CSFF Blog Tour: DKA, Day 2; Edginess

Thanks to Todd, Jason, and Frank for the great comments about free web-zines. I think I’m convinced—the existence of these venues is not just good for readers, but for writers as well.

That Dragons, Knights, and Angels, the October CSFF Blog Tour featured web-zine, is good for readers seems like a given, but I don’t want to brush that point aside too lightly.

Do you like a good science fiction or fantasy stories, such as ET, Star Wars, or Narnia? Then consider reading the stories published at DKA, because their expressed purpose, as stated in the submission guidelines, is to examine the merits of a work first as SF or fantasy.

Do you want stories that build you up without being preachy, that make you better for having read them? Then consider reading DKA because the editors look for stories that “entertain, uplift, and enlighten.”

Especially for those of you who are Christian SFFan’ers (my version of a science fiction and/or fantasy aficionado) but you a) have run out of novels in the genre and don’t want to go back to the secular stuff; or b) you don’t have time to sit with a novel, then the stories and poems at DKA are for you.

BTW, we have a wonderful group of bloggers participating in the tour this month. Special feature today is Rachel Marks, who is posting an interview with DKA managing editor, Selena Thomason.

Ah, but what about this “edgy” issue?

One line from the DKA submission guidelines touched one of my sore spots: “DKA is open to edgy stories that explore the fullness of life.”

I have developed quite a resistence to the notion that Christians should write “edgy” fiction, primarily because I think Christians use the word to mean one thing when the world uses it to mean something quite different. This redefining of terms with a Christian slant is, in my opinion, more of the “Christianese” that fiction writers are so often accused of.

It’s apparent to me by the next qualifying sentences that DKA’s “edgy” would, in all likelihood, be considered “mild” by the world:

However, sexual content, profanity, and other elements that would be considered offensive to the general Christian community must be handled with great care and be essential to the story.  Profanity can almost always be omitted, suggested, or implied.  Sexual content can almost always be removed or referred to, rather than explicitly stated.

Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way in disagreement with DKA’s standards. I am, however, objecting to the idea that these stories would qualify as “edgy” unless the word is specificially defined in Christian terms.

Why do we want to use such a word? Why do we want to write to the edge? Or at least make people think we are writing to the edge?

Which brings up the question, To the edge of what?

I think the world answers that as, the edge of what is the norm of society. That would be society that accepts divorce as a standard option to solve an unhappy marriage, believes that a woman’s choice to kill her baby should be a legally-protected right, that two men should be granted marital status if they so choose. Society that rages against young American men dying in Iraq but is silent about the young men dying on the streets of every inner city across the land. This is the society that laughs at pornography and nudity on TV and has an underground child porn industry along with a child prostitution industry that rivals the drug trade. What is the edge of this society?

I suggest it is not the same as the edge to which DKA is referring. In many ways, from what I have read on some Christian writer forums, I think this Christian version of edge actually means the edge of Christian society—where safe sex means monogamous sex, and even that is only alluded to. Again, I’m not disagreeing with this standard. I believe in this standard, in fact, because I think it squares with Scripture.

What I object to is calling a story edgy because it deals with what is part of normal society—society beyond the ideal or even the existent, imperfect Christian community, but nevertheless well within the range of our greater culture. I think the world would laugh at the notion that such a story is “edgy.”

If they’re going to laugh, let it be because of our belief in Christ, our belief in redemption through His shed blood, and our hope for His return because of His resurrection, not because of a mistaken view of the world around us.

– – –

Check out what other participants on the CSFF Tour are saying about DKA:

  • Jim Black
  • Jackie Castle
  • Valerie Comer
  • Frank Creed
  • Chris Deanne
  • Kameron M. Franklin
  • Beth Goddard
  • Todd Michael Greene
  • Leathel Grody
  • Karen Hancock
  • Elliot Hanowski
  • Katie Hart
  • Sherrie Hibbs
  • Joleen Howell
  • Jason Joyner
  • Karen and at Karen’s myspace
  • Oliver King
  • Tina Kulesa
  • Lost Genre Guild
  • Kevin Lucia
  • Rachel Marks
  • Shannon McNear
  • Caleb Newell
  • John Otte
  • Cheryl Russel
  • Mirtika Schultz
  • Stuart Stockton
  • Steve Trower
  • Speculative Faith
  • Published in: on October 31, 2006 at 12:33 pm  Comments (23)  
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