The Oddest Catholic SF/F Writer You’ve Never Heard of

Peter J. Floriani, known to the American Chesterton Society as “Dr. Thursday,” is one of the most quirky sf/f writers there is.

He wrote, blogged, and illustrated a philosophical romance adventure about a guy who worked in a local cable company’s control room (Joe the Control Room Guy, soon to be re-released in paper format), and a good number of associated stories.

He wrote a nonfiction treatise called Subsidiarity, detailing the usefulness of subsidiarity theory both in life and in computer programming.
He also wrote a history of his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.

And he has written a vast, complicated, funny, beautiful urban fantasy saga about the re-foundation of a Catholic order of knights in modern America, mostly taking place among high school and college kids. De Bellis Stellarum (Concerning the Wars of the Stars… yes, you got it) is now up to Book 11. I have ordered it, and I await it eagerly. His organizing principle in these books appears to be a determination to include Every Cool Thing, from spy stories and space travel to wizards and warriors, and from organ music to organic chem. (Although there’s actually a lot of deep structure that organizes this series quite tightly, as far as I can tell; it’s just that the reader doesn’t have to notice this.) They are the kind of books I would have adored as a kid, and I like ’em just as much today.

I’m not sure how to praise this gentleman’s works adequately, because he’s his own genre. His skill as a writer and storyteller keeps improving as he goes along, but he maintains the happy amateur spirit of someone writing independently, for love. In some ways, he is unconcerned to impress, not worried about standing silly jokes and puns next to moments of high philosophical speculation. In other ways, he is determinedly countercultural, as when he doesn’t make the books available for Kindle or ebook use despite having written some of them online. (Though I hope there will be ebooks someday.) But he also spreads a high and holy sense of wonder, the kind that makes science fiction and fantasy – and even mundane worlds – sing like the first stars before the first morning. There is something of refreshment of the spirit, and something that is unafraid to be geeky. In short, I recommend the experience of reading his books; they have a good heart and head.

You can buy his books on Amazon and on CreateSpace. I suggest you do.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Oddest Catholic SF/F Writer You’ve Never Heard of

  1. Jerry

    I have read the first 4 books in the series, and found them quite enjoyable. They have the same kind of mystery and adventure as “Harry Potter” but with with a distinctively Catholic character. I definitely recommend them. I am amazed that these books are not more well-known in the Catholic community.

  2. I cannot express my amazement and delight at this grand encomium.

    Instead I will simply state the good news (SO appropriate for March 25) that part 12 is now available! See here for details.

  3. B. Hume Morris

    Peter Floriani, is without exception , the smartest guy I know. His writing is engaging, literate ,dramatic,subtle, exciting and I am beginning to run out of adjectives. Go live in his world. It will strengthen your will to combat.

    I hired him to write the 150th anniversary of one of America’s oldest and most respected college Fraternities. Mine. Beta Theta Pi. I was then the chief executive officer, and am now the Historian.

    Hire Pete to be your guide.Be among the first to spread the good news about this born writer, teacher and towering intellect.

    His motto may be said to be ” Alere Flammam ”

    Respectfully

    Hume Morris

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