I discovered a recent review for my book Asylum I had not seen before. I know authors are supposed to have a thick skin. We face rejection from agents and publishers...until the right one comes along. Then we face our critics and fans through reviews and the like.
This one stood out because it slammed the religious nature of my stories. Even though the back cover contains the genre "Religious Fiction" in the top corner.
I get it. Religion, specifically Christianity, isn't for everyone. I'm not here to judge or preach. I include it in my stories because it's who I am. I wanted to create a universe where I could explore some edgier aspects of Christianity and speculate about what might happen if those closely-held beliefs were not just challenged, but silenced.
As I think about it, I find the review funny. I had another person say the exact opposite. He is not a fan of religious fiction, but after reading Asylum, he said he liked the way I handled those aspects. He didn't feel that I "rammed it" down his throat.
So I'm going to hold onto that and let this other one roll off my back.
One thing that did strike me is how reluctant I am to put the "Religious Fiction" label on my work. I want people of all walks of life to read my books--whether Christian or not. I've tried to say, "family-friendly" and leave it at that, but honestly, there are some parts I wouldn't read to my children until they are a bit older. Also, there is simply no market for Christian sci-fi. I've tried to fly under the radar in a futile effort to get my work out there.
But I'm done with that. I am proudly claiming the Christian nature of my books. Yes, the Crown represents the triune God of Christianity. I've modeled the deity after the One I follow. Yes, my main characters struggle with very human emotions--anger, despair, sorrow, doubt. Because as the author, I deal with those things.
I think sci-fi is the perfect genre to explore religion. I've said it before--the possibilities are limitless, just like my God! Dark evil lurks in every corner, but His light shines through. Good versus evil is in the heart of every man. It's human nature...and that translates to the vast universe we know and have yet to discover.
And even though you won't find many Christian sci-fi novels on the shelves of bookstores, there is some amazing movement going on among readers. If you're interested, check out these links as a launching point:
The SciFi Christian podcast/website
Realm Makers conference
Speculative Faith website
Oh, and read my books. Then, go forth and write happy reviews.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3