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aredshaw

Christian Science Fiction

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I have published three books through amazon.com, and all are Christian science fiction. I love science fiction, yet I find very little in the genre that has a Christian message, or character, or themes involved. This bothers me. It does not have to be in-your-face Christian, but to have a story with a view that God either doesn't exist or is irrelevant to the story bothers me, because I see him as relevant to all stories.

 

 

My first book, The Gifted might be described as X-Men as kids. In this story, only kids between the ages of 10-12 have these gifts. In this and in the third book, Assault from Space (The Gifted Series-Book 2), I have kids who are wrestling with their faith, whether already Christians, or reacting to hurts by Christians, or not sure what they believe.

 

 

My second book, The Last Place to Stand, is a science fiction novel aimed at adults. This is the first book of a planned trilogy. The first book does not wrestle directly with God, but there is a character who quotes scripture, only say, "The teacher says, ..." We will learn more about the teacher in the next book of the series. Meanwhile, characters are on a search and God is part of the answer to that search.

 

 

If you have followed me this far, I just want to know, who else is writing Christian science fiction? I see a real need for good Christian science fiction writers.

 

 

Aaron Redshaw

 

 

aaronkredshaw.com

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Welcome to the forum, Aaron. !thumbsup!

 

 

I wrote my first book, Chasing Redemption, as science fiction with a Christian worldview. I describe it that way because I think to call something "Christian science fiction" means it tends to get heavy-handed (in-your-face) in an effort to proselytize. Others will likely disagree with my opinion, but I try to draw my conclusions based on what mainstream readers think when they see that label.

 

 

I agree that way too much science fiction is written with a worldview in which God doesn't exist or is openly hostile to religion. I wanted to write a story with a Christian worldview that doesn't shove God down people's throats, mainly because most mainstream readers who like science fiction are not likely to put up with that. My main character in Chasing Redemption is a Christian struggling to get past a terrible accident that he was found negligent in causing. He's not in a good place when he's caught up in a situation with profound ramifications. He struggles with his faith and makes mistakes in a highly secular backdrop, and some of his best advice and support comes from non-christian friends. However, it's a story that tries to keep the emphasis on the plot of intrigue, and not Christianity.

 

 

Since writing and publishing it, and despite my effort to keep the primary focus off Christianity, I think I still wove too strong of a Christian message into it. I've found that it's too difficult (at least for me) to write a story that will stay within the boundaries of "clean" Christian fiction without becoming a turn-off to a mainstream readership. That's why I changed my approach and stopped writing to a Christian audience (and those boundaries). I don't mean to cause offense, but they are not the people I'm trying to reach.

 

 

Overall, I don't see the need for good Christian science fiction, I see a need for Christians to write good science fiction.

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Check out Marcher Lord Press (which is in the middle of coming up with a new name, because their abbreviation, MLP, reminds some people of My Little Pony). They publish Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

 

 

Personally, I write Christian Fantasy with some sci-fi elements. I am currently shopping around my latest novel, A Most Refined Dragon.

 

 

Paul

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I'm reading one called Otherworld, by Jared C. Wilson, published by David C. Cook of Colorado ( http://www.davidccook.com). I wasn't familiar with this publisher, but when I looked through their book list, I recognized several of the authors.

 

 

I haven't finished Otherworld yet, but I'm hoping Jared (who is a preacher in Vermont, btw) is going to present a Christian theme. The tag line is: "Evil has come to Texas. What will four reluctant strangers do about it?" The last line of the cover blurb is: "They are unlikely allies, joining forces against the otherworld." So far, indications of "the otherworld" have been alien visitors and UFO sightings.

 

 

There's definitely a market for this genre, and I think some of the publishers are waking up to it.

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Some interesting perspectives on Christian science fiction. I classify my work as a Christian futuristic mystery thriller because though I have elements of science fiction I use it only to enhance the idea of a future America and support actions that deal with intrigue involving an America that rejects it's founding on Christian principals. I too, enjoy some science fiction and believe most writing from a Christian should cause anyone to think or contemplate the philosophies of both secular and Christian to compare reactions the character deal with. I hoped to entertain while giving any reader, Christian or otherwise, something to consider about why they believe anything they might consider truth.

 

 

I hope I achieved these goals with Search - America has lost its soul ... will "We the People?"

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It is strange that when it comes to other genres (esp. romance), there are dozens of Christian writers, but when it comes to science fiction, writers in the genre are very few. In fact, that is why I feel a need in this area. Fantasy often deals with religion in one way or another, but science fiction seems to lean towards atheism. I love science and science fiction, and I also believe in a personal God. I would love to see more Christian writers in the genre who write from this perspective. The God who created the universe does not cease to exist once we begin to explore it.

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Guy Stanton III wrote an incredible series of 5, The Warrior Kind. Much of excellent Christian fantasy has scifi twinges. I finished a good one by Celesta Theissen, The Way to Paradise. I try to review everyone I can find. http://radiqx.com

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I would love a review of either of my first two books, The Gifted or The Last Place to Stand. The Gifted is for middle grade readers and The Last Place to Stand is for adults. Both have Christian elements, although more pronounced in The Gifted. I can send you a free e-book of either if anyone is interested.

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Overall, I don't see the need for good Christian science fiction, I see a need for Christians to write good science fiction.

 

I concur with Bruce - I'd like to see people writing good Sci-Fi from a Christian worldview. My go-to example is Timothy Zahn's Deadman Switch.

 

 

http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/review-deadman-switch-by-timothy-zahn/

 

 

A bit more of a mystery than a space opera, the premise of the book is that the Patri, a coalition of planets, has found a rich source of minerals in the rings and moons around the planet Solitaire. There’s only one catch, the system is surrounded by a mysterious cloud which prevents ships from entering. The only way in is using the Deadman Switch — carrying a zombi along who is killed and then flies the ship through the cloud. Death Row inmates have become the zombis of choice, and when his boss buys a large conglomerate on Solitaire to get a license to travel there, Gilead Raca Benedar is sent with the boss’ son to check out the new property and tend to details.

 

 

The problem is that Gilead belongs to a Christian order called “the Watchers,”

 

 

who have unique powers of perception allowing them to read minds. His integrity and values raise objections with the Deadman Switch idea, but then he discovers that one of the zombis on their ship (they carry two — one to go in, one to get out) is a fellow Watcher, and Gilead is convinced she’s innocent. When he sets out to prove it, drama ensues.

 

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Yes, I love sci-fi too, and it is definitely swamped with very scular voices, or perhaps one ought to say, down-right atheistic ones. I think something that may be a contributing factor is the genres roots are very entangled with those who weren't believers by any means... L. Ron Hubbard is just one example of a major player in early sci-fi that has perhaps set a certain standard.

 

 

On the other hand, what does Christian sci-fi look like? Which themes are accepted as "Christian" or is it as simple as people attending church and getting baptized, (or sprinkled, or christened, depending on denomination) in outer space?

 

 

For myself, I'm not sure what a real Christian sci-fi would even look like.

 

 

Though I'm definitely with those who say there should simply be Christians writing good sci-fi.

 

 

Still, always an interesting debate.

 

 

(I actually have a huge, mostly abandoned cathedral as a major setting in a sci-fi tale I wrote several years ago. It wasn't "intended", it was just there... where everybody ran to get out of the street and the laser fight going on! :cool: )

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Overall, I don't see the need for good Christian science fiction, I see a need for Christians to write good science fiction.

 

I third the comment. It's all about world view. There is nothing about science and futuristic technology Christians have to fear or censor. Any real science I have seen only confirms a Creator. There doesn't have to be a specific Christian agenda or plot to convert the masses. Just write a good story and don't lean your conceptions to contradict the word of God. It is actually a great genre to show and not tell how magnificent and complex the creation is.

I have recently started a fantasy epic. Real nitty-gritty characters. A huge part of the premise precludes the characters from ever knowing anything specific of God directly. But nature and man's nature never cease to provide opportunity in the story to engage in very difficult questions about life and death, good and evil. Man is found wanting with or without a bible or preaching. Creation's voice is heard in all the heaven and the earth. Even to the furthest reaches.

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I think it is just fine to have a good, clean, science fiction novel written by a Christian. Nothing wrong with that. I also think it's fine if someone wants to write something that specifically wrestles with Christian ideas. A third view, and one I think all Christians should consider seriously is to write a novel that does not specifically contradict the Bible or go against what we believe to be right. I'm tired of graphic sex scenes, assuming everything in creation is the result of a happy accident, people wallowing in hopeless existentialism, and beings that become gods.

 

 

Yes, a Christian worldview is what I'm getting at here. Many Christians give in to the worldview posed by most science fiction or fantasy writers just to fit in or sell more books and I'm tired of that.

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The thing I like so much about the Deadman Switch is it doesn't proselytize, it simply shows a sect of Christians who are mistrusted but smart, very capable. When I read Science Fiction, I want sense of wonder, strong characterization, mindblowing ideas, I don't want a thinly veiled tract.

 

 

Steven Brust has said he doesn't really care how something works, he wants to know how it runs. I'd like to see good, rigorous SF that shows how the universe runs. I'd like to see characters who are smart, who are intellectually curious, who are capable, who are flawed but good, who can fight for the right thing.

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I don't know anyone who wants to read a thinly veiled tract. We all want good stories with good characterization and mind-blowing ideas. Having a Christian worldview or even Christian themes in no way means it is a thinly veiled tract. They are unrelated ideas. Just like someone who is an atheist should not use their story as a platform for their beliefs. But you know what? That is what many of them are. Some of them are even good stories. Look at Contact by Carl Sagan also a movie, or the views of reincarnation from 2001, also made into a movie. In fact, if anyone has read Atlas Shrugged, the whole plot revolves around her philosophy, which I completely disagree with, but I still loved the story. But you know, the story at least made me consider the philosophy.

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I belabor the point because much of the 'Christian SF' I've read was just that (and is what I think is preventing Christians writing SF from a Christian worldview from becoming more accepted). Cordwainer Smith is a great example of a Christian who wrote SF but didn't write 'Christian SF'. His story 'The Game of Rat and Dragon' is a classic of invention, evil, and unexpected allies in the fight against alien killers.

 

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29614/29614-h/29614-h.htm

 

 

"Underhill looked down at his fingers, which shone green and purple in the vivid light thrown by the tuned-in pin-set, and counted ships. The thumb for the Andromeda, lost with crew and passengers, the index finger and the middle finger for Release Ships 43 and 56, found with their pin-sets burned out and every man, woman, and child on board dead or insane. The ring finger, the little finger, and the thumb of the other hand were the first three battleships to be lost to the Rats—lost as people realized that there was something out there underneath space itself which was alive, capricious and malevolent.

 

 

Planoforming was sort of funny. It felt like like—

 

 

Like nothing much.

 

 

Like the twinge of a mild electric shock.

 

 

Like the ache of a sore tooth bitten on for the first time.

 

 

Like a slightly painful flash of light against the eyes.

 

 

Yet in that time, a forty-thousand-ton ship lifting free above Earth disappeared somehow or other into two dimensions and appeared half a light-year or fifty light-years off.

 

 

At one moment, he would be sitting in the Fighting Room, the pin-set ready and the familiar Solar System ticking around inside his head. For a second or a year (he could never tell how long it really was, subjectively), the funny little flash went through him and then he was loose in the Up-and-Out, the terrible open spaces between the stars, where the stars themselves felt like pimples on his telepathic mind and the planets were too far away to be sensed or read.

 

 

Somewhere in this outer space, a gruesome death awaited, death and horror of a kind which Man had never encountered until he reached out for inter-stellar space itself. Apparently the light of the suns kept the Dragons away."

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Hi! I don't see why we Christian writers can't dip our pens into just about any genre. I love fantasy and sci-fi novels. I don't see why we can't put a Christian spin on them. I did it successfully in one of my novels. I figure there are a lot of readers out there who would love a Christian sci-fi or fantasy. Give the people what they want! :)

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Hi! I don't see why we Christian writers can't dip our pens into just about any genre. I love fantasy and sci-fi novels. I don't see why we can't put a Christian spin on them. I did it successfully in one of my novels. I figure there are a lot of readers out there who would love a Christian sci-fi or fantasy. Give the people what they want! :)

 

Well said.

If one were to take the Bible literally on creation, angels, etc (which I do take literal), much sci-fi and fantasy is fairly mild. While we have not the power to create the physical universe and life, the desire to create and artistically express is very much part of his image that stayed within us, even after the fall. Do we use that creativity to contradict and call God a liar? That's what the world does. Even the sky is not the limit when it comes to what is possible in our expressions--there is certainly nothing limiting the fantastic in the Bible. And you don't have to try and convert Star-Trek and Game of Thrones fans in everything you write. Just don't call God a liar.

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Well said.

 

 

If one were to take the Bible literally on creation, angels, etc (which I do take literal), much sci-fi and fantasy is fairly mild. While we have not the power to create the physical universe and life, the desire to create and artistically express is very much part of his image that stayed within us, even after the fall. Do we use that creativity to contradict and call God a liar? That's what the world does. Even the sky is not the limit when it comes to what is possible in our expressions--there is certainly nothing limiting the fantastic in the Bible. And you don't have to try and convert Star-Trek and Game of Thrones fans in everything you write. Just don't call God a liar.

 

Exactly! We need to stick with our Christian beliefs while entertaining our readers.

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I just reread the first book in GuyStanton III's The Warrior Kind series. It's radical Christian, action/adventure, scifi, epic fantasy romance. What a joy it is to read of incredible heroes and heroines who love the Lord and see Him working the miraculous in their lives. It's really fun!

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I just reread the first book in GuyStanton III's The Warrior Kind series. It's radical Christian, action/adventure, scifi, epic fantasy romance. What a joy it is to read of incredible heroes and heroines who love the Lord and see Him working the miraculous in their lives. It's really fun!

 

Cool. Thanks for the tip!

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As much as I enjoy sci fi and fantasy, I have not had the interest in writing it. Perhaps it is because I already know what the future is. I read a quote recently that writers write what they wonder about. I don't wonder about the future. My efforts in fiction (my main genre is non) have been about God working in the lives of every day people. Even in my last published work, I speculated on our government outlawing Christianity. But that isn't that far fetched as our society moves closer towards an anti God position.

 

 

It is definitely reasonable to expect a person who claims to be a Christian writer to demonstrate those beliefs in their work without quoting scripture and verse or preaching a sermon.

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Yes Aaron, I can see where you're coming from. I too, have always loved this genre. I have been in the process of writing an epic, (possible) trilogy of what I call, "Sci-fi Romantasy." (Sci-fi with Romance and Fantasy combined, lol)

 

 

It is clean. No sex, (romance is an entirely different matter) or cursing, as I personally believe including any of these would go against what the bible teaches. (And I don't curse in real life, so I can't imagine having my characters talk like that.)

 

 

Here is my struggle. Lately I have thought about how man has been deceived about aliens being real. It is promoted so heavily in our society through entertainment. I'm sure many Christians now believe it. But I wonder why, over the years, the media has worked so hard to convince people that aliens are real and that they could invade the planet.

 

 

As much as I love this genre, It concerns me to think that my work could add to this deception. Any thoughts on this? I am still praying about it. Thank you for starting this conversation, god bless!

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I did an online search and learned about chem trails, project blue beam and the government HAARP program. It is real, even the History Channel did a show about it and it's up on youtube if you care to watch the video. I think all Christians should be aware this is going on.

 

 

In light of this information, (and as much as I love this genre) It concerns me to think that my work may add to this deception. Any thoughts on this? Thank you for starting this conversation, god bless!

 

Have you read the space trilogy by C. S. Lewis? They are works of classic science fiction and yet they don't add to the deceptions you suggest.

As to knowing the future, I'm not writing about a real future, I'm writing about a fictitious future where the real point of the story is how people might act given their values. One of the unwritten assumptions that Christian Science Fictions authors share is that we believe we know the events of the future, we just don't know the timeline. For me, I presume that Jesus has tarried to gather in every soul He can, and while He tarries, the events I'm writing about take place. But I don't try too hard to shoehorn future events (as I believe from Scripture) in with my fiction. I'm writing genuine characters from a Christian worldview without preaching and letting the rest take care of itself.

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