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Reply To: Why is Christian Sci-Fi Scarcer than Fantasy?

Forums Group Forums Sci-fi Writers Why is Christian Sci-Fi Scarcer than Fantasy? Reply To: Why is Christian Sci-Fi Scarcer than Fantasy?

#145474
Taylor Clogston
@taylorclogston

@allertingthbs A very good question, mine brother.

I think there are a couple reasons.

Fantasy (at least in constructed world) allows you to go crazy in your worldbuilding. You don’t even need to assume physics work the same way as in our world, if you don’t want to! You can create magic systems and fantastical races without worrying about the cosmological implications of adding to the Bible’s description of reality.

Also, Tolkien and Lewis primarily wrote fantasy in their spec fic. The most foundational work of modern fantasy was written by the most famous Christian writer of all time.

But scifi also asks questions that are either boring or uncomfortable for Christian authors. Scifi asks “What if?” questions about our world, usually. Even Star Wars’ A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… assumes our reality as a frame of reference. A scifi writer not only has to ensure they’re accurate to some understanding of real world logistics but also needs to consider the implications of whatever speculative elements they introduce.

A Christian who believes aliens are actually just demons trying to make us think aliens exist have only a small handful of options for interstellar scifi.

  1. Humans find no extraterrestrial life.
  2. Humans engage with demons pretending to be aliens.
  3. Create a universe “like our own” but with aliens in it.
  4. Ignore their beliefs about real-world cosmology so they can write about aliens.

Most of these are extremely limited options within the scifi genre space. Hopefully I didn’t strawman too hard.

Another common, difficult question: Could robots, AI, or clones of humans ever deserve human rights? How about sapient animals? Many Christians would say the easy answer is “Of course not.” Considering these are some of the most evergreen questions of scifi, Christians have little way of meaningfully engaging with these ideas unless they’re writing explicitly for a Christian audience who agree with their presuppositions.

I know people for whom this extends to stories which take place hundreds or thousands of years from now, or which involve climate change or evolution in their worldbuilding. If a Christian believes we’re living less than a century from the end times (and I don’t think I know more than one or two Christians who would disagree with that), they may take theological issue with the concept that human existence could extend far beyond that period of time.

For some people, this is akin to the arrogance of Babel. For some people, this is literally the arrogance of Babel, because they believe the tower was actually a space ship and God really, really doesn’t want us leaving Earth.

Scifi asks explicit questions about the nature of existence and humanity. Christians tend to believe we have easy answers to all those questions in the Bible, so why bother writing scifi stories to ask those questions?

"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

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