Where SpecFic fans congregate

You know, I’d love to write something deeply profound about the fact that our genre seems near the point of breaking through to larger numbers of readers, but Kat already did that. Or I could talk about the importance of the Realm Makers conference to our intellectual rigor, but E. Stephen Burnett is on top of that subject.

Christian Fantasy Science Fiction Writers Conference

At Realm Makers: At the back table, Travis Perry, Dawn Hember Ford, Rebecca Bergren, and a couple of people I don’t know. At the front table, Robynn Tolbert and Kat Heckenback, with Randy Streu. Photo by Kristen Stieffel.

So, being short on time and originality, I’m going to direct you to a couple of our old posts:

Earlier this year, as we were preparing for Realm Makers, I wrote about how fractured the community seems, and gave a list of the various places we all hang out. More recently, some of us were chatting on Facebook about the need to centralize Christian SpecFic fandom. Because of its extensive library, Speculative Faith is a great site for people who are interested in learning more about the genre as readers. And it’s my hope that New Authors Fellowship will be the go-to site for Christian SpecFic writers.

In April, I compiled a list of publishers who handle Christian SpecFic. If you haven’t looked at that post in a while, note that in the comments I’ve added a few more publishers I’ve since discovered.

What do you see as the best place for readers of our genre to gather? Is it a blog, a forum, a Facebook page? Or is it something that hasn’t been created yet?

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

4 comments on “Where SpecFic fans congregate

  1. Hi Kristen. Great blog, especially for new authors. I’m glad to see HopeSprings Books was added to the list of publishers via the comments section. As a recently contracted author of the small press, I can testify to the phenomenal quality of Lynellen Perry’s approach with new authors.

  2. This is great, Kristen. It’s actually really helpful to have all these links gathered into one place.

    The best place for readers of spec fic to gather? I think options are critical.

    Not everybody is on Facebook. Not everybody will subscribe to a blog or participate in a forum. Some folks like long-winded faith-based discussions on spec fic and others just want to know what book to try next. Some are interested exclusively in science fiction, others in YA, and others in horror.

    I think everyone who is already promoting this genre (by writing it or by writing about it online) should continue to do so.

    And anyone who hasn’t begun should start.

    Folks who already have a lot of influence (readers, listeners, etc) should examine what they are doing and see if there’s anything they can do to encourage further reader awareness of Christian spec fic options.

    And somewhere behind the scenes, I think it would be great if there’s a site or a forum where anyone who wants to help can come and get the resources they need to help promote the genre to the readers.

    Resources like…
    – The top 10 or 20 websites for the genre at large (reader-centric)
    – The top 10 sites on writing Christian spec fic (author-centric)
    – The top 10 or 20 authors in each subgenre (YA, sci fi, fantasy, etc)
    – Comprehensive list of small press / publishers and what kind of books they put out
    – Link graphics and logos for the items above

    Armed with this sort of info, I could, for instance, link from my personal blog to all the sites I personally love as a Christian who reads spec fic. My favorite small press(es). My favorite author. The site I go to most often for genre news (some folks may like SpecFaith, but others might prefer a different flavor).

    If I were a small press owner, I might link to genre-promoting sites and even to other small presses.

    The point with this would be to encourage a “networked sites” approach where someone who comes to one site has the opportunity to discover others sites in the genre. Because Christian spec fic covers such a wide spectrum of subgenres and personal preferences, this allows like-minded folks to find each other and help like-minded readers to find more of what they’re looking for.

    There’s a few ideas!

    • Yes, Teddi! Those are the kind of ideas we need. I like the idea of a web of interconnected sites, because of course if we’re all interlinked, then that improves search ranking, right? It all changes so fast…maybe I’m remembering the search ranking criteria from three months ago or something…but anyway, it’s a great idea!

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