Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Elliot at Claw of the Conciliator has listed me as one of the latest members of the Christian speculative-fiction tradition. I'm proud to be included in this group, which includes an impressive list of forbears. But I'm also amused by the idea of being part of a literary tradition, although I suppose everybody's part of some tradition. At any rate, being included in the same list as Philip K. Dick -- who evidently identified as Episcopalian, which I hadn't known -- and Connie Willis is just fine with me.
Okay, Elliot, here's a question for you, and a fun bit of bio-trivia: plenty of SF/F writers identify as Christian and write about faith in various forms, but how many have been converted partly by the process of writing SF/F?
As I've said here several times before, reading Lewis and Tolkien when I was a kid probably got me started on the road to Christianity. Writing my doctoral dissertation, which for several years had me steeped in 19th-century Christian feminism (Stowe et. al.), inched me further along that road. But one of the really important moments in my conversion process came when, in 1994, I wrote "GI Jesus" while under the influence of a 103-degree fever. That novella's the final story in The Fate of Mice, and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Writing it kicked my faith journey into much higher gear than it had been in before. (Some Christians who've read it have been deeply offended by it; others love it.)
I'd be really curious to know if other SF/F writers relatively new to faith have had similar experiences.