Sunday, 4 February 2007
Review: Light at the Edge of Darkness
“An Anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction” – a mouthful, yes, but it’s worth finding out what it means. How? By reading it, of course!
Biblical speculative fiction is the hobbyhorse of the Lost Genre Guild – bridging the gap between traditional secular fantasy and our Christian faith as a living, breathing reality. Many have said it couldn’t be done. This book is proof that it’s possible. All it needs is a little tolerance on both sides. Some Christians may need to adjust their ideas of what is acceptable, and mainstream fantasy fans may need to get used to a bit of spirituality. Let me tell you, it’s worth it. When I met this group of authors, I knew they were set to make history... and now they've done it.
The speculative tales in this volume cover a great many sub-genres, such as science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, time travel, cyberpunk, futurism and horror. Now you don’t need to have a soft spot for all of these genres to get a lot out of this book. Take me, for example – I can’t stand horror. Guess I’ve got a delicate constitution in that respect. Easily solved: skip the four stories labelled as horror – it's all defined in the contents list. By the way, you might want to make sure those are kept out of the reach of children, too. If you like a good scare, go for it! For me the enjoyment begins with the other twenty-three tales...
Here begins a journey through fantastic realms near and far, and the occasional true story. Spiritual planes interact with everyday life. Biblical prophecies are fulfilled in rather surprising ways. Futuristic scenarios challenge the faith of those living there, and perhaps your own, too. Don’t be shocked if the undead show up now and again, or if insects turn out to be spiritual, too. Oppressive governments can’t stifle the light within. Saving the children becomes a matter of life and death. And some farcical tales use fantasy elements to make fun of a great many things.
It’s so hard to pick out the best among so many magnificent tales, but I have to say my two favourite stories are “Allison” by Deborah Cullins-Smith, all about a little girl who lives in Heaven – it might just bring tears to your eyes – and “Your Average Ordinary Alien” by Adam Graham, where an abduction scenario isn’t quite like one sci-fi fan imagined it would be.
In short, this collection is a tour of many surprising aspects of the Lost Genre. I enjoyed having my horizons widened once more – laughter and tears and unexpected twists, beauty and hardship, farce and danger, evil and bravery, trials, faith, and the ultimate supremacy of God.
Want more information? Try CFRB and Karina for a great start!
You can place an advance order here.
And if you haven't visited the Lost Genre Guild, you really must...