Christian Speculative Fiction discussion

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Good Christian Sci-Fi?

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message 1: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments I'm looking for some good sci-fi that if not overtly Christian, is at least not hostile to Christian values.

One that I've read a lot of is David Weber's Honor Harrington series... it's one of those that isn't overtly Christian, but future versions of the Christian faith are treated fairly, I believe.

I've also tried Black Storm Rising by David Burton, but honestly the writing style is a bit pedantic for me (that's the closest word I can come up with to describe it).

So, I'm looking for recommendations... anyone got any?


message 2: by David (last edited Jun 11, 2016 09:47AM) (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments One that is wonderful, and Christian, is Yvonne Anderson's Gateway to Gannnah series. We just gave book one an award of excellence.

Another that is completely amazing is Guy Stanton III's Warrior Kind series. These are his first books, many are still free. The only problem is that the editing needs some work. But THE STORY? What a story! The genre is scifi, fantasy, action/adventure, romance. It's powerful redemptive fiction and in the running for series of the decade.

For a series which is not nearly as overtly Christian (but solid), you cannot beat Ben Patterson's Living on the Run series. This is classic science fiction, space adventure done very well.


message 3: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments There are many more. Look at Reality Calling under the Science Fiction category.


message 4: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments David wrote: "For a series which is not nearly as overtly Christian (but solid), you cannot beat Ben Patterson's Living on the Run series. This is classic science fiction, space adventure done very well."

Since this one is on Kindle Unlimited, I think I'm gonna start with that one. Space adventure kinda fits my mood right now.

I also may have to join Facebook (which I've strenuously avoided till now) just to be a part of your group. :)


message 5: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments Reality Calling is just a blog/Website. It doesn't require Facebook.


message 6: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments Sorry, David, I thought you needed Facebook to participate in the author/reviewer discussions.

Speaking of which, may I add my own recommendation for A Star Curiously Singing? It's very good Christian cyberpunk, IMHO.


message 7: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments Yes, the Ruach Battle Group is for people who want to get involved in the ministry. But the posts and reviews are public.

I have Neitz's new book in queue. Thanks for the recommendation.


message 8: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments David wrote: "Yes, the Ruach Battle Group is for people who want to get involved in the ministry. But the posts and reviews are public."

I'm actually considering going back to seminary... God has been poking me for a couple of weeks now. :)


message 9: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments Make sure of your call. It will be tested.


message 10: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments David wrote: "Make sure of your call. It will be tested."

What better way to be sure than to take the test, so to speak?


message 11: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments It's better if the Lord speaks to you clearly first. Seek His face and He'll make your path clear.


message 12: by Rick (new)

Rick Sutcliffe | 3 comments I have published nine explicitly Christian Alternate History Science Fiction novels that can be found at http://www.arjaybooks.com

Also, see David Weber's Safehold series, which are more "Christian" than the Honor series. There are some similarities to mine, in that both deal with technology adoption, the consequences, and at least the ethics thereof.
Rick Sutcliffe


message 13: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments Rick wrote: "I have published nine explicitly Christian Alternate History Science Fiction novels that can be found at http://www.arjaybooks.com."

Thanks, but alt history has never been one of my favorites. Nothing against those that do enjoy it, tho.

Safehold, now that sounds interesting.


message 14: by Fredösphere (new)

Fredösphere (fredosphere) | 14 comments Yeah, I've read the first 2 (or 3? It's been a long time) of the Safehold books. The gentle insertion of Christian thinking was handled well, I thought. I'd like to see more of that: authors acknowledging the ubiquity of religion in people's lives without doing it with a preachy agenda.

I can recommend The Mote in God's Eye which imagines a future galactic empire where Christianity is the state religion. (It's never explicitly stated but the Church has more of an Orthodox feel to it than Catholic or Protestant.) I'm not sure the authors are even Christian, but I like the way they reject the notion that religion will either die out or get very weird over time. In the novel, all the "normal" people accept Christianity as part of the unquestioned assumptions of their culture.

Most speculative fiction (well, science fiction anyway) is a spiritual desert and that doesn't align with the world I live in.


message 15: by Rick (last edited Jun 14, 2016 02:56PM) (new)

Rick Sutcliffe | 3 comments One of my alternates is that the Christian church never had a formal schism, though local churches tend to "listen" to particular bishops, and there are reform movements in the church. Pastors are called priests, they elect the bishops, the church has a mix of formalistic and evangelical theologies.

The point of departure (for practical purposes ) is the battle of Clontarf in 1014, where Brian Boru survived and established an enduring monarchy. Ireland becomes the superpower, and the industrial and scientific revolutions take place in the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries. Admiral Amy Rea fights the battle of Trafalgar in 1440 and Thomas Rourke the battle of Mt. Ste Jean in 1441.

Each book has at least one character who wrestles with the claims of Christ and with the interactions among society, ethics (whether Christian or not) and technology adoption.

Safehold sees a similar rapid progression of technology (re-) discovery in a future world, and characters similarly wrestle over the difference between the claims on them of a formal church system and those of a personal relationship with God. I'd say that my books have a somewhat more explicitly Christian spiritual emphasis, and David Weber's a more military technology and strategy emphasis. His are set in a hypothetical future, mine in a hypothetical past and present, but the issues dealt with have considerable overlap.

I began my series in 2001, he in 2007, but we never met or interacted until sharing several panels at the 2014 VCON, I became aware of the Safehold series, and subsequently read them. Safehold has his usual solid character development, slightly less complex plots than the Honorverse, and much more on the manufacture of weapons. Good reads.

I second the motion (as does he) that complete world building must deal with religion--and not as a stereotype villain.


message 16: by Fredösphere (new)

Fredösphere (fredosphere) | 14 comments Rick wrote: "...we never met or interacted until sharing several panels at the 2014 VCON..."

Sorry for my ignorance--what's VCON?


message 17: by Rick (new)

Rick Sutcliffe | 3 comments VCON is the Vancouver SF Convention


message 18: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 41 comments I just finished a great sci-fi book by Larry Niven, written in the 1970s, that features a futuristic world with religion in the background and a great story takes up the foreground so well you don't realize you are being preached to. (Well, kind of preached to. At least, you could say, he's making a really good point).

The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven


message 19: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments I am currently working on The Aeronaut's Windlass and while it's steampunk with a heavy dose of magic, it deals with religion quite nicely, I think. They speak of God in Heaven and their church is called The Way, which is what the early Christians called themselves.

(view spoiler)


message 20: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Pattison | 65 comments If I may, I'd like to suggest my own short story, The Visitor. I write Spec-Fic / Sci-Fi with a Christian worldview and this patriclaur tale deals with time travel and the JFK assassination. Here's the blurb:

A stranger in a cornfield, a letter detailing horrific future events, and a chance to change the fate of a nation slipping into turmoil.

Theodore Garfield never believed the old farmer’s story about the day the stranger appeared in his cornfield. And Theodore was even more skeptical about the letter the visitor left behind detailing the gradual downfall of America beginning with the assassination of a future president named John F. Kennedy.

Years later the farmer’s story is all but forgotten until a young senator named John F. Kennedy is elected president. With the farmer and the letter now long gone, will Theodore be able to prevent one of the most tragic days in American history?

If interested, David, you can check out reader reviews of The Visitor here on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Visitor-J-L-Pa...

Sincerely,
- J.L. Pattison


message 21: by David (new)

David Fernau (DavidFernau) | 79 comments Just a quicky update... after a false start I'm really enjoying Off Armageddon Reef. Thanks for the heads up. I can't wait for their version of the Protestant Reformation, tho.

On another note, has anyone here read Live Free or Die? And can ya tell me if it's any good, and if religion is made out to be the bad guy?


message 22: by Fredösphere (last edited Aug 08, 2016 08:20AM) (new)

Fredösphere (fredosphere) | 14 comments I read Live Free or Die several years ago. The plot is enjoyable. The ideas and premises are so-so, and the writing is okay. I don't recall religion being mentioned. He does a decent job of justifying a scenario where one man does all the inventing and building and saving the world (a common trope in space opera and golden age sci-fi) but it's still not believable. Also unbelievable is the super-advanced aliens' inability to anticipate and counter the hero's weapons systems (which are pretty cool, but come on). Maple syrup plays roughly the same role in this book that ginger did in Turtledove's Worldwar series. And when the aliens wipe out a whole lot of left wingers on Earth, Ringo takes just a liiiiiitle to much pleasure in it. I guess the bottom line is, I don't recommend it unless you really just want some libertarian mind candy.


message 23: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Pattison | 65 comments Fredösphere wrote: "I read Live Free or Die several years ago. The plot is enjoyable. The ideas and premises are so-so, and the writing is okay. I don't recall religion being mentioned. He does a decent..."
You had me at "Libertarian mind candy."


message 24: by Brandon (last edited Aug 11, 2016 07:13AM) (new)

Brandon Barr (bjbstories) | 2 comments As a sci-fi fantasy author myself, I've been delighted to discover a few gems. By far, Lars Walker's "The Year of the Warrior" published by Baen Books is the best Christian fantasy I've read. It's written for the general fantasy market, but it's got so much rich theology and wonderful characters as well as epic perils


message 25: by Kev (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 14 comments Good recommendations!

I read A Star Curiously Singing awhile back and enjoyed it.


message 26: by Kenyon (new)

Kenyon Henry (kenyonthenry) | 25 comments I'm a little surprised I haven't heard Tedd Dekker's name. I'm reading Black now, which is part of his circle series. So far, it's pretty good.


message 27: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Rodda (rjrodda) | 3 comments A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz is the best I've read - funny, sarcastic, Christian, interesting) Jupiter Winds by C J Darlington is reasonable YA Christian SF (young female protagonist).


message 28: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 75 comments Guy Stanton III has several spectacular scifi series: Warrior Kind and more. .A Warrior's Redemption Fire Wind


message 29: by R.M. (last edited May 26, 2017 03:35AM) (new)

R.M. Lutz | 5 comments I'd have to second (third?) A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz as an excellent book/series. I'd also recommend the Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers.

Knox's Irregulars by J. Wesley Bush is sort of a fun, futuristic military/sci-fi novel. If you're looking for somewhat outrageous sci-fi with humor, I'd recommend The Emerald Enigma by Paul Regnier.

If you want a few more recommendations, I have a blog that reviews Christian sci-fi and fantasy. You can check it out at thebookhoundchristianspecfic.blogspot.com.


message 30: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 41 comments I've been pondering whether to promote my latest fantasy/sci-fi adventure as a political thriller in light of all that has been going on in the world this past year. I originally wrote it to express my views on divisions within the church, but the imagery I used to describe the in-fighting is a futuristic city torn by war that looks an awfully lot like the in-fighting we are seeing on the national and global level right now.

The rift is illustrated as a struggle between two leaders who each want to rule the city. The parallels to events happening around us in real-life are down-right uncanny. Pretty much all that we're missing is a cyborg lizard-man and a squadron of well-armed security robots.

As far as preaching goes, there are a couple of conversations about divorce, church break-ups, and friendships, and I managed to hide a few scriptural references in the dialogue. Other than that, it is a family-appropriate action-adventure.

Foremost, I wish my church could have read this story before they broke apart a few years ago. Now, though, as I read about all the strife in the world, I just wish I could get my message to as many people as I can. It's not about who you follow, and it's not about who follows you. It's about whose life you make a difference to.


message 31: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Seddon (andrewmseddon) | 18 comments If I may, let mention three of my science fiction novels that have Christian elements . "Ring of Time" is about the adventures of a time-traveling historian in the days of the Roman Empire. He has a habit of getting into some awkward situations. No, he does not witness the Crucifixion, but is present at the siege of Masada, and during a later persecution has to decide how much his faith means to him.

"Wreaths of Empire" is more of a space opera. Naval Intelligence Commander Jade Lafrey pursues peace during a decades-long war between the Terran Hegemony and the alien Gara'nesh Suzerainty. But she plunges into a web of conspiracy when she learns that one side may have developed the ultimate weapon.

And "The Deathcats of Asa'ican and Other Tales of a Space-vet" follows the adventures of a space-traveling veterinarian and his telepathic German Shepherd. This is a 'lighter' book and very animal friendly.

All are on Amazon, kindle, Barnes&Noble, etc.
Thanks for looking!
Andrew M. Seddon


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