Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome … to this webcolumn. That’s a term I’m adopting here because a blog (from web log) is a chronicle of day-to-day events, and I have something else in mind. On what I trust will be an increasingly periodic basis we’ll have a discourse or two about subjects such as

  • science fiction and fantasy
  • theology and Bible-related subjects (as it happens, I’m in the evangelical camp; if you aren’t, again, welcome! let’s talk)
  • podcast fiction (it’s the new radio drama)

and other items as they appear. Meanwhile, thank you for visiting — and I hope you’ll feel free to leave your comments on each post. Monologues can be enjoyable, but dialogues are much more so.

About the Scriptor

I’m an expatriate Virginian living in Minnesota. Having had one career as an editor and another as a grant-writer, I’ve also taught on the college and seminary levels and want to launch a third career as a craftsman in the world of books and an SFF writer. (Yes, in the original Star Trek taxonomy that would put me in the Services category, indicated by red shirts. With the hazards they entail.) When people ask my specialty, I often say, “Systematic theology, science fiction, and fantasy.” It does keep the conversation going….

Besides the comments section on each post, I can frequently be found on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

By all means, read these too:

The Treasures of Albion series (with Elisabeth Waters):

1–8 collected for Kindle

Volume 1 (1–4)

Volume 2 (5–8)
1 “The Blade of Unmaking” (by E.W.)

originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 14 [Paperback]

2 “Salt and Sorcery”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 16 [Paperback]
3 “Pride, Prejudice, and Paranoia”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 19 [Paperback]
4 “Crosswort Puzzle”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 22 [Paperback | Kindle]

Laurel, an examiner of customs permits, overlooks a suspicious shipment of the herb in the title and eventually finds herself stopping an assassination attempt. Customs inspection does not at first seem like a thrilling subject, but Spence and Waters bring intrigue and humor to the anthology’s second fantasy/detective story.
— Elizabeth A. Allen, The Fix: Short Fiction and Poetry Review

… a clever mystery full of intrigue and twists.
— Michael M. Jones, Green Man Review

5 “Daughter of Heaven”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 23 [Paperback | Kindle]
6 “Sceptre of the Ungodly”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 24 [Paperback | Kindle]
7 “Inquisition for Blood”
originally appeared in >Sword and Sorceress 25 [Paperback | Kindle]

In “Inquisition for Blood” by Michael Spence and Elisabeth Waters, Lady Wizard Sarras and her assistant, Lady Wizard Alyssa, have a big problem on top of the average busywork required of University Department Head. The Guardian of one of the most powerful artifacts of the Western world has been murdered. Not only is the culprit nowhere to be seen, but the next Guardian cannot be immediately identified.

The authors achieve a very smooth voice and dialogue. As a very religious person, sometimes magic wrapped up in Christian doctrine can make me a little skittish, but I confess that I was immediately hooked. “Inquisition for Blood” is a great little murder mystery with a strong ending, and I really want one of those mirrors from the story.
— Scooter Carlyle, The Portal

8 “Truth in the Inward Parts”
originally appeared in Sword and Sorceress 26 [Paperback | Kindle]
9 “They That Watch”
in Sword and Sorceress vol. 27 [Paperback | Kindle]


“One Drink Before You Go”
in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Worlds [Hardcover (got $3,500?) | Paperback]

Michael Spence’s “One Drink Before You Go” is an ancient tale as current in appeal as it is age-old. Another gem from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Worlds.
— Eugen Bacon, Fictionwise Recommender

“Secular Theology in the Fiction of Harlan Ellison”
PhD dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 2002. The first dissertation to analyze Ellison’s work.
“Requiem for a Harlequin: Two Perspectives on Time, and a Celebration of Kairos, in Three Stories by Harlan Ellison”
In Sci Phi: The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, inaugural issue, January 2008. The three stories are “Count the Clock That Tells the Time,” “Paladin of the Lost Hour,” and of course “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.”


“Jesus from the First to the 170th Century: Presentations of Jesus of Nazareth in Recent Science Fiction and Fantasy”
Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting, 19 November 2003
“To Find the Truth, Look to the Lie: Contributions of Science Fiction and Fantasy to Theological Expression”
Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting, 16 November 2005


semifinalist in Podcast Pickle’s first “Pickle Tales” competition; nominated for 2007 Parsec Award for “Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form)”
“Monster Story: Scott Sigler’s Infection from the Triangles’ Point of View” (trilogy)
included in the podcast of Scott Sigler’s novel Infection (Sigler’s evaluation: “[expletive deleted]ing brilliant”); nominated for 2007 Parsec Award for “Best Audio Drama (Short Form)”
“Wakeup Calls”
included in the podcast of J.C. Hutchins’s novel 7th Son
“Dissertation Excerpt: ‘Shamakath'”
included in the podcast of Scott Sigler’s Galactic Football League novel The Rookie
“Genada Memo”
included in the podcast of Scott Sigler’s Galactic Football League novel The Rookie
“GFL Week Two Roundup” (by Scott Sigler)
guest reading for the podcast of The Rookie