CSFF Blog Tour: Day One

The CSFF Blog Tour for The Enclave begins tomorrow (Monday), with reviews and discussion about the book or things related to it and at least one interview at some time during the next three days. For a list of active participants check Rebecca Luella Miller’s blog, A Christian Worldview of Fiction  for the various links.

For my own contribution, here is another of the questions I answered about The Enclave for Bethany House’s Marketing and Publicity Questionnaire.

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How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for The Enclave?

 

biosphere5_0004webWay back in the late  80’s and early 90’s, long before I began developing The Enclave, Biosphere II was a hot topic around Tucson, one I followed with great interest. It was (and is) a giant greenhouse designed to be a completely self-sustained world, cut off from any dependence upon earth, including air and water. Inside, 8 volunteers spent two years of their lives, from 1991 to 1993, seeing if they could survive without opening the hatch. (For the record, they could not.)

 

biosphere_0001sm

 

Unfortunately, what was initially presented to the public as a reputable scientific experiment was later revealed to be the outworking of theories of the cult leader who was behind it all. Members of the experimental team were also members of a world wide cult of “Synergists”. One of my long time friends was the veterinarian contracted by the group to advise them on care for the livestock they took into the Biosphere with them. She provided a number of intriguing anecdotes that confirmed the cult rumors. The whole thing fascinated me and I knew I wanted to write a story some day based upon it.

 biosphere_0002sm
In considering what sort of world within our world I could create for The Enclave, it seemed to me that the Biosphere story would be a perfect model. My intent in this book was to explore the ways that different organizations and communities draw people in and keep them in bondage to their creeds, which are in opposition to the ways of God.

Because our perceived reality is often a composition of layers of deceit, I wanted to echo this in the story.

 

*** SPOILERS***

 

***********

 

*********

 

biosphere_0003sm

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*****SPOILERS*******

 Thus, in addition to the isolated and relatively closed community of my Biospherian inspired research institute, I wanted to have a hidden cult, which is the enclave itself. With its wholly fabricated history, purpose, cosmology and religious system, its members completely imprisoned and living in a total lie, the enclave’s society would serve as the most obvious illustration of my theme.  That some have grown to young adulthood, and are beginning to question and break free of the lies in which they were raised is also an obvious analogy to a person raised in the world system coming to a knowledge of truth.

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Note: First photo of Biosphere 2 nearing the end of construction in  1991 courtesy of The Arizona Daily Star

9 Responses to “CSFF Blog Tour: Day One”


  1. 1 hrh40 July 20, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Hi Karen:

    Love the new book, love your writing. I’m actually coming out of reviewing hiatus to participate in this month’s CSFF blog tour ’cause they’re doing your book! :)

    I love stories about scientific compounds, such as Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain (his best!) and Jurassic Park. And the fact that you based yours on the real biosphere project is so neat. Are there any good books about the biosphere project that you used or recommend?

    Thanks, again, Karen for your writing.

    • 2 karenhancock July 20, 2009 at 11:17 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Heather! I’m honored you’d come out of hiatus to participate on account of my book. I loved Jurassic Park, too. (Don’t recall much of Andromeda Strain except for a vague sense of being confused — probably because I was too young when I read it).

      The only book I read was written by Jane Poynter, one of the eight participants who were locked in for two years. It’s a memoir called The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2. I found it fascinating. Since a nasty schism developed between team members during the two years, there are other books that present the other side’s view, but I didn’t read them. A search of Biosphere 2, John Allen, Jane Poynter will turn up various other sources.

  2. 3 Justin B. (fantastyfreak) July 20, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I have just posted my review even with it’s disjointed nature. And I had some detractors from the novel on whole because of some recycled elements (from past novels). But overall, I found your method of writing description and dialogue to be amazing. Since the latter’s a struggle with many writers, even myself. I feel my review’s harsh at least from its context. But the book deserves recognition and is definitely worth the read. The only reason why I’ve pinpointed so many detractors probably comes from my reading of your other novels. And the writer within me cannot help but notice some of the borrowed elements of past novels. All in all, I really liked it and the writing itself is definitely an improvement over the Legends of the Guardian King Series. Though the story elements and character progression of that series easily thwarts “Enclave.” I wish you luck with your next novel because I always find myself rapidly paging through each of your novels!!

    • 4 karenhancock July 20, 2009 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for the comment, Justin. Guess I better head over and see what all you had to say in your review before I say any more!

  3. 5 Rachel Starr Thomson July 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Wow … thanks for sharing that backstory! I’m really excited that you’re blogging about The Enclave at the same time we are. For my Wednesday post in particular, I really want to delve into the theme of ordinary people being used by God vs. ordinary people trying to BE God. I might do some quoting from your post today.

  4. 6 Beth Goddard July 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Interesting stuff, Karen! So great to host one of your books again at the CSFF blog tour. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say I can’t wait to see what you got cooking next. LOL. I know, it takes a long while to simmer an awesome read such as The Enclave.


  1. 1 CSFF Blog Tour – The Enclave by Karen Hancock « A Christian Worldview of Fiction Trackback on July 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  2. 2 Rachel Starr Thomson » Men, God, and Men Like Gods (The Enclave, Day 3) Trackback on July 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

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