The new year brings some fresh projects here at Spectrum which we'll continue roll out in the next few weeks. One fantastic feature will be a monthly short story written by Nathan Brown, Book Editor at the Signs Publishing Company, near Melbourne, Australia. The former editor of RECORD, Nathan has degrees in law, literature and English and is the author of five books, including the novel Nemesis Train (2008). Former Adventist Review editor Bill Johnsson called him the best writer in the church. Nathan offers this introduction to the new fiction series:
Stories are an important part of faith, whether sacred stories, testimonies (life stories) or mission stories. But on the whole, faith communities have been unsure of how to respond to and use contemporary stories, particularly when they come in the form of fiction. Within Adventism, publishers have accepted "biblical narratives" but have made only limited forays into fiction beyond these. Yet fiction continues to be the highest sellers in commercial publishing and studied seriously at almost all universities, colleges and even high schools. Amid this continuing interest in storytelling, short stories seem to be enjoying a renaissance—if they were ever in decline—suited perhaps to our busy lives and short attention spans but with potential for powerfully presenting experiences, ideas and insights.
As people of faith, engaged in finding and making meaning, fiction writing is a creative art form from which we should be learning and to which we should be contributing. Fiction does not necessarily mean untrue, rather good fiction can be a way of examining and presenting truths in a way that is creative and engaging. As a student of literature and writing, both by enrollment and by vocation, I am continually touched by how a well-constructed and worthwhile story can make an impact in a reader's life and continue to work to find ways to create writing in various genres that can make a contribution to its potential readers.
Good writing requires hard work and experimenting, careful thought and observation, healthy imagination and a love of words. But it also needs readers and response—which is why I so appreciate the opportunity to share some of my attempts at fiction in this forum and so value any response you might offer to these stories.
Read the first short story: "Mystery"
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3689