Speculative Fiction isn’t as “Weird” as we Think by Nadine Brandes


“What’s speculative fiction?” I am asked this often.

My response? “Fantasy, science-fiction, time travel…you know, the weird stuff.”

Several publishing professionals and fellow authors call it “the weird stuff.” And so did I…until last month. I met my publisher for the first time at the ACFW Conference and something he said during that time refuses to unglue itself from my mind. He said that the speculative fiction genre reflected God’s creation more accurately than any other genre.

Let me explain:

God created the world and all that is in it out of nothing. He had no boundaries. Authors of speculative fiction are creating new worlds and new races of people that are not constrained by time, by the human form, by this world, by the laws of nature, etc.

These stories are the closest we’ll get to creating the way God created. It’s pure creation beyond the restrictions of this world.

Once I saw it in this new light—this freeing light—I stopped feeling like the “oddball” when talking about my writing. Speculative fiction—epic fantasy, time travel, saving the world—frees our dreams. If we let them, they’ll inspire us to reach for dreams and futures that are seemingly unattainable. God wants us to pursue the impossible, because to him it is possible. He is God. He likes a challenge—well, at least a challenge that is undertaken with His glory in mind.

You might not think that fantasy or science fiction are your cup of tea, but allow your imagination to stretch a bit. God created our version of “normal” from nothing, but we’re made in His image—we’re made with a desire to create, to push boundaries, and to discover a new normal. An epic normal.

My view of speculative fiction is forever changed. I hope yours is, too.

A special note from Angie…

As many of you know, Nadine is my very dear friend. I hope her perspective on the weird stuff enlightens you as much as it has me. I invite you to visit again tomorrow for a special interview with her as she finishes a two-month launch for her debut novel, A Time to Die. I promise you will not be disappointed. Until then…here’s a bit about her book. Take my word for it, A Time to Die is well worth the read. My review of her debut effort follows the introduction of her book and her biography.

ATimetoDieCov (1)

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

Nadine Brandes Head Shot

Nadine learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen. In Kindergarten. Cool, huh? Maybe that’s what started her love for writing. She started journaling at age nine and thus began her habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life.

Nadine is a stay-at-home author and writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel. Visit Nadine at http://www.nadinebrandes.com.

Angie’s Review: 5 STARS

A Time to Die is a gentle and thought-provoking, cliff-jumping and tightrope-walking journey. (No spoilers from me, for the journey simply would not be as exciting!)

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? With only one year to live, Parvin Blackwater makes a last-ditch effort to overcome her own weaknesses and strive to save those who’ve been labeled insignificant—in a world where such insignificance means certain death. Along with Parvin, you’ll feel helpless, uncomfortable, and angry. You’ll feel courageous. You’ll learn to fight. You’ll grow to believe.

Read A Time to Die and you’ll find yourself reflecting on what truly matters. In the end, when faced with ultimate tragedy, will you give up or will you fight? Will you trust? Will you cling to hope, the hope found only in God?

A Time to Die is so well written, I remain amazed the story is Nadine Brandes’s debut effort. Great character development. Unique plot. Read it. You won’t be disappointed. But you will anxiously await Parvin Blackwater’s next adventure.


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