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Then the operator proceeded to turn the machine on. I watched in horror as the walls and roof flew out in all directions and the door exploded. I came home with my picture but I wasn't sure what to think of it. In minutes, it hit the trash.
Writing, I think, is like spin art sometimes. We put our creations to paper, only to watch the world take it for a "spin" and well...who knows what they think of it in the end. Or, we drop our ideas onto paper and keep tinkering with them until the end result is nothing like what we started with.
Around that same time in my life I also began writing stories. Lots of them. But they were all humor-based or science fiction in nature. In fact, I wrote three and a half "novels" and never seemed to miss an episode of Doctor Who.
Then I seemed to "grow up" (whatever that means) in my writing, but that was more a less a result of some peer pressure at the time. I started writing on different, more "serious" topics, wrote some poetry, but never really came back to science fiction or writing about outer space.
I kept reading science fiction stories, however. I also read Hemingway, Bradbury, some Mark Twain, and a bunch of James Thurber stories. I kept watching science fiction movies and have recently been catching up on a lot of old Doctor Who episodes that are now coming out on DVD, thanks to BBC.
Over the last couple of years, however, I've hit a wall in terms of the content of my stories. It took me a while to figure out why, but then it became obvious: I wasn't writing what I wanted to anymore.
Complicating matters was the fact that I read the Bible cover-to-cover (finally) and listened to a Bible study by Chuck Missler and Dr. Mark Eastman, titled "Alien Encounters". The study is quite good and the research they presented is eye-opening. It completely changed my perspective on a few topics and threw a massive wrench into my thoughts about writing science-fiction ever again.
As a result, I noticed I started viewing movies with aliens differently. I've also noticed an uptick in movies (or even some books) lately that are science fiction in nature, but somehow also seem to slip in some cheap shots at Christianity along the way. Why can't they leave the issue alone altogether, and tell a straightforward sci-fi story? At the very least, it would be nice to see more stories that somehow incorporate Biblical elements in a way that doesn't shred a person's faith in the process. Although the Bible does not talk of life on other planets, it does not exclude that possibility either.
All these issues aside, I've come to realize that I need to go back, at least in some measure, to what drew me to the process of writing stories in the first place: humor and science fiction. So, I've quietly started writing both types of stories again. I intend or writing some steampunk-themed stories, along with some tales set in outer space. Although my early attempts may look like that spin art house I made years ago, I think some type of happy compromise can be made between the world of science fiction and the truth of the Word.
Sci-fi, I'm coming home.