Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Speculating on Speculative Writing


By Dawn Ford
Steampunk Dawn Ford
What do dragons, time machines, and God have in common? You might be surprised to discover they fall in the category of Speculative Fiction. When people ask me what I write and I tell them Speculative Fiction, they scrunch their brows and say, “What?” So, I’m here to try and take the speculation out of Speculative Fiction.

What are we really talking about when someone says Speculative Fiction? Fantastical in nature, this term encompasses genres such as Fantasy, Horror, Spiritual Warfare, and Utopian/Dystopian fiction. Simplified, Spec Fic is a sibling to Sci-Fi wherein a story, whether modern day, furturistic or historical, gets thrown together with some elements of an alternative nature. This speculation of time/world/nature turns the ordinary into extraordinary and thus becomes Speculative Fiction.  

Because of this, a story that is Spec Fic needs certain elements to be placed under this large umbrella of vastly different genres. Magic, time travel, alternative realities, non-human species or entities, a non-earthly world, or elements bent and stretched beyond the norm can be used to set your story apart from a “regular” fiction or even Sci Fi work.

Spec Fic claims hybrid genres such as Steampunk. Steampunk is a genre taken from a historical period of time (mid-eighteenth century) to magnify a certain aspect of that time (the use of steam over industrial technology) and uses it to tell a story. Think the movie Sherlock Holmes which stars Robert Downey Jr., whose exceptional ability to think ahead in the action helps him fight brilliant and resourceful villains. This in itself is a bit of a stretch in human ability even for a genius such as Sherlock. Mix that together with the use of weaponry and/or inventions dripping with a 19th Century retro-futuristic flair. That’s Steampunk.

Utopian/Dystopian stories have been on an upswing in the past few years as well, especially in Young Adult novels. Utopian: a perfect society vs. Dystopian: a partially or completely devastated society. These societies would have their own share of pros and cons, allowing a creative landscape for an author to bring about a new society, brimming with problems that would naturally arise in such an extreme world. Think The Hunger Games for dystopian and Divergent for Utopian.

Thanks to publishers such as Marcher Lord Press, Oak Tara, Port Yonder Press, and Splashdown Books, and the rise of Splickety and Havok magazines, the Speculative genre has gone from speculation to reality. At least a fictional kind of reality.

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance with the support of SpeculativeFaith.com have even spurred their own conference, aptly named Realm Makers. The 2013 conference had an overwhelming response, even though it was their first year. The 2014 conference, RM’s second, promises to be bigger and better with Tosca Lee as the keynote speaker. It also features the Clive Staples Award, given to the best published Speculative novel of the year. All of this shows how Speculative Fiction is becoming recognized by the publishing industry and seeing a growth in popularity.

Because of the diversity in genres, I could go on for days about the nuances that frame Spec Fic, but I’m sure you’ll be glad to know I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to strap on my goggles and go
tune up my time machine while you decide if I’ve taken some of the speculation out of Speculative Fiction for you.

For more information on Faith and Fantasy Alliance go here
or Realm Maker’s 2014 Conference, go here.  


~~~~~
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a $25 Amazon eGift Card
~~~~~
Dawn Ford lives nestled among the Loess Hills in Western Iowa. Her passion is in fantasy but she also loves small town drama. Dawn is a member of ACFW, SCWBI, and blogs with nine other Christian women on www.inkspirationalmessages.com.
Follow her on Pinterest : http://www.pinterest.com/sweatheart68/

95 comments:

Courtney Phillips said...

I've heard of speculative fiction, but didn't understand it until now.
Thanks for sharing the knowledge :)
Count me in the drawing!

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks for explaining speculative fiction. I have read a few books in this genre and they were very good.

Please include me in the drawing.

Marianne Barkman said...

Thanks for the explanation. I still have my personal dislikes for these genres, which is rather weird, because I time travel every time I read a historical novel, and I believe in angels (supernatural) and know there is spiritual warfare. I even like it when I am caught in it unawares. So welcome, Dawn.

Melissa Jagears said...

My crit partner Glenn has a short story in the last Havok, so I got to crit some speculative! I love the idea of writing steampunk, but I doubt I'll ever do it....gothic romance is probably the closest I'd get, got a few ideas for that, but I don't think they're considered speculative, are they?

Kav said...

Hey Dawn!!!! How cool that Speculative fiction is getting a toe-hold in the Christian market. Love the sound of that conference! And it's such a significant genre for YAs nowadays. What a wonderful way to reach Christian teens. Which brings me to a question:

I've noticed that a lot of the mainstream speculative YA books have some gritty content -- from violence to sex to language. Just wondering about how Christian speculative fiction handles that aspect of the genre? How 'edgy' to they get?

Jackie said...

Great explanation. I don't read spec fiction, but both of my sons do.

Thanks for sharing!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Dawn! Thanks for taking the mystery out of speculative fiction.

I've brought an egg bake, coffeecake and the coffee is hot.

Janet

Rose said...

Hi Dawn!

So good to see you here and 'speculative" explained to us.

You know I wish you the best with your writing!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Dawn and welcome to Seekerville. I have a friend who writes speculative fiction and now we are so glad to have a name to call the genre. smile His is spiritual warfare.

I read one time that when it gets ugly in real life, fantasy fiction becomes more popular. People want to escape and they want to see good conquer evil. And it is delightful to see the Christian market embracing it.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day here.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, DAWN ... this is by FAR, the best blog I've ever seen explaining the mysteries of speculative fiction -- THANK YOU!!

Like Courtney, I've heard of speculative fiction (who hasn't with Twilight, Hunger Games, and Divergent???), but I had NO CLUE what it was, other than my knowledge of Steam Punk from the Sherlock Holmes movies. Gosh, it's SO nice to be informed on what is truly a trendsetting genre!!

Have you ever read Diana Gabaldon's time travel series, Outlander? I am assuming this falls into the SF realm, and I have to say it's a very powerful series that ranks up there with Gone With the Wind for me. I just found out the mini-series will be airing this summer on Starz, and I simply CANNOT WAIT!!!

Hugs,
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh yes, I brought a steaming pot of chocolate velvet coffee and some hot cross buns. We always had those on Easter morning as a child, so I've been baking some up to be sure I have the recipe correct. Help yourselves.

And there is a platter of fresh fruits all cut up and peeled and ready to enjoy. Fresh pineapple, apple slices, grapes, mangoe slices, strawberries and cuties (they are easy to peel)

DebH said...

hi Dawn
thanks for the run-down on Speculative Fiction. I love Steampunk. I didn't realize that the Christian market was accepting it so that's cool for me to know.
Some commentors have already asked a couple of questions I had, so I'll just check back to see your answers.

I wish I had the courage create a Steampunk costume. I love the aviator caps and goggles - just not sure where I could wear them without people thinking I'm a goober.

Connie Queen said...

Good morning Dawn.

I've never read speculative fiction but I can see where it should be a sought-after genre. I know a lot of readers who LOVE it. I'm glad to see they can read it in the Christian market now.

Dawn Ford said...

Courtney,
Good morning! Speculative Fiction wears a lot of hats! Glad I cleared it up for you!

Dawn Ford said...

Wilani,
Keep reading those speculative books!

Dawn Ford said...

Hi Marianne! The greatest thing I like about Speculative is that it covers so many different things. If you don't like werewolves or vampires try some magical reality where it's much more subtle. Or try the actual time travel that goes back in history. I love historical romances, and I've read many good ones that started in the future and traveled back through time.

Cara Lynn James said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Dawn! I never understood what speculative fiction was, so thanks for the information. I'll have to try it!

Lorna said...

Good morning, Bestie! I'm considering all those times you had to explain this to me and all our other writer friends in the area as training for writing this blog post. I love a good spec fic, but obviously my mind time travels every day. And before you tell me to get back to 1913 and start writing, I wanted to say great job!

Dawn Ford said...

Hey Kav!
Mainstream Speculative can be a bit edgy. Action can be the same way with all the violence. I appreciate the authors who will put disclaimers on their books such as 'for ages 14 and older' so you know there's content you may want to be wary of for your teen reader. I do have some gritty subjects, but try to handle them respectively.

Dawn Ford said...

Jackie,
It's great your boys read. I have three boys-one reads epic fantasies, one reads anything he can get his hands on, and the third is picky a non-fiction reader. It's harder to find non-fiction that interests him.

Dawn Ford said...

Janet,
Thanks for the coffee! I'm not a morning person. Hope you enjoyed the explanation!

Dawn Ford said...

Hi Rose!
You're one of my biggest supporters and encouragers! Thanks for coming over today!!

Dawn Ford said...

Sandra,
I agree. I think when there's unrest in our own government Dystopian adventures go on the rise. It's a reflection of the modern day temperature, for sure. I, however, have always been a head in the clouds type of person so fantasy has always fit me well.

Dawn Ford said...

Julie,
I'm glad I was able to help you understand the awesomeness that is Speculative Fiction. I'm only slightly enthusiastic about it, as you can see.
I love to find new books I haven't read, especially if they will be put on screen. I don't know why I love to compare the books to the movies (books always win) but I just can't seem to help myself. I'm going to go look it up! Thanks!!

Crystal Ridgway said...

I've never read speculative in the Christian genre, but waaaaaaay back a long time ago, I read the Harry Potter series, which I assume, from your excellent description, is speculative. Am I right?

Please toss my name in the hat for the giveaway.

Sherri Shackelford said...

Dawn is in the house! Great blog and what a wonderful explanation. It's great to see the genre gaining some 'steam' ;)

Dawn Ford said...

DebH,
I wore my steampunk outfit (the one you see me in the picture above) last year at the Realm Maker's conference. I got so excited my husband (who is not any kind of fantasy buff) joined in! I took a hat I bought at a museum for an Abraham Lincoln display and tricked it out with a sparkly scarf, added some bling, and a mad hatter tag.

Then I found a used leather jacket at a Good will and added a big netted flower which I glued gears on.

I had a dress that I liked the skirt, so I had a sewing friend of mine take the top off, fix the bottom so it could be worn alone, and added a blouse I found at a costume store. Add some lace up boots and viola!

I'm sure there are steampunk events around you--there usually are in larger cities. Or a Renaissance Fair. They're the best for dressing up and having some fun in costume.

Sally said...

Dawn, I didn't know you wrote steampunk! Is there much of a market for that in Christian fiction? (If not, there's always self-pubbing, right?)

I have yet to read steampunk, but it's tempting. The book covers are always so unique!

Dawn Ford said...

Connie,
I've been waiting for a few years for Speculative to catch fire on the Christian market. We've had some great authors plow the way and with efforts such as Realm Makers, we are joining forces and getting stronger every day!

Dawn Ford said...

Cara Lynn,
I love your books!! Historical Fiction is a second love of mine. Most of my friends who are authors write it as well. Do try it!!

Dawn Ford said...

Lorna,
Hey!!!! Just the person who got me bitten by the writing bug!! Lorna and I went on a trip, mainly for Lorna to meet up with other writers. I went along because, hey, who says no to a free trip with their best friend? Since then I've been smitten. So, it's all Lorna's fault. And, yes, get back to 1913 and get spunky!

Dawn Ford said...

Crystal,
Yes, Harry Potter would definitely be under our Speculative umbrella. And I did read, and love, Harry Potter! My middle son read them faithfully. When the movies would come out, we would all go out on the opening weekend to go see them. It's really neat to have that to share as a family.

Dawn Ford said...

Hey, Sherri,
Can I get a whoop-whoop? I(I've promised Mary I'll do my best to behave)

We are building steam, almost as much as you romance writer's. Pretty soon it'll all be steamy in here. ;)

Dawn Ford said...

Hi Sally!
I haven't gotten anything steampunk written yet, however I have one plotted out along with all kinds of devices I'm going to use. It's almost too much fun to plan, I may never get it written! Ha.

The Christian market is growing for steampunk, but one must note that the Christian markets are usually a good two years behind the regular market on trends. What's hot in ABA soon becomes popular CBA. It's only a matter of time before the cyborgs take over!

Jackie Smith said...

Hi Dawn!
Thanks for the post.......I never knew...good info! I do read ...lots...but will have to try this type!
Please count me in for the GC!!
Thanks!

Dawn Ford said...

Hi, Jackie! I"m sure you'll find something to your liking. Goodreads is a great place to start.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Interesting, Dawn. Thanks for the great explaination. I was just chatting with some friends from church over dinner on all the genres in Christian fiction. The discussion veered to Christian horror. hahaha.

It seems speculative fiction is one of the easiest genres in the CBA to crossover into the hands of ABA readers. Or at least, I heard that at one time.

What motivated you to embrace this genre? Or perhaps I should say, what do you most enjoy about writing spec. fiction?

Mary Connealy said...

With the huge popularity of Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent and of course the hallmark...HARRY POTTER it's the perfect time to get into these genre with a faith message. Harry Potter, at it's root is the battle of good against evil. And what more perfect message for a Christian take on this.
And if The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe works for Christian fiction, the we know it can be great.

Myra Johnson said...

Dawn, it's a pleasure to have you as our guest today, and thanks for this informative post on speculative fiction!

Usually my pleasure reading leans toward real-life stories, either contemporary or historical, but I've always enjoyed SF-type movies and TV shows. A fave that I hated to see cancelled was Sanctuary.

Cheryl St.John said...

What a great blog, Dawn! Love your steampunk costume.

I read an editor blog on what she was looking for, and she said dystopian has been overdone and has seen its day. Is that true from your point of view?

Thanks for the links to learn more.

Shari Barr said...

Thanks for the explanation, Dawn. I've always wondered just what Steampunk was. Now I know.

Dawn Ford said...

Jennifer,
I was always a daydreamer. My Mother knew this about me and never faulted me for it. She was so patient with me. So that encouraged my imagination from an early age. Magic has always entranced me, so much so that I tried writing a few "regular" manuscripts, but they never kept my own interest for long. The first speculative manuscript I wrote was a spiritual warfare one. My angels and demons were so much fun to write and I would get so excited in the middle of the battle scenes. It was the first book I ever really pitched and got some interest, but I've learned so much since then.

Now I have a finished fantasy time travel book I'm sending out. It came to me one morning and I had the first three chapters written before I even realized it. My newest one has more magical realism theme than real fantasy, but I just can't get too far away from the speculative that seems to run in my blood.

Dawn Ford said...

Mary,
Thank you for inviting me here today!!!

The reason I first wrote my spiritual warfare novel was because I was seeing all these books written where the angels fell in love with the protagonist, or the human was reincarnated over and over until they were finally united and the angel would risk anything--even leaving heaven--to love this human girl. God is the bad guy in lots of these, and in some even the angels or hybrids (nephilium) don't know if they believe in the one true God.

BLECH!

I wanted angels to be angels and demons to be demons, and God to be shown as the one true God He is. There are readers to be had if we can just get the stories out there. (I say as I dust off my soap box.)

Dawn Ford said...

Thanks, Myra!I have not seen Sanctuary! I wonder if it's on Netflix?

There are more and more books coming out that have what's called Magical Realism in them, like I mentioned above, that might suit you better. My critique partner writes in this genre and is finding a great audience with middle graders, but the thing is that I love her books also! There's just so much that can be done with the Speculative genres.

jdsqrd said...

Thanks, Dawn. Good explanation. Hook and Patch appreciate it.

Dawn Ford said...

Thanks, Cher!!
I believe Dystopian has had a good run. I've seen more Alien stories lately, and believe it or not Alice in Wonderland has several retells out or coming out that are hotter than pancakes. So fairy tales are still trending if there's a fresh take on them.

Dawn Ford said...

Shari,
I should wear my costume to our next meeting so you can see it in person! Ha.

Dawn Ford said...

jdsqrd,
Hey old friend!! Thanks for coming over to visit me. You've helped edit the only book I've finished that has NO magic in it whatsoever. LOL! And I must admit, in your manuscript the haunted house scene was pretty awesome! I hope we can both celebrate soon these manuscripts coming into print!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Dawn!

I like reading some of the varieties of Spec Fic - not dystopian, or horror, but most of the others. Fantasy was one of my first loves (after historical), and Tolkein continues to be my favorite author.

One cool thing about Spec Fic is that it only takes one element - a non-human character, for instance - to swing it out of one of the other genres into Spec Fic. So you can have a very realistic modern romance or historical adventure...and then throw in a supernatural character, and the story takes off. :)

I don't see myself writing in this genre, though. I don't think I could live in that kind of world long enough.

And you live in the Loess Hills? We travel back and forth from western South Dakota to visit family in Indiana and Michigan. As we go down I-29, I always look at those hills in the distance. Now I'll wave as I go by!

Dawn Ford said...

Jan, waving at you right now! The Loess Hills are beautiful.

I agree, it only takes a small element to bring a story out of the "norm" and into one of these genres. Let's use Sandra Bullock movies for examples, since they are fairly well known. The Lake House is fairly contemporary, although it goes back and forth through time. The element there is the mailbox and the letters that reach the characters either in the past or the future. It's a simple thing made supernatural. How fun! Then in Premonition she relives the day her husband dies and the events that follow it. It's classified as horror, but has supernatural elements in it that make it Speculative. However, the contemporary feel of the story remains.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Dawn!

You know I've always wanted to write a book like the TV series, The Wild, Wild West. The original.

Perfect example of Spec. Fiction.

Totally sounds like fun!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, I will say I am not a fan of Dystopian.

I can't suspend my reality that long.


But you have now got me thinking about Jules Verne.

Dawn Ford said...

Tina, I loved Wild, Wild West and I'm a sucker for anything Jules Verne.

I don't know why I love Dystopian/Utopian like I do. Although many people didn't like the violence in The Hunger Games, it became my new favorite series. Maybe it's my penchant for rooting on the underdogs and weakness for love triangles that sucked me in and kept me going.

However, I've found several series since then that I love, love, love. I did like Divergent, but it wasn't my favorite. I liked the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, although the religion in the story is a fanatical controlling kind. I think that speaks more of human nature than of religion, but it could be viewed by others differently.

Mary Connealy said...

Dawn I know just what you mean about the angels giving up heaven for love.
And in the movies that's always seen as all right, even beautiful.

Wasn't some Nicholas Cage movie...he (or was the woman the angel?) gave up heaven and then the woman died and it was all right because 'one day of true love was worth it.'
I just thought it was written by someone with no notion of what heaven was. Which is probably an exact description of whoever wrote that.

Good grief.

Dawn Ford said...

Another dystopian series I liked was the Matched series by Ally Condie and the Enclave by Ann Aguirre. Of course Jill Willaimson's Captives is always a good read.

Debby Giusti said...

Dawn, thanks for an informative blog. I had never heard of spec fiction until I attended my first ACFW conference. In fact, I had to ask what it was. :)

I do like a little paranormal--not vampires, mind you, but spirits.

Anyone remember the old HQ line that was a little out there? Was it Nocturne? Hmmmm? That doesn't seem right. Anyway, I loved the line, which was cut...probably when more hard-hitting paranormals stole the limelight.

Mary Connealy said...

Forest of Hands and Teeth ????
Well, that is an amazingly disturbing title!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawn Ford said...

Mary, I think that was City of Angels with Meg Ryan. I could go on for days about the whole angels who turn into human or have romances with humans thing. It was funny that when I put my spiritual warfare in for a contest (not ACFW) that the judge commented that she wished my angel was romantically involved with my main character, instead of being seduced by a human possessed by a demon. (which sounds really out there, but i promise you it really wasn't all that weird)

Dawn Ford said...

Debby,
They have a Nocturne line now. I know they had another one because I read some years ago, but I can't remember the name of the line either. So, you like ghost stories? I love a good ghost story.

Dawn Ford said...

It is disturbing, isn't it, Mary? It's about a zombie apocalypse where the zombies roam the forests and the safe places have huge fences around them, hence the fear of hands and teeth which get through the fences and infect the others. The Enclave is also a good read for zombie/dystopian lovers. However, I would keep that one above the age of 14 for sure. Just my own rating there.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

I have some speculative fiction on my bookshelves, looks like I'll need to dig them up and give them a try. :)

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you for your clear explanations, Dawn. It is funny how close the lines are between Historical and certain aspects of Speculative Fiction. Maybe it has to do with Worldbuilding? The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I've always been tempted to try something. Maybe someday. Thanks for visiting Seekerville Dawn!

Dawn Ford said...

Hi Anna!! Do dig them out and give them another look. There's nothing quite like taking a vacation of the mind.

Dawn Ford said...

Hey, Piper! Thanks! And I loved watching the Twilight Zone growing up. Really bends the mind, doesn't it? I also loved Creature Feature, which I'm not sure where it all reached back in the 70's or 80's. They were mostly horror movies, but I loved watching them with my Dad. It's probably what twisted my mind from a very young age, lol.

DebH said...

Love reading the comments here. I think I wrote some little stories when I was a kid that would be classed as Speculative now days. It's definitely a different world (no pun intended). I appreciate your soap box on the angels and demons writings, Dawn. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. Off I go to look at more comments. Learning a lot...

forgot to mention to put my name in the draw.

Dawn Ford said...

DebH, Don't pass over your old stuff, if you have short stories that are good you can send them in to magazines.

I'm honored you've learned something new about Speculative Fiction. I love that meme that shows Darth Vader and says something like, 'Come to the dark side, we have chocolate.' Ha!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Dawn! Thank you so much for your more detailed explanation of speculative fiction. You were the first person to introduce me to it a few years ago! I've read a few since then, and all I can say is, good luck! The imagination that genre requires is beyond me, but I know you do a terrific job of it. Can't wait to read one of yours in print soon!

BTW, I just finished the third "Parasol Protectorate" novel last week (for those who don't know, it's a speculative fiction series by Gail Carriger about a woman who has no soul that can neutralize supernatural beings, taking place in Victorian steampunk London with a Jane Austen sensibility. Fun stuff!). You're going to love the next few books!

Have a splendid day!

Dawn Ford said...

Thanks, Stephanie! I always hoped I wasn't a bad influence on you, lol! I have the second book in the Parasol Protectorate in line to be read. Now I'm really anxious to get to them!! Ahhh.

Amy C said...

What a fab post Dawn!
Thank you!

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome Dawn! Thanks for sharing info! I didn't really know much about speculative fiction. Although, I saw titles of books that I've loved. Now I know better where to place these books in my description. :)

Missy Tippens said...

BTW, I'm dying to see the Divergent movie! I loved those books when my book club read them a year or two ago.

Dawn Ford said...

Thank you, Amy C.!

Thanks, Missy! I really liked Divergent. You read it in a book club? What a cool book club! If we lived closer we could go to the movie together, form a group, since my hubby and youngest son don't want to go with me. My middle son who would go with is busy ending his last year at college and getting ready to get married!! So, I guess I'll let him off the hook this one time.

Dawn Ford said...

Missy, I forgot to ask, what did you think of the ending of the Divergent series?

Mary Connealy said...

Parasol Protectorate? Okay well, I'm probably not going to get the Forest of Hands and Teeth (eek!) but the Parasol Protectorate ... maybe.

Kimberli Renee Campbell said...

Great post. Thanks!

Dawn Ford said...

Mary, you should stretch your wings with Parasol Protectorate. It has werewolves and all kinds of fun things in it. I love the main character's weapon of choice--a bladed parasol.

Hey, Kimberli!! Thanks for coming over today.

S. Trietsch said...

Please include me in your generous drawing!!

I had always put the separate books into the sci-fi genre. Thanks for the enlightening information!

Dawn Ford said...

S. Trietsch, Spec Fic is very similar to Sci Fi, and many times the genres trade traits. However, after having attended many conferences and talked with many Sci Fi writers, there's a definite difference in the genres. They're like different shades of gray, so we can blend, but on the spectrum you see the differences.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Dawn, she gets a new parasol in Book 2--with more weapons!

Mary, they're a lot of fun and very humorous. A nice way to ease into speculative fiction if you're unfamiliar with it, like I was.

Dawn Ford said...

A new and improved Parasol, huh? Awesome!

Dawn Ford said...

Thank you Seekerville for allowing me to come today and talk about something that is such a passion for me. Thanks to everyone also for your kind remarks. I hope this brings you all closer to reading a different genre if you weren't before, or enforced the love you have for the Speculative Fiction!

Sherida Stewart said...

Thank you, Dawn, this post is fascinating!

I didn't have a term for it, but my DIL writes Spec Fic, with Steampunk elements, which I love. (I could easily be a brown coat! Go Firefly!)

It's intriguing to consider a Christian Fantasy, especially after last night's blood moon eclipse, as designed by God.

You've opened a whole new world for me. I'll check out the Speculative Faith website. Do you have a suggestion for a good Christian Spiritual Warfare novel to read as a beginning reader in this sub-genre?

Thanks for your post! Very interesting!

Dawn Ford said...

Sherida,
The first novel I read that was spiritual warfare was This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti. He also wrote Piercing The Darknesss. However, be prepared to look at shadows differently after you read it. Honestly, the book scared my socks off, but I loved it.

Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee also have great spiritual warfare books. You can find them both on Amazon, B&N, and on Christianbook.com.

These are the best examples I can think of to get your feet wet.

Dawn Ford said...

And best of luck to you and your DIL. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

Dianna Shuford said...

Dawn, thanks for the fabulous explanations. I love science fiction and speculative fiction. I've tried my hand at writing it, but I haven't finished the story to know if it's any good or not. Of course, I like to think it is!

Speculative really opens the door on creativity where you can create different worlds, rules, beings. I've always been drawn to it as a reader.

Jana Vanderslice said...

"Fantastical"...my new favorite word!!

Thank you so much for the info! I work with teenagers, and this stuff is Huge right now. I'm glad to be able to stay on top of it.
And Congrats to you Dawn! This will only get bigger in the next few years, and YOU are riding on the tip of the wave!

*please put me in the drawing! And thank you for spending your day with us!

Debby Giusti said...

HQ Shadows! I finally remembered the line. A bit late, right?

Yes, I love ghost stories!!!

Dawn Ford said...

Dianna, Thanks! Building the world I'm writing in has always interested me. As for writing, I like to think if I go back and reread what I've done and I still like it, I must be doing something right.

Jana,I agree! I've always believed I was in on the wave.

Debbi,
That's it!! I loved it when I could get my hands on them. Of course, that was before I began using the internet for ordering books, so it was a real treat to find one! AND you're a kindred spirit. I love ghost stories, too!

Heidi Robbins said...

Great post! I've enjoyed reading speculative fiction in the past, but am in a historical and contemporary romance phase for now. It's great that there are Christian themes in the genre now. Please put me in the hat for your giveaway and thanks!

Janet Kerr said...

Thank you for the definition, Dawn.

Jan

Mary Preston said...

Thank you for explaining. I enjoyed this thank you.

Jennifer Smith said...

Thanks for sharing! I honestly wasn't sure what speculative fiction was myself. :)

LeAnne Bristow said...

As a teacher, I'm often disturbed by the types of books they advocate for kids, especially middle school age kids. At our last book fair, 90% of them were dark...filled with all kinds of paranormal things. I'm glad to see that speculative fiction can offer kids a way to tap into their desire to read about fantasy while avoiding the unhealthy aspects of it. Thanks for the post and please count me in the drawing!

Sara Ella said...

Hi Dawn! I love to read and write Spec Fiction. It is a very broad term. I get a lot of scrunched-eyebrow looks when people ask me what genre I write in and I respond with "speculative fiction". Now I try to be more specific and say "young adult romantic urban fantasy" (which is a total mouthful). I really enjoyed your post and would love to be entered in the drawing for the gift card:)

Janet Walden-West said...

I have to admit, Speculative has become one of my favorite genres.