As I've found authors I love and trust, times have changed. I attended my first Christian speculative fiction conference this July, and while I don't write speculative fiction, I enjoy reading several good authors from that field. The genre is full of creativity and imagination, and ultimately requires the same amount of discernment as any genre you pick up. I certainly respect those who still might wish to stay away from it. But today's post is about a couple of books that I think everyone would be comfortable with, if it's something you're considering.
Jules Verne wrote the 19th century equivalent of speculative fiction. While his books are so familiar to us as to almost feel like historical fiction now, they're still very much sci-fi. At the time, his inventions weren't invented yet. Man hadn't gone to the moon (From the Earth to the Moon.) Advanced weaponry wasn't a factor in their world (The Begum's Millions). Neither was advanced naval technology (Matthias Sandorf, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). His fiction, while not all of it proved true (there are no people in space) proved innovative and prophetic about the future. There can be a fruitful place for that in the world of innovative Christian writers today.
Today's stories I'm showcasing aren't sci-fi. But they are speculative, and whether you love that genre to pieces, or come at it with hesitations, I think both of these offerings provide quality storytelling and a comfortable introduction to the fantasy world.
Crowning HeavenEmily Hayse's Crowning Heaven is a portal fantasy, a book that takes the character from Earth to another world and a new set of adventures. Heaven Cassidy, the protagonist, finds she is the queen of two kingdoms...one of which wants to crown her, and one of which wants to kill her.
|photo via Goodreads|
The Electrical Menagerie
Mollie Reader's The Electrical Menagerie sold out at Realm Maker's. Arbrook Huxley and Sylvester
|photo via Goodreads|
If you liked The Greatest Showman's circus themes (or even if you didn't) you'll love this book with steampunk flavors. Because I'm not familiar with spec fic, I didn't have a lot of authors to compare it to, but the general flavor and robotic inventions felt like Jules Verne for the next generation (skipping all the slow geographical bits). In The Electrical Menagerie, the characters travel on cool sky trains, and Huxley and Carthage's relationship filled my ever-thirsty heart for good character friendships. As Sylvester tries to hide past weakness and prove himself, he's a loveable protagonist to travel with, providing a great weekend read or family read-aloud. It's even on sale for 99 cents right now!
If you're in the mood for an epic historical fantasy, or a really fun robotic circus competition, I think you'll love these 2018 releases. I can't wait to read more from both these ladies!