Christian fiction has a problem.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a Christian. Because of that, I like to read Christian fiction. But most of it sucks.
People scoff at this genre. And for good reason. The cliché is that Christian fiction preaches to the choir and tries to convert the reader.
Are non-believers likely to buy Christian fiction? Aren’t the readers already Christian? Why can’t we just make fun stories that happen to include Christian themes?
Entertainment first, preaching never.
Preachy fiction is trash. If you start with a message and smear a thin layer of story over top of it, readers who already agree with the message will be bored to tears. They’d be better off reading non-fiction which would at least be straightforward about what it’s teaching.
There have been some clear exceptions, authors who stand out by creating quality works of Christian fiction, but they’re exactly that: exceptions. And we do no service to the public or to our faith by teaching people that being a Christian means weak characters with mediocre stories.
I’m creating a new subgenre: Christian Pulp Fiction. Christian fiction so brutal and punchy you can listen to heavy metal as you read it and the music still won’t be intense enough.
My goal with Deus Vult Wastelanders is to bring new life to the Christian fiction genre by:
- Introducing fierce characters with no moral relativism
- Showing faith problems, spiritual exhaustion, and doubt in realistic ways instead of glossing over struggles real Christians face
- Setting the battle lines between clear good and evil, not shades of gray
- Using punchy writing with bite in the style of the old pulp stories like Conan the Barbarian
- Drawing new readers to the genre by also targeting other genres, especially post-apocalyptic and military scifi audiences
- Removing the fetters saying that Christian fiction must be timid and tame
Deus Vult Wastelanders is billed as “Heavy metal Christian pulp fiction.” I also call it “Masculine Christian fiction.” People have asked, “What does that look like?” and “Are you allowed to write that?”
Picture the most likely person to buy Christian fiction today: A grandmother looking for a birthday gift. It’s some sickeningly sweet story with a sappy title and cover. She gives it to her teenage grandchild who rolls their eyes and tosses it on a shelf to collect dust. Who can blame them?
Now check out these covers:
Blood, skulls, weapons, heavy armor, a nuke cloud, ruined cities, pretty women in modest outfits, splashes of bright color, and the recognizable Deus Vult Wastelanders logo in the top left corner.
Gideon Ira follows the titular knight as he traverses the post-nuclear wasteland of America, battling demons and corrupted humans. The veil between Earth and Hell has been torn, and the Church shelters the remnants of mankind in walled cities defended by knights. Gideon travels into the wilderness to gather survivors and slaughter the demonic enemies who hold territory across the continent. His power armor and plasma sword are holy relics of his order. Along the way he encounters his battle brothers, men like him in the Order of Ragnar, also called the Knights of the Blood Cross, and forges deep bonds of brotherhood and fellowship. But not all members of the Order are able to withstand the corrupting whispers of the legions of Hell.
Valkyrie Doll follows the android VE-3N4 — Veena — as she works to solve the mystery of exactly what happened to the world. Her journeys take her to pockets of ancient technology and crumbling cyberpunk cities as she works to obey her creator’s last commands: Protect humans from demons, and protect humans from other humans. Along the way, she is continuously confronted with one question: What does it mean to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus when you yourself are an artificial being with no soul? Veena was designed to serve as a protective elder sister to the remnants of mankind, but when she finds them saturated with evil, can she learn to love them enough to rescue humanity from their own choices?
Where Gideon uses his sword and his fierce heart to secure a future for his people, Veena looks to uncover the truth buried in the ashes of the past to find her place in the new world.
I’ve got more characters set to debut in this series. The next one is Diamond Jack. You can find the Kickstarter for his first book right here.
For more information on Deus Vult Wastelanders check out the Kickstarter page. If you’re tired of cliched Christian fiction with no heart, help me change it.