Godonism by Theo von Cezar is a dystopian science fiction novel. The story follows two friends Amha and Jovian who start the book together then go their separate ways. The chapters alternate between the characters and their adventures. Both are non-believers who end up agreeing to sell tickets to the Hereafter for the religious community. Sinners offered salvation with a purchase. The society on the whole would be one that would make the likes of J.G. Ballard proud. There is a chaos, but really more of an absurdness that runs through the story.
There are several things that jump out. The simple conflict between religion and science/logic is taken to a bizarre level. Politics and the economy is taken to extremes also. The gold standard of the world crashes. Gold becomes drops to a negative value. The Worlds richest man, Horsewood, loses everything. It is also election time and several candidates are running. “commercials” are carried out in public on hologram like display. Each candidate is a fake as the next. They all call upon god, make promises, and I got the impression that they really didn’t believe in themselves either. The candidates repeatedly appear throughout the book along with the former richest man in the world.
Intermixed in the bizarre are some simple questions.
“What is freedom?”
“What is life and freewill?”
“What is freedom of the mind?”
These questions continue to surface in the novel.
“Are you afraid of the nothingness of death or the process of dying?”
“Shouldn’t one be allowed to go to nothingness after death and the judgement by god? “
“Should nothingness be a neutral zone?”
Buried in the chaos of the plot Amha and Jovian struggle and hold to their “non-believer” beliefs in a population that sees them as heretics. There is a great deal philosophy hidden in the story.
I enjoyed Godonism. The story is not always easy to follow, and animal characters seemed to keep me a bit off kilter. The simple ideas are blown well out of proportion, but that is true in our lives too. The worthless political system seems to mirror our own. The religious character, Amha’s and Jovian’s guardian angel, resorts to using admitted non-believers to carry out the work of the religious as long as it sells Hereafter tickets. It made me think God contracted out the afterlife, and the atheists won the contract. Whether it was the author’s intention or not, Godonism, seems to be the story of our world told with extreme hyperbole. What one does when they run short of money? Pawn your thoughts. Pawn your mind. Pawn your soul. Everything is for sale. Government intertwined with banking and business. Godonism is the collective us in a funhouse mirror.