Christian Science Fiction
My specialty in writing, and one of my favorites in reading, is Christian Science Fiction (otherwise known as "Christian SF," "Christian Sci-fi," etc.). No, that's not a contradiction in terms. There should be no argument between genuine science, the study of G-d's creation, and the Messiah sent by that G-d.
The reason that something like "Christian" science fiction is needed, is that too much of what passes for science fiction today isn't just neutral to Christianity, but instead is overtly hostile to it. Don't be mistaken - "secular humanism" is indeed a religion that glorifies mankind as G-d, and too much of science fiction bows down at its altar.
Probably the most famous writer of Christian science fiction is C. S. Lewis, especially in his "Space Trilogy" (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength ). The hallmarks of Christian science fiction are:
- Science fiction is the literature of "what if," but the "what if's" that Christian science fiction explore are often different than conventional science fiction. For example, in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, the idea that is explored is "what if our Earth and its near neighborhood was the only part of the universe affected by the sin of Adam, and the rest of it was populated by pure, unfallen creatures?" In another of my novels, Seeking Adam, I come at that from another angle: Suppose that the entire universe had fallen, and that the way of salvation was only to be found here on this planet? How would the aliens react? What would they think of us? In another of my novels, Dauntless Homecoming, the "what if" involves the crew of an interstellar mission returning to a much different world.
- The presumption is that G-d exists, and answers prayer. At significant plot turnings, the characters approach G-d for direction, and he answers, perhaps not in the way that they expect. In Dauntless Homecoming, there are at least two places where prayers are answered in a different fashion than the characters expect. In Seeking Adam, the main character's dialog with God is an important part of her journey of discovery.
- Mankind doesn't advance to a better state of being through its own merits, but, rather, by humbling itself and submitting to G-d. In fact, man's efforts to better himself without G-d lead to abominations and perversions. For an excellent example of this, see That Hideous Strength
- There is a usually unseen spiritual world in which battles are waged for the hearts and souls of men. This means, not only are there G-d and his angels, but the devil and his hordes of demons. These forces are present, not only in medieval fantasies, but also in the most high-tech science fiction stories involving intersteller travel and robots. It may seem incongruous, but if something is eternally true, it's true in every age, no matter how technical. In both Seeking Adam and Holy War the usually unseen battle becomes visible, with both demons and angels taking on visible form and interacting with advanced alien technologies.
- Being "science fiction" as well as "Christian," there also must be elements of high technology, either immediately apparent or behind the scenes, that are essential to the plot. It shouldn't be a story that could take place in any age, substituting space ships for horse-drawn carriages! Essential plot elements in Dauntless Homecoming include artificial intelligence and interstellar travel. In Seeking Adam and, much more prominently in Holy War, without advanced alien technologies (including starships and space superiority fighters) there wouldn't be a plot.
I titled this section "Christian science fiction," but there is also a broader genre called "Christian speculative fiction" which includes "science fiction" but could instead be fantasy (e.g. Tolkein's works) or involve an alternative universe where physical laws are different or where historical events transpired differently than they did in this universe (although not Christian, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick is the classic alternate universe novel).
My three current novels are:
- Dauntless Homecoming: A novel of the far future, in which the returning crew of the first human interstellar expedition returns home after hundreds of years to find a much different Earth than they had expected.
- Seeking Adam: Set in the current time, it involves an alien named Twilla who comes to our world on a short-term evangelistic mission, only to stumble on a secret that takes the galaxy to the brink of interstellar war.
- Holy War: The sequel to Seeking Adam, it begins only a few hours after its ending, with a ragtag band of outcast scientists, alien and military struggling to repair a down alien battle cruiser before the arrival of another alien fleet.
I am currently also working on a sequel to Dauntless Homecoming, entitled Mars Doom Rising.
My short story, Transit of Gem, has just appeared in the magazine "The Cross and the Cosmos." You're welcome to head over there and read it, since the magazine is free!