July 22, 2014

The 'What-Ifs' Gone Wild by Nicola Frankensee




We are pleased to welcome InScribe member Nicola (Henrietta) Frankensee as our Guest Blogger today.

Ever since God what-iffed the dimensions into being with a Word and gave His people the privilege of intimacy with Him in the use of their own words we have been what-iffing worlds into literature. I think He revels in our imaginations, though they can never do more than reflect His Greater reality.

The ancients imagined Valhalla and Olympia and Nirvana. They created characters--Gilgemesh, Bathsett, Hercules and Ah Bolom Tzacab to populate these worlds and stretch themselves beyond the earth-bound human story.

In western civilisation, using a Christian worldview, Shakespeare the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen wrote about elves and fairies and talking animals. In modern times we look to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien as the fathers of modern Christian fantasy. We have The Gospel According to Star Wars. Speculative Fiction is alive and well among Christian authors and publishers.

So what is Speculative Fiction? It is 'what-ifs' gone wild!

  • What if Jesus doesn’t come before the year 3000?
  • What if He does and it’s before the tribulation? What if He comes after the tribulation?
  • What if Time is set in stone and a traveler couldn’t disturb or influence events in the past or future?
  • What if the traveler could and did, by design or accident?
  • What if a well seasoned Christian met a stranger with suggestively elongated upper canines?
  • What if aliens or robots or elves or clones or any assortment of them ruled the earth?
  • What if alien police sought to research/experiment with human law by kidnapping a super sleuth to solve their unsolvable crimes?
  • What if we could survive a trip through a Black Hole?
  • What if animals were better at remembering and worshiping God than humans?

These questions collect and are published under titles like Fantasy, Science Fiction, End Times Fiction, Steam Punk, Time Travel, Ghost Stories and Paranormal Fiction. I find new subcategories all the time.

Friend Google cheerfully lists 5 710 000 hits to the 'Speculative Fiction' query and 670 000 hits for Christian Speculative Fiction, though this changes every day. One of the first links I followed has proven my favourite, Speculativefaith.com. I’ll leave it up to you to follow other links. Be prepared for the bizarre!

There are 114 publishers of Christian Speculative Fiction presently listed on the speculative faith website and more coming up all the time. Though in its infancy and generally published by independent houses, the fan base is hearty and loyal and always hungry for new reading. And even by the short list of what-ifs in this article it is easy to see there are more stories to be written.

Since a blog acquaintance suggested my story came within these parameters, I have reveled in the discussions, controversies, stories and generous companionship of this genre. Bravely going where no Christian Writer has gone before, much joy has been added to my writing life with heretofore undescribed species and situations, and I look forward to where the elves and dwarves and pixies might lead me. I will personally leave the horror and paranormal genres to braver souls!

At the last God gave one man, John, a peek at the what-ifs He has in store for our future, proving again that no author can out-create the Alpha and Omega of Imagination. To His praise and glory He is not threatened by our attempts to use the gift of language and imagination that He so generously shares.

Nicola Frankensee (aka Henrietta) was born in South Africa and has lived in England and Canada. She has told stories all her life and hopes one day to share her Magnum Opus, which is called Leoshine with a wider audience. 


  1. Thank you, Henrietta! I've never been able to wrap my brain around the interest in fantasy or science fiction genres. Now I understand -- It's all about What-if. It's still not my thing, but now it makes sense.


  2. Science Fiction and spec is my all time FAVOURITE genre. I love to see so many Christina authors taking it on.

  3. I love the question of the 'What-ifs?' Your title drew me in.
    I think we met last year at the annual conference and then in spring in Calgary. Best wishes with Magnum Opus.

  4. Henrietta,

    Thanks so much for being our Guest Blogger and for sharing your vivid 'what-if' ideas with us and for sharing some info about speculative fiction. You've certainly given me some food for thought.

  5. When you describe speculative, even Christian speculative fiction, that way, I realize I've read more of this than I thought I had. I remember corresponding with you some time ago when you were starting a writing group in south Calgary. I'm glad you are finding and sharing your niche within InScribe. Blessings, Henrietta.

  6. Clearly you have found a niche, Henrietta, and the talent to go with it! So glad you posted.


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