by Lillian Csernica on September 2, 2013
I take great pleasure in announcing my latest sale! “Hell to Pay” will appear in Revelation: The Seals – Issue #1 – Conquest from Sacred City Productions.
This sale means a lot to me not just because I’m excited about this project, but because I’m happy to be publishing a story with strong Christian elements. In two of my other stories, “Maeve” and “The Family Spirit,” I make direct reference to the Christian beliefs of the main characters. These stories are still within the realm of speculative fiction. Maeve herself becomes the vehicle of something otherworldly which brings wisdom and comfort to the people of a small Irish village. In Ireland, the presence of the Roman Catholic faith permeates daily existence. In “The Family Spirit,” the overall context is more Protestant, and that’s fine. At one point the ghost confronts Ben, the main character, saying, “Are you a Christian, son?” When Ben nods, the ghost tells him to bow his head to the Lord as grace is said over the holiday meal.
Being a Christian in the world of fantasy and science fiction can sometimes be difficult. There are some members of some denominations of Christianity who have branded science fiction and fantasy books, games, movies, TV shows, etc. as being tools of the Devil and inspired by occult sources. Please notice how carefully I qualified the subject of that sentence. Some people will say anything about anything once they get all fired up and feel the need to pontificate.
Speaking strictly for myself, I will say that more than once I’ve paused in the creation of a character or a plotline and asked myself if I really wanted to work with such materials and express such ideas even though I did not believe in them myself. For a long time I gave up writing horror because I couldn’t stand to work with the usual materials found in that genre. I have enough nightmares thanks to the traumas my family has endured. This larger question has been put to some of the greatest writers of our time, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne. After he’d published The Scarlet Letter, his father said to him, “Is this your idea of glorifying God?”
I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, Russian Orthodox in particular. I write all kinds of fantasy, mystery, crime, and historical fiction. I like to work with the materials of mythology, folklore, cultural tropes and the human psychological needs that give rise to all of them. I also write romance novels. I walk a very fine line there because of the love scenes readers expect and demand. I have discussed the matter with my parish priest who is also my confessor.
The bottom line is I’m a Christian, I’m glad to be one, and I’m very happy to be publishing a story that shows a man praying and wearing a Cross and battling a demon with an angel at his side. Glory to God! Glory forever!