This is a huge time jump from the last post, probably the largest I will ever take. From Beauty and the Beast to All That Earthly Remains there is over a hundred-year gap. But, none the less, they are both worth examining. I never heard about the author before, and from the moment I picked the story up from Project Gutenberg, I felt drawn to it. I went into it with zero expectations, with no knowledge besides that it was a Sci-Fi story, a genre that I like. After reading it I can safely say, it is one of the best short stories I have ever read. For plenty of reasons.
The writing itself is amazing. Sentence after sentence everything fits perfectly. I wouldn’t give or take a single word to a single sentence. Every single sentence is like a fitness model with a low percentage of body fat and a superb Adonis Index. On a pure, aesthetic level, ever single sentence just rings while you read it.
The plot might sound like a joke. An agnostic, an atheist, a Christian with strong pagan roots, and a catholic priest walk into a joke. But it is not funny, or humorous. The story is a magnificent blend of a Sci-Fi tale, with thriller pacing and writing. It also explores belief, faith, and how strong or certain the particular characters in their worldview are, as evidence and facts change around them.
Finally, the reveal at the end is well crafted, smart, and gives it a realistic feel. There is a TV show that might use this story soon (If they haven’t used it already).