So why is the story called The Descent of the Gods?
In the early 2000’s, the title emerged from various influences and has stuck ever since. During my initial research into this subject, I read von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods. The title was just too cool, and considering the story I was planning to tell, the addition of ‘Descent’ created the perfect title for me.
It had to be cool
The story is all about the appearance of beings from beyond our own dimension into our own world. Although only mentioned briefly in the Bible, this event had a huge impact on the world, even long after these beings had disappeared from our realm. This was no ordinary story I wanted to tell – it is one of the great stories. It had to have a title that lived up to the source material.
Although not God, these beings – because of their origin, knowledge, and power – are remembered as gods in our mythologies. Just about every culture has stories of powerful gods that came down from heaven, consorted with mankind, and produced a race of giant demigods (some good, but in most stories bad) by taking wives here. These beings were equated with gods by the peoples that remembered them – the Greeks, Romans, Sumerians, etc.
My story is written from a Christian worldview, so just by reading the first few pages, it’s easy to see that I don’t try to equate these beings with the God that created them. Rather, with the story and title, I wish to project a possible scenario that led to them being remembered as ‘gods’ for so many millennia and by so many people.
That Hideous Strength – A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups
CS Lewis wrote a lesser known trilogy of science fiction novels that were released over the years of 1938 – 1945. Actually, calling them ‘Sci-Fi’ is still not quite accurate. They could be described as Christian Sci-Fi, and I can’t recommend them enough. In them, Lewis explored ideas of how our understanding of science and the Bible was just scratching the surface of a much bigger universe that through our ordinary senses and imaginations, we could only understand in quaint and rather foolish ways.
I don’t agree with all of his ideas, but reading Lewis’ Space Trilogy is one of the most amazing literary experiences I’ve ever had. He blew my mind like few other books have been able to do. That experience is what I hope my writing can give to others – expand the mind to consider possibilities you never considered before. If you haven’t read it – read it.
So what does this all have to do with my title? The third book in the series, That Hideous Strength, is easily my least favorite of the trilogy, and yet essential to seeing the scope of what Lewis wanted to show. Although the first 90% of it is boring and feels completely out of sync with the other two, Lewis knew exactly what he was doing. The climax of the trilogy is 2 parts crazy and 1 part “What what WHAT?!”
The crazy chapter, the one where all heaven and hell literally break loose, I was shocked to find, is entitled “The Descent of the Gods”. I had already been calling my story by this name for a couple years, so to find this phrase used by Lewis to crown his awe-inspiring space trilogy was an additional shocker while reading. It filled me with excitement, because like Lewis, I had a story I wanted to tell that was surprising, delighting and astounding me.
Naming the sequels
Naming the sequels has been a struggle for over a decade. Rise of the Nephilim eventually became Children of Wrath, and I’m still undecided on The Sons of God for the final book. Thoughts?
Again, if you haven’t already, The Descent of the Gods is already available to read in screenplay format, and the novel is on the way. Why wait? Read the screenplay and tell me what you think. What surprises you? What did you want more of?
I’ll be working on it the rest of my life to bring it up to the level of Lewis’ Space Trilogy, but with your input, I may get there faster!