Congratulations to Stephanie Zvan – FtB will miss you!

Last month I got to give a talk in Minneapolis where I was given Conan the Bar-Bear-ian in exchange for speaking.  One of the attendees was sci-fi writer Stephanie Zvan, the author of the blog Almost Diamonds here on FtB.  I had wanted to meet her for a while and was pleasantly surprised to find she gave amazing hugs.

I had hoped to get more time in the FtB back channel to get to know Stephanie, but alas I’ll not get the chance.  Stephanie has just picked up a three-book series deal with Titan Books and decided to leave FtB to focus on her writing career.  I think it’s a great opportunity for her.  We all begged her to stay and blog, even if her posts were sparse, but she decided there just wasn’t enough time to do both up to the standard she wanted.

As much as we’ll miss Stephanie, she has already hit the ground running on her new series without blogging eating up her time.  She’s already got an outline for the series and it looks awesome.

The first book is planned as an allegory to the injection of religion and politics in America.  It will take place on a far away planet with an atmosphere that is rapidly crumbling.  The crux of the story will be the battle for governmental resources to fix the problem between the planet’s scientists and the dominant religious cult who wants the funding for massive rituals they say will fix the atmosphere.

Book two will be an innovative work that will focus on a reluctant messiah in a pre-modern earth as he walks from place to place trying to convince an often skeptical populace that he’s the son of an ancient god of wrath.  In this world there is a place of burning and anguish where the young man’s father sends every person after they die for failing to live up to his impossible standards. This god of vengeance, who possesses both an intellect incomprehensibly superior to the sum of all sentient beings’ and a sense of justice unequaled by humanity’s greatest heroes, repeatedly insists he’s being completely fair by roasting virtually each and ever person to ever live.  Rather than turn against his father, the recalcitrant messiah must evade local law enforcement officials who wish to capture and kill him for his insolence as he wends his way throughout the region performing miracles for a select few and then counting on people who live thousands of years after him to differentiate his godhood from countless other tales of magic of the time based on nothing but indoctrination and guesswork, lest they wind up in the god of love/wrath’s everlasting oven.

The penultimate installment will follow a man by the name of Winston, a journalist in a dystopian future where one representative of the twelve “worker” colonies is selected every year to compete in a set of deadly games for a goblet of fire, with only one of them surviving – all for the entertainment of the elite caste of the World State.

And because sex sells, Titan Books has insisted that the fourth and final book must be erotic in nature.  Though she is no longer with FtB, Stephanie still wants to help the atheist movement achieve visibility, so she’s elected to write a book about the sex lives of atheists as accurately as possible.  The book will follow Jonathan Ersatz, a youth pastor who has recently let go of god.  After deciding he supports the rights of gay people to marry, he concludes that there’s logically no reason not to indulge his human urge to dominate chickens, lamps, and pretty much anything else within fucking range without the looming punishment of god to keep him squared away.  After gambling all his money away in a drug and alcohol-induced binge at the first casino he could find, Ersatz decides there’s morally nothing wrong with slaughtering his neighbors and stealing all of their pornography.  The end will have a twist that could only be born of a mind as brilliant as Zvan’s: Ersatz realizes that he believed in god the entire time but just wanted to indulge his every perverse whim.

Stephanie has told us she’s excited about the potential to have a career in the erotica industry and has already pitched Titan Books on a fifth novel in the series.  The opposite of the previous book, it will follow the lascivious escapades of a young, truly faithful couple who follow the bible to the letter.  It will be one page long and is expected to set the world record for highest payout per word in literary history.

Head over to Stephanie’s post from today to wish her well and to let her know there are no hard feelings for leaving the network!

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • mnb0

    Why don’t just announce that the entire FTB site becomes religious? Halfway GC’s article, which I reached via Blaghag, I got the joke – which of course was still way too late.

  • Lizzy


  • Joe T

    JT, I really like that Jars of Clay song “Flood”. Now that you’re a Christian rock star do you think you could do a cover?

  • Trina

    Only a man with a short dick could be as angry as JT!

    • Michaelyn

      Well. *I’m* happy.

  • federico

    Frankly speaking, I’m not sure what to say.
    I understand your disappointment Greta, but I also sympathize with JT’s argument, “Does it really matter what people believe?”.
    Of course, it does matter, but should it do you consider this interference with a business opportunity ‘treason’? It’s not a simple office job, but a job as a professional musician. The environment will not change JT’s mindset.
    Thank you for reading my opinion!


  • David


    I am new to both your blog and Greta Christina’s. I understand that you want to perform as a Christian musician. Have you actually converted to Christianity? If you have, then your business decision would be consistent with your worldview.

    If you still embrace atheism, then your business decision has no integrity. While I can only speak for myself, I would like to think that the music I listen to is an honest expression of whoever the artist is. I have a hard time believing that you will ever do quality work if what you compose and perform doesn’t represent who you are, and I suspect that it will only be a matter of time before the Christian public figures this out.

    I also have a hard time believing that your only business choices are perform as a Christian artist or nothing. There are simply too many atheist performers out there with successful careers to think that atheism necessarily leads to commercial ruin (A short list includes, Eddie Vedder, Simon LeBon, most of the members of Pink Floyd, Shirley Manson, Geddy Lee, David Gray, Brian Eno, Bob Geldorf, most of the members of Slayer, Robert Smith of The Cure, Tracey Thorn).

    I don’t know you or your music, and I bear you no malice, however, it seems to me that your issue may be more a function of your actual musical talent. Good music generally finds an audience. If you had a clear artistic vision, and a talent for expressing it, I suspect you wouldn’t be thinking about hopping onto the Christian bandwagon. I also suspect that commercial success will never compensate you enough to make up for your living with betraying your beliefs. You only have one life; why not try living it in a way you can be proud of?

  • Gayle Jordan

    JT, I am overjoyed with your decision. I will be praying for you everyday, and my women’s Tuesday morning group, and my Thursday evening mommies group, and my Sunday afternoon Servant’s group will be lifting you up in prayer too.

    I’m going to bed tonight thinking of your God-given voice singing chorus after chorus of “Our God is an Awesome God”.

    Praise the Lord you have seen the light and the scales have fallen from your eyes!! Our God is soooooooooooooooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wyocowboy

    Dude I don’t know or even much about you but what I do know you will either go two ways:

    1. you will become so engulfed in the x-tian music scene and get swooped up with emotion and believe in the religious belief system which that will be your choice or
    2. you will be so miserable and leave the religious scene.

    Your freethought of speaking out will be gone because then you will have to follow their rules. I agree with Greta that it is not OK. why are you going to lie to these people?

  • Richard

    Happy april first. :D Comments made me happy.

  • furtivezoog

    This one had me going for a bit, especially since this was the first FtB post I read in the group. The initial plausibility really made it work.

  • Drakk


    I follow the trail of farewells and it drops off once I hit Daniel Fincke’s blog.

    Are there more such trails to be found? Or, alternatively, is everyone on FtB saying goodbye to everyone else in one huge chain send-off?

  • David

    When I posted on Sunday, I wasn’t thinking that it was April 1st. It has been a very long time since I fell for an April Fools prank. I didn’t figure it out until the next day.