Sean Michael, one of the few men on the Internet who uses his real name, writes this comment:
My view is the reason why so many SF fans don’t seem to consider CS Lewis’ “Space Trilogy” to be SF is because Lewis was a convinced and devout Christian. IOW, some fans fell for the false line that Christianity is opposed to science.
“Fell for it” is putting it mildly. Anyone who falls for the line of argument that science fiction can only be written by secularists, or by or about secular topics, displays an alarming gullibility, not to mention an ignorance of the origins of the genre.
Jules Verne, the founder of the genre, was a Roman Catholic; HG Wells was a committed atheist and socialist, and delighted in penning desolate visions of a godless world drifting as a speck through an indifferent universe; but on the other hand Olaf Stapledon (the forgotten third of the trio of SF founders) put a monotheistic Creator-god of the Gnostic sort on stage as a character in STARMAKER, and made spiritual development one of the central themes of man’s future evolution (along with, risibly enough, communism) in his majestic LAST AND FIRST MEN.
If “science fiction” is defined as that which must take place in a philosophically naturalist type universe, then, by that definition, the book version of WAR OF THE WORLDS is science fiction, but the movie version is not, for the microbes which destroy the Martian invaders in the movie version are explicitly credited to the benevolent providence of God.
If “science fiction” is defined as that which must take place in a philosophically naturalist type universe, then, by that definition, any book which has supernatural powers, psychics, psionics, witches, or ghosts is not real science fiction. This eliminates Arthur C Clarke’s CHILDHOOD’S END, Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION, and Robert Heinlein’s STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND as well as his STARSHIP TROOPERS.
I submit that any definition of Science Fiction that eliminates the most famous works of most famous writers in SF is a very bad definition indeed.
Time does not permit more now. I will return to this discussion when my schedule relents.