Monday, January 22, 2007

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy

The first CSFF Blog Tour for 2007 brings you THE DOOR WITHIN trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson. This series is aimed at the young adult audience, but I've had some adult pals give it a thumbs up. Every review I've read has had positive things to say, even when they add critical remarks. That's a good sign.


I'm skipping the trilogy only because I'm totally burned out on dragons--in both short stories and longer fiction. (Remember where I edit!) It seems that the CBA will publish SF if it's 1. got dragons and 2. is aimed at a younger audience. Well, I'm 1. in a no-dragons mode and 2. not at all young... Hmmm.

However, if your kid loved Bryan Davis' DRAGONS IN OUR MIDST, or Donita K. Paul's DRAGONKEEPER CHRONICLES, or ERAGON and its sequel, then I think you should definitely get THE DOOR WITHIN series for them. And hey, if YOU loved those series, you should read this one, cause dragon lovers have another entry into the D Club. Besides, the encouraging sales of the Davis and Paul series (not to mention the blockbuster status of the Paolini books) tells me dragon lovers abound.

(Note of exception: If Connie Willis or Neil Gaiman come out with a dragon book, I'll be there, cause I pretty much just buy what they put out like a mesmerized groupie.)

Now, let me recommend a couple of sites for you to visit for more insight into the series and its author:

Drop by THE SWORD REVIEW for two items of interest. Item A is an interiew of Batson by CSFFB Tourmate, Rachel Marks. Here's one Q/A from that interview :

I find many Christians think fantasy anything from childish to evil. As you stated this world is only a small piece of this great creation. I have been on a tangent about this lately and I'm curious: What role do you see fantasy literature playing in the Christian walk?

I think Christian Fantasy is both a tool and an expression. It's a tool because it can be used as a vehicle to communicate truth. Fantasy allows us to suspend judgment, pull away from stumbling blocks, and just think about things. We might read a fantasy about hobbits bickering over who gets to pick mushrooms, and suddenly see how strident we ourselves have become at home.

And like anything a Christian puts his/her hand to, Fantasy Fiction is an artistic expression. Just as someone could craft a unique piece of furniture or a beautiful painting, writers can write fantasy. I know some Christians get bunged up about the use of magic in fantasy, and I agree that some stories out there get into occult practices that aren't healthy for believers (or anyone, really). But when you craft a fantasy story, you build a world, you create the rules, the races, the laws that govern what is possible. We yearn to create because we are made in HIS image. So when we make a world, I don't see problems with endowing our inhabitants with what we might call “magic”. Y'know, if you think about it, some could very easily look at the feats of God and call them magic as well. Water into wine. Parting the Red Sea, healing, casting out demons, raising the dead. Hmmm...

After that stop, please visit with Keesa Renee Dupre for Item B, her review of THE DOOR WITHIN, adorned throughout with several examples of Batson's own artwork based on his fiction.

And do please check out what my fellow tourmates have to say:

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
Tessa Edwards
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
K. D. Kragen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver


Valerie Comer said...

I'm here to tell you that dragons play a very small role in WTB's trilogy, so dragon-overloaded readers shouldn't find it an automatic thumbs-down! I'll have a lot to say over the next couple of days including an interview on Wednesday.

Beth Goddard said...

Ah Mir! You're burned out on dragons? That's like saying your'e burned out on. . .well, I really shouldn't say that here. LOL

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hi, Mirtika

I second Valerie's comment. Dragons are really very minor in my stories.

Not that they are scenery or props, but they do not drive the story.

The Door Within Trilogy is driven by the characters as they discover a thread that joins two worlds--and decisions that holds the fate of them both.

Thanks for the wonderful presentation of the books! And thanks for coming by my blog.

nissa annakindt said...

Mir, without dragons, how do you toast your marshmallows?

The Door Within is not a dragon-y book, though. (I haven't read the rest of the series, though)

Katya said...

I love your site - it's beautiful!

And I can understand the "blah dragon" feeling - it seems like everyone and their dog is releasing books about dragons - and not just in the CSFF realm!

I totally laughed out loud about the Neil Gaiman comment - I totally feel the same way. For some reason, he's one of the few authors that I will buy a hard cover book in without reading it first! Too funny.

Pixy said...

Thanks for posting about the interview, Mir! I second your dragon allergy. :) I've been a little over-loaded myself (by my own fault, though)

But Wayne's books aren't dragon books, more of a medieval style adventure with dragons around.