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09 March 2012

Demons, Plagues, and Interplanetary Decontamination: Let's Talk about Science Fiction!

This clash's host: Jennifer Slattery

I haven't seen the latest Star Wars movie, but it's a frequent conversation at our church. You'd be amazed how many spiritual illustrations can be pulled from science fiction movies! Or maybe you wouldn't be, but I am. Although one of these days I really need to watch the movie so I can understand our pastors illustrations. :)

Perhaps that is what makes science fiction so appealing, so enduring. By expanding on the weird and unexpected, it allows the writer to tap into the mysterious and unexpected. It allows the reader to believe in the miraculous. And it reminds us that some things, like courage, hope, and valor, are universal.

In excerpt A, taken from Shadow Warrior written by J.D. Warren, I was drawn to a hero with a daunting mission--get his team off a plague infested planet alive.

Captain Jack Hunter remembers nothing of his biological parents or anything before the age of four when he is found abandoned on an uninhabited planet. The couple that finds and adopts him treat him well, but he longs to solve the mystery of his past. No trace of any family or his race can be found. The only clue is the name he gave, Jackson, which he shortens to Jack after his adoptive parents are presumed killed on the quarantined planet, Tyros.

As an orphan teen, Jack joins the elite Interplanetary Decontamination Unit, a special unit of the military and earns his way up to the ranks to Captain. At twenty-five he is one of the oldest in the unit because the infamous first responders didn’t usually live long. Because of his job and his past, he’s not interested in long-term relationships until he meets Angela. While on a mission he’s trapped light-years away by a closing wormhole.

When he returns a year and a half later, he finds she has disappeared without a trace, as if she never existed. He has one more mission to complete before he can resign his commission and devote his life to finding her. Not satisfied with the official report, Jack is determined to find out what really happened on Tyros. However, there are those who do not want the truth or their involvement to surface.

Dr. Angela Sarazan, microbiologist and geneticist, has a secret that weighs heavy on her conscience. The secret has the potential to save or destroy her world and the man she loves, the ruggedly handsome and fearless, Captain Jack Hunter. She plans to tell him everything after they’re married, but he’s a no-show on their wedding day.

After several months, Jack is declared missing, presumed dead, so as a way to disappear and heal her wounded heart, she accepts a job offer to help with her research from the Interplanetary Government. Two years later, she taps into a classified site and finds out Jack’s alive and someone high up in the government has sent his unit on a suicide mission to Tyros. Can she get there in time to save him? If they survive will he still love her after she tells him her secret?

In Excerpt B, taken from Metamorphosis written by Chawna Schroeder, we are reminded that evil does exist. For as long as Beast can remember she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming Master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.Then strangers attack. Her pack scatters. Fire eats the village. And Beast knows: Master is no more.

Alone and unprotected, Beast tries to defend herself against slavers scavenging for any leftovers. But she is only one, and they are strong.Tracked by men, sold as a monster, is Beast only prey to be hunted……or something more?

For some odd reason, I'm thinking back to one of my favorite stories: Where the Wild Things Are. Was that science fiction?

What about you? What comes to mind when you think of beasts or space travel? Any storybooks you remember from your childhood? What about your teen years?

Join our cyber chat via the comments below, and who knows, you might even win a free book! Remember, we're giving away Diana M. Graham's I am Ocilla! To enter our drawing, leave a comment, FB share this post, or tweet it. About I Am Ocilla:

Open your heart and mind to the simplicity and complexity of a name. I know only my name. Beyond that is confusion, a void where fantasy and reality swirl together. Fairies, Giants, Elves, Dwarves, ancient Keepers, and...Dragons?

A dark soul threatens the Five Kingdoms, but I am powerless to stand against him, overwhelmed by phantom memories, broken and lost.Somehow, I must live. I must find my purpose.

There are friends to love and battles to fight.
I know my name. Perhaps that is enough.

I am Ocilla.

This is my story.

Have a weird and fantastical Friday, and come back Monday as we dig deeper into this delightfully strange genre and the minds behind it!
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Item Reviewed: Demons, Plagues, and Interplanetary Decontamination: Let's Talk about Science Fiction! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jennifer Slattery