I definitely agree with what you said about religion... I recently read (to go back to topic) Arthur C. Clarke's "Songs of Distant Earth" (also an album, thanks Remi!) I loved it, but there was an anti-religious strand that bothered me. Religion was portrayed as the bane of humanity, and life without it was practically a Utopia. Bollocks to that!
I'm now reading P.H. Newby's "One of the Founders," and loving it.