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Monday, August 27, 2007

Guest Blogger: Karina Fabian

Today I have a guest blogger--Karina Fabian!!! She is a freelance writer and catechist at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fredericksburg, VA. She has sold her fiction to Eternal Night, Samsara, Hereditas, and Asimov’s. Rob Fabian, her husband, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force who is actively involved in the use of space, whose articles have been published in Journal of Space Policy. Her book INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD won the EPPIE award this year for Best Science Fiction. The book is available from Twilight Times Books at www.twilighttimesbooks.com or more information go to: http://isigsf.tripod.com


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Penelope invited me to be a guest on her blog as part of my virtual book tour (link: karinafabian.tripod.com/id36) for INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD and since she doesn't write or read a lot in science fiction, to talk about that genre. Thanks again, Penelope, for the opportunity.

I have always been a science fiction fan. In fact, when I received two romance novels for my 16th birthday (must have been a joke), I promptly returned them for the latest Star Trek novels. I'm sure at the time, a lot of it was having grown up watching Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, but there must have been something more. After all, we faithfully watched CHiPs, Emergency 51 and Dragnet, yet I never got into those like I did science fiction. There was something more to the genre that I couldn't articulate, but definitely responded to as a child and a teen.

Now, as an adult, I could probably intellectualize it by saying science fiction provides a venue to step back from society or a problem and look at it anew. Or I could say it provides the perfect means to ask "What if?" and to project a current trend or a new idea to an extreme that would not make sense in a genre that demands a level of realism or the known.

Yes, I could say that, and it'd be true to an extent, but the main reason I love sci fi is simply that it provides escapist fun. Exploring strange new worlds. Seeking out new life and new civilizations. Boldly going where no one has gone before. Gene Roddenberry had it right--there's excitement in the future, thrills in the unknown. The best part is, you can't escape "normal" romance or history or personal trauma. You just get to add tech toys, aliens and bizarre new experiences. You can even have fantastic accidents and vehicles going up in a pyrotechnic display--they just might be spaceships. You get it all, baby!

OK, calming down…

This explains why I like to read sci fi; my motivations for writing sci fi tends to veer more toward the "adult" reasons. I enjoy exploring new ideas and the possibilities of the future. I enjoy letting my imagination soar without having to worry about realism or historical facts. Aliens are fun to write about, too, though more often than not, my characters are human or humanoid. I also enjoy playing with space.

Let me give you an example with "Our Daily Bread," which I wrote with my husband Rob for Infinite Space, Infinite God. (BTW, writing is a romantic activity for us. Read more on Ann Lewis's Blog from August 18. (link http://www.annmargaretlewis.com/) It takes place on an asteroid mine with 50 people, most of whom are Catholic. The overall theme explores interpersonal relations and religious tension in a closed environment. (Or so your literature professor might tell you). The Catholic twist is that most of the asteroid station's supply of Communion Hosts, consecrated wafers believed by Catholics to be the Body of Christ, have been lost in an accident, but the remainder are miraculously multiplying just before Sunday. However, we also devote a lot of time to the details of living in microgravity, from how to sit (do we really want Velcro on the chairs? Imagine the sound!) to how to fight (Pulling your arm back to punch pulls you away from your foe.) to how to pray (If you're skilled and can stay still enough, you will settle to the floor in a kneeling position.) It’s the details like these that make the story fun for us, and we believe for our readers.

Regardless of the tech toys and bizarre aliens, most of science fiction involves problems that speak to humanity. It's not about the phasers; it's about the guy holding the phaser…
…but the phaser just makes it more fun.

Karina Fabian has focused the last few years on science fiction and fantasy that appeals to the mind, the soul and the funny bone. Learn more about her at www.fabianspace.com.

Infinite Space, Infinite God can be ordered directly from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, or the publisher, Twilight Times Books, PO Box 3340, Kingsport, TN 37664; or via the Internet at http://twilighttimesbooks.com.

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