Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bible Verses as Catalyst for Fiction

It's nothing new in Christian fiction: We read a passage from Scripture and, bam, we get a story idea. And many novels have Bible verses that evoke the theme or plot in some way. (And that's not even counting Biblical fiction, which works whole cloth with books or passages of the Word.) Of course, Christian writers tend to tread softly on the meaning of the verse, not wanting to "twist" holy writ.

I find it fascinating, though, when a passage inspires in a more slanted way.

Here's a case of Bible verses inspiring a name writer in secular SF:

SF author Nina Kiriki Hoffman, whose novel Catalyst was named a finalist for this year's Philip K. Dick Award, told SCI FI Wire that she started writing the book because of a quote she found in the Bible, in Isaiah 25. "[In the New Oxford Annotated version, it says,] 'For thou hast made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt,' [then continues later,] 'Thou dost subdue the noise of the aliens; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled,'" Hoffman said in an interview. "Sometimes I read poetry or the Bible in search of phrases like that, where I can think about them sideways and come up with ideas. I'm still intrigued by what alien noises might be, and what song the ruthless sing."

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