Over the years, I’ve encountered a variety of scattered bands of SpecFic writers in the Christian community, in addition to New Authors Fellowship:
- The Anomaly
- Lost Genre Guild on Facebook
- Lost Genre Guild Google Group
- Speculative Faith
- ACFW Spec Fic
- Spec Fic Rocks
- Faith and Fantasy Alliance (producer of the Realm Makers conference)
More recently I’ve started to see some overlap. We’re starting to connect with one another. We haven’t been united before, because we didn’t know there were others like us.
When I met Marcia Ford at a writer’s conference in 2006, I didn’t know “Christian speculative fiction” was a genre. I just knew I had written a fantasy novel with such a strong Christian worldview it was likely to be shunned by the mainstream market. She was giving a workshop on writing for the inspirational market. I hadn’t even considered that there was an inspirational market. The only CBA I knew of was the Commercial Brokers Association.
I told her I had written an inspirational fantasy novel. Her face went blank, and she said, “Oh. That’s a challenge.” Then her countenance lightened, and she said, “You need to talk to Jeff Gerke.” This was back in the day, kids. Marcher Lord Press was still a schematic in Jeff’s hidden laboratory.
But now I knew there was a Christian market, and I discovered it even included some fantasy. Completely by Providence, I found Karen Hancock’s Light of Eidon—several years after it was first published—hidden in the Religion section in the back of Borders (RIP) between the Amish and historical novels.
Through MLP and ACFW and here on NAF, and in lots of other places with initialisms, I’ve discovered this whole new family. Yet still, at almost every writer’s conference I attend, I find someone like I was those years ago, someone writing science fiction or fantasy from a Christian worldview, not knowing that “Christian Speculative Fiction” is even a genre.
But we are making progress. We are finding one another and pulling together. It’s a delight to see. I’m especially looking forward to seeing who turns out for the Realm Makers: 2013 conference being put together by our own Becky Minor: see the Faith and Fantasy Alliance page for more about that awesome event.
It seems there’s still a lot of work to do, though. There must still be many of our kindred who don’t know we exist. How do we find them? How do we help them find us?
And I’m sure I left some Christian Spec Fic groups off my list. Please let me know who they are.