Note: This post is for Joe. :)
I hear it all the time: LDS publishers don’t publish Science Fiction. Guess What? That’s not true. I’ll prove it to you. Here is Friday’s List.
The Alliance by Gerald Lund (The Freedom Factor and Leverage Point are similar in nature.) Deseret Book
Eddie Fantastic by Chris Heimerdinger Covenant Communications
Ben Franklin and the Chamber of Time by Chris Heimerdinger Deseret Book
The Prodigal Journey By Linda Adams (sequel published by LDSstorymakers Refiner’s Fire)
Time Riders by Sierra St. James Cedar Fort
The Believer by Stephanie Black. Covenant Communications
Hunting Gideon by Jessica Draper (Cyber Punk) Zarahemla books
That’s right, there they are. Count them. 10 Sci-fi books(including those in parenthesis) that I know of and I’m sure that there are more. I’ll concede that the first two authors are big names that the publishers probably would sell just because of who wrote them. Linda Adams got a bad break on the publisher route and who knows what will happen with her trilogy. Then there is Sierra St. James who isn’t hugely known in the LDS market but is a reputable and talented writer in the national market. Then there is the new Stephanie Black, and I don’t know all that much about Jessica Draper on account of the fact that I read the back of her book on the bookstore shelf and knew that cyberpunk is Sci-fi.
So, the lesson is if you want to write Sci-fi in the LDS market….get really famous! No, just kidding though it isn’t a bad idea. I think a lot if LDS sci-fi is “Zion” fiction also. Many have a connection to Zion being founded in Missouri, and have dysfunctional U.S. governments, and etc. That’s fine and entertaining, but it gets old after a while. Eddie Fantastic and Ben Franklin and the Chamber of Time have no Zion element. I think Time Riders could have a non Zion element and still be a good book.
There are people who say that Sci-Fi doesn’t work in LDS fiction, at least not traditional space Sci-Fi. I don’t know why that would be true because well, we are the only people that definitely believe there are other planets with life on them out there. It is part of our theology. So, why would that be conflicting with our religious views? In fact it is generally known that the LDS population has an irregular amount of speculative fiction authors among them. I think we just haven’t done it well enough yet. I think it will happen one day. Someone will stumble upon the right character, the right balance, the right mix and it will happen. There will probably be a genre opener book that others will try to imitate, and there will be LDS market Sci-fi.
*Disclaimer: I don’t read a bunch of Sci-fi I’m more of a Fantasy girl. So, I’m not an expert by any means on the whole genre, which gets pretty complicated when you get down to it. So, if you have additional insights, comment!
Feel welcome to add to the list! If you know of any Sci-Fi books that have been published by LDS outlets comment. Make readers aware of what is out there. By all means support your own book if need be.
P.S. I just found this awesome website:http://www.mormonsf.org/