“Biblical [Christian] Speculative Fiction is speculative fiction which uses Christian themes and incorporates the Christian worldview…” — Wikipedia.
In many of the modern Christian fiction novels, the characters are mainly Christian and act on guidance from God with no overt or miraculous divine intervention. There is almost always a non-Christian character who eventually becomes ‘born again’ and the emphasis is biblical and doctrinal, as in Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’Left Behind series. It differs greatly from speculations on the Bible and Christianity found in fictional work such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
An example of a story which portrays a biblical and doctrinal emphasis but also features miraculous intervention would be Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness which features demons, angels, and spiritual warfare.
So, in a nutshell, Christian Speculative Fiction is any fiction genre which gives a Christian worldview and can incorporate fantasy, science-fiction, dystopia, and other genres which invite us to connect with our Christian beliefs ‘outside the box’.
In the last few years, new venues have opened for the Christian Speculative Fiction genre. More recently, Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press) and LoreHaven have created a platform for writers of Christian Speculative Fiction.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image, which includes that magnificent imagination of yours.
How do we as Christ followers write fantasy without compromising our faith? If we introduce a fantasy realm with a different belief system than our own are we setting the reader up to follow a different path of faith? Can we create a new religion without selling out our own?
7 Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy As A Christian
Before you write anything and before you begin each day – pray. Pray for God’s guidance for each new chapter, each new topic and the whole book. You are writing the book, your name will be on the cover and you will receive accolades for a fantastic fantasy novel, but ultimately God is the one who called you to write it and He is your divine co-author who presented all those amazing ideas for you to write.
What’s your message? Ask yourself if your story really says what you want it to say to the reader. Stay focused on the main goal. “What are you willing to compromise? What will you commit to and honour in your life? Where will you take a stand?” – Kim Gowdy in Freedom Fighters and Truth Tellers, (published by Author Academy, 2015)
Are you portraying Christ’s character or glamorizing evil? You will need villains but try not to make them ‘cool’ in case readers desire to emulate them.
Make your villains true villains. They need to believe their actions are justified but their history isn’t an excuse for their actions. Choosing to do evil is still a choice.
If you’re writing a redemptive story – keep the villain’s past life clearly separate from their life as a new believer. You want your story to show the dramatic change Christ brings.
Don’t write any faith into your story – either your own faith or anyone else’s when you write fantasy. Maybe add traditions or rites instead, things not similar to our world. Remember Christ came for human kind because we are created in His image – Elves are not. If you want Elves to be redeemed you’re looking at allegorical fantasy (paralleling Christian truths). It can be quite tricky to write so I suggest you read a lot of allegorical works by famous authors before you attempt this. I’ve listed some below.
If you’re writing allegorically it would be really beneficial to ask a Christian allegorical writer you trust to critique your work. If you belong to a Christian writers’ group or your best friend is a pastor, maybe you can read a passage once in a while that you feel you need a critique on. Writing allegorically requires a deeper sense of your message so you may also want to consider writing a few fantasy books to get the feel of that genre before tackling the allegory part.