Fantasy Friday – It’s All About Reading

July is “Read Christian Speculative Fiction Month,” don’t forget!

The point is to inform our friends—those we sit next to in church and those who read what we wrote on our Wall—and neighbors, acquaintances and family, co-workers and … pretty much everyone we know, that there are good speculative stories written by Christians, with a Christian worldview.

If you haven’t stopped by the Clive Staples Award site yet, I invite you to do so this weekend. Nineteen books have been nominated for the award, and readers are the ones who will choose the winner. This year, we’re requiring voters to have read at least two of the nominations. Two. Not as many as I would like, but more than the one title required last year. (Look for the number to increase next year).

So let’s suppose that a fan of author X really, really, really wants to vote for X’s book. But the requirement is to have read at least two books on the list. So what does this fan do? Select another book from the nomination list to read during “Read Christian Speculative Fiction Month,” in preparation for the August vote.

It dawned on me, however, that someone staring at that list would have nothing but the title, author’s name, and publisher to go by in making a choice. Consequently, we’re creating “introductions” of the nominations.

Each introduction has a statement about the genre, a picture of the cover, a short blurb about the book, a brief endorsement, any awards the book might have already won, places to learn more such as book trailers or excerpts or reviews, where to buy the book, and finally what other formats (audio, Kindle, etc.) the book is available in.

In short, anyone wanting to read another Christian speculative title can find a lot of information at the CSA site.

In an unrelated matter, SF author Nancy Kress commented about dystopian young adult fantasy on her blog and in the process quoted Ursula LeGuin to make the point that “fantasy is essential to understanding reality”:

And the stories that call most on the imagination work on a deep level of the mind, beneath reason (therefore incomprehensible to rationalists), using symbol as poetry does to express what can’t be said directly, using imagery to express what can’t be perceived directly — using indirection to indicate the truthward direction.

– Ursula LeGuin in her collection of essays, Cheek by Jowl (as quoted by Nancy Kress in “Dystopias for Kids”)

Now that’s a keeper quote, I think. A good one for “Read Christian Speculative Fiction Month,” for certain! 😀

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