"The Worshippers" by Damon Francis Knight






The Worshippers
The Worshippers first appeared in "Space Science Fiction Magazine

This week we are rounding out the "Futurians" trio, with Damon Knight.  Of the three Knight was the least prolific, and probably the least well known for his fiction.  In fact, despite having a Hugo, he won that award for "Best Reviewer".  Eventually he was awarded a best short fiction Hugo for 1950, which predated the Hugos, but that was fifty years later.  Most of Knight's accomplishments came more as a mentor and organizer.  Which is not to say that his fiction is no good.  But his greates contributions came from being the founder of the Science Fiction Writers of America, being a cofounder of the Milford Writer's Workshop and a cofounder of Clarion.  For those of you unfamiliar with Clarion, it is a workshop that has produced more Hugo winners than almost any other writers venue or workshop.  Most of the modern greats are either graduates or former instructors of Clarion.  Knight was named the 13th Grandmaster of Science Fiction by SFWA, and the award was eventually renamed in his honor.  In 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.  Knight is also credited for coming up with the idea of an "idiot plot", which he suggests is a plot device in which all of the characters must be idiots in order to work.  He would have had plenty of authors to flay in modern times, especially considering he was known for his scathing reviews of authors of his own time, a collection of which has been aggregated into a single volume.

This week we are going with the trifecta of offerings for Knight's work "The Worshippers".  We are providing the download link for both the novel and the audio recording of the story.  We are also embedding a link to a youtube channel that has the work available as well.  It is the same as an audiobook which just the cover of the magazine displaying for the entirety of the narration.  The original audiobook was produced by Libravox.  The story is about a man who travels to a planet called Terranova whose inhabitants are primitive and insectoid and begin to worship him.  From the 21st century looking back this sounds like a really trite concept, but I cannot speak to its originality in the 50s.  There is a small plot twist at the end that makes the read (or listen), worth it.  We hope you enjoy it!  Below are the links to the ebook and audiobook files.

"The Worshippers" (ebook)

"The Worshippers" (audiobook)