1. Steve C. says:

    But more than that, spec-fic, whether or not it’s written from the Christian perspective, is the perfect medium for showcasing the human condition—our frailties and limitations, our varied attempts to redeem ourselves, our ceaseless repetition of the sins of our fathers.

    YES! I cannot tell you how many times I have said the same thing to Christians who right away hold their fingers crossed in front of them to ward off the very idea of reading speculative fiction.

    It is the ideal place to explore human nature, and all its strength and frailty in situations that do not allow us to pollute the experience with our own personal or historical baggage. 

    Hey, if I can ponder what life would be like on this planet, and what humans would be capable of, if our thin veneer of civility were shattered AND have a few triffids thrown into the mix, I’M GAME!

    Why not?

    I always tell folks that the very first facet of the nature of God we learn in the Scriptures is that He is a creator. And so we, as His children, ought to exhibit the very same facet without apology! As our Father created the universe (universes?) with such creative freedom, why don’t we mimic Him and create our own?

    Great article! Thanks.

    Steve Crespo (fromnothingcomics.com)

  2. Thank you, Steve – bring on the triffids!

  3. Bainespal says:

    Agreed, and very well said.  However, I think this needs a little qualification:

    Discarding the trappings of culture and tradition, it lets us see why mankind does what he does—and how, despite negative consequences, he does it again and again.

    I think fantasy and science fiction do contain both culture and tradition in their story-worlds, but they are used more deliberately, in a different way.  Speculative fiction can specifically select elements of culture and tradition to scrutinize in an environment where the strengths or failings can be seen more clearly.

    • You’re right, Bainespal. Spec fic does, indeed, contain culture and tradition in its story worlds, but it’s usually different from what we see in our everyday worlds; it removes us from the familiar, which we too often take for granted and can’t see for looking, and puts us in a new world where we can see it from a fresh perspective. This sometimes helps us see the familiar more clearly than we ever have before.

  4. Oh goodness! I laughed. “I don’t read fiction.” And yes, I shall take your advice and give her the benefit of the doubt. Major props to you for handling that discussion with grace. Some wonderful nuggets here. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Galadriel says:

    Yeah….romance novels. In one of my classes today we discussed a quote from one of our textbooks about “levels” of truth, which I condensed to “logical” and “emotional”–head and heart, basically. A story set entirely in one sagging apartment might be truthful in the sense that events may happen in that process, but if the emotions are off, it ruins the whole story. I tend to prefer my emotional truths a little larger than life.

What do you think?