Their two oldest children were just toddlers at the time, and Karina and Rob Fabian, both Catholics and longtime science-fiction fans, were enjoying a rare night out when they created the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue some 10 years ago.
At the time, she was writing articles about nuns for Wyoming Catholic magazine and her husband, a space operations officer in the Air Force, had just gotten involved with the Artemis Society International, a foundation that hopes to establish a community on the moon.
Real life meshed with fantasy and the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue, known as "Rescue Sisters" to the space travelers they tend to, was born.
"My husband and I, one of the things we do is take a pencil and a pen, go to a restaurant and make up stories," said Karina, a Stafford County resident, author and book editor.
The space-roving nuns join genetically engineered humans, futuristic priests and time-traveling Catholics in a 15-tale anthology edited by the Fabians and billed as Catholic science fiction.
The collection, "Infinite Space, Infinite God," includes one story by Karina Fabian and two more she penned with her husband, as well as a dozen stories from authors all over the world.
The book has been available electronically since September and is expected to see print through publisher Twilight Times Books this summer. It’s also a finalist for an EPPIE award, which recognizes excellence in electronic publishing.
The tales raise a host of Catholic-related questions: Is a genetically engineered human still worthy of salvation? Can space transport technology inadvertently separate a soul from its body or are they tied together? Can the power of confession reform a terrorist?
"The main reason we did this was just to have fun," said Karina, who edited a collection of Christian science fiction with her husband several years ago. "We want people to think about the issues in terms of faith, rather than just a generic morality. Think about it from a specific morality–for Catholics, the one you were raised with."
…Rob quoted J.R.R. Tolkien (a Catholic) throughout middle school. He and a classmate at the U.S. Air Force Academy got through prisoner of war training camp by learning to speak elvish. Camp linguists couldn’t crack the code.
The book is available here as a PDF along with an introduction by the editors about Catholic SF.