When I was young, I read the Bible through—twice—in hope of discovering the mystical truth that reverends, preachers, and priests had failed to convey to me. Like many Christians, I found Moses and the Exodus to be the most important story of the Old Testament. You haven’t seen any movies about Elijah, who never died but was carried alive into Heaven, have you?
Some say that the Exodus is a metaphor: either for a journey of spiritual enlightenment, or for the escape of slaves and serfs from Mediterranean coastal cities and tyrannical overlords to a life of self determination in the hills of Palestine. Out of the Desert by William Stiebing attempts to prove the later.
I find it fascinating to take the descriptions in the story literally, and I have done so in my new novel, A Far Traveler. In it, my character, Ahmose, takes the place of Moses.
The following things come from the Biblical text and influence.
A bush that burns but isn’t consumed: I imagined in as a bush that was killed by radiation, its leaves brittle but still intact.
A God so deadly that he cannot be looked upon directly, but must be viewed by his reflection on stone. This is a problem, because if God is omnipotent, then He should be able to make Himself visible without killing His admirer. Could this one have been mistaken for God?
An ark that carries the Ten Commandments (and maybe God Himself) that kills anyone who touches it, despite their innocence: This doesn’t sound Godlike, but more like someone who needs to instill fear in his followers, much as Doctor Moreau did with electric shock implants in the animans.
A staff that turns into a snake: Both the Egyptians and Aaron had these staffs. Did humans have magical powers in those days, but not anymore? Would that be scary to an alien?
In A Far Traveler, Ahmose realizes he is dealing with an alien, delivered to him by the omniscient God, that will help him free his people from Egyptian slavery.
At the Shaman website, I have more stuff about Moses and other topics that relate to the far traveler story. I’m busy revising those pages to the WordPress format that is used on this page.
Right now, Harper Voyager is reviewing A Far Traveler to see if they want to represent it. If not, I will publish it myself before the world ends on December 21st of this year.