Science fiction is a literary genre based upon imagined scientific discoveries, technological innovations, or encounters with alien life. Stories can be set in the future, in the present with actively unfolding discoveries, or even in the past, by inserting anachronistic technology into a historical setting, by placing events on a different planet in the past, or by allowing characters to travel backward in time. Key to the genre—problems and accompanying solutions are supposed to be within the realm of actual possibility, with modest exceptions. Impossible phenomena like travel faster than light or backward in time may be permitted with the assumption of eventual paradigm-shifting scientific discoveries.[Read more…] about Christians and Science Fiction
On the Art of Writing
It is a curious thing that faith-friendly fiction, particularly of the Christian variety, requires a de facto warning label. You won’t find it on a sticker on the book jacket. Rather, it comes in the form of a marketing tag. Stories that positively portray the religious convictions of a main character, or that carry an underlying Christian theme, are required by the publishing industry to self-identify as a “Christian” sub-genre.[Read more…] about Labeling and the “Christian Fiction” Sub-Genre
The vast majority of English speakers overlook difference in how dashes are used, thinking all dashes are equal. They are not. There are actually three types of dashes commonly used in literature, each with their own name and “approved” usage. The standard dash, the one on your keyboard, is actually a hyphen. It is the most commonly used, typically to connect compound words like merry-go-round, or to make sure that multiple-word descriptors are understood correctly. (Did you catch the use of that hyphen?)[Read more…] about Dashes: Up with En, Down with the Em!
There are many ways of writing bad fiction, or at least of including elements of bad fiction within otherwise good stories. This essay is a short walk through my encounters with some books and film.[Read more…] about How to Write Bad Fiction