Christians in Fan Fiction? - "Dad-Trek"

(Picard is talking with his crew...)

“It’s amazing how you came back, Captain. You escaped death, and you brought back twelve captured Starfleet officers.”

“It wasn’t easy, Mr. Data. I was helped immensely by the intervention of the Light Guardians.”

“I have heard a few legends about them.”

“More than legend. Ten years ago Starfleet Academy made an intensive study of the writings of all those who seemed to have genuine contact with the Guardians. Just after that I went on a refresher course, when Starfleet was revising its moral and ethical code to incorporate Guardian principles.”

“It was that relevant?”

“Definitely, Mr. Riker. The Guardian-inspired writings showed great understanding in relating to aliens and underprivileged cultures. Other writings, including their songs, had a well developed heart language that was invaluable in understanding the Beta-Zoid. That is what inspired us to take Deanna on board.”

“Captain, wasn’t there some major revision of Earth-originated Philosophy too?”

“Yes, Beverley. Western Philosophy revised its science and logic emphasis. The Academy study showed that historically the value of heart ethics was essential for human respect.”

“Haven’t there been reports of the Guardian touching history several times?”

“Right, Geordi. Various reports of angelic appearances before battles, dreams and visions which inspire people to overcome their oppressors. It all has a familiar theme.”

“That has influenced Klingon culture too, just in time to prevent destruction,” said Worf. “Speaking of which, what has just happened may also be a turning point. I think we’d all like to hear how you did it.”

“Very well. While the Borg were away preparing their worst torture implants, three Guardians appeared. They said they could not rescue me from it, but if I trusted them they would prepare me to go through with it. If it worked, they told me I could be instrumental to release the others.
The plan was this: the Borg were going to use psychological torture so that it came through the senses and through the mind implant at the same time. Similar things would happen with physical torture, making the Borg hard to resist. The Guardians gave me some battle song to meditate on, and a story of one of their interventions. It was tremendously hope-inspiring. For a time I felt I had already won.”

“Was this your first encounter with them?”

“No. There has been a series of visions and dreams over the last three years, building towards this encounter. They often came at times when I felt low for the next challenge.
Then the trial started. It was gruesome enough. It went through the night, accusing me, with multi-sensory bombardment, 'Jean-Luc Picard, the chief destroyer of culture.' I was instructed by the Guardians to keep the song and the story in my heart, and to apply as much of my brain as possible to its truth. I felt that I did not need to answer the Borg's charges.

Then they took me to the torture implants. There were two others: a captain, disgraced through Borg implant, and a vagabond cast out from the Borg who had to steal to stay alive. The vagabond joined in the tormenting: “The Great Picard. Where is your power and leadership now? Get us out of here, and take me with you!”

It was getting nightmarish. The implants shouted: 'Give in to our demands, then you will live!' The torture implants and the multi-sensor media went on, flashing by visions of our men killed under my command. When it was getting tough, I shouted, 'Guardians, Release these Borg! Their implants are destroying their real heart feelings.'

Then the other captain responded. 'Picard, I know you’ll have authority. When that happens, come and get me, please.'
'Hold on, Richard,' I said. 'I believe that will happen today, and we’ll be free.'

Then there were flashes of lightning in a great darkness. It was more awesome than the tortures.”

“Jean-Luc, it was about that time that the Borg tried to transmit a picture of your death.”

“Yes. The Guardian said if I resisted until my heart actually stopped, they would be able to help me more. I and the Borg knew it was happening. Then something strange took place. I think I was dead for a few seconds, although I was very aware of the Guardians giving me special power.”

“I remember. That’s when we saw on our scanners that the whole Borg ship was in turmoil. It shook like a drunk Ferengi. The captains they held in coma came out. I’m not sure who got the biggest shock.”

“Yes, Commander Riker. The rest you know.”

“But what is this about the Captain of the Enterprise changing?”

“In time, it’ll happen. I will be liaison between Starfleet Command, the Guardians, and sometimes the Borg. And you, Will, though you blame yourself for my capture, will be getting more help from the Guardians as you take over.”

“And the rest of us?”

“You have already been receiving something from the Guardians, at least indirectly through me. From now on, there will be more visions from them, prompts for inspired wisdom and leadership, and you will be used to bring the rest of the Borg empire down. The Guardians are able to help you remember in principle how I operate. They will also convey personal messages from me to you if I know it is necessary. Are you ready for the next stage?”

Bruce Francis, Oct 2002. Based mainly on the passion narratives in Luke, Matthew and John.
This was inspired by trying to communicate with a “Trekky”fan while doing a Bible College assignment on Luke's gospel, the crucifixion scene. It is also inspired by Luke’s use of popular literature, such as extra-Biblical writings like 2 Enoch (chap 8- a vivid description of the 3rd heaven/ Abraham's side [AV “bosom”], which has a parallel in Luke 16- the Rich Man and Lazarus), or “the death of Isaiah,” with parallels to Luke 23.
This an allegory of general principles. It is not intended as rigid doctrine or as totally parallel to the story that is allegorised.
Thanks Dad for letting me borrow this! Hope you all enjoyed the read. Having grown up on this show, I do feel that it's become a sort of classical base on which to build my own worlds - even if mine are vastly different.
It seems to me that what is true of sci-fi in general - as a way into people's hearts - is also true, and even especially so, of fan-fiction. Perhaps there's a LGGer somewhere who will someday advance into this mission field. Nothing is impossible!
I thought it was really interesting how it took me quite a while to figure out the parallels and what he was actually talking about. Guess that's how the gospel can slip in the back door...


Sex, Violence, and Cliché in Christian Fiction

All Christian fiction authors delicately dance around sin on our keyboards. Each of us knows sin, but how do we speak of sin without making an editor or reviewer angry? Living in a fallen world, we sense, feel, and live sin. Authors are challenged with realistically portraying sin in our fiction ministry. How can we paint decent literature without crossing the Christian Bookseller's Association image of good wholesome fiction? I know some authors who won't even submit to CBA publishers, because the American Bookseller's Association is the only hope for their fiction.

Politics is a going-concern for the Christian artist. The difference between sex and violence lies in the nature of these ”sins.” We know He designed us to be sexual creatures, and in the marriage bed, sex isn't dirty. Unless one is a sociopath, onlooking readers may be inspired to, but aren't tempted by violence. So, how do we write a Biblical “kissing” scenes and a Biblical “action” scenes? Let's role-play this comparison. You're out for an evening stroll. Your eye catches movement inside a window . . .

The movement happens to be a fornicating couple. The fornicator's sin matches the lusting viewer who can't tear eyes away. If this is a married couple who forgot to pull the shade, then the sex is Godly, and only the Peeping-Tom is in sin. If we’re going to realistically include sex in our fiction, the most we can do is catch a glimpse and avert our eyes. Invading intimacy is wrong, and graphic sex in Christian literature is a contradiction in terms.

The movement is one human mercilessly beating another. Unless an author's intended readership are either sociopaths, or conscience-objector-Pacifist-Quakers who'd have let Hitler take over Europe—witnessing violence is a different moral issue. It takes a special kind of person to witness violence through this same evening-stroll window and not intervene by calling 911, or by hammering on the door.

Neither sex nor violence are sins. These topics carry different contexts, and each must be written with different levels of propriety. And then there's the usual . . .

Ever read Christian Fiction where a believer is the antagonist? Yes, secular fiction beat this horse to death in the eighties and nineties. I think it faded away not because of political correctness, but because of cliché. Our Biblical character, by definition, has to be a protagonist in Christian fiction. But divorce is more common inside church walls than outside. Christian abortion, addiction and suicide stats match secular demographics. The organized church is shrinking because it's plastic. People need real answers for real issues, not smiles and handshakes one day a week. What about a seeking or skeptical character?

Write real, in good taste, and let Him worry about business. We're His artists, and our job is to tell the tale of the real world—no matter what the setting. Let the Editor-in-Chief worry about the rest.

Write well,


Trackers (CSFF Blog Tour)

Trackers by Kathryn Mackel

Far from home in a ravaged world, the Birthrighters struggle for survival.

Raised in a new ark beneath polar ice, delivered by whales to a blighted surface, the young men and women of the Birthright Project have pledged their lives to a risky and redemptive mission--perserving God's original creation from the ravages of the Endless Wars and human depravity.

They've roamed the earth tracking original species. They've successfully battled sorcerers, warlords, and armies of mutants. But now a twisted new enemy is on the march. An explosive old secret lurks beneath the glitter of a decadent city. And the mysterious darkness that swallowed a mountain spreads toward an innocent mill town.

Before they can prevail, the Birthrighters must confront their most difficult challenge: overcoming their individual desires that threaten to betray the group.

The adventure draws to a dramatic close in Book Two of Kathryn Mackel's imaginative and absorbing Birthright Series...a fantasy thriller with a heart of faith.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: WestBow Press (October 31, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN: 1595540407


Visit these blogs on the CSFF Blog Tour:
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Karen and at
Karen’s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia
The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Terri Main
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Otte
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Chris Walley
Daniel I. Weaver


Mixed Message

A couple days ago, I started to read a non-fiction book on healthy eating. Within the first few pages the use of Scripture pleasantly surprised me, but on a subsequent page the same author stated that Mother Nature is the only one that heals. This may seem insignificant to some, but I find it troublesome. Mixing truth with error. If the author wants to use God’s word to encourage people to eat for better health, she should not give Mother Nature the credit as the divine healer. If she had written it without Scripture references to make her point, the Mother Nature comment would provide a flag that an unbeliever wrote the book. But I’d read it with that in mind. Mixing her message makes me ponder the author’s motivation. Does she really not know the truth? Is she trying to appeal to those who believe God’s word, while remaining inclusive enough to promote Mother Nature? This author subtly planted one foot in the Christian camp and another in the world’s camp. I closed the book.

When I picked up the book on healthy eating, I did not buy it because it was a Christian book. I bought it because I’m interested in healthy eating. When I buy speculative fiction, I don’t expect a Christian theme, but I also don’t embrace adult themes. Finding the Christian Sec-fic market was an answer to prayer.

Christian Spe-fic by title of the genre promises the reader two things—Speculative fiction written with a Christian theme. Can this be accomplished without compromising the truth? Contrary to protests by some, these two ingredients are not at odds but blend elements that appeal to believers who enjoy reading Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Spec-fic + Christian does not equal a mixed message.

Just like people enjoy reading different genres, writers take pleasure in writing assorted genres. It’s part of how God created us. Authors who choose to write Lost Genre Christian Spec-Fic leave their mark on the craft and provide a viable option for believing readers.