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 Daniel Peyton poses in his home with his newly released novel, “Remnant,” available now via Ambassador International.

Daniel Peyton poses in his home with his newly released novel, “Remnant,” available now via Ambassador International.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

Farmington author publishes Christian sci-fi novel

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published August 30, 2019

FARMINGTON — “Remnant,” a Christian science fiction novel written and released by Farmington resident Daniel Peyton July 16, takes readers into the year 2522 as Anna, a Remnant — a secret, underground Christian — tries to debunk the existence of aliens and stay true to her faith in a world that’s banned any form of religion.

The book was published through Ambassador International, a Christian publishing house in Greenville, South Carolina.

It began with a simple thought: “What if we could find aliens? What would that do to the world of Christianity and the people against Christianity?” Peyton said.

Peyton said religion is rarely interwoven with science fiction stories, but there are a number of believers who enjoy the genre. He wanted to give believers “something they can enjoy without feeling like they had to set aside their beliefs to enjoy it.”

Peyton, who has been Christian his entire life, calls on the stories of Ester, Elijah, Jezebel and Ahab, and most prominently the book of Genesis to portray what it can sometimes feel like for believers who may at times have their faith questioned or feel cast away by what he called an increasingly secular society.

“A lot of Christians today, they’re in the middle of a very secular, somewhat anti-Christian environment. So they’d rather just keep it to themselves, stay home and keep their mouth shut,” he said. “(Anna) is doing the same thing. That’s part of the story, is that God is trying to peel her out of her comfort zone and throwing her right into the middle of what he has planned for her.”

As Anna and her robot, Z, find themselves trapped on a newly discovered moon with aliens, she is forced to come to terms with this newfound discovery and answer the question: Can God still move within a secular culture?

Peyton said that when he first sat down to write the book, he struggled to interweave the religious aspects with the futuristic dystopianism that frames the main plotline of the book. He went through several failed beginnings before determining that he would have Anna’s beliefs as a Christian navigate her every action and decision, as well as the plotline of the story. From there, all the pieces fell into place.

It took Peyton about three months to write the first iteration of the book. He then spent the next four years trying to find the right publisher. Having no luck finding one, he almost went to self-publish the book, but through a stroke of luck and a pitch campaign on Twitter, he found Ambassador International. Within a week, Peyton had signed the contract and sent the book to them. Overall, the process took him six years.

Peyton has published another nine books throughout his career as an author.

Liz Burgdorf, the publicity director at Ambassador International, said there were challenges with marketing the book and securing shelf space at different venues because of its religious connection.

“We’ve had people blatantly tell us in the past, ‘No, we’re not going to have the author.’ They don’t tell us the reason, but we know why,” she said. “We just explain to them, you also have Christian believers that are coming into your place of business. ... You try to make it into, this is something people get to decide, so give them a chance to decide.”

For believers or not, Peyton hopes he can simply entertain readers with “Remnant” and connect them “with a sense of hope.”

“I don’t care where you are, there’s different aspects of our lives when we’re dealing with feeling alone (or) feeling like we have something to say but we’re too afraid to say it, and sometimes we need a boot in the butt to get it going,” he said. “My book is God-leaning, but I think a lot of people can recognize the time in our lives when we need to stop letting ourselves be depressed about a situation and just do something about it.”

Find “Remnant” locally at the Northville Barnes & Noble, 17111 Haggerty Road, or online through various purchasing sites.