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Those of us who love Christian speculative fiction are sometimes frustrated because we think nothing is being or has been published in the genres we like. A trip to our local Christian bookstore does not usually disabuse us of this notion.
But the truth is there are hundreds of Christian novels in the genres we love. The current version of this list has over 400 titles. Some are old, some are new, and some are yet to be published. Many you will have heard of. Some may be new to you.
One way to tell Christian publishers that we want more of this kind of fiction is to buy the Christian speculative novels they do publish. These genres are a risk to them, you see. They are way outside the box and, frankly, many speculative novels that have been published have not sold well at all. This tells publishers not to publish more in those genres. By purchasing what they do publish, we tell them there is a market out there for Christian speculative fiction. Let's send that message loud and clear.
I have the pleasure of knowing many of these authors. Some of these novels I have had the great honor of editing. And some I even acquired, effectively "discovering" some fantastic new voices in the Christian speculative fiction community.
This list begins with important figures in the modern era of Christian speculative fiction. Then it moves on to what you'll find in each of the major genres of Christian speculative fiction. It concludes with a sampling of classics in the genre and, finally, links to sites of our brothers and sisters exploring Christian speculative media in exciting new directions.
I have made every effort to be accurate in this list but no doubt I have made mistakes or left off authors or novels that should be here. It is my desire to make this the finest list of its kind on the Web, so please don't hesitate to contact me ongwith corrections and suggestions.
Read on and enjoy.
Let's start with the man whose fiction gave birth to Christian fiction in the modern age, Frank Peretti. Before him, the shelves didn't have much more than Janette Oke, Catherine Marshall, and C.S. Lewis. Fine fiction, for sure, but not entirely broad.
It is worth noting that the novel that ushered in the modern era of Christian fiction was clearly Christian speculative fiction.
Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
Another watershed event both for Christian fiction and for Christian speculative fiction was the release and subsequent popularity of the Left Behind novels.
Christian novelists owe much to LaHaye and Jenkins (the latter especially, since he did most of the writing). As with Peretti, with the success of these books came a new openness from Christian publishers and, more importantly, Christian bookstores to Christian fiction.
It's worth noting that once again the thing that advanced Christian fiction was a speculative tale. More than any other type of fiction, speculative fiction best belongs to Christian writers and readers. It's our native language.
The new kid on the block, relatively speaking, is Ted Dekker. Ted's creative speculative ideas, rock star persona, and aggressive marketing efforts have broadened the popularity of Christian speculative fiction even further.
I've broken the rest of this list into the various genres of Christian speculative fiction.
Each of Karen's first four novels won the Christy Award in the visionary category. That's an impressive feat and tells you how good her fantasy is.
Donita K. Paul
Donita's cover for DragonSpell was the first cover I'd ever seen that told me someone in the publishing industry might actually get Christian fantasy. Donita's books are for a youth audience.
It would be easy to argue that Stephen Lawhead ought to be placed in the category of industry-shaping giants of Christian speculative fiction. His Pendragon series was among the first I discovered in Christian bookstores. Some of the images from Taliesin--the bull leaping, for instance--stick in my mind to this day.
Stephen has moved on to mostly secular publishing now, as this is where he's found a larger audience. But his origins are with us and he has still provided some of the most wonderful Christian fantasy of the modern era. His novel Byzantium, though technically a historical and not speculative, is still the finest Christian novel I've ever read.
Bryan is a Christian fantasy novelist with a lot of marketing savvy and energy. His Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire novels have succeeded largely because of his extensive speaking schedule where he addresses home school groups and local libraries. He's also a skilled craftsman in the craft of fiction. His books are for a youth audience.
It was my great pleasure to bring Miles to the reading public. I "discovered" his fantasy fiction while I was at Realms. Daughter of Prophecy became one of the four novels (and the only fantasy) that we launched Realms with. It was also my pleasure to be his editor.
I have, hanging on my wall in my home office, an oversize poster of the original Cliff Nielsen illustration we commissioned for Daughter of Prophecy. Miles remains one of my favorite Christian fantasy authors.
Sharon has published some fun (and a little speculative) chick-lit fiction with Bethany House. But her first love is Christian fantasy. With no contracts and only the love of her stories burning in her, she wrote the entire manuscripts for her Restorer trilogy.
It was my pleasure, while I was manager of NavPress's fiction line, to acquire this series for that house.
G. P. Taylor
Graham is a Brit dark Christian fantasy. His first two novels co-released in the U.K. first and then in the US through Penguin/Putnam for secular publishing and Realms for the Christian market.
Michael D. Warden
Michael has created a fascinating world in which words themselves contain devastating magical powers.
Jefferson Scott is one of my best friends. In fact, I know him like a brother. More accurately, I know him as myself. Because he's me! Jefferson Scott is my pen name.
Since this is my Web page I get to tout my own writing occasionally. You'll see the name listed again later in the list. But if I could be known as anything as a Christian novelist, my goal would be to be known as an author of Christian fantasy.
My own epic fantasy trilogy--Fog, Fire, and Foe--is the book of my heart. You can read the prologue and first chapter here, though I'm rewriting and may throw some or all of that out. But it's a good taste of the world.
Wayne Thomas Batson
Wayne is one of a new generation of authors writing Christian fantasy for the youth/teen/young adult market. This is his The Door Within trilogy.
L. B. Graham
Another novelist writing Christian fantasy for young people. This is his Binding of the Blade series.
One striking feature of this series is that the cover illustrations are done by the legendary Larry Elmore, of D&D and TSR fame.
Chuck is another author writing youth/young adult Christian fantasy. This is his Kingdom series.
This series is essentially the entire Bible written as a fantasy. Cool, huh? Kingdom's Reign is the book of Revelation.
Jonathan is another author writing youth/young adult Christian fantasy. This is his Wilderking series.
John is the author of The Archives of Antrhopos, which appear to be for a youth audience.
The first three below constitute The Annals of Lystra, with the following three being The Latter Annals of Lystra.
Calvin Miller is best known for his Singer trilogy of poetry, which every Christian should read.
But he has also produced a fantasy trilogy called The Singreale Chronicles. Though mainly for a youth audience it is still an interesting read for adults.
And he is coming out with a new series from B&H: The Kinta Chronicles.
R. K. Mortensen
The Landon Snow novels are an exciting new series for young readers (ages 9–12).
The awesome covers are done by none other than Kirk DouPonce of Dog-Eared Design, who designed the graphical look of WhereTheMapEnds.
The Seven Kingdoms Chronicles is a fantasy series for young readers.
Note that The Bride of Stone is listed as being authored by T. M. Williams. That novel is actually a prequel to The Crown of Eden.
George Bryan Polivka
The Trophy Chase Trilogy is new fantasy with a seafaring theme, from Harvest House.
L. A. Kelly
L. A. "Leisha" Kelly is the author of some Depression-era historical fiction, but this series is inspirational fantasy.
Kathleen is the author of the Guardians of Gadiel fantasy series, the second of which is currently in publishing limbo.
Caprice's fantasy novel is one of the many fine POD (print-on-demand) titles I'm proud to promote.
Joseph's fantasy novel is now out of print, but you can find copies online.
F. W. Faller
Fred's Portals of Tessalindria fantasies didn't get the exposure they deserved. Check them out.
This is a Christian fantasy set in the Dark Ages.
With a name like Leathel this guy's got to be someone to be reckoned with, wouldn't you think? And Leathel certainly is. He's an author, a Web design genius, and a computer game designer.
His Web site dedicated to Christian science fiction and fantasy is easily the coolest-looking such site on the Web.
And who's ever heard of a Christian MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game)? Well, he's designing one! Check it out.
I'm very impressed with Mr. Grody. He's definitely a kindred spirit.
Here are his novels, the Foundations of Hope trilogy. Books 1 and 2 are due out in paperback in May 2007. Book 3 is coming soon. The fourth book listed here is the hardback edition of book 1 in the trilogy.
David is a talented illustrator and author.
Check out his Web page to see the awesome animated intro for the book.
This novel is targeted to young readers.
Gene's novel is one of the fine POD (print-on-demand) titles I'm proud to promote.
In this fantasy, sword-wielding magi fight for Good.
Carole's fantasy novel is one I looked at while acquisitions editor at Realms and NavPress. Excellent writing and bold vision, and by an African-American woman author, to boot!
This novel is being published by a secular publisher but it's Christian through and through. Check it out.
Christopher was one of the Fantasy Four authors that made their book tour in summer 2007. These novels comprise his White Lion Chronicles.
These appear to be young adult fantasies. They are published by Howard Books, a Christian publisher.
Russell is an an interesting guy. He's a professional mapmaker (which comes out in his world-building) and a New Zealander, to boot. This series, "The Fire of Heaven" trilogy, was originally released in Australia/NZ but has now come to the U.S. I've been told he's a Christian author and these are Christian novels. They look fun.
Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Maureen's YA fiction is fun because it takes its imagery and themes from fairy tales. Not the Disney kind, but the original Grimm's kind, or the kind from Celtic mythology, in which there really are monsters and in which singing princesses get quickly eaten.
The title of the first novel, for instance, comes from the story of the three little pigs.
Ronald G. Patterson
Ron's Ballad of Penumbria series is a historically rooted fantasy retelling of the story of the church from Christ's first advent and on through to the Millennial Kingdom.
Christian Science Fiction
Before coming to Christian SF Kathy had written Star Wars and other secular SF novels for Random House. Her Firebird trilogy was the first that made me pay attention to Christian SF.
John B. Olson and Randall Ingermanson
John and Randy wrote Oxygen, perhaps one of the first Christian novels that used real science in its fiction. That novel won the Christy Award in the visionary category and launched John's individual writing career.
Note that Randy Ingermanson had won a Christy on his own (for Transgression) before he won another for Oxygen. See his other books under the Time Travel category.
Me again. My first three novels were near-future technothrillers featuring virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and genetic engineering.
The second trilogy is a Christian military thriller series, which has nothing to do with speculative fiction, but it's my site so I get to promote them anyway! Bwahahahaha!
And did I mention I've co-written two nonfiction books, too? Check out my Web page here.
As I mentioned above, Stephen Lawhead did some early Christian science fiction that bears mentioning.
Note that Empyrion below is simply The Search for Fierra and The Siege of Dome combined into one volume.
Most of Shane's fiction better belongs in the "Chiller" category. But Ice is clearly SF.
The lines can get a little blurry when talking about speculative fiction. James' Christ Clone trilogy could fit in a "pure speculative" category, but I've put them in SF for convenience.
L. A. Marzulli
Lynn Marzulli (who is male) wrote the Nephilim series, which is great Christian science fiction.
Also, if you're interested in UFOs from the worldview of Christianity, be sure to check out my white paper on the subject.
Bill has a great speculative mind. He's written Christian speculative fiction for the adult audience, but he's got much more for the young adult market. His Forbidden Doors series is groundbreaking (see listing for these under Christian Chills).
R. E. Bartlett
Ruth is a wonderful speculative author living in New Zealand. She has many novels in her--several of which are already written, but unpublished. The only one that has so far been published is another of the four we launched Realms with.
I was thrilled with Ruth's vision of a futuristic world in which humans can prolong their lives indefinitely through the use of artificial bodies called personifids.
Austin, a former NASA astronaut finalist, writes true science fiction, meaning fiction that is built directly atop actual science. His Mars Hill Classified series (released through NavPress) is about human spaceflight to Mars, the possibility of intelligent life on Mars, and all manner of deception, danger, and interpersonal struggle.
Like Bill Myers, Sigmund has written both for adult and young adult audiences. His recent series with Hank Hanegraff is good end times fiction and his Mars Diaries series for young adults is great SF fun.
Note that this is just a sampling of Sigmund's many speculative novels, primarily for the young adult market.
Not all of Jim's novels are SF, but this one is.
Bit of trivia for you: the title "the silence" was typed on my own keyboard and photographed by Chris Gilbert, the designer who did this cover. Cool, huh?
Chris is the author of the 4-book The Lamb Among Stars series for young readers.
D. Shane Burton
Shane's Orianus Creation trilogy is among the fine POD (print-on-demand) titles I'm proud to promote.
Note that he and Josh Michael Burton are brothers.
Atlantyx is a technothriller with a cool cover and a fun premise.
Josh Michael Burton
This is Josh's first novel. It's another fine POD book. He and D. Shane Burton are brothers.
Steve's SF novel is not available through Amazon in the U.S. (but it is available through www.amazon.co.uk).
You can also find it at his Web page: www.stevetrower.co.uk.
John has published the Joe Box trilogy, which is in the thriller genre. But he's got an unpublished speculative series that will hopefully be available soon.
James's novel is part SF part fantasy. It takes place in a faraway sector of space, but it's a battle between good and evil, like those done so well in fantasy.
Frank is a great encourager and leading proponent of Christian speculative fiction. His near-future novel takes place in an America ruled by a one-world government.
Tom is one of the fine self-published authors I'm proud to feature on WhereTheMapEnds. His novels have UFO and government cover-up storylines.
The first novel listed below is co-written with Nita Horn. On the second novel Tom lists his name as Thomas R. Horn.
T. Russell Benedict
Tim published this spacefaring SF through PublishAmerica. He is one of the fine self-published Christian speculative novelists I am proud to promote.
Julie has written a SF series, The Vadelah Chronicles, in which spacefaring aliens worship the God of the Bible (or not).
Also catch my white paper called UFOs and the Christian Worldview.
Lelia Rose Foreman
This is juvenile SF from Eerdmans. Far-future novel about a Christian colony's attempts to survive on a planet a thousand light-years from earth.
This is a dark future SF in which the Awakened try to survive despite a brutal one-world government.
Christian Time Travel and Alternate History
Time travel stories have thrilled us for over a century, at least since H. G. Wells' The Time Machine.
Here are stories of time travelers and alternate histories by some of the most creative thinkers writing in Christian speculative fiction today.
Doug's Cradleland Chronicles is a great envisioning of life at the beginning of mankind's time on earth.
RiverOak, who published this series, is trying some innovative things with podcasting for these books.
I wrote about Randy in the Christian Science Fiction section, but since several of his novels are more accurately time travel, I've put them here.
Transgression won a Christy award for excellence in Christian fiction.
T. L. Higley
Tracy (who is female) has written some excellent novels in the speculative category. She's great in all aspects of writing, but I think she really shines when she has stories that take place in historical eras.
Tracy's Fallen from Babel was a time travel novel that constituted one of the four books we launched Realms with.
Watch for a new series from Tracy through B&H.
Nancy is best known for her women's fiction and thrillers, but two of her novels are clearly speculative. Time Lottery won the Christy Award for the visionary category. I was honored to be her editor.
Brian is a young writer with a bright future in Christian speculative fiction. His Portal is a self-published novel about friends who invent a time machine and try to repair their past mistakes.
I think Brian's real forte is in supernatural thrillers but so far none of those novels of his has been published.
Gilbert Morris is a well-known author of Christian historical novels, but he has also written speculative fiction. Though there are several genres represented here I've put them all under this one category.
The Omega Trilogy is technothriller fiction that he co-wrote with Lynn and Alan Morris. The Far Fields is a fantasy series co-written with Robert Funderburk, that is now out of print. The other series are all for young adults. (Complete series not shown)
Jeremy Robinson writes time travel novels with a great premise. His first novel, at least, is one of the fine POD (print-on-demand) titles I'm proud to promote.
Note, though, that he tends to use profanity in his fiction.
Rick's Web site, Arjay Books, attracts lots of hits and scores very well on Google searches. He has some good information on Christian SF and fantasy novels there. Rick is Canadian and is a professor of mathematics and computing science at the university level.
His Interregnum series is "alternate-history Irish-flavoured Christian science fiction" that "deals with a variety of technology and ethical issues in thought-provoking plots set on alternate earths." How cool is that?
As far as I know, Rick's series is the only Christian alternate history fiction on this list. Certainly it is one of the few, and I applaud his efforts both as a novelist and a Web advocate for Christian speculative fiction.
Note that the The General and The Nexus are available only as e-books. The first three are are also available through Amazon as print versions. Volumes 6 and 7 are in development.
Christian Chillers, Supernatural
Kathy has a wonderfully creepy speculative mind. She's got screenwriting experience (including working on Peretti's Hangman's Curse) in addition to her fiction credits.
I credit Kathy with introducing me to the term "Christian chillers."
Watch for a new series from Kathy through Realms.
James Byron Huggins
Byron writes some for Christian publishers and some for secular houses. But his speculative fiction is always...creepy.
I introduced Bill back in Christian Science Fiction, but his young adult series, Forbidden Doors, is so clearly in the chiller category that I'm listing them here.
Eric is a talented young writer whose expertise covers Christian speculative fiction from both the writing and reviewing perspectives. His canny Amazon reviews have earned him a name as a knowledgeable critical reader.
All of Eric's novels are full of supernatural thrills and chills.
Theo, who is an American living in Switzerland, writes very creepy supernatural thrillers for the Christian and secular markets.
Wendy's first supernatural novel, The Fall of Lucifer, was the fourth novel we launched Realms with. Her visions of heaven and hell, of Christos and Lucifer, are fresh and exciting, as are her depictions of what is going on in the heavenlies in direct parallel with events on earth. You'll never read the Scriptures the same again.
T. L. Hines
T. L. Hines (who is male, and not to be confused with T. L. Higley, who is female), is a promising new author with a fun speculative title from Bethany House.
Vernon is an author with Destiny Image.
Paul is best known for his pioneering and prolific work writing and directing hundreds of the Adventures in Odyssey radio series for children from Focus on the Family, where he is Writer in Residence.
But Paul is also a gifted speculative novelist for adults, which can be seen in his inspired idea for Twilight: a grieving private detective is hired by a new set of clients with one thing in common--they're all dead.
Paul is also the author of the Time Twisters trilogy of time travel novels for youth.
D. Brian Shafer
Brian's Chronicles of the Host series is good speculative fiction about how the great struggle between God and Satan may have been, is being, and will be fought.
I'm not familiar with this author, but a site guest recommended this book of hers. It appears to be a novel about an angel moving from grief to joy.
Melanie writes chillers (with awesomely creepy covers) for Multnomah/Waterbrook.
John Aubrey Anderson
I haven't read John's Black or White Chronicles, but they appear to be spiritual warfare fiction.
I've known Bob for years. He once reviewed some of my speculative fiction for New Man magazine. Now he's an author in his own right, with all kinds of movie deals always circling around him and his books. Awesome covers, too.
Lisa T. Bergren
Lisa is best known for her historical novels, but The Begotten is a fun spiritual warfare novel. It was praised by Publisher's Weekly and earned a starred review in Booklist.
A Christian vampire and werewold horror novel? Why not? This novel is said to be for young adult readers.
Sharon K. Gilbert
These appear to be spiritual warfare novels or supernatural thrillers. The first is book 1 in The Laodicea Chronicles and the second is book 1 in The Countdown series.
Book 2 of The Laodicea Chronicles is available from Lulu.com, as is Iron Dragons, a fantasy novel by Sharon's husband, Derek.
Greg bills himself as a Christian horror author. This trilogy is "a monster hunter epic about demons descending upon small town middle America and the ordinary people who must overcome their misconceptions about the Christian faith in order to take up arms and make their last stand."
Shaunti first hit the Christian reading public as a Y2K expert, back in the day. She and I actually wrote a Y2K sourcebook together, then I went on to edit the year-long newsletter called Countdown Y2K that was Shaunti's vehicle for dissemenating preparedness news.
Shaunti is a sweet lady and a good writer. Her For Women Only and For Men Only books with Multnomah have done very well.
Shaunti has also written two spiritual warfare novels. The first takes place at Harvard University, from which institution Shaunti is a graduate.
End Times Fiction
I added this category late in the game. Consequently, a few authors and novels that ought to be under this heading are scattered around elsewhere in this list.
Chief of those, of course, would be the Left Behind novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Right now those are at the top of this list, under Jerry's name.
Another example would be Sigmund Brouwer's trilogy, The Last Disciple, The Last Sacrifice, and The Fuse of Armageddon (all co-written with Hank Hanegraaff). This series is listed above in the Christian Science Fiction category.
Going forward, new end times fiction will be placed here.
These aren't new books, but somehow I missed them before now.
The Secret Code is billed as "prophetic fiction," so I guess this is as good a category for it as any.
All of these books, with the exception of the first one, were co-written by Robert Wise.
Here's where I put novels by Christian authors whose works are clearly speculative but don't seem to fit into any of the other genres.
Several of the authors I placed in those previous categories could've as easily gone here. Hey, it's a loose category. That's what makes this so fun.
Some of Al's novels are spiritual warfare, some are supernatural thrillers, and some are chillers. The guy's mind is as flexible as it is creative. About the only category I could find that fit just about everything he did is this one.
Al's novel A Ship Possessed was one of the first supernatural thrillers I read, and the power of the genre stuck with me.
Al's speculative fiction has been a finalist for a Christy Award in the visionary category several times.
Tosca has a long history in speculative worlds, as a tabletop gamer, a writer, and a model and beauty pageant winner. Her speculative writing is so good that it has caused more than one woman to comment on how it isn't fair for one person to "have it all."
I had the great honor of being the first to bring Tosca to the world of Christian fiction, and to be her editor and friend. Don't miss the interview I did with her.
Demon: A Memoir is about a woman who walks into a diner and is hailed by a stranger--who happens to be a demon in human form, bent on telling the protagonist all about human history—from a certain point of view. Brilliant writing.
|Havah: The Story |
Angie is a prolific Christian novelist who usually writes in other genres besides speculative. However, The Immortal, which concerns the legend of the Wandering Jew, is clearly speculative. As is The Truth Teller.
Robin (who is male) has created the awesome INFUZE site and Webzine. He has also written a novel that is clearly speculative.
Davis (who also writes under T. Davis Bunn) is a veteran Christian novelist. Most of his novels are not speculative, but this one is.
Davis also wrote The Spectrum Chronicles under the pen name Thomas Locke. Three of the original four novels were later released as The Dream Voyagers, under the name T. Davis Bunn.
John's DaVinci-themed novel is good speculative fun.
Jack is mostly known for his award-winning historical fiction, but Death Watch is a great speculative novel. The other novels listed are in Jack's Kingdom Wars series, supernatural fiction from Howard.
Christian speculative fiction is not new in the modern era. It has been around for centuries. Back in the day, anything that would qualify as speculative fiction would've probably been at least nominally Christian because that's the way the culture was. At least nominally.
The novels I've been looking at are those published since 1986 when This Present Darkness released. But where would any of us be if we couldn't stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before?
Here are a few of the classics.
MacDonald is considered by many to be the first Christian speculative novelist of the "modern" (19th century) period. Writers like Tolkien and Lewis were no doubt influenced by his writings.
One of the Inklings, with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
Like I have to introduce Tolkien, the man who basically invented the modern fantasy genre.
Tolkien's Catholic faith certainly informed his speculative fiction, but I do not believe he had any direct allegorical purpose in mind when he wrote of Middle-Earth.
Tolkien's trilogy pretty much singlehandedly made me decide to become a novelist. There are powers at work in his fiction that resonate on a level far deeper than allegory. This is the stuff of myth and human archetype.
Note that this is not a complete listing of Tolkien's works, and it is certainly not a complete listing of all the editions of his works, or books about his works. Just have fun browsing!
C. S. Lewis
Here's another guy who needs no introduction.
Most people know of Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, but not everyone knows of his Space Trilogy. It's heady stuff, completely speculative and utterly Christian.
And the last two are classics, especially Screwtape. It's a must-read.
The Granddame of Christian speculative fiction.
I've not read this, but a site guest says it's "super-bizarre spec fiction by a wonderful Christian author of past generations."
Okay, that's the end of my Christian speculative fiction (and related weirdness) roundup. I hope you've found some new authors to try out.
Be sure to look at the bottom of the Fantastic Visions page as that's where I've put other goodies like Christian speculative graphic novels, online magazines that cover Christian speculative fiction, Christian animation and manga, and more.
Remember to let me know about books or authors I've inadvertently overlooked.