Monday, February 07, 2011

Review of Residential Aliens, Issue 5 (SF MAG)

Jungle Statue (c) 2009 Jason Zampol of

Residential Aliens is an e-zine of "spiritually infused" science fiction and fantasy, published by Lyn Perry. It's been building a really good rep among Christian spec-fic writers and readers.

First, a little about the philosophy of the magazine itself, from Lyn:

What does “spiritually infused” mean exactly? Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that each story is “spiritual” (what some might call, “religious”) or has a certain moral to it. Not that there isn’t a place for specifically religious material. You’ll read what some would term “Christian” fiction within the pages and web pages of ResAliens. But for me, it is a mindset with which I approach almost every song, film, or book. I embrace the arts – and literature in particular – from a spiritual perspective. That is, I come to a story ready to engage the transcendent or eternal message or theme within that work of art.

My small print disclaimer also states: “Opinions expressed within this issue do not necessarily reflect those of the authors or the publisher. Each story is a work of fiction.” For those inclined to get hot and bothered when stories don’t quite capture what they feel is God’s revealed truth on a particular matter, just remember…they’re just that, stories.

Lyn is serious, when he says it's a wide field, and that these are stories and thus meant to be enjoyed as stories. The first story in issue five, "Where the Sun Don't Shine" Jeff Parish did not strike me as especially spiritual--far from it--but it is one of the most original and hilarious stories I've ever read. Disease--or gnomish butt pirates? I laughed out loud.

The other stories were all very well written.

Not Your Kind of Heathen by Erin M. Kinch is about a vampire hunter whose main weapon is faith, but says a lot about those who want to use their faith vs. those who want to talk about it.

The Noble Experiment by Pat R. Steiner has a more literary, Americana kind of feel-not my kind of writing, but nicely done.

Rockets Over √Čireann by Kristen Lee Knapp is creepy, message-driven and could happen today as easily as in the future. Shivers!

A Heroine’s Death by Billy Wong takes an interesting look on defying death, or perhaps noble zombie-ism. Take your pick. Good read!

Azieran: Lokxenthuul by Christopher Heath reads like an ancient legend in pace and approach.

Protein by Gustavo Bondoni: Sick! Interesting story, but again, the kind of creepy I could do without.

I'd recommend this and other issues of Residentail Aliens to anyone who wants some well-written science fiction and fantasy, regardless of your spiritual leanings. A good story is a good story--and you'll find them here.

Purchase print and download) at their storefront:

1 comment:

Lyn said...

Thanks for touching on the variety of stories in our latest issue - appreciate the interest and ongoing support of spiritual spec fic you offer here at Fabianspace! Lyn