What Is Biblical Speculative Fiction?

Using “Biblical” as an adjective can get you into a lot of trouble. I suspect this might be one of those occasions.

The problem lies in how you interpret the adjective. The easy way out is to simply say that “Biblical” means literally interpreted. That is, if you call something Biblical, then you are implying that you are referring to the traditionally orthodox interpretation of the Bible. That’s not what the Garden Gnome is doing in this case.

“Biblical” simply means “based on the Bible.” Whatever that means.

What Is Speculative Fiction?

The real bone of contention is, What do you make of speculative fiction? Garden gnomes almost always seek the broadest interpretation possible. In fiction and in real life.

Speculative fiction, for our purposes, is any fiction that encompasses a fantastical element. That could include – but isn’t limited to – science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird literature, supernatural tales, utopian or dystopian stories, alternative histories, Bizarro, and anything with a weird, surreal, or irreal element to it. Feel free to expand on that.

As a matter of principle, most garden gnomes like stories that cross genre definitions.

Getting To The Heart Of ‘Biblical’ Speculative Fiction

The Biblical Legends Spec Fic Anthology Series is an attempt to bring together short story and flash fiction writers from a variety of sub-genres within the speculative fiction category addressing particular Biblical-based themes or settings for each anthology. In other words, contributors have a lot of freedom to take their stories in any speculative direction as long as they stick with the theme.

The first anthology theme in the works is the Garden of Eden. We’re all familiar with the story, no doubt.

In case you haven’t heard about it, let me give you a quick synopsis.

    According to Genesis 2:4-3:24, newly created Adam was placed in a newly created garden called Eden. Through this garden ran four rivers. And, amid all the other foliage and fauna, there were two significant trees – the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. Adam was instructed by his creator not to eat of the first tree.

    God then created all the animals and sent them to Adam to receive names. Then he put Adam to sleep, took a rib, and created Eve.

    A serpent came along and tempted Eve to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Eve ate the fruit from the tree and tempted Adam to do the same. After doing so, they realized they were naked and covered themselves with fig leaves. God came looking for them, and when he found them he wasn’t happy. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. God punished them all.

    God told Adam his punishment was work. The woman’s was pain during childbirth. And the serpent lost his legs. Then God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden and blocked the entrance with a flaming sword.

So what is the task of each writer who contributes a story to the Garden of Eden anthology?

What’s So Damned Speculative About This Garden?

garden of eden speculative fictionThe Garden of Eden is a strange place. Not much is known about it. There aren’t any historical records. Adam hadn’t invented papyrus yet.

We’ve deleted Adam, Eve, and the serpent as potential characters. That would be too easy. Instead, we want to know who else might have been in that garden. This is where you can get speculative. Use your imagination. Be broad in your thinking, and be creative. You don’t have to stick with the literal details of the Biblical text, but you should try to maintain the integrity of the legend. In other words, don’t make it a desert, because it wasn’t. That said, you can describe the garden as you wish.

The garden gnomes are giddy with excitement about the stories we’re expecting to receive. We’d like one of them to be yours. Get the submission details at

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