A writer, historian, and geek through and through. I focus on fantasy, science fiction and whatever comes my way. I am writing and drawing a webcomic called Booger Balls Inc, and I'm working on two graphic novels as well.
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One of several follow ups to his seminal work, Chariots of the Gods, Erich von Daniken continues to illuminate this theory in the book, Signs of the Gods. Both expand upon the Ancient Astronaut theory, the idea of creatures from a foreign world arriving to ours influencing our religions and legends from various points of human history.
Daniken focuses specifically on myths and legends of the ancient world to support the theory. Whereas in Chariots of the Gods the focus was on physical evidence left in the artwork and artifacts from ancient cultures.
Among the first signs of note in the work is the swiftness Daniken has in highlighting one point, expanding upon it, and then moving another. One of the problems with his seminal work, Chariots of the Gods, was how he spent much of the book elaborating on how the Ancient Astronaut theory worked, and why it could be a viable option in explaining many of the mysteries still lingering from various periods in history.
Not to belittle the theory, but it isn’t terribly complex to explain to one who is not familiar with it. Furthermore, much of the book dedicated to explaining the concept of the theory could have been devoted to presenting evidence that might convince skeptics to consider or even accept the theory in full.
Signs takes more time with the evidence, ranging from various ancient texts (usually of a theological nature). Among the works included being the Holy Bible. Many passages of these texts are looked in great detail by Erich von Daniken and the connections between the events recorded and how they could postulate extraterrestrial encounters is actually quite intriguing.
Though it is currently impossible to know whether or not life forms from another planet influenced our history, the idea itself does present several solutions to problems that have been unanswered by accepted science for decades. Of course a time machine would help in this effort, but that also depends on whether multiverse theory is in existence.
And unless a space lands in the middle of the White House lawn, some creatures exit and say “Yeah, we did that,” convincing hard skeptics is virtually impossible. Especially when many have taken to relying on science as a religious in and of itself. However, compared with the earlier Chartiots, this is a much better read.
Erich von Daniken’s ability to argue his points in Signs shows great improvement from what was seen in Chariots. Thoughts flow smoothly from one into the other. Complimenting each other nicely through the entire book. There is no sharp turn from one point to the other. Which helps in keeping the reader’s attention, and prevents them from focusing on the writing style over the facts being presented.
One of the problems with Chariots was the style drew attention away from the subject of the book. Despite having a plethora of evidence to support the theory, Daniken seemed more concerned in fulfilling our imaginations of how Ancient Astronauts could work. Sadly this becomes mundane and needless, especially for the amount of space that is used. This is not the case for Signs, as it is almost assumed the reader has a firm understanding of what the theory is.
It is well apparent that Daniken knows his subject well in both books. Yet in Signs he demonstrates a comfort in discussing the evidence to his audience. Chariots alluded to the rougher edges in Danikens argumentative skills, whereas in Signs he is more than comfortable in presenting what he knows clearly and with concise precision.
A major step up from his first work on the subject, this is a highly recommended book to anyone interested in Ancient Astronauts or looking for interesting ideas for science fictions stories.
Seth Frederiksen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @SenseiSeth
Another work focusing on Ancient Astronaut theory by Erich von Daniken. A major improvement from the problems plaguing his work, Chariots of the Gods.