The inside scoop on the science fiction short story, “The Convert” is that it’s about 4,700 words or 19 pages (according to Amazon.com) The story was selling for $1.99, and has now been reduced to $0.99.
Back in 2002, there was a publisher’s call for short stories to be included in a Christian Science Fiction anthology. I was intrigued with the idea of combining Christian fiction with science fiction. While I’ve written science fiction and also written about faith, I’d never merged the two. I really enjoyed creating this thought-provoking story.
The idea for "The Convert" started with the phrase "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." If this was to be the beginning of my story, I then wondered why the speaker needed God's forgiveness or blessing. To give the tale a science fiction twist, I created an unusual dilemma for the main character, Father Wren. The question "The Convert" asks is: who is the real convert in this story?
Although a short story, this little science fiction gem has a long history and has garnered lots of awards. It first appeared in a digital anthology, LEAPS OF FAITH, where it was a Dream Realm Award Finalist in the Anthology category.
Then “The Convert”, was also included in a print version of LEAPS OF FAITH, published by TheWritersCafe.com, and was a finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards (now EPIC eBook Award) for Best Anthology.
LEAPS OF FAITH also was voted a Top Ten Finisher in the prestigious Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.
Here is a book trailer for LEAPS OF FAITH, which includes “The Convert”:
What ties all these Christian science fiction stories together in LEAPS OF FAITH including “The Convert” is the theme of faith depicting challenging times or ethical dilemmas.
Once the contract expired, I offered “The Convert” by itself on Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, and other internet sites.
When one of his congregation wants to marry an alien who is more flora than fauna, what's a priest to do??
This book is part of the Fascinating Sci-Fi line.
“The Convert” also was voted one of the top seven stories of LEAPS OF FAITH. Here are some wonderful reviews:
The Convert takes an entirely different angle and addresses a person's faith versus human prejudice and the role it might play if there is every close contact with races who differ from us in very obvious ways. Susanne Marie Knight [short story] is an interesting tale about an indigenous alien who wishes to marry a human colonist to his planet. In this tale a priest must decide if he has the right under God to marry this alien to a human. He goes through a lot of psychological struggle, but when he hears the story from the alien, he begins to look at the situation with his heart. Also included in this story is how abusive we can be, simply because we don't understand, or do not seem to have the capacity to understand things that do not fit into our little spectrum of understanding. A wonderful story that is beautifully told.--Christian Science Review.
FIVE STARS! Quantum physicists, amazed by the symmetry of the universe, have said that the more they delve into the quantum mechanics, the more convinced they become of an existence of a higher power. Karina and Robert Fabian merge science and faith in an anthology of fifteen Christian science fiction stories that ignites our imaginations... In Susanne Marie Knight's 'The Convert,' Father Wren has an equally awesome decision to make. He's the only priest on the Ophiuchi 4 colony and must decide the marital fate of Chloe and Ping. She's a deaf human; he's a telepathic tree.--Scribes World Reviews
Highly Recommended! ... the stories engrossed me from the beginning. Though SF/religious in nature (as stated by the publisher), each story managed to be more than that. They cover the gamut of human experience--doubt, faith, adventure, and conflict. I found the juxtaposition of futuristic story elements and inspirational elements compelling. Each aspect blends seamlessly into a unique collection of stories. Regardless of your faith or reading preferences, don't miss this collection of stories from FrancisIsidore Electronic Press, including such authors as Leslie Brown, Peter Bell, Michael S. Poteet, Susanne Marie Knight, Greg Beatty, and many others. It poses intelligent questions and offers honest answers. This is a book designed to make you think, and it achieves its goal.--Dog-eared Webzine
Leaps of Faith contains fourteen stories by twelve authors. The stories delve into different aspects of space exploration, time travel, hard science, evangelism in space, robot rights, and contact with extraterrestrial lifeforms. Though much of the work deals with Christian (and often Catholic) concepts, belief and general faith also drive many of the stories. Some of the stories are pure adventure. Others are deep, philosophical works that struggle with science and belief. And, still others are humorous looks at our human selves. "The Convert" by Susanne Marie Knight and examines how far Christianity can be extended to alien species.--Myshelf.
Leaps of Faith will undoubtedly go down as one of the best collections of Christian science fiction in this new century. Katrina and Robert Fabian have pooled together some incredible talent... This book will certain entertain and challenge the reader. If you enjoy short stories, this is for you.--Yellow30 Sci Fi
The book was a real delight to read, and the authors wrote their stories well. It was easy to become immersed in each tale as they followed one common theme. I give LEAPS OF FAITH two thumbs up!--Midwest Book Review
This is a collection of stories from authors who explore many different aspects of science and faith, and what that all means when science makes another discovery, or when we reach out to alien races... I found the collection over-all thought provoking and a good read. --Author's Choice Book Reviews
I highly recommend this book. It not only entertains, it makes you think.--MyShelf.com
My snippet from real life: I was born under the sign of Pisces, and am a self-confessed incurable romantic. So, to me, love can conquer all. I couldn’t resist writing a story of two people from dissimilar circumstances who overcome their differences. In “The Convert” one of the strangest pairings I created was with a human, Chloe, and a being who was more flora than fauna, Ping. They bridged the gap separating them with beautiful music. And who doesn’t love beautiful music?
Ping’s voice reflected ecstasy. He then started singing.
Breathtaking rapture inundated Father Wren’s senses, almost overloading them. This melodious song was fairly bursting with supreme love and beauty.
Love is an extremely powerful emotion--physically, mentally, and spiritually. I hope you enjoy this unusual science fiction story with Father Wren, Chloe, and Ping.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!