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Audio

Since SF covers such expansive themes, such as what it means to be human, any number of SF works might be considered to have something of interest for Christian listeners. This list represents an attempt to catalogue those works which have some kind of explicit interest for believers. If you wish to add titles to this list, you can do so using this form, or contact the webmaster.

Audiobooks
[In His Image] In His Image
by James BeauSeigneur
Published by Recorded Books Unabridged, 2003
Amazon.com: cassette
Amazon.ca: cassette
Recommended by: Greg Slade

This is the first book in the Christ Clone Trilogy. (The other two books are Birth of an Age and Acts of God.) The action opens in 1978, when Decker Hawthorne, the publisher of a small weekly paper, manages to sneak onto the team studying the Shroud of Turin as an assistant to Harold Goodman, one of his professors from college. Years later, Goodman calls Hawthorne and promises to give him an exclusive on the greatest news story since Christopher Columbus, in return for Hawthorne's silence until Goodman is ready to publish. To his shock, Hawthorne discovers that Goodman has cloned cells he found on the Shroud.

James took part in an online interview in March, 2000.

[The Illustrated Man] The Illustrated Man
by Ray Bradbury
Reissued by Avon Books, 1997
320 pages
Amazon.com: audiobook
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Note especially "The Man", a powerful, classic story that posits Jesus will incarnate on any world where intelligent life arises. (Also found in numerous other collections.)

Other comments:

The Illustrated Man is not actually a novel, but an collection of short stories. There is a narrative which weaves them together. "'For, you see,' said the Illustrated Man, 'these Illustrations predict the future.'" Of particular interest are "The Man", in which travellers from Earth land on a planet, only to discover that their marvellous appearance has been upstaged by the arrival of Christ the previous day, and "The Fire Balloons", in which missionaries from Earth encounter aliens who do not sin. - Greg Slade

[The Spirit Ring] Falling Free
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Published by The Reader's Chair
Amazon.com: audiobook
Amazon.ca: audiobook
Recommended by: Greg Slade

Falling Free tells the adventures of Leo Graf, an engineer who is booked to teach zero-gravity welding techniques to a group of prospective deep-space construction workers. Then, a technological advance threatens not just his students' jobs, but their lives as well, and Graf is faced with the decision of whether to do what's best for his career, or what's "right." Since the choices to be made are essentially moral, Bujold's language strays into the theological:

This test was a higher order of magnitude altogether. This Tester, perhaps, scorned the merely humanly possible. Leo tried to remember how long it had been since he'd prayed, or even believed. Never, he decided, like this. He'd never needed like this before.... (p. 131)

I've never heard Bujold make a specific faith commitment, but there is a scattering of allusions and references throughout her works which makes it clear that Christianity is part of the moral background of her characters, at least.

[The Napoleon of Notting Hill] The Napoleon of Notting Hill
by G.K. Chesterton
Published in 1904
Amazon.com: audiobook
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

A nightmare about anarchy in a world without God. This is Chesterton's best-known fiction work other than his Father Brown detective stories, and with good reason. If you love paradoxes, this book is for you!

[Left Behind] Left Behind
by Tim F. LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
Published by Tyndale House, 1995
Amazon.com: audiobook
Amazon.ca: audio cassette, audio CD
Amazon.co.uk: audiobook
Christianbook.com: audiobook
Recommended by: Ronald B. Oakes

An interesting story about several people (an airline pilot, his daughter, one of the ministers in his wife's Church, a reporter for a major magizine and a Flight Attendant) in the weeks following a pretribulation rapture.

Left Behind is not strictly "Science Fiction" but definitely qualifies as "Speculative Fiction" It reminds me of Tom Clancy's works but focused on less important people (although, the Anti-Christ is a major figure.)

[Out of the Silent Planet] Out of the Silent Planet
by C.S. Lewis
Published by John Lane, 1938
Amazon.ca: audio CD
Amazon.com: audio cassette, audio CD
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Other Comments: Like much early science fiction, Lewis posits intelligent life in the canals of Mars. Edwin Ransom, an English philologist, is kidnapped by an old "friend" from school and his colleague, Dr. Weston, who has developed a space ship. The inhabitants of Mars have told them that they cannot take away any more of Mars' natural wealth unless they send one of their kind to meet with the ruler of Mars. Naturally enough, they assume that no good thing would happen to such an emissary, and they "volunteer" Ransom.

The twist is that the ruler of Mars is, in fact, an angel, and he is curious about what has been happening on earth since the angel which rules Earth had been "confined to quarters" some time ago. Earth is cut off from the rest of the universe, and is the "silent planet" of the title. Earth, you see, is the only planet affected by the Fall in Genesis. In this way, Lewis explores the possibility of "unfallen" races of aliens. His picture of such societies is necessarily fragmentary, but tantalising all the same. - Greg Slade

[Perelandra] Perelandra
by C.S. Lewis
Published by John Lane, 1943
Amazon.com: audio cassette, audio CD
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Other Comments: In this title, Ransom travels again, this time to Venus, to witness the temptation of Venus' parallel of Eve. (Perelandra has also been published under the title, Voyage to Venus.) Dr. Weston also makes the voyage, to act as the tempter. While Lewis' conception of Venus is even more fanciful than his description of Mars (and, alas, inaccurate, for Lewis' depiction of Venus would make it the tourist attraction in the solar system), the science fictional elements are not quite so much to the fore in this story, and theology plays a more central role. Not that this book is a tract in the guise of a story, but Ransom's interaction with the other characters gives rise to much dialogue on the nature of God, good, evil, and temptation.

[That Hideous Strength] That Hideous Strength
by C.S. Lewis
Published by John Lane, 1945
Amazon.ca: audio cassette
Amazon.com: audio cassette, audio CD
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Other Comments: The last of the space trilogy stories is set on Earth. Set in a town which is a sort of composite of Oxford and Cambridge, the story concerns the infiltration of the university by a group which is ostensibly set up to fund scientific research, but has a secret agenda. One of the college dons is drawn further and further within the circles of the conspiracy, until its full horrors are revealed. The scene in which he first begins to throw off the chains bound upon him by assorted appeals to his vices is one of the most inspiring passages of fiction I have ever read. Ransom appears again, although he is fairly distant from the action until near the end. - Greg Slade

[Threshold] Threshold
by Bill Myers
Published by Zondervan Publishing House, 1997
Amazon.com: audiobook
Amazon.co.uk: audiobook
Recommended by: Greg Slade

When I first started the Science Fiction and Christianity mailing list and web site (now merged with Christian Fandom), I wasn't aware of any science fiction by Christian authors since C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy, and I assumed that we would spend most of our time discussing Christian themes and allusions in secular science fiction. Well, the more I've gotten into it, the more I've discovered that, not only is there a surprisingly large number of SF works by Christian authors out there, but that the quality can be extremely good. Bill Myers' Threshold is a case in point. Unfortunately, Christian publishers seem to be a bit sheepish about the science fiction they do put out, because they don't seem to publicise it at all. In fact, I asked Zondervan point blank (twice) if they had published any SF, and never got an answer. Then, a friend offered me a copy of Threshold. The moral seems to be that there is good stuff out there, but you have to know where to look, because nobody's going to help you find it. (Well, I might have found it faster, had I known about Christian Fandom a year ago.

The premise of the book is stated right on the cover: "One of Revelation's two witnesses is already among us. He just doesn't know it." Brandon Martus is one of the two people whom God has called to be His witnesses during the tribulation. But while he started out full of promise, apparently due to be a preacher in his father's footsteps, his father's stroke and his sister's death in a car accident (while he was driving) have taken his faith from him, and he no longer believes. Instead, his sits in church and "zones out" during the sermons, and is therefore unprepared when demonic opposition arises to try to prevent him from entering into the ministry to which he has been called.

[The End of the Age] The End of the Age: A Novel
by Pat Robertson
Published by Word Books, 1996
Amazon.com: audiobook
Recommended by: Greg Slade

The End of the Age opens with Los Angeles advertising executive Carl Throneberry and his wife planning a vacation to Colorado to escape a heat wave. Before they get to the airport, the radio announces that a large meteor is about to strike the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. They barely manage to escape in time to avoid the resulting tidal wave, which wipes out most of the population of the Pacific Rim. From then on, the world gets even scarier.

There are a couple of technical mistakes near the beginning, and a major theological error near the beginning. The "bad guys" are mostly foreigners. The usual evangelical bogeymen are invoked. Some of the events are just a little bit too convenient (both for the "good guys" and for the "bad guys.") Still, it's surprisingly well-written, truer to the Bible than I expected, and, for the most part, the story works.

Dramatisations
[Left Behind] Left Behind
by Tim F. LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
Published by Tyndale House, 1995
Amazon.com: CD, cassette
Amazon.co.uk: CD
Recommended by: Ronald B. Oakes

An interesting story about several people (an airline pilot, his daughter, one of the ministers in his wife's Church, a reporter for a major magizine and a Flight Attendant) in the weeks following a pretribulation rapture.

Left Behind is not strictly "Science Fiction" but definitely qualifies as "Speculative Fiction" It reminds me of Tom Clancy's works but focused on less important people (although, the Anti-Christ is a major figure.)

Other Comments: For the print editions, check the bibliography.

[War of the Worlds] The War of the Worlds
Jeff Wayne
Columbia, 1978
Amazon.com: CD
Amazon.co.uk: CD
Recommended by: Greg Slade

Rock opera based on H.G. Wells' classic novel. An extremely good piece of work. Richard Burton's voice reading, "No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space...." sends a chill down my spine, and the combination of faithfulness to the story with some excellent music makes it one of my all-time favourite albums.

Music
[Wood Between the Worlds] Wood Between the Worlds
Bob Ayala
Myrrh, 1978
Recommended by: Greg Slade

Style: Folk-Rock. Allusions to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and Cosmic Trilogy.

[The Gospel According to Barnabas] The Gospel According to Barnabas
Barnabas
Thorne Records, Suite 409, 100 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Punk rock. Note especially "Waiting for the Aliens."

[The Last Temptation] The Last Temptation
Alice Cooper
Epic Records, 1994
Amazon.com: CD, paperback
Amazon.ca: CD
Amazon.co.uk: CD, paperback
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: rock. (There is also a companion comic book trilogy from Marvel, available individually or in a single volume. And yes, Alice Cooper is now a Christian! Miracles do happen!)

[Horrendous Disc] Horrendous Disc
Daniel Amos
Solid Rock Records, 1980
Christianbook.com: CD
Recommended by: Greg Slade

Style: Transitional between the Country-Rock of Daniel Amos' first, self-titled, album, and the alternative sound of the later ¡Alarma! Chronicles. A profoundly important album, both in terms of its own sound and in terms of its effect on the Christian music scene. Definitely one to grab if you come across it. Many space/UFO allusions in the lyrics, liner notes, and graphics.

Other comments: Daniel Amos has a long history of SF-ish music, stretching back to Horrendous Disc (see the inside fold out of HD with the group decked out as their alter egos from "Planet X.") – Bill Mann

[¡Alarma!] ¡Alarma!
Daniel Amos
Newpax/Benson, 1981
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Progressive rock. Volume I of the ¡Alarma! Chronicles.

[Doppelganger] Doppelganger
Daniel Amos
Alarma!/Benson, 1983
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Progressive rock. Volume II of the ¡Alarma! Chronicles.

Other comments: The CD version of Doppelganger also includes a bonus track from one of their concerts, which borrows a sound bite from Disney's Pinocchio. – Peter Chattaway

[Vox Humana] Vox Humana
Daniel Amos
Refuge/Benson, 1984
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Progressive rock. Volume III of the ¡Alarma! Chronicles.

Other comments: Vox Humana (which I believe the band almost called Vox Robotica!) is the album that gave us "(It's the Eighties So Where's Our) Rocket Packs" and songs named after sci-fi movies like When Worlds Collide and The Incredible Shrinking Man – though the lyrics aren't about sf-ish themes in the case of those particular songs. – Peter Chattaway

[Our Personal Favorite World Famous Hits] Our Personal Favorite World Famous Hits
Daniel Amos
2000
Amazon.com: CD
Amazon.co.uk: CD
ChristianBook.com: CD
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Alternative. "Best of" album of Daniel Amos' music over the past 20 years.

[Mr. Buechner's Dream] Mr. Buechner's Dream
Daniel Amos
2001
Amazon.com: CD
ChristianBook.com: CD
Recommended by: Taylor Kent

Daniel Amos have been around for a long time and have written a few songs that I would say have sci-fi/fantasy themes. More specifically most of disk one of the Mr. Buechner's Dream set.

[Perelandra] Perelandra
Glass Hammer
Lazeria Music, 1995
Lazeria Music, 1612 Cooling Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32935. 1-800-997-9137.
Amazon.com: CD
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Progressive/Celtic. Songs inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis. There are references to Lewis books, but the album is not a retelling of the stories.

Other Comments: There's a so-so band called Glass Hammer that did some interesting SF tropes, but they didn't go far enough or do it with consistency, even on the album called Perelandra, which I reviewed for Mythprint some time ago. – Diane Joy Baker

[Through the Door] Through the Door
Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Style: Art-rock, somewhat reminiscent of the Alan Parsons Project.

[Only Visiting This Planet] Only Visiting This Planet
by Larry Norman
Street Level Records, 1972
ChristianBook.com: CD
Recommended by: Greg Slade

I have often wondered just how much influence "I wish we'd all been ready" had on the authors of the Left Behind series, and my wondering got a bit more intense after I read the book and realised that one of the central characters is a reporter, because the next cut on the album just happens to be "I am the six o'clock news."

[In Another Land] In Another Land
by Larry Norman
Solid Rock Records, 1975
ChristianBook.com: CD
Recommended by: Greg Slade

"U.F.O." compares the return of Christ to a U.F.O. sighting, and contains the lines, "And if there's life on other planets/ then I'm sure that He must know/ and He's been there once already/ and has died to save their souls."

[Void] Void
Under Midnight
Recommended by: Ted Casey

Christian industrial band. There is a short story printed in the CD jacket with the song lyrics interspersed throughout. Deals with issues of cloning and DNA research. A girl working for a big company befriends a guy who was created in the lab. Through their musical discussions she helps him to escape and shows him how to fill the "void" in his life with Christ.

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[Fantasy] [Horror] [Mystery] [Science Fiction] [Thriller] [Western]

[Audio] [Books] [Film] [Stories]