Cover Art of S&FF
Gatherer of Souls
In the story Gatherer of Souls, the tentacle-bearing behemoth envisioned at right is an alien vessel encountered by the pre-space scout Jericho and its pilot, Christine.
As Christine discovers, the alien is on a singular mission, to extract the existential spark of each sentient being it encounters; to gather up the identities of whole worlds and, in time, to unite them within a single being, an intelligence that will take up the role for which it has been designed - the God of the Universe, composed from the all the souls that came before it.
When Christine boards, she finds the Gatherer has already chanced upon another human soul, a man whose essence is well on its way to proving that humanity cannot be allowed to share in the grand scheme that is underway.
The central image in the piece at right is a Moon Flower opening early on a Sunday morning. The picture was taken by Lois Yeager, one half of the photography team at Creative Beyond Control.
Seeing the image reminded Scot Noel of something between a galactic spiral and an alien space vessel. Superimposing the ghostly white spiral over a star field gave him the Gatherer of Souls he had been writing about at the time.
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