Since SpecFaith’s initial 2015 site upgrade went live on March 1, we have added more than a dozen new titles to the Library. Most of those titles are thanks to our readers who use the submission form to add their favorites. Some titles are added by authors who want to share their stories. Some are added by fans who happen to know of a novel we haven’t yet found.
The SpecFaith Library may list any novel that is:
- Based on a biblical Christian worldview;
- Fantastical in nature and theme;
- Complete and published (includes self-published titles).
Yet questions about the Library remain. This article will address some of those, starting with possible questions that I (Stephen) make up and then answer. In the comments we can have further discussion about the Library, including non-made-up reader questions.
Then this Q and A page can be available as evergreen content to answer Library queries.
Let’s begin now:
Q. What do you mean by ‘based on a biblical Christian worldview’?
A. Articles and whole books can be written — and some SpecFaith writers have done so! —about “a biblical Christian worldview” or exploring the definition(s) of “a Christian story.”
For the SpecFaith Library, readers or authors who submit a novel are themselves declaring that the novel is based on a biblical Christian worldview. But SpecFaith’s volunteers do not usually have the time to “vet” the book’s content (to say nothing of the near-spiritually-impossible task of investigating whether an author’s faith counts as biblical Christianity).
Occasionally someone will submit a novel that is clearly written to advocate beliefs that do not qualify as even minimal, quasi-biblical Christianity. One Library submission was turned down because cursory research showed the novel advocated anti-biblical “spirituality.”
Q. I read a novel from the Library and it didn’t seem very Christian!
A. This is a side effect of following the honor system — and it’s a good opportunity for you to be a discerning reader, who can nonetheless glorify God in contrast to the novel’s view.
Post a comment about the story. Or write a 300-word-plus review for a wider audience.
Q. What do you mean by ‘fantastical in nature and theme’?
A. Other sites list novels across all genres. But SpecFaith exists to explore fantastical stories for God’s glory. Thus, the Library lists only novels with stories, characters, and places not normally found in reality. Fantastical genres include, but are not limited to: fantasy, fairy tales, science fiction, space fantasy/opera, alternate history, paranormal suspense, magical realism, and superhero/urban fantasy (and stories that combine any of these genres).
Occasionally someone will submit a novel that includes only minimal fantastic elements. For example, a contemporary or historical novel could have a character who pursues dreams or visions from God, or other subtle miraculous elements. But it’s not fantastical.
Q. What do you mean by ‘complete and published’?
A. Once a literary agency proposed an unpublished novel series to the SpecFaith Library. (The project was later picked up by an independent Christian fantastical-fiction publisher.)
But the SpecFaith Library is not a manuscript vetting service or a publishing company. Our goal is to help readers find novels that are already published and available to read. Thus, we include old books, new books, physical books, e-books, and books from any publisher.
Q. What if I found an error in a Library listing?
A. Please let us know using the suggestion box. Also be aware that occasionally a book will change publishers, covers or even titles — changes not immediately shown in the Library.
Q. What if a book says it’s “self-published,” but it’s not a self-publisher?
A. As of March 2015, the SpecFaith Library includes nearly 140 publishing names. Given the growth of print-on-demand publishing, that number is always increasing! Moreover, it’s not always clear from novel submissions if the publisher is the author’s or is an independent company. If after initial research we have still made the wrong call and classified the publisher as a self-publisher, let us know using the submission box.
Q. Why does the page look weird for some titles?
A. The upgraded site displays Library novel covers differently. We’re cleaning it up.
A. We can’t necessarily promise a review (even in exchange for free novels, as tempting as that is!). But you can start by submitting your novel for possible inclusion in the SpecFaith Library. Good stories rise to the top, and we have seen popular novels listed in the Library spark thriving conversations and many reviews.1
What’s your SpecFaith Library question?
- Future site additions will provide extra publicity for relevant Library titles at the end of SpecFaith feature articles. ↩