Thursday, February 22, 2007

When Will They Ever Learn

Christian spec-fic is in a limbo of sorts: people seek and search for good spec-fic written from a Christian worldview, but it is hard to find, even in Christian bookstores. Talented authors of Christian spec-fic stockpile entertaining manuscripts because the traditional houses (in accordance with the CBA) are reluctant to publish them. Hit counters on Christian SF sites all over the web indicate that there is a huge untapped market out there, just waiting to be connected. Many of these readers have been forced to secular bookshelves.

There were another group of genre fans who didn't wait patiently . . . who gave up altogether on finding spec-fic in Christian bookstores. After reading Lewis' chronicles, whenever Mom took my sister and I into our local Christian bookstore, I headed for the fiction shelves. Nothing.

Mom liked that we were interested in reading, and in secular stores we found plenty of sci-fi and fantasy. By the time I was a teen (early eighties), I gave up looking. Last year I discovered that I gave up one year before Lawhead hit the shelves.

Then I learned of Peretti. Frank's Darkness novels raised my hopes again but two more years of drought taught me to stop wasting my time. I believe there to be a large demographic of Christian genre fans who've never heard of Bryan Davis, Karen Hancock, Donita Paul, or Jefferson Scott.

Yes, we have to spread the spec-fic word. CBA publishers hit empty when they advertise because genre fans aren't there. We have to use new mediums like the Web to breed new strains of viral-marketing. It will take years, but by networking on the Web with blog tours, newsletters, PDF catalogs, and live events, we can do this.

I have to wonder if this isn't His will. In an age when the protestant denominations are in decline, sci-fi and fantasy worldview fiction could spark a rebirth.

"So just sit back and relax and let me have your head for a minute--I can show you somethin' in it That has yet to be presented."--Josey Scott.

To God be the glory,
Frank Creed

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