Sci-Fi stories involving the Maitreya Buddha
July 26, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Are there any sci-fi stories that involve the future appearance of the Maitreya Buddha? Looking for stories where the character is primarily identified as the Maitreya, rather than general "Second Coming" stories where the character could conceivably belong to a number of different soteriological interpretations.
posted by Greg Nog to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Zelazny's Lord of Light is the classic example.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:14 PM on July 26, 2013 [7 favorites]

strangely stunted trees has it.

Lord of Light is probably the only story that comes anywhere near your criteria (and I've done some reading). It doesn't hurt at all that it's a terrific novel with a spellbinding narrative and some pretty challenging sociological ideas. The character 'Rild' deserves a close reading.

Fun fact (from the Argo IMDB page):

"The character of Jack Kirby (played by Michael Parks), shown briefly as the artist of the storyboards for the fake movie, is the same Jack Kirby who was a pioneer of the American comic book industry and a co-creator of such seminal comic book characters as Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and the teams known as The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, and The X-Men. Kirby did indeed create storyboards for the adaptation of Roger Zelazny's novel Lord of Light, which were used as "proof" of the movie production during the real-life 'Canadian Caper'."
posted by j_curiouser at 7:35 AM on July 27, 2013

If you go outside of sci-fi, Gung Ye claimed he was Maitreya Buddha in 905 AD on the Korean peninsula. That really happened.

However, the TV dramatization, which I think you can find with subtitles, had him claiming he was the Maitreya well before he had an army.
posted by ignignokt at 10:17 AM on July 27, 2013

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