Infinite Space Infinite God CFRBlog Tour

Like any Christian Science Fiction, the idea of Catholic SF seems to be a contradiction in terms—perhaps more so given the infamous stands the Catholic Church has taken against against scientific theory all those centuries ago. But, Galileo's trial is ancient history and for the last 1000 years, Catholic scientists (including priest, monks and even some saints) have received encouragement and support from the church. It is no wonder, then, that writers have become fascinated with the concept of how the Catholic church will meet the challenges of the future—and SF is just the vehicle for this.

This 2007 EPPIE award-winning anthology includes SF concepts from time travel to transporter technology, genetic engineering to alien abduction, interstellarcolonization and uncontrolled inter-city violence told from a Catholic world view. All of the ISIG short stories are well-crafted and entertaining—the latter a real surprise for me considering that I do not number among the millions of sci-fi fans in this world. The range of intensity in this volume kept me reading because I couldn't predict what I'd discover when I turned another page. We see the teenager Frankie off to evangelize to alien beings; we sit with Saint Francis of Assisi as he ministers to the needs of a mannaro; we make the pilgrimmage alongside an IRA 'terrorist' as he makes his way through the stations to enlightment. The three described above: "Interstellar Calling," "Canticle of the Wolf," and "A Cruel and Unusual Punishment" were my favourites. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories included in Infinite Space Infinite God and liked the fact that they forced me to ponder and question. And one more thing, it is pretty darn refreshing to read good fiction that does not haul out the fictional stereotypes of manical monk or preying priest or nasty nun.

Okay, enough about my opinion (and believe me, there is more where this came from!); why don't you check out these sites on the Christian Fiction Review Blog tour:

Come join editor/ author Karina Fabian as she hosts FabChat Thursdays at 8pm (Eastern). On April 19 she talks about ISIG! Visit karinafabian.tripod.com and ask questions of your own.

For information about
the contributing authors: isigsf.tripod.com
the stories: isigsf.tripod.com
the editors: fabianspace.com
how to purchase: twilighttimesbooks.com
Editors Karina and Robert Fabian
September 2006: eBook
Summer 2007: Trade paperback
ISBN: 1933353627
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Infinite Space Infinite God is due out in paperback August 2007.


Say, It Ain't So, Spock

By Adam Graham

I grew up in a home headed by a sci-fi geek, my dad. My dad claimed his interest in science fiction was because of the technology. He figured that new technology would make into sci-fi movies before it would make it into Civilian use. I've seen the vast majority of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. It was practically a family tradition while DS9 and TNG were on the air together, my dad, my brother and I would be in the living room from 5-7, watching the exploits of Captain Picard and Commander (later Captain Sisco.)

We watched the Star Wars movies (I've seen all but the last and from all accounts, I didn't miss much), Contact, Farscape, Enemy Minds, cheesy old Sci-fi shows like Lost in Space. You get the idea. If it was sci-fi and not a total blood bath, sexfest, or bad beyond awful, we saw it.

I remember one movie that we watched when I was a dumb kid about alien abductions. I slept with one eye open for about a month, fearing that should I go to sleep, I'd be kidnapped by extraterrestrials.

As a writer, I've used aliens quite a bit. A short story to be released next month in an anthology, "Light at the Edge of Darkness" features a stereotypical sci-fi geek in a humorous alien abduction story. A novel I'm working on features an Alien symbiot that provides a man with an amazing litany of superpowers.

While they might pose a theological problem at one point, that's a, "I'll cross that bridge" when we come to it issue. The way I was brought up, it didn't present a problem. My dad always quoted Isaiah 40:15, "Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust."

My dad took the plural of nations to suggest there was more than just the nations. (After all, if they were a drop in the bucket, what was the bucket full of?)

We may never know, but at this point in my life, I've come to be a skeptic of extra-terrestrial life in our galaxy, the more I've come to realize how rare what we've got on Earth is.

In Star Trek, the Galaxy is divided into 4 quadrants. Our quadrant is called, "The Alpha Quadrant." and there's also the "Beta Quadrant," which is a main focus of the Star Trek shows up to Voyager. In the Alpha Quadrant, you have Earth, and you find countless different species that are a little different. The Federation of Planets is a huge conglomeration made up of hundreds of different Alpha and Beta Quadrant worlds. The Vulcans, Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, Romulans, and a slew of minor species all have M-Class worlds. And then, there opens a wormhole and we find hundreds of more worlds in the Gamma Quadrant. Finally, Katherine Janeway and the Crew of Voyager spend seven years running into even more species in the Delta Quadrant.

Gene Roddenberry's universe is teaming with ETs everywhere you look. It is as fantastic as it is improbable.

Guillermo Gonzalez explains this quite well in Privileged Planet:


“A lot of things went right on Earth to have yielded complex life. Absolutely.”


“The number of factors that have been postulated has grown. Currently the typical number you’ll see in a typical list would have something like 20.”

Guillermo Gonzalez

“We find that we need to be in the right location in the galaxy…that we’re inside the Circumstellar Habitable Zone of a star…that we’re in a planetary system with giant planets that can shield the other planets from too many comet impacts…that we’re orbiting the right kind of star that’s not too cool or not too hot… that we’re on a planet that has a moon that can stabilize the tilt of its axis…that we’re on a planet that’s a terrestrial planet…a planet that has a crust that’s just thick enough to maintain plate tectonic activity…that has enough heat in its interior that it's still circulating its liquid iron core so it can generate a magnetic field…that has an atmosphere that has enough oxygen to allow for complex organisms to survive…that has enough water and enough continents that allow for the diversity of life and an active biodiversity that you need to support complex creatures such as ourselves…”

“All these factors have to be met at one place and time in the galaxy if you’re going to have a planet as habitable as the Earth, which you need for complex and even technological life.”
Donald Brownlee, author of Rare Earth concurred:

“There’s a general feeling that nature wants to make earth-like planets and that, naturally, life will evolve on them…and, naturally, evolve into something like us, and yet…

“…the conditions, the environmental conditions on a planet that would allow more complex creatures similar to people or plants and animals is very rare.”

“…and so, we wrote the book, Rare Earth, to point out that the Earth is, actually, a rather special place…"
When they try and figure out the odds, they come up with a probability of finding life on another planet at 1/1000 of a trillion.

Certainly, no situation like Star Wars or Star Trek could reasonably be said to exist in the Universe. Whether there's intelligent alien life on some other planet in the Universe, who is to say? Only God knows. But I doubt very much with the given odds that there's intelligent life on other planets in our galaxy.

Does this mean that I'll stop including aliens in my stories? Absolutely not. Sci-fi is really on the same level as Fantasy. Tolkien didn't believe his stories of middle earth were real, but they spoke about reality. So, while I doubt we'll ever find an alien symbiot that gives out more super powers than you can shake a stick at, or enjoy an alien tea far wiser than Celestial Seasonings, there's still a point to this. Because every great story that's featured aliens hasn't been about them at their core, they've been parables to tell us about ourselves.

Think of the Star Trek episode where one race is pursuing another because of a minor cosmetic difference (White on the right, Black on the left and vice versa.) When both escaped the Enterprise and Captain Kirk turned on the view screen, we also saw a burning and charred surface, as racial differences led to the destruction of a beautiful planet. The sci-fi fan can conjure up a thousand different images with messages, both good and bad.

I certainly want to use the talents I have in that particular genre to tell my own stories and send my own messages (and draw convenient plot devices ) using the space alien motif. So, that's why though you'll never see an alien in real life, you'll see plenty in Light at the Edge of Darkness.


Review for Light at the Edge of Darkness

Many in the Lost Genre Guild had been awaiting this day: the original release date of Light at the Edge of Darkness. I thought posting a review would be appropriate.

Here's what Kevin Lucia had to say at Infuze Magazine:

Light at the Edge of Darkness
edited by Cynthia MacKinnon:
anthology strives to showcase new work


A man who's been robbed of his eyes and soon his only son by those demanding he deny Christ, crying out to God for mercy, justice, and sight...and receiving it. A man named Steven caught by a sadistic killer, denying not only his faith, but the tremendous gift he's been given... even though it's his only hope for survival. Futuristic societies in which believing in God is a crime, because all Christians must be registered with the government. Alternate universes who have sworn allegiance to the dark, rather than the One who died for them, and a writer so obsessed with success, he sells his soul to his agent -- and the devil Himself -- to become the next literary great.

If you're lingering on the edge of darkness and you see the light, do you dare cross over to what waits beyond? Or do you lie immobilized by your fears and sins in the dark, until what waits in the shadows claims you?

Light at the Edge of the Darkness, edited by Cynthia MacKinnon, is an interesting and eclectic anthology of dark, speculative tales musing about what goes on in the shadows we don't dare think of in the light of day, and how God's mercy shines at the shadow's edge, beckoning to all, saving some, and judging others. Consisting of genres ranging from science fiction, cyberpunk, fantasy, suspense, and horror, this anthology is a collection of talented writers; some making their first published foray into the writing world, others simply adding to their resume these dark and haunting tales.

Among the notables are stories from writers
Frank Creed, Daniel Weaver, and A.P. Fuchs, writers who are clearly making their way in the world of fiction. Both Creed and Weaver are writers/reviewers active in several different book review blog organizations, and Weaver himself is currently seeking a home for his current project, When Nightmares Walk; and AP Fuchs is the creator of the comic book Axiom Man.

Light at the Edge of the Darkness was created by The Lost Genre Guild, a collective of writers who focus on creating a place of Biblical speculative fiction in the publishing world.


Light at the Edge of Darkness is available for advance ordering at www.thewriterscafepress.com
Order now and receive $1 off retail price and some freebies.


A Frank Interview

I interviewed author Frank Creed about his work and writing. We also talked about the Lost Genre Guild and the importance of Christians writing speculative fiction.

Click here to download.

Play my show on your website or your social network.


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