Wednesday 26 January 2022

Our Daily Bread - Karina Fabian and Robert Fabian - A Rescue Sisters Story

Our Daily Bread
A Rescue Sisters Story
Karina Fabian
Robert Fabian
Laser Cow Press

Wow! Talk about saving the best for last! This is the fourth of the Rescue Sisters short stories to publish over the last six months. And it is a powerful story. 

Before the story begins there is a dedication and a bible verse. The dedication is:

“Dedicated to the wonderful deacons as they balance their callings for the deaconate and the family.”

And the verse is Ephesians 5:25:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.” 

The two tie together and to the story in very meaningful ways. About the history of the Rescue Sisters we are told:

“The order started on the L5 station, which is on the LaGrange trailing the moon. Gillian (Later St. Gillian of L5) was the wife of the inventor of artificial gravity. Ironically, he was so severely injured in an accident with his machine that he could no longer manage in Earth’s gravity, so she left Earth to join him on L5. After his death, she took holy vows and petitioned to start an order of religious sisters in outer space. 

While they do many things, Gillian chose search and rescue for the mission because it was a high-demand, high-risk operation that commanded high prices. By doing the work for “air, supplies and the love of God,” they paved the way for their religious order to grow. 

Skirts would be inconvenient and potentially embarrassing if the artificial gravity cut out, so Gillian chose wide-legged pants and a simple T-shirt under the skinsuit. The practical habit caused some scandal but was eventually accepted on stations and low-gravity environments, and grudgingly allowed “dirtside.”

Under Gillian’s leadership, the order grew to several locations, including L5 and Phobos, where there’s a training convent. When she died, spacers claimed to have seen her apparition and credited her with saving them from accidents or other perils. Many of these miracles were confirmed and she was sainted.”

The other three together were number 5 on my top ten fiction books of 2021 in which I read over 365 books. And this story in is just as good if not better than the others.  But it is different than the others. It is set in the same universe but does not have a rescue sister directly in the story. Nor a rescue or mission for them specifically. We are informed that:

“This story was inspired by Karina’s father, Deacon Steve Lumbert, and her mom, Socorro Lumbert. They had many years navigating the balance between Dad’s calling as a deacon and his call as a husband.”

And in part that is what we get a story of a deacon who serves as a chaplain in space on a mining mission. A role he has been filling for a while. But the family’s circumstances have changed, and this trip is different than many others. Fabian does an amazing job writing about a mixed marriage of a Catholic and non-Catholic. It is also about the role and responsibilities of deacons, and their finding balance between work, ministry and family life. And it is a story about Eucharistic miracles in space. The description of the story is:

“Spending six months a year in space mining asteroids is tough, but for Personnel Supervisor Ray McHenry, there are compensations. His role as a Catholic deacon means the majority of the strong Catholics in the Company have flocked to Blair Asteroid Mining Station--the only station in the Company where weekly Eucharist provides solace and strength. When Blair’s shipment of Host is lost in an accident, Ray is ready for tough times--but not nearly as tough as when the Host start mysteriously multiplying.”

This is an excellent story in an amazing series. Fabian has several series that I love. But the Rescue sisters are among my favourites. Many years ago I read Sacred Visions that was edited by Father Andrew M. Greeley, since that time I have read some terrible stories and some truly inspired fiction. Some of my all-time favourite stories now are religious, and specifically Catholic Fiction. Fabian is one of the best!

I know I will return to the Rescue Sisters series again and reread the novel and the stories. This is an excellent work of short fiction and I highly recommend it! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karina Fabian:

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye PI Series:
DragonEye PI Novels:
?.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
?.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

DragonEye PI Short Stories:

DragonEye PI Original First Editions:
Live and Let Fly

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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