It's that time of month again. We, the purveyors of Christian science fiction and fantasy, are banding together to promote our craft and try to bring it to more and more people's attention.
Why would we do this? Well, it's simple. So much of Christian literature is "safe." By that I mean it's grounded in recognizable reality, not that it's free of danger. You don't see many aliens come to visit the denizens of a prairie romance. Dragons don't swoop in to intervene in taut political thrillers. While the characters in these books may go through terrific adventures physically, mentally, and spiritually, those adventures are still infused with a healthy dose of reality. These adventures could conceivably happen to real people.
To put it another way, these adventures take place in the middle of the map, where things have been carefully charted.
That's all well and good; there are people who want to stay in the map's center. But what about those of us who want to go out to the map's edge, to see what's on the frontier in uncharted territory? There are stories out there to tell as well.
As much as I'd like to take credit for what I just wrote, I can't. Not really. I'm paraphrasing what Jeff Gerke, the founder of WhereTheMapEnds.com said here. And (as usually happens when it comes to my writing) he said it better.
This website is simply a God-send for Christian authors of speculative fiction. Jeff Gerke has been on both sides of the publishing world as an author and as an editor. As a matter of fact, he was the shining hope for speculative authors as a sympathetic ear and visionary for what the genre could be.
And now he brings that experience to us. The website is chock-full of information for writers. For example, one of the first things I discovered after the website opened was the extremely detailed article on how a manuscript becomes a book.
Before I read the article, this process was mysterious and dark for me. In a way, I understood it as well as I understand my own digestion system. Manuscript goes in one end, and after a unknown process, a book comes out the other (and please don't push the analogy too far there, even though it may be appropriate for some books). Thanks to Mr. Gerke's insight, I now have a better understanding of how it all works, what with editors, committees, and so on and so forth.
Also fun is the Random Story Generator. This thing is a hoot and a half. I don't know if it'll ever create a story seed that will grow into an actual manuscript, but it's fun to keep hitting the F5 key to see what it comes up with.
But there's a lot more there and I plan on digging through most of it. In the meantime, be sure to visit the other people on the tour:Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
CSFF Blog Tour
Kameron M. Franklin
Todd Michael Greene
K. D. Kragen
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Daniel I. Weaver