The name "Mythic Orbits" was simply intended to suggest both science fiction and fantasy and to identify this book in a distinctive way, along with any that follow after it in a series.
Ideally this collection would include the best stories published in a particular year, but that wasn’t possible this time around. This collection of stories is tagged with 2016 in the title because that’s the year of publication of this anthology, not of the individual stories within it (with a few exceptions).
In addition to science fiction and fantasy, this anthology of 14 authors includes what we would have to call horror and paranormal stories as well as more definitive science fiction and fantasy.
Just as Mythic Orbits 2016 represents a wide variety of genres, there is no single theme to these tales, though the subject of empathy or lack thereof does come up in them repeatedly. This is most definitely not an anthology about orbits which are somehow mythical.
What this is, is a showcase for the best stories in the general field of speculative fiction by Christian authors. The first goal for this anthology was simply to demonstrate that Christian authors really can write speculative fiction well. Stories with a wide range of appeal are included here, mostly serious, some with humor, some with “happy endings” and others clearly not so happy. But all of them worth reading.
Some of the authors wrote using Christian themes but others did not. Some of these stories feature Christian characters in speculative fiction worlds, some make use of Christian themes either subtly or overtly, while some have no discernible connection to Christianity at all.
There is no specific content or doctrinal test for these tales, though they are basically clean. As long as the violence mentioned in a few of these stories wasn't portrayed too graphically, this collection would rate a PG in the US movie rating system for the suffering mentioned in a few of these tales and a few relatively mild words like “bastard.” Sexuality in this anthology is limited to being attracted to someone...and a single story kiss.
In doctrine, these stories do what speculative fiction as a whole does—create worlds unlike our own and put the reader inside them. These stories do not assert these unreal situations are actually true...though things that are imaginary can reveal truths about what is real, of course. But nothing here overtly contradicts the Bible. Even strict interpretations that there cannot possibly be ghosts or fairies or certain particular monsters, which some of these tales include, could be harmonized simply by reinterpreting some of the stories as involving demons if a reader wished to do so.
These stories are not real (of course), but if God happened to make alternate universes, there is nothing in any of these stories which could not perhaps happen in some other world. Which does not mean these tales do not stretch the imagination or end in unexpected ways.
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