Fantasy Friday – Idle Thoughts

I have a speaking engagement coming up next week, and one of my topics is on fantasy (the other one is on grammar 😮 ). Consequently, I’ve been reading and re-reading a multitudinous number of articles on the subject and putting together a bibliography to hand out.

To be honest, I feel a little brain-fried. I mean, I have SO much I would like to say, I could easily take up two hours instead of just one. Last year, when I first gave this talk, I had to cut out reading excerpts of the books I’d brought along. Fortunately we didn’t need to clear the room because my next seminar was in that same location, so that gave me a little more time to give away the freebies I’d brought along. Still, I didn’t have a chance to answer questions or interact with the attendees as I’d hoped.

So this year, what’s new and different is the approaching release of the movie version of The Golden Compass, first in The Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Mostly what I want to get across to that room of educators is the need to teach young people to think critically about fiction. I also want to introduce them to Christian fantasy and explain that fantasy, like all fiction, is a tool shaped by its author’s worldview.

Last year, after making my case for critical thinking—or so I thought—I had one attendee come up and say, So what secular books can you tell me that are safe for my kids to read. YIKES! The very thing I want to get away from is creating an “approved list.” Or following the knee-jerk reaction to code words, fantasy being among them.

In reality, I think there is much less of that kind of reaction among Christians in SoCal. Chances are, those who still do react with a sharp intake of breath at the mention of dragons or wizards won’t be in my seminar. 😉

Change of topic. The November issue of Latest In Spec is about to release. We have a new publisher and are still working to un-kink a few things, but the draft I received is awesome. I plan to print out a few copies, make them available at my seminar, and invite attendees to subscribe. Anyone wanting to know just about anything in the Christian speculative genre would be wise to check out LIS.

Change of topic 2. Don’t forget: the Fantasy Challenge II includes buying books. Besides talking with the manager or clerk, you can be prize eligible if you buy a Christian fantasy from a brick-and-mortar store. Just leave a comment on the Fantasy Challenge II page.

Change of topic 3. Did you catch my review of Andrew Peterson’s (yes, THE Andrew Peterson, musician extraordinaire) book due out in January? I posted it at Spec Faith on Monday. At the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is the first in the Wingfeather Saga (WaterBrook). Lots of fun.

And on that note, I’ll stop. Otherwise, since these are idle thoughts, they might just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and …

Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 1:53 pm  Comments (2)  
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