Edgy Christian Fiction: What is this creature?

A week or so ago I was collecting people's thoughts about what "edgy" meant to them in terms of Christian fiction. This article that I wrote is a survey of the range of definitions people have on the subject.

The introduction is below and if you are interested you can read the entire text at either Associated Content or A Frank Review. I am interested in people's opinions about this topic and would welcome comments.

Edgy fiction: the buzz words of today's Christian publishing industry. How these buzz words are defined depends on who you ask. It can depend upon an author's or reader's chosen genre and it varies from market to market—including within the Christian fiction market. The edgy fiction badge can be worn with stubbornness or it may proclaim "I take risks." For some readers, the badge equates to a danger sign; others will interpret it as something new and refreshing, not the same old.

Searches on the internet provide a glimpse into the numerous meanings of edgy in the Christian market. Most comments accentuate the positive nature, however, there are others that complain "
Excuse me, but can we leave the envelope right where it is?" (Nov. 09, 2005)

Opponents of this trend feel edgy has reached its limits. Interestingly, some felt it had reached the boundary back in 2005. At that point, Christian publishing houses had successfully experimented with realism in plots, conflicts and characters, however it is possible that readers could not fathom any new approaches to edgy or gritty that wouldn't push the story into the 'abyss of secular fiction' — heaven forbid.

. . . . . . . . the rest of this article can be found at -->link
Associated Content<--link if you'd like to check it out. You'll notice I quote some of the LGG members who responded to my question about "what do you think edgy means?"


Deb said...

"Edgy" is what some publishers call fiction without a bonnet-wearing woman on the cover. There are far more of us writing edgy (defied as: fiction that's willing to take risks) than there are published books.

My mild, relatively gentle time travel romance is called a "hard sell" by an agent I'm trying to interest. Why? Simply because time travel is not Scripturally addressed and therefore not plausible.

Hello!? Walking through a wardrobe into Narnia may not be plausible either. This is FICTION, people, not the latest Christian doctrinal educational tome.

It may never sell to the larger houses. I'm trying to get reconciled to that now. The pubs say they want something different, but I think this refers to the hair color under the bonnet.

Frank Creed said...

In the last section of the article at Associated Content, I do add an aspect of "edgy" that didn't come up with others: the genre of Christian sci-fi as a whole must be considered edgy because of theological views and long-held biases. You hit the nail on the head, Deb; your time travel would fit neatly into that package.


Anonymous said...

Then there's the TV Tropes definition of Dark & Edgy (TM), which you see a lot in mainstream comics. There, attempts to get Edgy (TM) quickly turned into Women-in-Refrigerators (TM) style violence-porn.

(The entire TV Tropes website is (1) a useful Wiki-style catalog of fiction tropes, conventions, and cliches; (2) a hoot; and (3) a good way to unintentionally time-warp your way through several hours.)

Edward Ott said...

I found your blog extemely interesting. I have found that most of the christians that i have known,excepting the catholics and mormons, seem to think science fiction was a waste cause the ned of the world was around the corner and we were never getting to Mars much less to anything like star trek.

Anonymous said...

Ed Ott:

When The World Ends Tomorrow (at the latest) and It's All Gonna Burn, don't expect anyone to have any vision or future.

But the future has a habit of happening regardless, and those without a future will find themselves Left Behind in a different manner.

"Remember when we were young and had No Future? Well, this is it!"
-- Blank Reg, Max Headroom

Anonymous said...

...the genre of Christian sci-fi as a whole must be considered edgy because of theological views and long-held biases.

Including the Four Taboo Tropes of Christian (TM) SF (in addition to Dr Morden's Taboo Tropes of generic Christian (TM) fiction):

1) No non-humans (except for demons and maybe angels).

2) No semi-humans (unless demonic or soulless).

3) Nothing set more than Twenty Minutes into the Future (because Christ Is Coming SOON (TM) and There Won't Be a Future).

4) Nothing set off Earth (because then Christ won't be able to find us in the Rapture (TM)...).

When the only science allowed among your audience is Young Earth Creation Science, and the only future allowed is the one from Late Great Planet Earth and Left Behind, don't expect Hugo-level material.