Friday, February 16, 2007

My Spec Faith Post is Up:
Out of the Comfort Zones

I'm issuing a challenge.

I hope many take it up. Including ME!

Here's an excerpt:

What I’m craving is a CSF story outside of high fantasy, beyond the usual tropes we’ve seen in the Christian fantasy inventory one can purchase at No swords. No tunics and armor. No immediate parallels to Christ as king, and no Arthurian retelling.

Where’s the Christian steampunk novel? Where’s the Christian gritty urban fantasy? Where’s the Christian alternate history where Martin Luther came from another dimension and Tetzel is a shapeshifter who takes Martin's shape and causes maddening conflict and confusion across Europe? Where’s the Christian fantasy in New York City where Satan holes up in Trump Tower with supermodels, while his minions attempt global domination through the fashion industry and the intrepid maverick Christian reality show team of designers show Hellfire Designs a thing or two on Parisian runways and assorted chic global spots, proving one can be both virtuous and very hip? (I'm guessing that would be Christian SF Chick lit.) Where’s the Christian fantasy where frozen wizards defrost and erupt into main street Podunk, Kansas, and the little old ladies of First Baptist of Podunk are the only ones who can see what they really are up to and have only knitting needles, day old fellowship dinner rolls, and their decades of godly wisdom to win the day and keep the pumpkin festival on schedule? Where’s the Christian fantasy with that magical realist flavor and multi-ethnic dramatis personae and the talking family pet llama? Where's the Christian fantasy set in your hometown where the fountain of life suddenly, actually, genuinely is found while renovating the town park? What does that do to the people and the church?


Anonymous said...

Take the word “Christian” out of this posting and it makes more sense to me. I’m not interested in whether a writer is a gay, Scientologist, Republican, atheist, Amway or, yes, Christian. It doesn’t matter. A writer with an obvious agenda is less interesting than that same writer without one. I’m guilty of this too, of course. Although I try to transcend my agendas, not push them to the forefront. I think the purpose of writing is to explore. To me, it’s about ideas and honesty to the point of vulnerability. So by saying, “I’m deliberately going to write from this or that perspective or worldview,” you begin to reign in your ideas, to paint yourself into a corner.

Oh man, am I not looking forward to the bashing I can almost hear you laying on me for presenting my agenda here in this way. Just to clarify, I’m only commenting on this blog entry, not you as a writer. As you must know, I find your creative writing interesting, open-minded and idea-rich.


Mirtika said...

Different strokes, babe. I do want to occasionally read stuff with a worldview that doesn't bash mine. Secular SF is gay-friendly, feminist-friendly, and liberal-friendly. So they do have their worldviews out there. Don't tell me you don't sense Taoist feminist in Leguin, radical feminist in Russ, etc. Just as Heinlein had a particular POV, and it was part of his voice.

I want to read more stuff with a Christian voice, and that's generally gonna come from self-identifying CHRISTIANS. :)

If you read a novel that went against what you believed, it would hamper your enjoyment, I'm guessing. Let's say you were a strong conservationist or animal rightist, and the novel had a happy view of animal sacrifice and chopping down forests in favor of parking lots, well, it might irk you. Well, while I have and do read stuff from liberal (I'm conservative) and promiscuous (I'm traditional) and anti-Christian (I'm Christian) and ultra-feminist (I'm not a NOW feminist) or occultist (I consider Wicca and Satansim and occultic religions false religions), I would very much like to see a flourishing of fiction with MY moral and philosophical worldview in SF.

I don't think that makes me very different from the feminists who support Tepper and LeGuin and Russ, or the gays who flock to gay friendly fiction.

We all have sore points.


Chris said...

Here’s a prestigous free writing contest you might be interested in.

I won’t be entering (even though I have a story of the right length set in the right time frame) because of the following excerpt from their guidelines:

Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration in a positive, exciting and hopeful way.

I love fictionalized scientific and futuristic scenarios. But here they have taken the genre and reined it in, totally restricted it in my opinion—neutered it, reduced it to pulp. I doubt I’ll even bother to read the winner if it’s posted on line. Actually, I feel like I already have.

Mirtika said...

Oh, that's funny. I just posted about it right now!!!!!!! Before I saw your post.

It's not my thing, really, hard SF of the superpositive golden age sort. I don't do that. And I can see you wouldn't either. :D