Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stories from King David and the Spiders from Mars #5

Lyda Morehouse's science fiction tale “God Box” transports 1 Samuel 5 and 6 into the future to Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons. Morehouse tells her story from the perspective of Kayla Okiro, a Christian priest who oversees a church with a large marble crucifix. Earthlings have colonized Ganymede, which is valued for its vast reserves of frozen water, but an alien people known as the Rovers insist that Ganymede is their ancient homeland. The Rovers and the colonizers from Earth are at war. The story opens when soldiers bring a box captured from the Rovers into Kayla's church. The box has tremendous religious significance to the Rovers. They believe it contains something of their god.
The box was a hideous thing, made of a material that shone darkly metallic, like an inky hermatite. Large and dense, it took six soldiers to carry it into the church. Like pallbearers, they bore the box on their shoulders. Menacing carvings covered the surface. At the ends of the box, sea serpents with rows of spike-teeth and odd arrangements of limbs rose up. Their eyes had been set with a red gem found on Ganymede's rocky outcroppings. Like carnivorous amber, the gem had trapped a creature that glowed with eerie bioluminescence.
Kayla, whose loyalty to the colonization movement is not above question, wants nothing to do with this box, but she has little choice in the matter. Her superiors have ordered that it be stored at the church.

The source material from 1 Samuel tells of how the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it to the temple of Dagon in Ashdod. The morning after, Dagon's statue is found prostrate before the Ark. On the next morning, his statue is again prostrate and his head and hands broken off. Residents of Ashdod suffer from a plague of tumors. After moving the Ark from town to town with plagues and destruction following it, they send it back to the Israelites. You can guess where Morehouse's story is going and what role Kayla plays. Christians may find this story disturbing.

Aside from her clever transfer of the Old Testament story to a science-fiction setting, Morehouse delves deep into Kayla's character and paints a powerful picture of redemption and survival through religious faith. Kayla suffered rape and torture in her youth when she was part of a resistance movement on Mars. Her faith in Christ carried her through the harrowing times. Will her faith survive the box of the Rovers?

To learn more about Lyda Morehouse and her work, check out her website. “God Box” is the sixth story in King David and the Spiders from Mars. To win a paperback or ebook copy of the anthology, enter the May Giveaway: King David and the Spiders from Mars.


  1. I thought the arc was made up for Indiana Jones, but I don't really do the whole myth thing. I love the weird statue and plague parts. Sounds like really fun fiction.

    1. Thanks for reading, Lexa. There's one more story to review.