Wednesday Linkdump – January 19th, 2011

This week I’m focusing on the narrow world of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I say narrow because in comparison to the rest of the genre, there isn’t a lot there. That doesn’t mean there isn’t enough for one person to glut him or herself on.

Obviously, this would be of interest to me no matter what, but it’s been on my mind more lately, as I’ve learned more about publishers willing (and even eager) to look for Science Fiction and Fantasy written from a Christian perspective. At the same time, I recently was criticized by someone in an unrelated discussion, because he felt that my arguments were invalid since I’m apparently a loony for being both Christian and into Sci-Fi. So I wondered how many like minds there were out there. Apparently, the number is growing.

So, with that in mind, I present this week’s links, a plethora of articles and websites devoted to the topic. And if you get tired of the subject, scroll past my links to find what entertaining content Luke has snagged this week. Enjoy!

Brandon’s links:

  • Edenstar Books: One of the largest online distributors of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy. They have books. They have games. They have it all. Look here if you’re trying to a find a place to get your hands on the stuff, or if you just want an easy to browse list of all the stuff available in this field.
  • Science Fiction Goes With the Christian Life: This is a brief article by a Christian about how Science Fiction can relate very well to the Christian life, focused especially on dystopian novels.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors of Different Faiths: This page isn’t dedicated solely to Christian Science Fiction, but I found it interesting as it attempts to identify the faith basis of virtually every author in the world of speculative fiction. This could be useful on many different levels, but even just to go down the list and identify those who are in fact Christian is interesting.
  • Christian Readers Demand More Science Fiction: This is another short article dealing with the subject. Actually, the author just takes snippets from other blogs, but organizes them in a way that makes the point: Christians do want science fiction. I actually found the comments on the article to be the most interesting part.
  • Christian Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Suspense Blog: This is the blog of Brandon Barr, considered one of the front runners in Christian speculative fiction. He typically also links info and articles about the field in general.
  • Christian SF Webring: This connects you to the hub for the Christian Sci-Fi Webring. From here you can find numerous sites of variable quality and content.
  • How Science Fiction Found Religion: This article isn’t so much about Christian Science Fiction, but is about how much of classic and well known Science Fiction includes a lot of religious connection and symbolism, especially Christian concepts. An interesting read and an inspiration that the market is open to the concepts, even though they may not like it when you get preachy.
  • An Atheist’s Take on Christian Science Fiction: Lest the accusation be made that I’m unwilling to entertain dissenting thought on the matter, here’s an article from an atheist on the subject. See what he has to say about the idea of Christian Science Fiction. Sometimes seeing the other side of the viewpoint helps you to clarify what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Christian Science Fiction: I wouldn’t exactly refer to this as “ultimate”, but it’s a tidy digest of some of the better sites and publications out there, worth taking a look at.
  • Ray Gun Revival: This web-based magazine does not outright refer to itself as Christian, but something has struck me as I’ve been browsing through the world of Christian Sci-Fi, which is that the name of Ray Gun Revival keeps springing up, and many of the Christian authors who now have published Sci-Fi books have been previously published by these guys.
  • Christian Speculative Fiction – A Lost Genre: Neat article with Jeff Gerke, the founder and operator of Marcher Lord Press. MLP is designed specifically to publish Christian Speculative Fiction.
  • Marcher Lord Press: This is the publishing company I referred to in the last link. Check out what they have to say about themselves and how they publish.
  • Where the Map Ends: The personal blog of Jeff Gerke, founder and operator of Marcher Lord Press. He publishes information about various works in the field of Christian Speculative Fiction, as well as a lot of insight and advice on writing well and how to get published.
  • Mindflights: This magazine came about as the merger of two Christian Speculative Fiction magazines.
  • Religious Science Fiction: This is a nice little encouraging article from the American Spectator. The author calls for more Science Fiction work coming from Christian worldviews.

Luke’s links:

  • Strange gassy blob in space: It’s possible to find great stories without venturing outside your own head, but for science fiction writers, it is invaluable to know what’s going on in real life, too. For instance, what’s up with that strange blob? What might live there? How would it effect visiting humans?
  • Blue dye heals spinal injuries: Here’s another example of modern science possibly lending itself to a science fiction story. If the cure to an injury has a strange side effect like dying skin blue, will it be possible in the future to tell what kind of medical conditions one has by looking at the pigment of the skin?
  • Computer smarter than humans on Jeopardy: Another instance of real events leading to the possibility of great stories. A computer is now defeating Jeopardy champs at Jeopardy. Their comments on the defeat are rather humorous.
  • Drunk scientists discover wine helps superconductors: Making use of mistakes, as Brandon has reminded us, can make a great story. Sometimes it also makes for great science. Coincidence?
  • Use one space after periods: My wife and I argue about how many spaces to put after a period fairly often. At the moment we’re in an uneasy truce. This article bolsters my opinion. That being said, when you submit your work for publication, find out what the editor prefers. Many are up-front about their expectations. It doesn’t matter if you hold one space after a period to be an eleventh commandment; if you want to get published, bow to the whims of your editor.
  • Calvin and Hobbes search engine: If you’re looking for that one Calvin and Hobbes strip but can’t find it, try this search engine!
  • 8 things you might not have known about Firefly: We’re huge fans of the Firefly television series here at Seeking the New Earth. Last week Brandon posted one of these 8 things, so you should all know at least one thing already! I knew some of these, but others were in fact surprises.
  • Free Captain America comic: Marvel is publishing this comic to help out suicide prevention groups and is releasing it free of charge. It’s actually not too bad — and I love the art style.
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3 thoughts on “Wednesday Linkdump – January 19th, 2011

  1. Wow, Brandon! A lot of stuff to wade through today from both of us, though I suspect your list has a lot more “bite” to it. Funny we both had themes this week as well! (Though mine is far looser than yours…)

  2. I spent a few minutes agonizing over whether or not to pare down the list to just a handful of things and save more for later on. But I decided to just throw all of it out there and let that be it.

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