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Fiction Vortex

Image of Christel at Religion Panel

VCON 39 - Sometimes it's a matter of religion

I worked hard over the year from the last VCON, building up my writing repertoire, joining a writer's group and publishing another short story and the biography. Steps forward that led to the reward -- I was on three panels this time around. First Panel was Religion, Atheism and SF, which was much more about dissing science than I had thought.

When the moderator announced we should introduce ourselves, my cheeks must have turned bright red, especially while I had to wait for my turn. I think I did a pretty good intro talking about the connection of my writing to spirituality -- Soul Catcher is a very spiritual story and Masked Desire features a repressive religious society.

I thought I would fit in quite well, but some of the other panelists stood much closer to religious ideas, with one even claiming that science is but a religion. I had to disagree and that although I also acknowledge science is only one step in our quest for understanding the universe. But it is a very important first step and for me spirituality is that second step which comes into play wherever science can't reach.

My head snapped up when I heard a panelist say any (invented) culture is only full-bodied when it incorporates a fully developed religion, which goes for speculative stories as well. I guess that means a lot of stories I have read are only sub-par in his eyes. I found his statement very intersting since I had just been at a science panel, where the science enthusiasts proclaimed how important it is to think out the inner workings of future technologies, such as phasers and warp engines to provide an enjoyable reading experience. Looks like the religion enthusiasts feel just the same when it comes to faith-based aspects of a story, whereas it will leave other people cold. I guess in the end it comes down to what you are looking for in a story and no one focus will fit all.

All in all, it was a great experience, which made me wonder how the next one would go on Sunday morning.