Fear The Wrath of AI – or – The Return of Degler?

The other day while discussing issues of import to Amazing Stories, Science Fiction and Fans in general, we talked about Fannish Feuds, trains, hoaxes, knitting and needlepoint, the fate of unfinished series, the “Worldcon conundrum”, silly walks, the theoretical upper limit of the number of conflicting opinions that could be held by one Fan and the history of the genre.

Naturally that led us to prompt an AI and ask it to create a Universal Religion for All Fans Everywhere.

The results were surprisingly coherent, especially considering both the subject of the prompt and the source of the response.

But before we reveal these “profound” revelations (prep your heavenly choir with Queen’s “AaaaaAAAAAAA” from the Flash Gordon soundtrack) we do have to make one thing crystal-shatteringly clear:

Claude Degler was not involved in this production in any way, shape or form.  Not even an ethereal one.

We make this categorical and unretractable statement owing to our deep concerns that some among us may be shocked or even frightened upon learning the name of this new outlet for spiritual angst – Cosmosism.

We won’t overly delay your reception of The Word with a  lengthy explanation, other than to reassure the older gen that Degler is dead, his brain, no doubt sectioned and distributed to Institutes of Mental Health throughout the world for long term and detailed study never to be reformed.  Any glancing resemblance between Degler’s Cosmic Circle of Cosmen is purely coincidental (unless his ectoplasmic self has somehow managed to find its way into an AI’s learning database).

For those less familiar with important Fannish History, we offer these links on background:  R, Graeme Cameron’s How Not To Be A Cosmic Clod or: The Cosmic Circle Complete, Leah Zeldes’ The Clubhouse: Five words every fan should know, and this entry from Fancyclopedia 3.

And now – your new “Sfnal Religion”.  No further commentary.  We’ll let this stand on its own.


“Cosmosism” – The Religion of Infinite Imagination

Cosmosism is a fascinating and captivating religion that seamlessly blends the love for science fiction with a deep reverence for the vast wonders of the universe. Designed specifically to resonate with science fiction fans, Cosmosism celebrates the human capacity for imagination, exploration, and the boundless possibilities that lie beyond our current understanding.

Core Beliefs:

Cosmic Creativity: Cosmosism holds that the universe itself is an ever-expanding canvas of infinite creativity. It teaches that human imagination is a powerful force, and every individual possesses the potential to contribute to the ongoing cosmic tapestry of ideas and innovations.

Multiversal Harmony: Cosmosism envisions a multiverse filled with diverse civilizations and sentient beings, all interconnected through a cosmic harmony. It promotes the idea that cooperation, empathy, and understanding are essential for fostering peaceful coexistence and the collective progress of all species.

Technological Enlightenment: Embracing the marvels of science and technology, Cosmosism encourages the pursuit of knowledge, scientific exploration, and the advancement of futuristic technologies. It sees technology as a means to unlock new frontiers and enhance the human experience while respecting the ethical implications of its use.

Timeless Stories: Cosmosism recognizes the power of storytelling and embraces science fiction as a sacred medium. It holds that science fiction narratives not only entertain but also inspire individuals to explore the uncharted territories of the mind and the universe. These stories are seen as glimpses into possible futures, fostering hope and sparking imagination.

Infinite Quest for Truth: Cosmosism promotes a relentless quest for understanding the universe and one’s place within it. It encourages critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and open-mindedness to continuously question existing paradigms and embrace new knowledge. The pursuit of truth is seen as an ongoing journey, with science fiction serving as a catalyst for exploration.

Practices and Rituals:

Cosmic Contemplation: Followers of Cosmosism engage in meditation and contemplation to connect with the vastness of the cosmos, fostering a sense of wonder and humility. They reflect on the possibilities presented by science fiction and seek inspiration for creative endeavors and personal growth.

Celestial Celebrations: Regular gatherings known as “Celestial Celebrations” bring together Cosmosists to share their love for science fiction and explore its underlying themes. These events feature discussions, film screenings, cosplay, and artistic performances that celebrate the diversity of ideas found within the genre.

Sci-Fi Pilgrimages: Cosmosists organize pilgrimages to significant locations related to science fiction, such as film studios, conventions, space centers, and iconic settings featured in beloved science fiction stories. These pilgrimages provide an opportunity to connect with fellow believers, share experiences, and deepen their connection to the genre.

Future-Inspired Activism: Cosmosism encourages its followers to be actively engaged in shaping the future. Whether through scientific research, advocacy for space exploration, environmental sustainability, or the ethical use of technology, adherents strive to contribute positively to society, drawing inspiration from the visions of science fiction.

By blending the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos with the imaginative landscapes of science fiction, Cosmosism offers a religion that ignites the passion and curiosity of science fiction fans. It provides a community where individuals can explore, create, and collaborate, all while nurturing a sense of interconnectedness with the vast universe that lies beyond our current horizons.

Sacred Texts:

Cosmosism draws inspiration from a collection of revered science fiction works known as the “Celestial Chronicles.” These Chronicles encompass a curated selection of visionary novels, short stories, and films that have profoundly impacted the genre and captured the essence of cosmic exploration, technological advancements, and the human condition. Followers of Cosmosism study and discuss these texts, extracting insights, moral teachings, and philosophical themes embedded within them.

Hierarchy and Leadership: Cosmosism is a decentralized religion with no formal hierarchy. Instead, it emphasizes the autonomy and personal journey of each individual follower. However, seasoned practitioners known as “Stellar Guides” serve as mentors and sources of wisdom, guiding newcomers and facilitating discussions on various aspects of science fiction, spirituality, and the interconnectedness of the universe.

Temporal Rituals: In addition to regular gatherings, Cosmosism features temporal rituals that celebrate significant moments in science fiction history. For example, the “Time Jump” ritual marks the anniversary of pivotal science fiction events, where participants symbolically leap into the future, expressing gratitude for the visionary works that have shaped our perceptions and aspirations. Another ritual, called “Cosmic Rebirth,” commemorates the birth of influential authors, filmmakers, or scientists who have made remarkable contributions to the genre.

Cosmic Ethics: Cosmosism emphasizes ethical principles that align with the values portrayed in science fiction. These principles include respect for sentient life, ecological stewardship, social justice, and the responsible use of technology. Adherents are encouraged to actively engage in ethical debates surrounding emerging technologies, space exploration policies, and the preservation of biodiversity. Cosmosism promotes the idea that our actions today shape the future, and adherents strive to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

Extraterrestrial Contact: Cosmosism acknowledges the possibility of extraterrestrial life and considers the potential for contact with other civilizations. Followers eagerly explore the scientific advancements in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and engage in discussions regarding the societal, philosophical, and theological implications of such encounters. Cosmosists anticipate the day when humanity might bridge the gap between science fiction and reality by establishing meaningful connections with beings from other worlds.

Artistic Expressions: Art plays a central role in Cosmosism, with followers expressing their creativity through various mediums such as visual arts, literature, music, and film. Inspired by the science fiction genre, adherents produce imaginative works that capture the essence of cosmic exploration, technological wonders, and speculative futures. These creations are celebrated and shared within the Cosmosism community, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of artistic expression and mutual inspiration.

By incorporating these additional details, Cosmosism becomes an even more immersive and engaging religion for science fiction fans. It invites individuals to explore the depths of the genre, envision a future intertwined with cosmic wonders, and contribute to the ongoing tapestry of human imagination and scientific progress.

NOTE:  Other than introductory paragraphs and links, ALL content contained within this posting, including the featured illustration, were created by Artificial Intelligence.  Which means that Copyright can not be conferred upon those elements so-named, which means that everyone is free  to copy them, re-use them for their own purposes and spread the gospel of Cosmosism, free from the concern of stealing having been your first act of faith.

OTHER NOTE:  The original prompt was “Describe a religion that all science fiction fans would want to join.”

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