Infinite Space Infinite God II has twelve science fiction stories that span the gamut of the genre, from time travel to alien abduction, space opera and near-future space exploration stories. The stories all have one twist in common: each features a Catholic hero or theme. Just like with Infinite Space Infinite God I (known as ISIG), the Fabians had a three-fold requirement: great sci-fi, great story, and great display of the Catholic faith. The combination garnered ISIG literary and popular acclaim; it won the EPPIE for best science fiction and was a top ten finalist for best science fiction in the Predator and Editor polls. Read the full press release
This year, I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a live chat at MuseCon with Karina and Rob, the topic being one near and dear to my heart: "Care of the Writer's Spouse, " the title of which they both quickly amended to "Care of the Writing Couple." It was great to participate, along with my husband and a lot of other couples, in a very dynamic discussion about how to manage family writing lives.
Being Catholic (stop laughing, I go to church regularly and they haven't thrown me out yet), I was very interested in what the Catholic science fiction and fantasy genre would be like and enjoyed Infinite Space Infinite God I. I haven't had the time to read Infinite Space Infinite God II yet, so I'll have to let Karina tell us how they differ-or how they are similar.
Welcome, Karina! Congratulations on the release of Infinite Space, Infinite God II. Can you tell us about the series in general, and this book in particular?
The Infinite Space Infinite God series (or ISIGs) are science fiction stories with Catholic characters, themes and situations. They span the gamut of science fiction subgenres--from time travel to space opera--and all have a very positive look at the Catholic faith as well as faith and science coexisting or working together.
ISIG II has a more hero-based focus than it's predecessor, which means more adventure and more fun, and a little less introspection. It's a great companion to ISIG.
You've been a professional writer for a long time, and your husband is a colonel in the Air Force. I know he is very supportive of your career, and you of his. Can you tell us a little about how you decided to collaborate on the Infinite Space, Infinite God series?
It was a date night activity, really. I was starting to write as a career and Rob's always enjoyed writing, so we decided to work on projects together. We've written some short stories as a team and ISIG II is the third book we've edited. (Leaps of Faith is our anthology of Christian science fiction.)
How do you define the genre of Catholic science fiction/fantasy, and are there any subjects or story lines that are taboo? How does it differ from Christian or inspirational fiction?
A good rule of thumb is "If you take an element out and the story falls apart, that's the genre." So for Catholic science fiction, if you take out the science or the Catholicism, and the story fails, then you're writing Catholic science fiction. However, in my opinion, if you're not writing a story that is supportive or at least positive toward Catholicism, then you fail the test, too. I would not consider Dan Brown's book Catholic fiction, for example, even if his version of Catholicism is necessary for the story.
Christian fiction is a larger set and covers more ground. Catholic science fiction can be a part of that (and is where publishers allow it, but many Christian publishers do not want Catholic elements in their Christian fiction for a variety of reasons.) Inspirational fiction has a purpose: to inspire, usually spiritually. Catholic science fiction does not have to have that goal. It can merely entertain or make someone think.
What was your search for a publisher like, and what are some of the marketing venues/writer's groups available for those interested in Catholic science fiction and fantasy?
For ISIG II, the publisher came to us, which is always a nice deal! However, to find Twilight Times for ISIG took a year or so of searching for publishers, submitting, waiting, and searching again.
What are some of the other projects you're working on now? What is Vern up to these days?
I'm "between projects" right now, meaning I have several ideas partly started and am not sure what I'm going to do next. I've been spoiled the past few years with publishers who wanted something from me; this year, I have no requests pulling at me. So I may finish my Catholic sci-fi novel, or work on one of the fantasy novels, or start a new children's series about some animals in a church learning about Catholicism.
Vern is grumbling about my not finding a publisher for the next DragonEye novel. I am waiting on a few more replies, then I'm going to look at smaller press in January. In the meantime, I have several DragonEye, PI stories coming out, plus a few without Vern but in that universe. "Christmas Spirits" is about Vern and Sister Grace's first Christmas, where they have to stop an enchanted theater from using the ghosts of Christmas past, Present and Future to a land developer, is out in FlagShip this month. You can purchase it here.
See, Karina is very inspiring—on many levels. Where can people get Infinite Space Infinite God II?
Where are your next few stops on the tour?
For a complete list of all my upcoming appearances, please visit my blog.