Chicago time!

Comic-con gone Midwest.

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The Princess of Neptune

I stumbled upon The Princess of Nepture by Quentin Dodd when I was doing a Google search for books similar to the one I'm writing, to see what the market is like and to check out my competition (all that good stuff writers should do). Dodd's story is very different from mine but we do share the Google phrase of "intergalactic teen". So for the mere fact that we write in the same sci-fi teen book genre I checked out his site and was really impressed. His books would probably be in the "customers who bought this item also bought" section of Amazon for my future novels. Maybe I can email him and get some tips. The target audience for my sci-fi works are teens and twenty-somethings. A big emphasis of my style is that I include multi-ethnic characters and characters of several races and various backgrounds. So that includes Native Americans to Filipinos and everyone in between. But let me get back to how I was impressed by Dodd's stories. From the sample chapters I read from The Princess of Neptune, he writes in a witty first-person point of view. The characters are funny, engaging and very human (well, except for the aliens--but I imagine that they'll even be pretty relateable to us earthbound people).

I bookmarked his site and plan on heading down to the library and to see if they have his novels in their collection. If not, I'll check out Barnes & Noble or Borders to see if they have it in stock. I'd definately like to buy this book and see what happens to the "punk-rock teenager and her pesky younger brother". I'm adding The Princess of Neptune to my list of sci-fi books to read just under Sue Dent's Never Ceese and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.

So if you're a fan of teen sci-fi in the vein of Melinda Metz's Roswell High series or Bill Myer's Forbidden Doors series then check out Dodd's site and you just might find your next favorite book.

Happy Reading!

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THR3E coming to theaters!

This is hot off the Ground Force Network press...Ted Dekker's Christian thriller Thr3e is coming to the big screen courtesy of FOX Faith. You can be part of the team that gets the word out by joining the Ground Force Network street team and signing up for this promotion campaign. By signing up you can win a chance to get some cool stuff. Here's an excerpt from their email:
We need YOU to help us do the following:
- get the word out about THR3E in your community & online
- gather groups of friends to attend the movie with you on opening weekend

As a member of this team you'll have a chance to earn the following:
- an autographed copy of THR3E (the novel)
- movie tickets
- a cool THR3E t-shirt

Think this is something you're interested in? Then join the street team and have some fun already!

Here's the official THR3E movie synposis:
When a young seminary student is targeted by a psychopathic killer, he joins forces with a criminal psychologist whose brother was murdered by the same madman. Together they must unravel the killer's riddles and catch him before he strikes again, but the closer they get, the more twisted the path becomes. This heart-pounding thriller will keep you guessing up until the final shocking scene!

I haven't actually read any of Dekker's novels because I'm not really into thriller books, but I remember reading a little bit of his books when I was browsing around in a Christian bookstore in Phoenix. From the little I remember reading I enjoyed imagining where the plots might go. This book is definately movie material and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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Black, Christian and Super-duper!

Meet the new superheroes on the block.

I found this cool article via called "Black Christian Heroes To the Rescue in Comics" that was featured in The Washington Post. How sweet is that? Milestone Media and Urban Minstries, Inc. team up to meet the apparent need for more ethnically diverse superheroes in comic books. The series Genesis 5 is about five teen angels who are "aided by a mortal teenager and an awestruck cabdriver." The angels "have to save the world, protect their identities and still make it home by curfew!"

This is good news for Christians, like me, who make it a point to include heroes who come in different shades and ethnicities.

Visit The Guardian Line website for previews of their comics.
Read Milestone Media's wikipedia entry.
Browse The Musuem of Black Superheroes.
Listen to NPR's take on Black Comicbook Superheroes.

In other news, John Singleton (Four Brothers, Boys in the Hood) is set to direct Marvel Comic's black superhero Luke Cage film coming to the big screen in 2008. Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers) is in talks for the lead role.

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I won a book!

If I had a choice between winning a Tiffany & Co. diamond ring or a year's supply of free books from my favorite publishing house, I'd pick the books, no doubt. If it was a diamond tennis bracelet I just might think about it for a few minutes (I like shiny bracelets) but I'd still end up picking the books anyway. That's how much I value a good read.

Yesterday, God brightened my day when I checked my email and found out I won this month's Kathryn Mackel book give-a-way. I got to choose which book I wanted (I felt like a kid in a candy store) and I happily chose Outriders.

In my slice of the world, books are a girl's bestfriend because diamonds can lose their glitter while well-written words can sparkle for a lifetime.

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This could be good...

Sci Fi Wire reported that TNT is thinking about picking up a show called Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter, about "a jaded Oklahoma City police detective who is visited by an irascible angel and offered an opportunity to redeem her life." If done right this show could prove to be promising. I just hope they don't have a cheesy-looking angel with poorly construed white wings.

The best angels I've read in fiction were those in Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. Now those angels were totally no-nonsense and cool.


Heroes come in many colors

No doubt, my new favorite TV show is by far Heroes. If you haven't been following the show then shame on you (and you call yourself a Sci-Fi fan). Okay, so this is my attempt to explain a piece of why Heroes is a hit. The simplicity of it all may shock you, so prepare yourself: they're not all white! Just in case you missed that I'll repeat: they're not all white! And I say this with no offense intended but a part of the success, I'd even venture to say a BIG part of the success is that the heroes come in many colors. For many minority people looking to see themselves represented in Sci-Fi this is a major breakthrough. Honestly, how many shows on national television can boast of having an Asian man as the break-out star? Seriously, who doesn't love Hiro and his wide-eyed innocence to save the world? It's almost a miracle in itself to have another language than English being spoken on a prime-time show (exluding any alien talk). It makes me want to run down to the mall and buy the latest Rosetta Stone Japanese guide so I can understand what Hiro is saying without the subtitles. But then, the subtitles are so wicked cool I'd want to read them anyway.

I won't even begin to say how long I've dreamed of having an Indian man in a leading role. Surresh is by far is the hottest Heroes hunk. He can totally track me down anyday. We could go to Bible study together.

Another highlight of the show is the inter-racial relationships. There's Nikki and her walk through walls husband. Hiro and his rapid reading diner girl. Isaac and his art dealer girlfriend. Then Peter and Miss. Art dealer lady. Surresh and his double crossing power of persuasion lady. Then there's Micah, bi-racial superhero, isn't he the cutest? (God knows we need some more multi-ethnic children like me). A bunch of people on are hooked on Heroes too.

It's looks like Hollywood execs are finally beginning to see that diversity in TV shows, especially Sci-Fi ones, is something that we want.

Until Heroes starts back up in January let this little phrase bring you joy:
Save the cheerleader, save the world.

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Vampires and Werewolves

The Underworld films are a couple of my new favorites. I enjoyed the fresh Romeo and Juliet spin they put on the classic vampire and werewolf story. Plus, Kate Beckinsale's character totally kicked butt.

I was delighted to find another interesting spin on the vampire/werewolf story courtesty of a post from Spoiled for the Ordinary's blog. "Never Ceese" by Sue Dent tells the story of:

an English manor owned by Richard, the vampire who righteously is the bain of his neighbor's existence, what with the missing goats and all! Then enters Cecelia, better known as Ceese, the young werewolf maiden who's arrived via invitation by Richard's aging companion, Penelope. Ceese and Richard would prefer to tear each other apart, literally, but they are drawn together by their mutual love for Penelope. She is dying and has one request...that the two of them love one another.
Reviewers said this novel deals with the lead characters seeking a cure for their spiritual curses and ponders on the path if they can get into Heaven if the curse is lifted. I hope this book lives up to its hype because right now I'm really excited about reading this one.

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What's Sci-Fi got to do with it?

Some things just go together. Peanut butter and chocolate. Milk and cookies. Lois and Clark. But somebody had to put them together in the first place, and most likely their beginnings may have seemed strange to others. But the creators knew that they had something special despite critical eyes and it is to their credit that we now enjoy a sweet mix.

Some people can't comphrend how anything good could come out of combinding Jesus and Sci-Fi. What's sci-fi got to do with our spiritual journey? And what's Jesus got to do with fiction? Well, maybe more than some have imagined.

One of Jesus' trademarks was his how he spoke to the crowds (big and small) and shared stories with them. Some were about real people and others were parables, but each pointed to the Truth. Jesus understood the power of storytelling and how it could plant seeds to forever change a soul. In Luke 8:9-10, the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables and this is His response:
The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'
The Message version puts it this way:
You've been given insight into God's kingdom—you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren't going to get it: Their eyes are open but don't see a thing, Their ears are open but don't hear a thing.
The fact is some people just won't get how Jesus and Sci-Fi blend, but to those who do, a new world is opened up to them.

This blog is a place for me to write about one of my passions: finding Christian lessons displayed in science fiction (and fantasy) storytelling via books, TV, movies and videogames. I'll be doing some reviews, commentary and simply providing links to some really cool stuff. If you're a Christian who's into Sci-Fi please join the conversation. I'm even looking for a couple other people to be regular contributors. I'd especially like another girl to show people that ladies like Sci-Fi too.

Happy reading!!

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About My Blog

"You make me feel out of my element, like I'm walkin' on broken glass. Like my world's spinnin' in slow motion and you're movin' too fast."

Those lyrics from Aly & AJ's "Chemicals React" pretty much sum up what Sci-Fi / Journalist is all about. Science fiction can take you to far away planets and civilizations. It challenges your imagination and takes you out of your element.

Jesus is radically beautiful and good. Sometimes following Him can make you feel out of your element too, like you can't quite get the right footing (like walking on broken glass) and you have these new "strange" universal principles to live by. It's like a whole new galaxy is being opened up to you.

That's why Jesus and Sci-Fi make a good blend. They ask: "What if?" What if people lived their lives differently? What if an awkward teen got bit by a radioactivate spider and devloped super powers? What if God sent His only son into the world to die and then rise again? What if man could journey to space, the final frontier and find aliens? What if a man could walk on water?

With Sci-Fi, anything can happen. And with God, all things are possible. Are you beginning to see the parallel yet?

Why the name Sci-Fi / Journalist?
I picked this name because (A) I like Sci-Fi and (B) I'm a journalist. I wanted to investigate how Science Fiction and Fantasy's epic stories of good vs. evil can be used to illustrate Gospel Truths.

Some really good stories that explain aspects of the Truth are The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Superman, Star Wars and many more.

And just like that...Jesus and Sci-Fi react.


If you have any questions, comments, concerns or even answers (who doesn't need those?) feel free to email me: solshine7[at]

And remember to check out my other blog Think Virtue! for further observations on Jesus, entertainment and social justice.

*For more info on my why I wrote this blog check out my first post: "What's Sci-Fi got to do with it?"

**I'm placing this as my "first blog entry" but I actually submitted this on 2/15/07. Just so you know and don't ask, when did this pop up?**