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zx1ninja

Christian Science Fiction

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Okay, this is the genera I've been writing in.

 

Went to Barnes and Noble just to take a look at some others and all they had was a (very) small selection of Christian fiction, i.e. romance or crime. Wasn't to surprised.

 

So I went to Lifeway they had a (very) similar selection of the same.

 

Was at another Christian store some time back (need to go again) but only recall the same selection plus a little in the fictional war (for lack of better description right now).

 

Is this typical? Or is this just my towns lack of imagination? 

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18 minutes ago, zx1ninja said:

Is this typical? Or is this just my towns lack of imagination?

All of our Christain bookstores within a 200-mile radius have gone out of business.  Even our big stores are struggling.  Mostly because everyone is buying things online.  It's just cheaper in the long run.  Even our big bookstores like Barnes, and Noble, and Booksamillion, are struggling.  According to our Barnes and Noble, they keep the Christian section small because it might offend the other customers.  Booksamillion does not do that, but they had to find another way to get people into the store.  They got smart and started selling Homeschooling Curriculum.  If you know anything about homeschoolers, you'll know you don't walk into a bookstore and buy nothing.  My four bookcases of books are considered very small in the homeschooling community.  So to answer your question, it's not that strange.  I'm going to guess that unless your traditional publishing, most of your sale will come from online.  Don't quote me on that.  It will be interesting to see what the others that are in the bookstores have to say.  :)

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To go along with what Ally said about bookstores struggling, they most likely won't take a chance on Christian Scifi-Fantasy because unfortunately this was found to be "unprofitable" by larger christian publishers. 

Personally I think Christian publishers are more concerned with selling either mega-church pastors books or Amish Romance. (So sad they keep pushing these instead of good fiction books!) 

 

I think writer's were also afraid to publish in this because if it was to "out their" people would start bashing it or saying their author must be "loosing their faith" if they didn't agree with a character or plot. So christian writers either self-published (I know a few of these) or they published in secular fantasy houses so that their work wouldn't be judged harshly. 

Many people have even called this the "lost genre". I feel your pain I write Christian Fantasy and have to look at indie online publishers because no big Christian publishers will touch my novel. Sadly this is the state of Christian bookstores now :( 

I also found these articles very helpful to answer your question. 

 

http://speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/why-isnt-there-more-christian-fantasy/

 

or this 

http://www.thecraftywriter.com/2009/05/27/christian-speculative-fiction-a-lost-genre/

 

Best of luck with your writing!! 

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Seriously, ask SW and EL to stop by and put in his two cents. I think both of them would be very helpful for this topic.  :)

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51 minutes ago, Alley said:

ask SW and EL to stop by and put in his two cents.

I should have added Phy to this.  

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Well, this is a fine mess I've gotten myself into.😯

 

It's a good thing I want to do it anyway 😛.

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11 minutes ago, zx1ninja said:

Well, this is a fine mess I've gotten myself into.😯

 

It's a good thing I want to do it anyway 😛.

This makes me smile.  Do what God calls you to.  He will take care of the rest.  ;)

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Yes, forget about book stores.  Sci Fi People are geeky.  Geeks shop online.  The good news is, the whole world is shopping there.  You have a potentially larger potential audience online!  All it takes is a lifetime of twittering etc.

Have you heard of https://www.enclavepublishing.com/  I'd say they are industry leaders.  

There is a market out there.  Bookstores don't know the gold that geeky crowd carries in its pockets. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nicola said:

here is a market out there.  Bookstores don't know the gold that geeky crowd carries in its pockets.

They don't understand.  All the better for the ones who enjoy it.    

 

Nice site.  

Edited by Alley

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Here, Mike Duran is interviewed by Jeff Gerke:
https://www.enclavepublishing.com/interview-with-mike-duran/
 

Quote

 

WhereTheMapEnds: What made you want to write Christian speculative fiction?

Mike Duran: I didn’t set out to write Christian speculative fiction, and frankly, I kind of hedge at the term. It’s not because I’m embarrassed about my faith or don’t think there’s great stories on the Christian market.

For one, I think the “Christian fiction” label has become polarizing. Sure, we may pique the interest of believers, but is that the only audience we need to be aiming at? I think the term scares away potential readers.

Secondly, the label is too squishy. By “Christian fiction,” are we talking about fiction with an overt gospel message and redemptive themes, or fiction that is “clean” (no drinking, cussing, sex, etc.)? Everyone seems to have a different concept of what Christian fiction is or should be, which is why I try to avoid the term.

This is not to suggest my stories don’t contain faith-driven elements, because they do! All writers bring a worldview with them into their stories, even non-religious authors.

I like speculative fiction of all kinds. So when I started writing, that’s what I naturally wanted to write. Does my worldview come out in my stories? Absolutely. Am I just preaching to the choir? Absolutely not.


WhereTheMapEnds: How would you characterize the current state of Christian speculative fiction writing and/or publishing?

Mike Duran: On the one hand are those who say that the Christian market is vibrant, healthy, and gaining more and more mainstream acceptance. On the other hand, are those who say it’s a narrow niche that is out of touch and has plateaued. (Last year I attended a Christian conference where the keynote speaker flatly said, “Christian bookstores are dying”).

So who do you believe?

All I know is that when I walk into a Christian bookstore and see 80% of the fiction titles are women’s fiction, it makes me a little sick.

Now, before I get pied at the next ACFW conference, let me say I have nothingagainst women’s fiction. But I don’t know many men who read women’s fiction. So either A) Men aren’t reading, or B) Christian publishers aren’t offering enough “male” titles.

The same could be said for the absence of speculative titles. Frankly, if you’re a hardcore reader of speculative fiction, the Christian fiction aisle is not where you want to be.

 

 

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For myself, I have written a number of Christian SF short stories but am currently working entirely in the mainstream F/SF area with the goal to introduce the Christian worldview to secular readers. 

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21 hours ago, Alley said:

Seriously, ask SW and EL to stop by and put in his two cents. I think both of them would be very helpful for this topic.  :)

SW posted some good numbers on SF/Fantasy you should take a look at. Don't have a link for you but somebody can find it.

 

Even when I was thinking about traditional publishing, I never intended for my first submissions to be towards Christian publishers. I submitted the original short story that's growing into Persistence of Memory to Galaxy before discovering this site, and the only Christian bookstore in town carried CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and no other fiction.

 

(I don't think Galaxy turned it down because of content. I think they turned it down because it was a hot mess on erasable onionskin.😁)

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7 minutes ago, EClayRowe said:

(I don't think Galaxy turned it down because of content. I think they turned it down because it was a hot mess on erasable onionskin.😁)

LOL Then that would make it cooked and sweet, translucent onion skins. Those are generally pretty tasty., especially when battered and deep fried.  Dang, now I'm hungry. 😛

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On 6/10/2018 at 9:14 PM, Phy said:

All writers bring a worldview with them into their stories, even non-religious authors.

This makes sense. We live our lives based on our values, whatever their source. A story that can convey the message without being preachy should interest readers, period.

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51 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

This makes sense. We live our lives based on our values, whatever their source. A story that can convey the message without being preachy should interest readers, period.

This makes sense. 

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First, let me encourage you: don't let the lack of Christian Sci/Fi or urban fantasy, or superheroes, or just about all speculative fiction in the Christian market deter you from writing the story that has been given to you. I wrote of Christian bookstores years ago because I realized they were not going to go there and when they did, it was...uh...not so good.

 

I do not call myself a Christian writer. Nor do I say I write Christian fiction. I'm a Christian. Therefore, everything I do is influenced by that reality. Everything. That includes my writing. I don't feel I have to announce that. It's like me going around telling people I'm black. I think it's pretty apparent that's the case and it would be just weird and patronizing to do that. 

 

When it comes to my writing, it should be just as apparent that what I write is Christ-glorifying, Biblically principled, God-influenced writing. I'll present my story and if you like it, great. If you don't, that's great too.  I just have an aversion to using Christian as an adjective. The term is a noun. 

 

Every writer is a preacher. Doesn't matter what background, religion, philosophy — every writer writes from a worldview. J.R.R. Tolkien was influenced by his Catholic faith. Terry Goodkind is influenced heavily by Ayn Rand. It's all over his fiction and he writes fantasy. Phillip Pullman is an atheist and it comes through in his writing of The Golden Compass. Don't get me started on Dan Brown. 

 

Every writer is biased. It is what it is. 

 

That being the case, it shouldn't deter us from writing what we are called to write in the genre we want to write in. We do not HAVE to write to be on a Christian bookstore shelf. We need to write what the Lord is telling us to write, trusting that He will use it for His glory because ultimately, that's all it's about. 

 

So write that story or stories. Present, pray, polish, publish, and promote wherever it gets the best exposure. For the child of God, the message is primary. The market is secondary.

God bless you and keep you.

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You're doing great Z.  You got me interested, and I don't normally enjoy science fiction.  So you're doing something right.  :)

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As a fiction writer, I have produced a large number stories with Christian content, which I've posted on different writers websites, but I have never classified them as "Christian".   I've given many of them the designation "Suspense/Thriller".  This is one way of expanding the readership.  This also means that the readers aren't aware of the Christian content, until after they've begun reading, and hopefully want to continue.      

The stories have received a considerably large number of "5 Star/Excellent" ratings and very positive reviews. 

 

However, On the website Writing.com, I received one review which stated:

"So, This was great and all. I myself am a Catholic, and understand the need to evangelize, but I also feel like this is not the place to do it. If you like to write, great! Keep Writing ! If you are here to spread the Good News, then please do it somewhere else. Great grammar, and good passages, just not the place to put it."

 

This was my reply:
"I totally disagree with your opinion that this website is just not the place for me to put my religious and spiritual writings, and that I should do it somewhere else.
"I have just browsed through writing.com's list of Genres. Religious and Spiritual writings are included on the list. The number of Religious items is listed as 7,222. The number of Spiritual items is listed as 9,769. There are also items listed under many different Genres, which contain spiritual and religious material.
"You may want to take a look at some of them, and please don't be politically correct. This website is definitely not a place for that. Every member of this website is free to write about anything they want, in any way they want. That's including yourself."

I wonder. What do members of Christianwriters.com think of this?
 

 

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Thank you all. I will continue on my current path. It was just a little disheartening to go into a local Christian store to find shelving about 4 foot high and 8 foot long with shelves at about 10 inches and it was 98% filled with romance novels (albeit fiction) with a handful (literally 5) crime novels, also fiction. 

 

I found the same at Barnes and Noble, but that didn't really surprise me.

 

There is one more in town, but my expectations are extremely low. 

 

The whole purpose of the visit was only to see what others were doing mostly for style and some subject matter. 

 

But alas, poor Yure, he'll have to wait for the return of the Lord. 😁

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My personal opinion on it is - they say Christian fantasy doesn't sell. But if you write as good as Tolkien and it's Biblical and unique, it'll sell. They'll chew their own ankle off to buy it.

They say Christian Sci Fi won't sell. But if you write outstanding Scfi Fi that presents Christianity in a positive light, presents the gospel message and makes Evolution sound ridiculous and impossible, it'll sell. 

And they'll sell their own hovercraft to buy it.

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16 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

And they'll sell their own hovercraft to buy it.

 

Like this one?

 

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