Up until the last few years, I hadn’t read much Christian science fiction. Frankly, I wasn’t looking for it, and with a few exceptions, what I did stumble across didn’t impress me very much. The CSFF Blog Tour has introduced me to some very talented contemporary writers of Christian sci fi, and it’s exciting to find quality science fiction stories with a Christian worldview.
God’s written his signature in the stars, and stories that grapple with the incredible complexity and mystery of the universe and our place in it are a worthy use of an hour or three, reading. So, what do I like to see in Christian science fiction today?
Creative speculation. I love to see people using the creative imagination God gave us to tell new, fresh stories. With all due respect to Jerry Jenkins, Hal Lindsey, Salem Kirban, and the many folks who love their books, if there’s only one acceptable narrative of the future, we can all stop this speculative fiction nonsense right now. We’re wasting our time. Might we be Raptured tomorrow, or in the next few years? Of course, and “even so, come Lord Jesus.” But what if we’re not? Nobody got the First Coming right–why should we be so arrogant as to think we’ve wired the Second Coming? Besides, we’re dealing in fiction here, not prophecy. There’s room to tell a redemptive story with speculative elements set in the future…or the past, or right now in another star system millions of miles away, because we don’t know everything about what has happened, is happening, or will happen here or elsewhere in the universe.
And God’s universe is a very big place indeed.
Character focus. I don’t care so much about the fancy starships or the mathematically-rigorous explanation of how a black hole works, though that’s cool when done well. I want to see human beings in an extraordinary situation wrestling with their shortcomings and encountering God in the process. People love Star Trek in part because once the futuristic trappings are removed, you’re left with some timeless stories about people. We can all relate to them, and they never get old. The God who “makes all things new” is also “the same, yesterday, today, and forever,” and His love for us transcends time, space, and technology. This Good News is another story that never gets old.
Wow factor. Take me somewhere I’ve never been before. Show me something I’ve never seen before. Make it marvelous. Fill my mind with the wonder of God’s creation and the majesty of his hand moving through the universe. Leave me feeling as if I’ve just touched the eternal.
Here are some good Christian sci-fi stories I’ve read lately:
Flashpoint, by Frank Creed
Faith Awakened, by Grace Bridges
The Enclave, by Karen Hancock
Offworld, by Robin Parrish
Alpha Redemption, by P.A. Baines
Here are some Christian sci-fi stories I plan to read soon:
Firebird, by Kathy Tyers
A Star Curiously Singing, by Kerry Nietz
When the Sky Fell, by Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr
Tomorrow, the future! But don’t go there without first checking out the other stops on this month’s Tour:
Thomas Clayton Booher
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Rachel Starr Thomson