Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CSFF Tour - Residential Aliens Day 3

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

Yeah, been there, done that.

If you are looking for new and fresh science fiction and other speculative creative work, you need to check out Residential Aliens - which is why we're featuring it for the tour in August.

One thing I like about ResAliens is the fact that they look for fiction that accepts the spiritual as something acceptable to write about. Some may say that the "science" part of science fiction should preclude spirituality from being in the fiction. Doesn't science disprove religion?

Mike Duran blogs frequently about the state of fiction, Christian fiction in particular, and speculative fiction. In his post "Why Science Fiction Embraces Religion… and Science Doesn’t," he quotes another article that has this statement (regarding various sci-fi stories):
It’s never “Does this force actually exist?” It’s, “What do we call it?” Or “How do we treat it?” Or “How do we interact with it?” One of the many things that fascinates me about these stories is that the thing, whatever it is—a being, a force—always exists. Some choose to acknowledge it via gratitude, giving it a place of honor, organizing their lives around it and allowing it to feed them spiritually. Others simply use it as a thing, a tool, taking from it what they will when they will then calling it a day. But neither reaction negates the existence of the thing.

This seems to me to be what ResAliens is after - allowing authors a platform to use entertaining sci-fi stories to explore ideas that relate to spirituality.

I didn't get a chance to exhaustively peruse the whole site, but I did find one story that stood out in quality of writing and depth of ideas. "Of All Things, Seen And Unseen" is by the CSFF Tour's own Fred Warren. I picked this story to read because of this connection, but my praise is earned through his quality of work only.
The story is based on a universe/concept from Robert and Karina Fabian, where there is an order called the "Rescue Sisters" that aids spacefaring travelers in distress. Fred's story is his own other than being set in their universe.
Sister Claudia has always wanted to be a Rescue Sister. She is young and talented at what she does. However, a routine assist goes awry when she goes against orders, and she ends up losing part of her right arm. Her new disability limits her from the front line, and she struggles to find her place among the Sisters of Our Lady of the Rescue.
It is a straightfoward premise, but it is well-written and drew me into this setting. He paces the short story perfectly, putting us in Claudia's dilemna, giving the background needed, and propelling the plot forward. To set up an appropriate conflict and resolution in a short story while having rounded characters and an intersting setting is a significant challenge, and Fred meets all of these points. More importantly, he paints a beautiful theme with Claudia's adventure, and it is inspiring as well as entertaining.
I am intrigued enough with Residential Aliens that I will be watching for more from them, and will perhaps trying my own hand for a story there. I hope any fans of science fiction will check it out. My fellow tourmates have more on this, and Becky's blog keeps track of all of these.
Happy spacefaring!


  1. Thanks for the review, Jason. I'm glad you enjoyed my story. There's a second Rescue Sisters story, "Beatitude," in this month's ResAliens.

  2. Great post, Jason! I love Residential Aliens. =)