I've had this niggling little idea in the back of my head for a while now that I keep pushing away like I would a cat that's trying to rub on my chin while I'm reading. But, like that metaphorical cat, the idea is persistent, so I may just have to think about it in a more serious way to quiet the noise in my mind.
What is this notion? It has to do with the way those of us who write speculative fiction mourn the fact that at Christian writers conferences, we always feel like the red-headed step child. We don't quite fit with Amish fiction authors, romance writers, and the mom-lit crowd. In an effort to remind ourselves we're not alone in our freakishness, we band together. We like our zombies, our swords, and our dirigibles. We don't even ask that you understand.
But I can't help but feel like it's high time we speculative fiction authors stop fighting the current for recognition and respect. Don't get me wrong--I am very glad for the strides the Christian publishing industry has made in offering more speculative fiction over the past five years or so. I recognize we are the fringe of the religious community, and that's fine. I just think it would be an incredible experience if an event existed that blended faith and speculative fiction. Something more like a fantasy con than a writer's conference--where the fans, writers, filmmakers, publishers, artists, and other folks of faith who like to speculate could come together. Rather than hunting the Christian writer's conference schedule for the one class that applies to our area of interest, how cool would it be if the whole even was layered with choices?
So here I am, with visions of readings from authors' next books, film screenings, a dealer room, round table discussions, authors intensives, and who knows what else? The idea, like all my ideas, only gets bigger every time I think about it.
Now, if I can only find a crew of people crazy enough to pull it off. I suspect this won't be the last I mention this.