Classic Sci-Fi Meets a Christian Worldview
by Ashley Hodges Bazer, author of Asylum
I am frequently asked, “How in the world do you find time to write?” I’m a pastor’s wife and a stay-at-home mom to three young children. I’m active in our community, and I enjoy performing with a local theatre troupe. Sure, life is busy, but writing is my outlet. My identity. And I often joke about it being my therapy.
In July, I had the honor of being named the grand prize winner of the WestBow Press/Munce Group’s 2012 writing contest. As a result, Asylum: The Circeae Tales has been transformed from a hopeful manuscript into a beautifully published book.
Since becoming a mom seven years ago, I’ve been working on a science fiction series titled The Circeae Tales. In the mainstream marketplace, sci-fi is peppered with explicit content. Speculative fiction, as the industry calls it, is on the rise with independent publishers, but walk into any Christian bookstore, and you’ll find mostly historical fiction or romance. I decided to write stories like those I’d want to read—fast-paced action set among solar systems. Characters who represent honor, chivalry, and light. Plots that reveal God’s hand at work and that share His truth. A family saga connected by a fluid storyline.
My relationship with my dad was a regular struggle. I loved him, and he loved me, but we often butted heads. God as a Father was a difficult concept for me to grasp. In examining my relationship with God, I found that if I looked to Him as a King, I could better embrace His love for me. I understood allegiance and loyalty. I could offer that. I understood protection and wisdom. And I knew God could offer that. This became the focal point of The Circeae Tales series. God as the Creator King.
Sunday school lessons taught us that the Israelites were expecting the Messiah to be a warrior king who would come in and free them from Rome. But instead, Jesus quietly laid His life down to save all His people. Would a warrior king do that? I created my Jesus figure as the Son of the Creator King and a monarch of the Circeae System. A ruler who was gentle and kind—Prince Ternion, the Ruler Prince. The word ternion is defined as a group of three, representing the Trinity. Ternion would be deposed by those who couldn’t accept His ways. It was a solid foundation for the larger conflict in the series.
In the Circeae system, the Creator King (God), the Ruler Prince (Jesus), and the Eternal Companion (the Holy Spirit) form the Crown. Believers of the Crown are known as the Lumen, which is Latin for light. Some of those believers are gifted in supernatural ways. They are called the Logia. In our world, the Logia is a collection of the sayings of Christ. The Ghosts are Lumen who have become defenders of the Logia and the Crown following Prince Ternion’s execution.
Asylum is one of ten Circeae Tales novels. Chase Leighton, already embroiled in the cosmic battle between good and evil, loses his wife, Trista, to the Progressive Legacy, the governing faction of the Circeae System. Once he learns her death was a deception, he becomes obsessed with finding her. In the midst of agonizing trials, Chase’s faith falters, but the Crown, as He always does, holds fast and leads Chase back to a path of righteousness.
It’s staggering to see my characters—Chase, Trista, Redic, Seraph—immortalized on the printed page. Wonderful and frightening at the same time. By winning the writing contest, WestBow Press and the Munce Group made my publishing dream a reality, but I now had a huge responsibility to make this manuscript everything it could be.
I once watched a program on the History Channel about comic book superheroes. Former Batman editor and writer Dennis O’Neil remarked that the editors of Batman and Superman comic books have become “custodians of folklore.” I indeed felt (and feel) the weight of that burden. Had I done my characters, their universe, and their stories justice? Would my readers sympathize, or maybe even empathize with them? Will this one novel stir enough intrigue to bring the other stories forth?
These are things I had to give over to God. “Do your best, and let God do the rest,” a friend of mine says. Clinging to Philippians 1:6, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus,” I trust that He will use Asylum, as well as the other books in the Circeae Tales series, to further His Kingdom. Whether it’s planting a seed in a reader who won’t pick up the typical Christian book or just appealing to those believers who enjoy a good ol’ sci-fi novel, I am confident that His name will be glorified.
As the Logia say, “Soli Deo Gloria.”