-ethics, absolutes versus relativism, right versus wrong, and those with interest in this battle are shown to be even in the highest places of government.


Another possibility (with a more humorous vibe) could be Isaac Asimov's The last trump.

From wikipedia:

By order of the Council of Ascendants and approved of by the Chief, it is decided that the Day of Resurrection is due on Earth, despite the protestations of Etheriel, a junior Seraph with responsibility for the world.


Whilst he seeks an audience with the Chief to plead for a stay of execution for "his" planet, the Last Trump is sounded, and as of January 1, 1957, time comes to a stop on Earth

but in the end

Etheriel has his meeting with the Chief and argues that the date January 1, 1957, unqualified, is meaningless and that therefore the Day of Resurrection is meaningless. The Chief agrees and declares that it will come only when all the peoples of the Earth agree on a common date (which, given the wide variety of cultures on Earth, is extremely unlikely to ever occur). The world is instantly restored to normality.

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