September's Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour features a new print-media publisher, Marcher Lord Press, which specializes in Christian speculative fiction.
The official launch is October 1, but I and others in the tour have been reading some of the work soon to be offered to the reading public, and it's pretty darn good stuff. The quality and variety of the writing is excellent, the cover art is awesome, and I'm already a fan.
You can visit the website for information about which kinds of books MLP is interested in producing, the first three authors to be published by MLP, or about the founder, Jeff Gerke, so I won't discuss that here. (rubbing my palms in anticipation) I'd rather talk about the books.
The first: The Personifid Invasion by R.E. Bartlett.
Honestly, the title doesn't intrigue me. It suggests aliens or something akin to Imposter (I'm not all that interested in alien-related tales, but I enjoyed the movie based on a Philip K. Dick short story). And The Personifid Invasion is the second book in a series, and I prefer to start at the beginning.
I gave it the length of a chapter in which to grab my attention. I read two or three chapters before I realized I was well past the goal line, and sprinting ahead.
It has an interesting premise: In the future, human beings can trade in their bodies for all sorts of other types of structures to house their consciousness, from perfect human-like bodies to robotic forms to even animal shapes. There is a price to be paid, however, a trading of one's soul in a search for a contentment that cannot be found by inhabiting a beautiful shell.
God (the Tri-une Soul) is spoken about or addressed by characters, and Biblical themes are present throughout the story, but there are no "Gospel bludgeons" to beat the reader over the head. Yes, there are characters who are missionaries of sorts, seeking out personifids and other lost souls, but I who detest saccharine or sermonizing was not put off by the blatant Christian underpinnings of the novel. Rather, I admire Ms. Bartlett's skill in weaving the truth of Gospel into a page-turning science fiction tale that I believe Christians and non-Christians alike may enjoy.
The thumbnail picture above is just a detail from the cover illustration. Check out the full artwork.
Also, for my fellow geeks, click here to check out the animation segment and the art in MLP's gallery.
Tomorrow: Hero, Second Class.
Meantime, check out these other blogs on the tour:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Kameron M. Franklin
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Mirtika or Mir's Here