Showing posts from August, 2009

Yet Another Hot Button

I realize this is a little departure from my professed focus of Christian Fantasy Writing, but it's still a topic that bears discussion.

If you think that being a reader or writer of Christian fantasy fiction invited suspicious stares from the non-fantasy-reading world, try admitting to being both a Christian and a role playing game enthusiast. Role playing games (which shall be abbreviated RPGs from here) certainly have what the general populace regards as a "weird" following. I'll be the first to admit, gamers aren't ordinary. They spend Saturday afternoons huddled around a big table with a grid map, miniatures, stacks of rulebooks and resources, polygon dice and wild imaginations at work, rather than heading to the ballpark,mowing the lawn, or whatever other "normal" task their non-gaming counterparts may undertake on that same day. Or perhaps they take up residence in front of their computers for a few hours for a journey into another world.

Now, why …

Fantasy Fiction and the Ultimate Victory

While attending the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference this weekend, one of my teachers, Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press, ( ) said something that really struck me as a topic that begs for deeper reflection. Well, to be honest, he said about 453,000 things that beg for deeper reflection, but I'll just take a stab at one for now.

This one statement that struck me went something like this: Fantasy, as a genre, may have the greatest potential to convey a Christian message of any fiction that is being published today. Why is that? Mostly, it has to do with the fact that fantasy tends to deal with very black-and-white delineation between ultimate good and absolute evil. Where else can a writer paint a story with those "brushes", so to speak? In an age where society wants to homogonize all thoughts and theories into a cask of gray neither-here-nor-there philosophy, we, the fantasy writers and readers, still hold the ground o…

Highs and Lows

Fantasy, as a genre, splinters into a gaggle of subgenres, the definitions of which vary from source to source. The two subgenres I'd like to deal with today, through the goggles of this Christian worldview I keep mentioning, are High Fantasy and Low Fantasy.

First, let's start off with a couple of simple definitions, for the sake of beginning the discussion on common ground. Low Fantasy, simply put, is fantasy that takes place in what we all know as the "real world", in real places you can find on a map here on planet earth, or at least put in a general geographic region between real places. High Fantasy, on the other hand, takes place in a wholly invented place, like J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth.

I, personally, prefer High Fantasy, not only for the experience of being transported to something vastly different than what I find around me in suburban Pennsylvania, but also, because spiritually, I find dealing with a fictional universe less problematic.

There ar…