Information and links to Christian fiction resources supplied by Rick Sutcliffe's Arjay Enterprises.
Christian fiction (CF) is a literature whose conflicts and characters centre around Biblical themes. God, sin, redemption, and service to others play a significant role in such literature.
The scope of Christian fiction includes speculative fiction, historical fiction, mystery, western, romantic fiction, and various combinations of these--in short, nearly every fiction genre includes works with Christian themes. Modern Christian fiction is heavily weighted to historical romance, but this in part reflects trends in the broader marketplace. Christian speculative fiction is mostly apocalyptic "end-times" literature, that is, fantasy.
Much fiction sold as "Christian" is nominally so at best, and even that can be a stretch. Somewhat clean-living characters make occasional passing references to God or church, but neither are an integral part of their lives. Tough issues are not mentioned, and sin, salvation and sanctification may as well not exist. The best these are is family-safe entertainment. They are not Christian. C.S. Lewis could also entertain, but his Christian fiction tackled hard issues in books for children. Aslan/Christ died a gruesome death to effect redemption. He is not "safe". Neither is life. Paradoxically, death in him is.
Rick Sutcliffe's speculative fiction is written from a Christian point of view. It includes romances, but does not focus on them. It is not apocalyptic, rather belonging to the alternate history sub-genre of speculative fiction. Science is integral to the plot, but the plots are not about science per se. Instead, they centre on the big decisions of life. Rick Sutcliffe's Christian fiction is set among several alternate worlds linked by a medium called the timestream, and deals with characters involved in ethical decision making, often related to science or technology.
The key nexus or decision points that generate two alternate worlds where only one existed before are Biblical events, such as the crucifixion, which is known about on all the worlds, but took place on only one.
Moreover, in Rick Sutcliffe's Christian fiction, saints and sinners alike (and saints are merely redeemed sinners) struggle with the eternal issues of God, sin and salvation. Some accept Christ, some do not, become hardened sinners, and die in their sins, others are ambiguous, at various levels of interest or maturity, or still on a spiritual journey. Some Christians live vigorously and enthusiastically to serve their Saviour, others pay only lip service to Christ. That is, these characters are like those on our world (Tirdia or Prime). They learn and grow--some toward God, others away. Each book has at least one explicit Gospel presentation. The characters sometimes discuss philosophical and theological issues, just as real people do in a real world, and much unlike the artificial one of typical Tirdian entertainment which has been carefully sanitized (trivialized?) of all such themes.
For their part, the Hibernians in particular are less obsessed by sex than we Tirdians, neither does the author believe that the veil over intimate relations needs to be ripped away to make a story. So there are no steamy romantic or explicit sexual scenes. On the other hand, violence is an accepted part of everyday life in Hibernia (these are Irish after all), so some parental caution is advised for younger children reading these works. Even so, death is not dwelled upon in detail--it is an enemy to loathe and defeat, neither a lover nor a friend. Perhaps the Hibernian's preoccupation with the arts of war is a metaphor for our way of thinking. After all, it seems every person and culture has its besetting sin. The people of Babylon (Para earth, Hibernia's Federation partner) are obsessed with making money. Still in all, these works are not dark ones, as is some apocalyptic Christian literature, for they celebrate excellence in stewardship and the service of God unto his praise--which is why he made us in the first place.
The first series, The Interregnum, takes place largely on Ortho Earth, also called Greater Hibernia, and covers the period 1941-2001, during which there was a ban on the throne and the High King's family, and a corrupt oligarchy of nobles ruled.
Volume I, The Peace, published as an electronic book, won an award nomination, was a best seller with its first publisher and received very positive reviews, particularly from Analog magazine's Tom Easton. It was republished by Writers Exchange ePublishing in December 2002.
Volume II, The Friends, is also available in electronic book form and in paper from Booksurge. It was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in June 2003 and was named the best Science Fiction novel of the year with an EPPIE 2004 award.
Volume III, The Exile was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in July 2003, and was an EPPIE 2004 finalist for Science Fiction. It is available in both electronic book and paper form.
Volume IV, The General, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in March 2006 and is available from them and their retailers in a variety of formats.
Volume V, The Nexus, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in April 2006 and is available from them and their retailers in a variety of formats.
Volume VI, The Builder, is scheduled for late 2006 or 2007
Volume VII, The Throne, will be the final installment in the series.
All of Rick Sutcliffe's books can be purchased via links here.