Christian fiction, like secular fiction, can be separated into several genres. Some of the different types of Christian fiction available are romance, inspirational, and thriller. Genres like suspense, historical, and contemporary fiction can also be found. In addition, a person may also find speculative fiction, a title that may include genres like fantasy, science fiction, and apocalyptic fiction. The main difference between these Christian fiction genres and mainstream fiction is that the Christian versions often have the characters relying on their faith to carry them through their journey.
Though containing the same elements as secular genres, Christian fiction attempts to include elements of the Christian faith. For example, both secular romance and Christian romance may deal with love and desire. In a typical secular novel, the characters may engage in sexual acts as a part of their journey. In a Christian romance novel, however, the characters may strive to handle relationships according to the Christian faith. The books usually contain little or no sex.
Historical fiction is the name given to a novel that is set in the past. Medieval, Biblical Arthurian, and Westerns are four such subgenres. In these Christian novels, the characters live their lives and deal with issues according to the Christian faith. Similarly, contemporary Christian fiction deals with a contemporary time frame. In these books, the author may use the elements of fiction to show how a person can live in accordance with faith in the modern world.
Thriller and suspense novels are also some genres available under the title Christian fiction. These novels take the elements of a thriller or suspense novel, for instance a serial killer on a rampage, but include a Christian element. In addition, there are also Christian detective novels. Some novels choose to let the character's faith be an undertone or may choose not to expand on that area of the story. These books are often labeled inspirational fiction.
Christian fantasy may be an oxymoron for some. Secular fantasy uses elements of magic in the storytelling, a theme frowned upon by many Christians. Still, there are some authors who manage to use fantastical elements in an attempt explain or showcase the Christian faith. Like its secular counterpart, Christian science fiction uses science and technology in the storytelling. Apocalyptic Christian genres often deal with the end of the world, sometimes using the Biblical book of Revelation as a basis of the story.