November 26, 2007


My biggest complaint about articles in THE WRITER and WRITERS DIGEST is that they always have seven thousand four hundred and sixty-nine points to follow. If you take the ten or twelve articles, multiply by 7469 you end up with like, a gazillion points to follow to become a better writer. I can only handle one idea at a time.

So I've invented a new style (new to me at least). ANNOUNCING -- FLASHICLES (FLASH artICLES, derived from flash fiction).

This is the first in a series of flashicles about writing that will alternate with POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAYS about SF and Christianity. Warning: these might possibly irritate you, too...


Never write what you know.
Only write what you are passionate about.

I use the word "passionate" here deliberately. ( If you want to write articles that sell; that people will print out or tape to their workspace wall, then you obviously have to have something to say. But most important is that your article has to have suffering behind it. The reader doesn't want to know anything about you at all (except in the little sentence at the end). Your suffering; your passion has to be latent. It needs to skulk and slink unseen in every sentence.

I've carefully studied the twelve articles I've had published and looked at the countless others that have been rejected. The ones that saw the light of day simmered and boiled with latent passion. Jesus was passionate and look how long we've remembered Him!

November 13, 2007


As a Christian, I was surprised to discover how many of my fellow Believers resist the idea that God could redeem other intelligences. There are websites devoted to the belief that Jesus came to Earth because Earth was the only place there were people and we were the only ones who were worth saving. God could have redeemed them through one sacrifice on Earth (assuming they needed redeeming) or He could have manifested himself on their world to do whatever needed to be done.

It’s strange, but I find exclusivity reasoning somewhat sickening. By it, the Son of God came to Earth for the Jews (oops, there’s another faux pas – most of those Christians that deny God could make, love and give His life (if that was necessary) for aliens also believe that He came for the Gentiles ALONE (in complete denial of Scripture…but it fits an elitist world view), was rejected by them and tortured; tortured some more by Gentiles, then murdered by Gentile decree and Jewish permission. Even so, He forgave us ALL – Jews and Gentiles alike, rose from the dead and now sits in glory with the Father. But according to “them”, He CAN’T love anyone as much as He loved Humans. So, Humans slaughtered the Only Son of God – and that’s something we should be proud of, that we should feel exclusive about? Does that mean that in all the Universe, we’re as bad as it gets? That’s something we claim is OUR PRIVILEDGE AND OUR PRIVILEDGE alone, right?

That makes me feel ill.

By their human logic, God is a Humans-Only God. In all of Creation, we’re it. Nothing else anywhere engages the Divine Creator of the Universe the way Humans do? God didn’t make anyone else, anywhere – in an infinite Creation? I find that extremely hard to believe as well as unsupported by Scripture. God repeatedly says that we are to love the alien (I’m sure KJV-Onlies will try to argue out of that one as well, but “alien” is mentioned eight times). Jesus said that we aren’t His only flock (John 10:16). The Bible is God’s Word to us. (KJV-Onlies will tell you God’s Word is INFALLIBLE – except when it doesn’t fit their interpretation of the Universe. Their interpretation doesn’t include aliens living on other worlds.)

CS Lewis would disagree with them. He wrote PERELANDRA, in which the Venusian Eve must make her Obedience or Disobedience choice. I happen to believe that this is the ONLY real choice we have, but I'm willing to be persuaded. Venusian Eve chooses to Obey, despite temptation. Thereafter, Venusians would live in constant communion with God.

Which is what should have happened to US, but God chose to redeem Humans whom He loved, because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience , through humiliation, pain and death. (Are we to be PROUD of that?) Evangelical Christians (who have published SF on just about every other subject) still shy away from aliens from other worlds in their mainstream for this reason – they don’t believe there’s anyone else out there. And if there were fallen people out there, then God must have only DIED ONCE, HERE, ON EARTH, BECAUSE WE WERE…not better than anyone else, surely?...BUT WORSE THAN ALL THE REST.)

With CS Lewis, I happen to disagree.