My apologies for being late today. I had a rather severe outbreak of real life this morning.
Wow, such cool discussion going on around here! But where was I? Oh, yes, the current wave of Christian SF/F …
I’ve told elsewhere (and many times) how I came back to writing fiction, specifically this genre, going on four years ago now. It was in the process of trying to find out what was current in the market that I discovered two authors who remain my favorites: Karen Hancock and Kathy Tyers.
Karen was one of those classic Christian bookstore finds: I’d never heard of her before, but the book caught my eye. Cool cover design. I picked it up—intriguing back cover blurb, and the opening page or so actually pulled me in. I really couldn’t afford to buy a brand-new trade paperback, though, and I put the book back on the shelf and walked away. But it called to me—so before we left the store, I had a fresh copy of Arena in my hands.
I liked this book—a lot. And when The Light of Eidon came out, I snapped it up, too, and was thoroughly hooked.
In the meantime, I asked one of my online friends to help me think of Christian titles I could compare my own story and writing to, and she mentioned Kathy Tyers’ Firebird. Huh? I’d never heard of that one—and by the time I did some nosing around and found some reviews so I could see what sort of story this was, the third book of the series was already out of print. But thanks to the marvel of eBay and half.com, I located all three titles (Firebird, Fusion Fire, and Crown of Fire). Didn’t take much of the first book before I was a confirmed fan of this author, as well. (I don’t have reviews written of these—Greg Slade did that before me.)
Cool note of interest: Kathy and Karen were actually critique partners before either of them were published. So if you’ve discovered one and really enjoy, you might find you like the other as well. And Kathy’s Firebird series was recently re-released in one volume, which, if you stay tuned to the upcoming August Christian SF/F blog tour, you’ll have a crack at winning a copy.
Many people hold up these two as the new “gold standard” of current Christian SF/F, and with good reason. But I’ve found several other current writers in the genre that are well worth checking out: Kathryn Mackel (Outriders), L.A. Kelly (), Miles Owens (Daughter of Prophecy), the team of Randy Ingermanson and John Olson (Oxygen) who have both moved on to solo writing. (Please check out the authors’ links at the sidebar.) No, I don’t mention all that I’ve enjoyed over the past couple of years—like Donita Paul’s DragonKeeper series. I bought DragonSpell—on purpose this time—just before the birth of my last child, and read it while on bedrest afterwards. It was the thrill of my year to be assigned to her critique group just a few weeks later. (Well, where writing was concerned; I have to say that the birth of that little one superseded it overall. LOL)
As a reader, I’ve found something to enjoy if not love in every Christian SF/F title I’ve found over the past. I’ve definitely had my nitpicks, and admittedly part of the joy is personally knowing many of the writers whose books I’m reading—but I believe it’s a growing genre, and getting better, despite recent rumors to the contrary.
Next time, I’ll look at some of my favorite moments in Christian SF/F.