Should Christians Writers Write Speculative Fiction?
by Brita Skinner
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There is a great debate going on in the publishing world these days. And itís asking the question, ďShould Christian Writes write Speculative FictionĒ?
Some say that itís not holy enough and that Christian books should be about God not drama and they should be based on faith and these books are not suited for the secular market. Christian readers have a tendency to think they are holier than thou and they forget the there is murder, demons, giants and nephilim in the bible. They want to see the pleasant parts of the bible and forget about the more unpleasant parts and see the pleasant. Of course, this is all apart of human nature. A lot of Christians are not comfortable discussing the themes that are in science fiction and speculative fiction and this is a big part of the problem they have with these books.
As a writer of Christian Science fiction/Thrillers I donít see there being anything wrong with a Christian author writing secular fiction. BUT, I have to stress that there are certain guidelines that we have to follow. There has to be some allegory of biblical aspects within the book and we have to watch the language that our characters use very carefully.
When done properly a Christian SF (science fiction/thriller for short) are very entertaining and there are things that we can learn from them. We do need to be careful though that we donít misinterpret Godís word. Those Christians who say that this genre is Satanic and evil in some cases are right, but there are other cases when this can be incorrect and disrespectful to a lot of authors who have the ability to write this genre in a way that does not fall into the Satanic or evil category.
More and more Christian readers are demanding books in this genre and yet Christian bookstores and publishers alike are reluctant to publish or even carry these books. What gives? Reality is that if you carry the books that your readers want, you are going to get more sales and your going to be supporting the publishing and supporting the authors who write in this genre.
Whatís funny is that one of the fastest growing book catagories for Christians that is crowding out everything else is ďAmish lit and Amish romanceĒ. A huge surprise. And I have to wonder if there really is a huge market for this category of literature? Or are regular Christians just reading these books to fantasize about being Amish?
Yes, there are elements of magic that call on powers other than God, yes some believe that elves, dragons and such creatures are the tools of Satan alone and there are even those that say itís wrong to ascribe intelligence to creatures other than human kind. There are still those Christians out there who are hostile to science and it boils over to science fiction. And then there are even those who say that all fiction is an extended lie and all lies are from Satan hence fiction and science fiction in conjunction is evil.
But, I canít stress this enough, not all Christian SF is like that. Iím going to use my own book Daybreaker as an example. In Daybreaker you meet Sambi Prince. Sheís a regular high school senior who soon learns that sheís actually half nephilim. She believes in God and she tries her best to live in his image and she prays for his guidance. Now, Nephilim is a topic that is covered in the bible. My main character Sambi believes in God and there is no foul language in Daybreaker. So, whatís the big objection to it? It is speculative in nature and fits with a more with the secular fiction then what most Christians would think of as a Christian SF novel.
I donít think that itís wrong for a Christian author to write in a Speculative SF way. I think that these books fit in with the Christian faith and they are books that when written properly can actually teach you something. We need to open our minds and let go of the stereo types that we have. Itís time for us to stop judging a book by its cover and start looking at whatís on the inside of a book and how itís written.
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