Author Commentary

Between the Lines: Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova

There’s a reason Ben Bova has won six Hugo Awards. The man is a phenomenal writer of science-fiction. Not only does he take hard sci-fi concepts and make them accessible, but he populates his stories with memorable characters. Admittedly, I’m late to the party when it comes to appreciating his work. I’ve only read a handful of his books, and …

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Science Fiction: Hard Versus Soft

By Joshua A. Johnston Anyone who has studied “speculative fiction” – that stuff that goes beyond the normal world we live in – knows that it has categories galore. Fantasy. Science fiction. Steampunk. Horror. Time-travel romance. Science fantasy. Within genres, of course, are subgenres. Here I want to look at two broad categories of subgenre that exist within the genre …

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I Choose to Write Dangerously

A couple weeks ago I received a review that made me scratch my head and ask if this person had really read the same book I wrote? The review seemed far out there. But as I had time to process what this person said, along with what other people had to say, it made me realize something: I choose to write dangerously. I …

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Great Christian Fantasy Writers: C.S. Lewis and Beyond

By Joan Campbell On our final quest to discover the Great Christian Fantasy Writers, we creak open the door of the wardrobe and take a peak into C.S. Lewis’ remarkable books. But we also spin forward through the circle of time to where a modern generation of speculative fiction writers are breaking new ground. Irish-born Lewis—academic, apologist and author—is probably …

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Great Christian Fantasy Writers: J.R.R. Tolkien

  By Joan Campbell On our gallant quest to uncover the greatest—and most influential—Christian Fantasy Writers, our journey inevitably leads to the forests, dales, and Hobbit holes of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, is considered the father of High Fantasy – fantasy of an epic scale set in alternative worlds.   …

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Don’t Let Them Squash Your Creativity

By Joseph Bentz With all the roles that many of us have to fill throughout the day—friend, employee, spouse, parent, consumer, and so on—the creative self can be one of the most fragile. Even though for many of us the creative self is deeply embedded and even essential to our sanity, it is also easily crushed. Many forces stand ready …

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Great Christian Fantasy Writers: George MacDonald

By Joan Campbell “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun,” says the writer of Ecclesiastes, somewhat wearily (1:9). As an author I’ve felt a little of that same dejection—after all, who wants their books to be ‘nothing new under the sun’? Yet when I consider it …

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The Races of Star Trek: Vulcans and Klingons

Star Trek

When Star Trek: The Original Series made its debut on NBC in 1966, it didn’t take long for aliens to make an appearance. Gene Roddenberry’s first attempt at a pilot, “The Cage,” featured telepathic beings that could concoct realistic hallucinations. (Although NBC rejected that pilot, footage from that episode was later incorporated into the two-part story arc, “The Menagerie.”). The …

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What is Steampunk?

What is steampunk? I’ve been asked this question a lot lately since my latest novel, Tainted, released last month. To make it easy, I condensed the definition down to this: steampunk is a fusion of our history (usually Victorian or western) and science fiction/fantasy with advance technology that runs on steam. For example:   London set in an alternate universe where …

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Mythological Creatures: Kitsune

Today’s magical mythological creature is none other than the kitsune. Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox, so it’s not surprising that this mythological creature’s origins are in Japanese folklore. Most of the time, kitsune look like regular foxes, until they reach a hundred years old or so, then they start to grow more tails. They can have as many …

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