Three thousand years after the Holy Nuclear Civil War nearly destroyed it, Heaven is a sunny and warm place, a place free and open to all. A place where devotion to science and technology has dethroned religion. It’s a place governed by just six rules. And the most important of these laws is the Sixth Rule of Life: Thou shalt not interfere in other people’s lives. Thanks to its Great scientific universities, Heaven enjoys unlimited clean energy; can produce any desired thing; and can explore the galaxy at faster than light speeds.
But even though most have sworn off religion, not everyone has forsaken their god.
Inside one of the Great Scientific University of Heaven laboratories, we find PROFESSOR YAHWEH TABBRIS, a short, rumpled, and stormy physics professor busy at work. He’s interrupted by PROFESSOR LUCIFER DEVILLE, a tall and immaculately dressed man. Immediately, the two argue over the virtues of religion and science. Yahweh believes that science, along with the Loving Free Will Gene—a byproduct of the Holy Nuclear Civil War that’s believed to predispose humans to make more benevolent decisions—has given Heaven peace and prosperity. But Lucifer, the evangelical leader of a resurgent religious movement, believes that only Korbibtor, his god, lord, and savior, is responsible for Heaven’s good fortune and that the Loving Free Will Gene is just a fallacy—“something whipped up in the lab.”
To Yahweh’s chagrin, Lucifer always seems to have the upper hand, and he uses it to browbeat, threaten, and even temp Yahweh into religious submission. Nevertheless, Yahweh withstands Lucifer’s pressure, thanks to a telepathic connection to GWENDOLYN his wife. It’s an almost magical connection that Yahweh can’t explain but always seeks out.
The quarrel between Yahweh and Lucifer intensifies when an accident in a massive matter-antimatter factory creates a parallel universe where time flows erratically and thousands of times faster than the flow of time in Heaven’s universe. Among the millions of discovered stars and planets, two hold Yahweh’s interest—Gehenna, a hellish place with bubbling volcanos, flying dragons, and arid lands; and Earth, a pearly, blue-green planet much like Heaven.
To prove that the Loving Free Will Gene has helped humankind in Heaven, Yahweh persuades his fellow scientists to implant the same genetic material in animals on Earth that are destined to become humans. “Let’s make them in our own image,” he tells them. But fearful that it might be beneficial and diminish the importance of his religion, Lucifer secretly prevents the Loving Free Will Gene from being placed on Earth. Shame fills Yahweh’s heart as he observes the results—predatory and warlike man-apes on Earth.
Things go from bad to worse when Heaven’s high court, horrified with what has happened, charges Lucifer with treason. But Lucifer incites a major religious uprising in Heaven that threatens to start a second Holy Nuclear Civil War then escapes to Earth during a gun battle that kills Yahweh’s wife, Gwendolyn, and child. Now, a lonely, guilt-ridden and angry Yahweh decides to lead an Earth mission to banish Lucifer and his followers to Gehenna and help the emerging human race. His quest takes him to a village on Earth in a place known as the Garden of Eden.
As he hunts down Lucifer, Yahweh must navigate the conundrums behind the Sixth Rule of Life as it relates to the villagers on Earth (thou shalt not interfere in other people’s lives) and relive the very reasons why Heaven renounced religion. Along the way, a villager saves his life, and he confronts Eve and Adam who, motivated by Lucifer, have committed mass murder to take control of their village. While Yahweh can get help from his fellow scientist friends, they can’t replace the telepathic calming Gwendolyn once gave him. Without her comforting presence, Yahweh’s fury is released in ways that create even more death and destruction as he tries to fix the problems on Earth.
With the help from Heaven’s military commandos, and a re-established telepathic link to Gwendolyn, Yahweh finally sends Lucifer on a fiery trip to Gehenna and receives a hero’s welcome back in Heaven. Still concerned over Lucifer’s continued effect on Earth, Yahweh monitors snippets of that planet’s history through accelerated time. He finds and selects a group of Samaritan villagers untouched by Lucifer’s influence then decides to set in motion his plan to show them how to live together peacefully—without the benefit of Heaven’s Loving Free Will Gene.
Inspired by works such as Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; The Gods Must Be Crazy; and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, HEAVEN’S ANT FARM is a sci-fi novel that incorporates the Big Bang, time travel, quantum mechanics, contemporary social parodies and an occasional poke at organized religion to turn Genesis, upside down and show how the universe that we call home could be nothing more than, well . . . someone’s backyard ant farm. The first in a series of novels, HEAVEN’S ANT FARM is complete at about 92,000 words.
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