“The Quest for St. Aquin,” Anthony Boucher, 1951

The Quest for St. Aquin,” Anthony Boucher, 1951 – Thomas, a monk, is charged by the pope with finding the body of St. Aquin, to confirm that the body is incapable of corruption (decay).  His theologically literate “robass” mount tries to convince him that the pope merely meant that he should report back that the body was incorruptible.  Along the way, Thomas makes merry with a local barmaid, is beaten for being a priest, and is given aid by an Orthodox Jew. When he reaches the body, he discovers that Aquin was a robot and, therefore, the “body” has not decayed.  He reflects on the matter, concluding that if a being of logic such as a robot could worship God, others will follow the same logic.

Comments: Read in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One.  The story reenacts several scenes from The New Testament (Wikipedia).

Author: Wikipedia: “Anthony Boucher (born William Anthony Parker White; August 21, 1911 – April 29, 1968) was an American science fiction editor and author of mystery novels and short stories. He was particularly influential as an editor…[He] was admired for his mystery writing but was most noted for his editing, his science fiction anthologies, and his mystery reviews for many years in The New York Times.  He was the first English translator of Jorge Luis Borges, translating “El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan” for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He helped found the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 and, in the same year, was one of the first winners of the MWA’s Edgar Award for his mystery reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle. He was founding editor (with J. Francis McComas) of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from 1949 to 1958, and was seminal in attempting to make literary quality an important aspect of science fiction. He won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine in 1957 and 1958. Boucher also edited the long-running Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction anthology series, 1952-1959…He was the friend and mentor of…Philip K. Dick and others.”

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About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, favorites, logic/reason, religion/soul/spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

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