Christian Science Fiction, Revisited

A few months ago, I mused aloud on whether Travelers was too secular for the Christian market. Last weekend I found some interesting information on that very thing (if you follow the link, we'll be talking about Tips #16-18).

Back up first. There's this guy, Jeff Gerke, who looks like exactly the blend of Christian and geek such that we could be good friends, if we ever met. He writes Christian speculative fiction and is making a decided effort to try and get similar stories published (more on that later).

He has 95 writing tips (5 more to come, I guess), some of which are on the business of publishing, some on the business of Christian publishing, and some on writing as a Godly calling. Anyway, in answer to the question, "Is Travelers too secular for the Christian market?" it seems the answer is it's too speculative for the Christian market. Why? Because, says Jeff, "the main readers of Christian fiction are... white, conservative, evangelical, American women of child-raising to empty nest years," and "97% of all Christian fiction titles [are] romance, chick-lit, female-oriented Biblical/historical fiction, female-oriented thrillers, and women's fiction."

Apparently Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and LeHaye/Jenkins are the exceptions, and nowhere near the rule. A new author trying out a male-oriented, Christian speculative fiction novel is likely to get shut down.

So where does that leave Travelers? All it really does is close the door to major Christian publishing houses, and it tells me that I shouldn't use the word "Christian" when I'm querying agents. However, should I run out of agents to query, and should none of the big sci-fi publishers be interested, it turns out Jeff also has his own small press alternative that I will definitely look into.


MattyDub said...

Right, but I seem to recall that most men (of any religious affiliation) in America don't read. Again, I think you need to just sell out! Write a chaste romantic novel about Betty Cooper, a young girl whose family has just moved out to the Old West. There, she meets the blacksmith's son, whose rugged good looks take her breath away. But their love can never be, because his family isn't a Presbyterian like her family - they're Methodist! Man, can you see the dollars rolling in? I can.

Adam Heine said...

Man, it hurts me just to read that, but what hurts more is that I think you're right!

MattyDub said...

I know, right? Who needs integrity, or the purity of a creative vision? It's like Spinal Tap said: "Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything? / Give me some money"!