The Feast of St. Dionysus by Robert Silverberg

"The Feast of St. Dionysus"

by Robert Silverberg

Form: Novelette

Year: 1973

ID: 304

Publication history:


This is a story written in late 1971 and early 1972 which is fascinating and very moving even if you're never sure what's real and what isn't. John Oxenshuer is the sole survivor of the first American expedition to Mars. His crewmates were killed in a sandstorm, the bodies never recovered. Oxenshuer, though considered a hero for his efforts to rescue the others and his solo return to Earth, is wracked with guilt and self-doubt. He packs up his camping gear and heads out into the Mojave Desert alone to get his head straight, but he bumps into a weird religious cult with a hidden city in the desert. Their religion is a melding of Christianity and Dionysian revelry. They seek union with Jesus through indulgence in wine, dancing, wrestling, and sex, and they have a completely peaceful community. They welcome the astronaut, but he isn't sure he wants what they offer.

Other resources:

[None on record]