Short Novel by Ted Chiang.

Love chooses us. We can only control what we do and how far we go. In his story “Hell is the absence of God,” Neil Fisk loses the love of his life. She was good. She’s in heaven. So the only way he will feel her love again is if he goes to heaven too. But he’s not exactly a guy who will get into heaven. So he has to find a path to redemption.

The story is a thought-provoking story about the nature of love, faith, and redemption. At the center of the story is Neil Fisk, a man who has lost the love of his life, Sarah, in a sudden and tragic event that left him scarred and filled with grief.

Despite his pain, Neil is determined to reunite with Sarah in heaven, where she now resides. But Neil knows he is not saintly, and his chances of getting into heaven are slim. He must find a path to redemption, make amends for his past mistakes and earn his place in the afterlife.

As Neil embarks on his journey of self-discovery, he encounters a surreal and terrifying world. Angels and demons roam the earth, causing chaos and destruction at will, while the faithful are rewarded with miraculous signs and wonders.

Neil’s faith is tested at every turn, forcing him to confront his flaws and shortcomings. He must learn to accept his mortality and that his time on earth is limited. He must also acknowledge that the universe is unfair or just and that life has no guarantees.

Despite his challenges, Neil persists in his quest for redemption, driven by his love for his wife and his desire to be reunited with her in the afterlife. Along the way, he meets others who have also been touched by the divine and are struggling to understand their own experiences.

The story’s ending is ambiguous, leaving the reader to wonder whether Neil has genuinely achieved his goal of redemption or has deluded himself into believing that he has.

Overall, it’s a profoundly moving and insightful exploration of the human condition, faith, and love’s role in shaping our lives and destinies. It is a story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it, leaving you questioning your beliefs and values.