Mythic Orbits 2016 (Paperback)
Best Speculative Fiction by Christian Authors
Bear Publications, 9781635358889, 344pp.
Publication Date: December 31, 2016
This anthology is a showcase for the best stories submitted in the general field of speculative fiction by Christian authors for this project. It represents a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal. There is no common theme to these tales, though the subject of empathy or lack thereof does come up in them repeatedly. This is most definitely not an anthology about orbits which are somehow mythical.
The main goal of this anthology was to demonstrate that Christian authors can write speculative fiction well. Stories with a wide range of appeal are included here, mostly serious, some with humor, some with "happy endings" and others clearly not so happy. All of them worth reading.
Some of these stories feature Christian characters in speculative fiction worlds, some make use of Christian themes either subtly or overtly, while some have no discernible connection to Christianity at all. Christian authors are featured in this collection rather than specifically Christian-themed stories.
There was no specific content or doctrinal test for these tales, though it happens to be that they are basically clean. As long as the violence mentioned in a few of these stories wasn't portrayed too graphically, this collection would rate a PG in the US movie rating system for the suffering mentioned in a few of these tales and a few relatively mild words like "bastard." Sexuality in this anthology is limited to being attracted to someone and a single story kiss.
In doctrine, these stories do what speculative fiction as a whole does--create worlds unlike our own and put the reader inside them. These stories do not assert these unreal situations are actually true...though things that are imaginary can reveal truths about what is real. Nothing here overtly contradicts the Bible. Even strict interpretations that there cannot possibly be ghosts or fairies or certain particular monsters as some of these tales include could be simply reinterpreted as involving demons, if a reader wished to do so.
As much as these tales do not engage in graphic sexuality or violence or wander into asserting strange doctrinal beliefs are actually true, they nonetheless create unusual worlds, make unexpected twists, and otherwise are mentally engaging stories for young adult and adult readers alike.