Does anyone know what book or series I am thinking of? Honestly, this may be a movie, a book, a short story, etc. I can't quite remember. I just remember someone describing a story in which space travelers (presumably humans) come across a civilization with human-like figures. The society is more advanced than their own, and the aliens that inhabit it have an ethereal quality about them. Every so often, the city shakes, but the inhabitants are hesitant to explain why.

It is later revealed that the travelers have stumbled upon the civilization of Heaven, and the inhabitants are Angels. They have chained God up in the middle of the city, as after creating life/the universe, he went insane because it was too much to handle. Every so often, he throws fits of rage in his insanity.

I have no concept of how the story ends. Honestly, at this point it has been so long that I am trying to figure out if I made this story up or if it in fact exists.

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    Sounds like something anne rice would wright if she did scifi May 14, 2014 at 12:42
  • Whatever it is, it sounds pretty cool
    – Daft
    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:03
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    I've read this short story, which specifically follows the plot outline listed by the OP: space explorers find planet, natives are human-like but more advanced, occasional earthquakes that noone will discuss, the big reveal towards the end that the planet is heaven and God is a prisoner. It's not Kavalier & Clay. Can't remember the name or author, but it may have been in the same collection as another story for which I've posted a question. Will post back if I ever make the connection.
    – Otis
    Aug 5, 2017 at 14:46
  • Still occasionally thinking about this one, but no luck yet. It's linked in my mind with "For I Am A Jealous People" by Lester Del Rey and also "Given the Game" by Daniel Keys Moran -- perhaps just because of the unusual religious aspects of each story, but maybe it appeared in a collection with one or both? If so, ISFDB doesn't seem to know about it.
    – Otis
    Sep 28, 2018 at 3:59

3 Answers 3


This question sounded really familiar to me and I tracked down where from: The PrintSF subreddit

"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" was the answer posted there. This looks to be your same question perhaps, but thought I'd drop it here just in case.

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    The wikipedia article does not sound like the description in the question at all, but it is in there.
    – HugoRune
    Jun 10, 2014 at 20:59

Sounds a lot like The World Thinker by Vance. Detective is tracking down a woman who holds a key to the intergalactic banking encryption. She turns out to have fled to an alien world which contains an alien. The alien in turn is able to create entire world by simply thinking about them- creating life, history, everything. And the occasionally he gets bored and destroys it. Or, since he is dying and his mind goes, sometimes the worlds destroy themselves as a side effect of his seizures. The investigator follows the woman into one of the worlds and manages to escape with her while the world destroys itself during one of the seizures. Before leaving, the man kills the alien as a kindness toward future creations, so they won't have to suffer for such an insane creator. Needless to say, part of the question then becomes whether or not the universe around us is the dream of another alien outside of everything.

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    No mention of heaven, angels or God though. There must be a million sci-fi stories that have a 'creator' figure. The OP specifically mentions God, angels and heaven.
    – Daft
    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:07
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    True, but the OP sounded vague enough that I thought that there was a chance that it might be a melding of a couple of stories in memory. Vaguely similar in tone is Wormwood, a comic following the Antichrist. At one point we see God, who apparently took one look at his Creation and went insane.
    – Broklynite
    Nov 8, 2014 at 18:24

Also sounds like the Trilogy His Dark Materials. In the last book the amber spy glass they find God in a glass chamber. And they let him free and he dies. Also sounds like a script to a star track movie that never got made. I forget the title and what not. I'm

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    There is a lot in the question description that does not match His Dark Materials.
    – Adamant
    Nov 1, 2016 at 15:04

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