You might have noticed a few trends in the publishing world over the last few years. Perhaps the most prevalent trend has been vampires. You can’t spit in the Library without hitting a book series or TV series or film featuring vampires (as an aside: NO SPITTING IN THE LIBRARY). Be it good vampires, evil vampires, funny vampires, sexy vampires, or sparkly vampies…they are EVERYWHERE.
Another trend you can’t miss: the Amish. Much of our culture is *obsessed* with the Amish. Even I, the enlightened, open-minded library worker that I am, feel a childlike glee when I drive near Arthur and see someone riding in a horse and buggy. I don’t even mind getting horse poop on my tires. This obsession has invaded our bookshelves in the form of romance, general fiction, and mysteries.
If you like to read books with Christian themes, you know that Christian fiction is approximately 99.999999999% Amish. If you enjoy Literature (notice the capital L) with Christian themes, you know that beyond C.S. Lewis, you’re pretty much out of luck. The 0.000000001% of Christian fiction that isn’t Amish related is Lewis and the Left Behind series (there are about 4,100 titles in this series).
Author Kerry Nietz also noticed these trends and the sad state of Christian fiction, and he decided to write a novel that encompassed all of these things. The result is Amish Vampires in Space. You might think it’s going to be a silly satirical novel, but you would be WRONG! In spite of the author’s awareness of his subject matter (he titled it Amish Vampires in Space, for goodness’ sake), he approached the idea by finding a completely plausible explanation for why an Amish community might be stuck on a spaceship with vampires. This is ultimately a science-fiction novel with elements of faith and horror mixed in.
Jebediah and his people live on the small planet of Alabaster. They had been relocated from the Earth as the planet died, and they lived their simple lives focused on faith and community. But Jebediah has a secret. One that he struggles with every day. A secret his father passed down to him, as it was passed down to his father, and so on to the first of the settlers on Alabaster. A secret involving the use of technology. He father taught him how to use instruments that measured something to do with their sun. Jebediah doesn’t understand what he is looking at, but he recognizes the signs his father warned him about. Their sun is dying. There is a complicated machine that he is supposed to activate when this happens. He does and must face the consequences when his community finds out what he has done.
Then the ship arrives. It’s a giant cargo ship run by Captain Drake. The machine Jebediah activated had cashed in an insurance policy that the first Amish inhabitants of Alabaster had purchased when Captain Drake’s company relocated them generations ago. The insurance policy ensured that the entire community, livestock included, would be relocated to another planet in the event of natural disaster, such as the imminent demise of their sun.
Jebediah eventually talks his community into boarding the ship for their new home. The ship had also recently picked up the remains of a research facility that had been quarantined for some unknown reason. It was locked and wrapped up with express instructions to NOT OPEN IT. Of course, someone opens it. A greedy maintenance worker forces his way in with the hopes of finding something valuable inside to sell on the Black Market. And he unleashes the evil that had been contained within on the unsuspecting passengers and crew.
Will Jebediah and his community be able to maintain their peaceful beliefs in the face of such a violent threat? Will they survive at all? Read the book to find out!