Hello, my friends! It’s been awhile, yes? I was busy getting #3 finished (due out November), thinking about reigniting the blog when someone from my clan of speculative fiction writers organized this tour. One of the most fascinating parts of writing speculative fiction (some with faith-based themes) is encountering fellow book lovers who ask, “fantasy (or science fiction, paranormal, etc) stories written by Christians? Can you do that? Is that a thing?”
You bet your parting-of-the-Red Sea it is.
C.O. Bonham is my guest today, talking about her short story contribution “Recalled.”
My short story contribution to Mythic Orbit’s volume two has an interesting history.
The Left Behind craze was well underway before I ever decided to write a thing. But the series concluded while I was in high school. I had read it and loved it and we were doing an end times bible study in Sunday school.
Now for the sketchy part. I can not remember who said it. It may have been a person at my church, it might have been someone on TV or radio. I know that someone said, “Thanks to Left Behind clarifying Revelation, we can safely assume that Star Trek will never happen.” That is not an exact quote by the way.
Whoever said it, it instantly got my gears turning. “Recalled from the Red Planet was going to be an epic novel of the tribulation set on Mars. It would rival Left Behind’s number one best seller status, because everything is better on Mars.
I wrote three chapters. Three really bad chapters. Every line of Dialog was followed by, “he said.” Or worse, “he said excitedly.” Three chapters leading up to the Anti Christ arriving on Mars to take over the planet.
Right, as soon as I realized that he would never leave Earth, how this man (named Six in three different languages) could easily force Mars to come to him, I gave up. It sat on my computer for years. Survived a computer crash and a file purge, until 2017 when Travis Perry began accepting submissions for a Christian speculative fiction anthology called Mythic Orbits 2.
I was scrolling through my files looking for something to submit. I saw that old file. Opened it. Read it. Cringed. I thought, “this will never be a novel. But it could be a short story.”
I deleted a lot. Rewrote everything. Cut, added, and edited. Submitted.
Travis tore it in half. He wanted me to cut almost half the words. After I had already cut the plot to the bones. I didn’t think I could do it. I had already cut the love interest to two paragraphs. Then it hit me. This was not the same story I had started in high school. They were going back to Earth. And Once on Earth, it was just Left Behind all over again.
Love interest? Gone. Cleverly named Anti-Christ? Gone. Impassioned speeches? Ineffective in a world with one possible outcome. The return and triumph of Jesus Christ.
In the end, Revelation did not prevent Star Trek. It is the reason Star Trek failed.
C.O. Bonham is the pen name for a commonly misspelled first name. When she isn’t writing stories of her own she is busy reading stories by others. She loves stories of all sorts but really likes the ones that are weird, or outside the norm. A home school graduate with a degree in creative writing, her goal is to create stories that make people think, feel, and have fun.
Get Mythic Orbits 2016 HERE
Get Mythic Orbits Volume 2 HERE
Glad you’re back! Must mean things are starting to settle back down 😊
Thank you, my friend.
Oh, love this story behind the story! I too read all of the Left Behind books and of course saw the similarities in your story ;D Travis is so good at making our stories better, saying “Redo this!” I had to rewrite my ending and didn’t think I could. I think this experience has been good for all of us, to pull out a better side of us as writers.