We spend a lot of time talking about novels here at Speculative Faith, but I’d like to make a quick pitch for short stories today and list a few places you can find well-written, short spec-fic flowing from a Christian worldview, or at least non-hostile to a Christian worldview, for free or cheap.
Sometimes you don’t have time to chew through a 100,000-word tome, or don’t feel inclined to. You want a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end that you can finish over lunch or during the bus ride home from work, or in those rare moments when the kids are asleep and you’re not.
Short stories are, by necessity, more focused than a novel. A novel is an artillery barrage of people, places, events, politics, and intertwined relationships. A short story is a laser-guided missile. It may only have two or three characters and describe one defining event in their lives. It can take a single theme or issue and, as they used to say in the old Outer Limits intro, “sharpen it to crystal clarity.” Great short stories start fast, hit hard, and leave you pondering their implications for days afterward.
Interested? Here are some places to look. Most of these publish stories that may at times fall beyond the boundaries of “Christian fiction,” depending on how you choose to define it, but often feature stories from an unambiguously Christian worldview and aren’t at all hostile to stories with Christian characters and themes:
Avenir Eclectia: Science fiction. An ongoing short-fiction experiment–brief vignettes build a mosaic picture of life in a lost space colony.
Digital Dragon: Science fiction and fantasy.
Einstein’s Pocket Watch: Science fiction, fantasy, and a smattering of other genres.
Fear and Trembling: Horror and paranormal suspense.
Mindflights: Science fiction and fantasy.
Ray Gun Revival: Space opera.
Residential Aliens: Science fiction and fantasy.
Wherever it Pleases: Numerous genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance.
That ought to get you started. I’m sure some of you have other favorite spots to go when you’re hankering for a short story, so feel free to add your own recommendations.