Friday, July 19, 2019

Why Sci-Fi?

A few people have wondered why, as a Christian, I would write science fiction - and not even Christian sci-fi but mainstream sci-fi. Allow me to explain...

First, let me say that I totally understand the question. Why would any Christian want to delve into the world of mainstream science fiction? Characterized primarily by an atheistic worldview and, in many cases, material inappropriate for more conservative readers, science fiction does not appear to be a natural choice for a Christian writer.

This is a legitimate concern, which I am happy to address.

It's true that popular science fiction tends to have at its heart an atheistic worldview, whether it's presented obviously or remains a more subtle undercurrent in the story. Science fiction lends itself to the propagation of this worldview more obviously than many other genres, in part because of the nature of its subject matter - in a culture that has pitted science and religion against each other, it's not difficult to see why. Additionally, some call science fiction "the genre of ideas" - its penchant for futuristic or alternate universes as a backdrop provides fertile ground for waxing philosophical in a way that is engaging and can feel very reasonable - even prophetic. Given that the realm of popular science fiction is mostly populated by non-Christians conveying a not-Christian worldview (or at least seems to be), it's easy to see why many Christians might look askance at the genre, and at any Christian deigning to write it.

I would like to challenge that impulse.

If science fiction is the genre of ideas, lending itself to the propagation or discussion of worldview, isn't that precisely where Christians should be? Should we not be participating in the discussion, bringing our worldview to the table? Why should the next sci-fi book or TV show or film that you take in present atheist scientists as though that's the only kind of scientist? If I write a mainstream sci-fi book that, while it doesn't have religious overtones, does have a Christian worldview underpinning it, and presents a scientist who is a Christian without commenting on the fact as if it's incredible, I'm offering a counter-perspective; an alternative to the prevailing cultural narrative. This is a quiet outreach to non-Christians, and a potential balm for Christians who love the genre but not the messaging so prevalent within it. It's a ministry.

So why am I writing science fiction? Because I love the genre, and I believe I can scatter the seeds of truth into that culture. It's not quantifiable. It's not obvious. But it is legitimate.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Exciting News!

In case you were wondering what I've been up to lately...

I have exciting news!! I have been hard at work setting up an author website, and re-writing the draft of my debut science fiction novel, which I'm independently publishing - Random Walk, Book One in the Fractured Galaxy Series. 😃

At the same time, I've been planning a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to ensure the finished product is sleek and professional. I launched the campaign this morning, and you can check it out here!

This project has been a long time coming. I first decided to indie publish a science fiction novel about a year ago, and I've been researching and writing since last October! The series is set in the near-present day and follows a team of US Air Force astronauts who unexpectedly find themselves in the far reaches of our galaxy. Cut off from Earth with no idea where they are or how they got there, they have to work together to find a way home before their life support runs out.

So why SciFi?

Believe it or not, I used to think I didn't like science fiction.* When I did find something I liked, I called it an exception. Stargate SG-1 changed all of that, and I soon blossomed into a veritable nerd. However, just like it took me until college to discover that I actually do like SciFi - a lot - it took me until last year to realize I could maybe write SciFi. Once the idea struck, I was hooked, and I'm so glad; I have been having the time of my life writing this first novel.

My initial idea was to write soft SciFi** because I'm no scientist. But much to my surprise this project very quickly became hard SciFi^ and I found myself up to my brains in scientific research. Thankfully, my oldest brother is a scientist and a born teacher - he's spent countless hours explaining concepts and providing feedback on my ideas. The result is a great story with great characters, that a physicist could read without rolling their eyes at made-up technobabble. Which was my goal. :)

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*I have no idea why.
**Aliens, warp drives, etc.
^Rooted in real-world science.