A Visit with Karina Fabian, Author of Infinite Space, Infinite God

I was honored to spend a little time with Karina to talk about her latest book and a little bit about her and her writing habits. Here is what she had to say.

Marilyn: Tell me all about your book and how you came to write it.

Karina: Infinite Space, Infinite God is thought-provoking sci-fi with a Catholic twist.
The 15 stories cover the gamut of future science, from genetic engineering to asteroid mining to interstellar travel. They span the topics of sci-fi: time travel, space opera, dystopia, psychological thrillers and sci-fi mystery. Finally, they examine the Catholic world view in the challenges of the future, from evangelizing to aliens to determining the soul-status of artificially created humanoids, to religious orders and even saintly miracles.
It won the EPPIE award for best electronically published science fiction of 2006 and is coming out in print August 15 from Twilight Times Books.

My husband, Rob, and I are long-time science fiction fans and faithful Catholics, so we'd always been a little miffed about the lack of faith of any kind inmost science fiction--or the misuse of science and pontificating of the early Christian fiction books. (The genre's come a long way since then.) So we decided to start our own stories, in a near future universe where humankind has colonized the solar system and there are priests and nuns in space.

The Sisters of Our Lady of the Rescue perform space search and rescue and are well regarded. We also came up with a spacer's Code of Conduct, which dictates a lot of interpersonal stuff including how and when to discuss religion and politics. It's a rich universe to play in.
In searching for homes for these stories, I got the opportunity to edit an anthology and dragged Rob into it with me. We edited Leaps of Faith, which was an EPPIE finalist and is in search of a print home, and later, Infinite Space, Infinite God.

Marilyn: What is you writing schedule like?

Karina: Erratic. I tend to flow in stages depending on inspiration, time and deadlines. When I get a deadline (whether self-imposed or externally set), I can get pretty obsessive and will write every chance I get from the time I wake up until late at night. Other times, I don't write much, except what I must. (I have two regular publications: "Montana Catholic" and "Hereditas".)
Regardless of what I'm writing, I try to write at least a sentence or two on whatever fiction project I'm involved in. Every day, I do my e-mail, web groups and some marketing. When Rob and I did the anthology, we put out the calls, and I did the first read on the stories. (Rob was working at the Pentagon, which means a long commute as well.) If I liked them well enough, I passed them on to Rob.

Some I wasn't sure about, I'd flag with my concerns. Then we'd discuss them. I handled rejections and acceptances, which was quite a learning experience. I can see why many editors prefer form letters!Once we had enough keepers, we went over them carefully. Some needed editing and re-writes, which I mostly handled, with Rob chiming in as needed.
Then we took the finished stories out to dinner--literally. Over a long candlelight dinner at Olive garden, we hashed out the order and roughed out the introductions, which I then wrote. Rob and I both proofed it, and we started the long hunt for a publisher.

Marilyn: What would you like to see happen with your book?

Karina: We want to see it in regular bookstores, Catholic stores and catalogues. We want sci fi readers of all faiths to pick it up because it's unique. We want university professors to use it in their class, and relatives to buy it as a unique Confirmation gift. Most of all, however, we want people to enjoy the book. If it makes folks think, we're thrilled. If it touches their soul in some way, we're ecstatic.

Marilyn: What are your future writing plans?

Karina: (Laughter) How much space do I have?

We're working on an ISIG II, so writers need to check in in January for submission calls (http://isigsf.tripod.com)

I just finished a fantasy comedy mystery involving a cynical dragon private detective, Vern. Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, a Mage in the Faerie Catholic Church are "volunteered" to chaperone the magical folk at a Mensa convention. But when a Valkyrie start vamping, pixies startpranking, and elves high on soda try to declare war on Florida, it turns out to be more work than they've never gotten paid for. I've several stories about Vern, and several more that are clamoring to be written, including at east one novel. You can read more about him at www.freewebs.com/dragoneyepi

Rob and I are working on our first Rescue Sisters novel, in which three nuns from the OLR are sent to oversee the safety of the exploration of mankind's first-discovered alien starship. I started Discovery during National Novel Writers' Month and will probably end up finishing it then.

Marilyn: Thank you so much. I’ve read a lot of mysteries with Catholic protagonists but never a sci-fi with anything Catholic–and when there’s been religion it’s usually been invented. Using Catholicism in science fiction is a "novel" (excuse the pun) idea.


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