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Writing Sci-fi and Fantasy | A Christian perspective

OR Why I write what I write

Why Write Sci-fi and Fantasy?

I was raised on science fiction and fantasy, the usuals, Star WarsStar TrekThe Lord of the RingsThe Chronicles of NarniaStargate

I have nothing against stories set in the real world. But I do believe that that sci-fi and fantasy, by taking us out of our mundane, everyday reality, allow us to explore questions of what it means to be human in unique and insightful ways.

As a religious person, I’ve also found that sci-fi and fantasy help me to explore what it means to be human in relationship to God in unique and insightful ways.

The incredible value of sci-fi and fantasy

Theology is a complicated and ever-evolving thing. In seminary, I encountered a lot of mind-warping topics – like, what is the nature of God, and what does it mean to be human… (you know, minor details like that). These important questions are very difficult to wrap our human minds around.

It is in the nature of sci-fi and fantasy to push the limits of human understanding, to challenge preconceptions, and get us to think in new ways. I really do believe that because I was raised on stories that did this, I had an easier time getting my mind around complicated theological concepts in seminary.

In other words, science fiction and fantasy help us think theologically (also philosophically), understand our world, understand ourselves, and even understand God (as much as we can, anyway…).

And maybe that’s exactly why the fantasy genre is the oldest literary genre in human history.

The oldest stories ever told

Ancient humans did not tell stories about their ordinary, everyday lives. No, they told stories about the gods, the demi-gods, the powers of the heavens, the creation of the Earth., and divine wars played out in the human realm.

Stories designed to test the limits of human understanding, and get us to think about our place in a larger reality.

Today, we call such stories myths. But really, they’re just ancient fantasy and sci-fi.

Also… it’s just fun!

So, these stories offer us some pretty heady benefits – you know, understanding humanity and life as we know it type stuff…

But the first reason to read and write sci-fi and fantasy stories is very simple: they’re fun.

Fun to create, fun to read, fun to experience.

Sci-fi and fantasy are full-blown, full emersion dives into the realms of imagination, exploration, and – well – fantasy.

We all need a break from reality every once in a while. So find a quiet place, curl up under that favorite old blanket, and dive in!

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