Review: Space Drifters By Paul Regnier


cover_SpaceDriftersI’ve been away from blogging for a week, but not actually by choice. I had a health issue that kept me doing little more than eating and sleeping. And reading.

Reading really is a wonderful pastime, but without realizing it, I’ve gotten away from doing as much as I usually do. So it felt great to get back into books again.

I read some good titles—mostly fiction, but I gobbled down one autobiography and am working on a couple more at a slower pace (now that I’m back to writing). Today I want to give my review of a very fun science fiction, Space Drifters by Paul Regnier (Enclave Publishing).

The Story

Glint Starcrost, the captain of an older spaceship, has a bounty on his head. He’s broke, his ship is falling apart, and his computer is going a bit haywire. Add to that, a time traveler from the past has landed on his bridge, and a fleet of Zormian star pirates has surrounded his craft. Oh, and then there’s Jasette, the beguiling beauty who masquerades as a bounty hunter but who is actually a princess with a secret agenda of her own.

All Glint wants is to reverse his ill-fated luck, which he believes he can do if he can find the Emerald Enigma, a treasure he’s only heard about and which some believe to be a myth. Of course, he isn’t the only one searching for it. Hamilton Von Drone, his old nemesis from the Space Academy who stole his rightful place atop the class of space pilots, is also plotting to track down the priceless object.

Fortunately Glint has his faithful friend and right hand . . . well, lizard, Blix, at his side through all these adventures. Technically Blix isn’t a lizard. He’s a Vythian, a lizard-man with shiny copper scales, a brown bandoleer filled with daggers criss-crossing his torso, and charcoal pants over “his muscular reptilian legs.”

Quite the motley cast of characters and quite the story! Can Glint evade the bounty hunters, find the Emerald Enigma, best Hamilton in their latest confrontation, and survive the crash of his computer, Iris, who has a warped view of her relationship with him?

I’ll let you read the story for yourself to discover the twists and turns that develop along the way.

Strengths

As you may have surmised by my story intro, this space opera is a bit tongue-in-cheek. There is lots of humor and a healthy dose of parody. The characters are likeable, to be sure, and the interplay between them is delightful.

Blix reminds me of a character in Donita Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles—Rigador, a meech dragon. He’s also a bit like a lizard-ish version of Spock, the Vulcan in Star Trek. He verbally spars with his captain and is right most of the time, and as it happens, is the character who is most intrigued by the Bible. Of course, he’s intrigued by anything he can read. It’s the time traveler, Nelvan, who brought the Bible aboard.

The presence of a Bible, and I suspect, of a Christian, fits in naturally to the story. Without giving anything away, the Bible turns out to play a significant part in the story, but not in the way most people would think. It’s set up perfectly without any suggestion of heavy-handed preaching. In fact, it’s treated with no more regard than any other book, though there’s every opportunity for that to change in volume two of the series.

Each of the characters comes across as an individual, and they each have their own set of problems and goals. Their voices are strong and unique, which makes the story particularly feel like a movie, or at least, a book I can visualize. [As an aside, I think it’s interesting how voice can make a book feel more visual!]

Weaknesses

This first point is related to the parody aspect of the story. I think: there’s a plethora of hard-to-pronounce names of strange places and races. And things. It’s one of the dangers of writing speculative fiction, I think—a danger I may fall into in my own writing. Certainly the strange names can give a story the feel of otherness, which is necessary for worldbuilding, but it can also be a deterrent to some readers who don’t want to wade through so many strange pronunciations.

Secondly, there were a few times when I wanted our fearless captain to treat people differently—with less anger and hostility. Fortunately, this story is related in the first person so we readers are privy to Glint’s thoughts. We know he says a lot because he’s trying to create a certain persona which he thinks starship captains are supposed to portray. His inner musings let us know what he’s really like, and it’s that person I enjoy the most. So I found myself wishing for more “nice Glint” sections, though honestly, I don’t know if “nice Glint” would work as well.

Recommendation

Space Drifters is a fun story with characters that seem like real people. Anyone who enjoys space opera and humor will love this book. It’s a fast read, one I happily recommend.

CSFF Blog Tour – One Realm Beyond by Donita Paul, Day 2


onerealmbeyondcover

Favorite characters.

Donita Paul has written some of the best fun fantasy characters of all time, I think. This trend continues in her new novel One Realm Beyond, first in the Realm Walkers series.

In the past some of her minor characters have been quirky and interesting and unique. Sometimes they’re wise. Often their appearance belies their true status. They impact the story in unexpected ways.

Here are some of the memorable ones:
Lady Peg in Dragons of the Valley. Her distracted state and odd observations add enjoyable humor and wit.

Rigador in DragonFire and DragonLight. This last (or so we thought) of the meech dragons is fearsome, precocious, elegant, and strong. He commands the page as much as any room he might walk into.

Sir Dar, a doneel, makes an appearance in a number of books, but nearly upstaged the protagonist in DragonSpell. He is fastidious about his clothing, though his outfits might be considered somewhat garish, and he loves to prepare meals properly. He added a great deal of humor.

Leetu Bends, an eccentric hermit-like emeraldian, who is wise, mysterious, capable plays a key role in DragonQuest.

Toopka, the silly little doneel child who bonds with Rigador.

Wizard Fenworth is such a remarkable character, both in the DragonKeeper Chronicles but also in Dragons of Chiril series, with bog creatures nesting in his beard and his habit of becoming treelike to the point that it’s hard to tell him apart from the real thing.

And what about Gymn, the fainting minor dragon?

I wish I could remember them all.

But I reminisce about all these creative characters because I believe Donita Paul has done in her latest work, One Realm Beyond, what I’ve longed to see her do. Rather than making her quirky character a minor sideshow, she’s taken one of the best ever and brought her front and center.

I’m talking about Bixby, one of the point of view characters in this first installment of the Realm Walkers series. The story opens with Cantor, an eager pup of a boy who wants to get on with his destined role as a realm walker. But readers soon meet Bixby who then becomes a second point of view character. In the end, it’s clear she is as important as Cantor. Maybe more.

But what makes Bixby so special?

First, she’s unpredictable. I’d even say, surprising. She’s small and for all appearances, weak, but she can keep up with Cantor and even out-maneuver him at times. She has special abilities. So in some senses, she’s a bit of a superhero. She’s also wiser than Cantor, but she has secrets, and this makes her interesting, too.

Another quality that won me over to her is her courage. Despite her vulnerable size, she never backs away from a challenge, never tries for an easier assignment. She’s not foolhardy, but she’s not about to stand around and watch when lives are on the line. She’s compassionate and caring and willing to take a risk.

Along with everything else, she has the perfect dragon constant for her temperament. Totobee-Rodolow, with her love of bright and beautiful accessories, her love of shopping and fine dining, her connections and sophisticated manners, is the perfect fit for little Bixby.

Truly, this little mite of a girl—closer to a fairy, perhaps than any creature Donita has created before—is a star. I for one love to see such a strong character given the floor so she can have the spotlight shine on her all the longer.

Don’t forget to tour the other participants reviewing and commenting about One Realm Beyond. I might especially point you to Shannon McDemott‘s excellent review in which she says

It is such a fun book, such a light-hearted book, with entrancing characters and a terrific setting. I like fantasy, and I like sci-fi, and I hold a special fondness for well-done science fantasy – which is what One Realm Beyond is.

CSFF Blog Tour – One Realm Beyond by Donita Paul, Day 1


dragon

Dragons

Look wise,
say nothing,
and eat
only those
who annoy you.

Read DragonKeeper Chronicles.

It wasn’t intentional; I truly wasn’t trying to dress the part I would be playing later in the day. In fact I didn’t really think about it until I began to work on my post for this month’s CSFF feature: One Realm Beyond, the first in the Realm Walkers series by Donita Paul. Nevertheless, the tee shirt I pulled out of my closet, a favorite, pictures this dragon and that saying.

Yes, I got it some years ago in connection with Donita Paul’s earlier books.

Appropriate, then, that One Realm Beyond also has dragons. Of sorts.

One of the most inventive parts of Ms. Paul’s writing, in my opinion, is her development of interesting, unique species. Her earlier books had a wide array of both good and evil species, large and small. But on top of this assortment were various types of dragons as well–most good, some more intelligent than others, and one particular, rare species, the meech dragons, I believe, that were extraordinarily gifted.

In One Realm Beyond, the mor dragons reminded me a great deal of those meech dragons, only they’re a step up. Ms. Paul was not content to make the same dragon with a different name. She gave the mor dragons additional abilities. The most notable is their capacity to shapeshift.

We’re talking about an Odo from Deep Space Nine kind of ability to take the shape of objects or people or other animals.

These dragons also mingle with humans to the degree that they are seated together in fancy eating establishments, wear some clothing and/or accessories (at least the one who loves to shop does), and converse freely (though a dragon and his constant can also mind-speak).

I mentioned “inventive,” didn’t I?

In short, the dragons in the Realm Walker series are not your old school dragons.

I’ll have more to say about One Realm Beyond and post my review later in the tour, but for now you might want to check out what other participants are saying, including new members Mike Coville and Audrey Sauble.

Each check mark below links to a CSFF Tour article, so have some fun reading what others are talking about in connection to this book. Feel free to leave a comment and tell them Becky sent you. 😀

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Mike Coville
Pauline Creeden
Carol Gehringer
Rebekah Gyger
Janeen Ippolito
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
Writer Rani
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Jojo Sutis
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Jill Williamson

Fantasy Friday – Tidbits


Lo and behold, the latter part of this week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance featured Donita Paul and DragonLight. How cool is that! Back-to-back tours. Now that’s the way to keep the buzz going.

My name isn’t listed at the CFBA blog as one participating on the tour because I didn’t order a book through them. Nevertheless I want to mention Donita and her work again—partly because she is one of the pioneers in the Christian fantasy resurgence, partly because I enjoy her writing, partly because I think she has a wonderful Web site with lots to explore, including some games to play and art to enjoy, and partly because she has a new blog.

Then there’s the upcoming Motiv8 Fantasy Tour coming to the West Coast in a few short months when I’ll actually get to meet Donita and several others I’ve only had the pleasure of corresponding with on line.

Lastly, there is the t-shirt I just received—a very cool blue on gray that says, “Look wise, say nothing, and eat only those who annoy you.” 😉 In small print below it says, “I read DragonKeeper Chronicles,” which I do. 😀

Turning the corner to another piece of fantasy news some of you may be interested in, Michael Warden, author of Gideon’s Dawn, a … substantial first volume of the Pearlsong Refounding series, has self-published the second book, Waymaker.

The first volume was an echo of Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant trilogy. Since I credit those novels with providing me the impetus to write fantasy, I have followed Warden somewhat, and am pleased that he’s making an effort to finish what he started.

No doubt about it, epic fantasy is a challenge. Happily, it appears he has every intention of seeing the story through to the end. Good for him. Good for Christian fantasy.

Then the third piece of news. Jeff Gerke of WhereTheMapEnds.com posted an interview with me which you can read here. He also posted one of my short stories, a piece entitled “Swallow and Beyond” which I wrote for a Writer’s Digest contest. I hope you take a moment or two to stop by either pages some time this weekend.

We Have Winners


Multiple winners have emerged from the just-concluded CSFF Blog Tour for Donita Paul’s latest release, DragonLight.

Starting with the CSFF tour itself. Thirty-nine bloggers participated in the tour, with a higher number than ever posting all three days.

Fantasy won too. Of the thirty-seven individual sites participating, a whopping forty percent where run by men. For those of you who know that the audience for Christian fiction is supposedly eighty percent women, you quickly see the fantasy tour had a better 60/40 gender balance. Christian fantasy, I conclude, is drawing in the untapped male market, but not losing women readers.

DragonLight won. On the list of Popular Books on Technorati, DragonLight landed in the number one spot on Tuesday before dropping to number four (where it still remains, behind three books by James Scott Bell, CFBA’s featured author). Impossible to know what part the CSFF tour played on DragonLight‘s Amazon ranking, but it dropped from the 8000’s a week ago to 4500 today, and the seven-day ranking was another thousand points lower (the shrinking number being better).

The DragonKeeper Chronicles won. Numerous bloggers reviewed the earlier books, re-read them, recommended them, and even bought them. Three of the five had a significant dip in their Amazon ranking—again something the tour may or may not have affected.

Participant bloggers won. Good discussion went on at a number of sites. My own visitor numbers spiked. Comments from our featured author, Donita Paul spoke directly to what the bloggers commented—a plus for those regularly visiting the sites.

Of course, one particular participant won. I’m referring to the recipient of the CSFF Top Tour Blogger Award for July 2008. This was another tough, tough decision because we had some excellent discussion, some posts with creative content, and views that were well thought out. But for his Four posts, including the “0 Day” recap of the earlier DragonKeeper books, the award goes to John Otte.

Which brings us to our final winner. I held a What’s Wrong with This Picture contest, and the winner who first correctly identified the fact that Donita has in fact written for children was Katie Hart, one of our CSFF Blog Tour charter members. As a prize, she will receive one of the specialty t-shirts provided by our author.

CSFF Blog Tour – DragonLight, Day 3


What’s Wrong with This Picture.

Today’s contest is part of the CSFF tour for DragonLight by Donita Paul (WaterBrook). If you’ve been visiting the other participants or if you’ve read interviews with Donita in the past or visited her web site, you probably already know quite a bit about her. So this is a chance for you to put your knowledge to work (and maybe learn one or two other tidbits along the way).

By way of reminder, your goal is to find the ONE incorrect fact in this post about Donita. The first person to email me with the correct answer at rluellam at yahoo dot com will win a t-shirt from Donita. So here we go.

Background.
Donita Kathleen Paul was born November 20, 1950, in Lawrence, Kansas, to Arthur Norman and Elnora Evelyn Foster Paul. In childhood, Donita read avidly. Her treat each week was a trip to the local discount store with her father where he bought her a book for $1.25.

She had three older brothers, David, Stephen, and Jon—one to hold her feet, one to hold her arms, and one to tickle their little sister. When she was five, one brother tried to kill her [Note: this is hyperbole] by shooting her with an archery arrow when they were playing Indians. Actually, she knows now this event was an accident and probably more her fault than his.

Her best friend was a Jewish girl. Donita was devastated to learn that Martha would not be celebrating Christmas with her and that she would not be celebrating Hanukah with Martha. However, Donita’s mother, a farm gal who furthered her education through fiction, made some adjustments on their end.

At age 13 Donita began teaching Sunday school, perhaps a hint of what the future held. She graduated from high school in 1968 and from the University of Houston in 1973 with a BS in Elementary Education.

She then became an elementary teacher, working in both public and private schools, until she retired in 1996. She also homeschooled her own two children who are now grown. Her daughter is married and has children of her own, making Donita a proud grandmother.

Currently she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Writing.
Because of working with young people, Donita considered writing for teens but eventually abandoned the idea. She first published fiction as a romance writer in 1999 under the name Kathleen Paul. Her fantasy series, the DragonKeeper Chronicles, followed, with DragonSpell releasing in 2004.

Donita credits Robert Jordan as having the biggest influence on her move to fantasy, but her mother also challenged her to write something different. When her critique group turned thumbs down to her first fantasy effort, she accepted this as another challenge and kept at it.

When giving new writers advice, she says first to read, read, read, then to write, write, write. She also advises going to a writers’ conference and reading good how-to books.

Her personal favorite is The Key by James. M. Frey. She has also attended such conferences as the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference and in 2006 a Donald Maass writing seminar where she learned the importance of tension on every page.

Her main project at the moment is A New Tail about an emerlindian young lady who has held her home together during her father’s absence only to discover she must undo some of the measures taken to pay the mortgage.

– – –

So, did you find it? The one glaring error that can win you one of Donita’s fun t-shirts? If you spotted it, hurry on over to email your answer to rluellam at yahoo dot com. By the way, unless you say otherwise, I will take your entry in the contest as permission to pass along your email address to Donita in the event that you are the winner.

After sending your email, come on back to the web and see what the other tour participants are saying:

** Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
# Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
# Beth Goddard
Mark Goodyear (note corrected link)
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
# Katie Hart
+ * Timothy Hicks Don’t miss his interview with Donita
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
** Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Magma Check out the unique interview with Ms. Paul discussing the DragonKeeper books and characters.
* Terri Main
Margaret Check out her contest explained in her Day 1 post
# Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
+ Nissa Don’t miss her Day 2 interview with Donita
** John W. Otte Don’t miss his “0 Day” recap of the other books in the series
Deena Peterson
** Steve Rice Don’t miss his interview with Donita posted last week
# Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
* Chawna Schroeder Be sure to read her Day 2 interview with Donita
+ Sean Slagle
James Somers
* Robert Treskillard
# Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams

A “+” indicates a blogger left off the original list
Bold type indicates a site I know has posted.
An “*” indicates “must read” content.
“**” indicates “must read” content, an intriguing discussion you might want to join.

“#” indicates CSFF participant in the 2006 tour for DragonKnight

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 11:17 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

CSFF Blog Tour – DragonLight, Day 2


The Review. Yes, you’ll need to wait one more day for The Contest. (:-D – I’m trying to sharpen my suspense skills.) And of course, I’m referring to a review of Donita Paul’s novel DragonLight, fifth in the DragonKeeper Chronicles (WaterBrook).

Because this is the last of the series, many readers coming to DragonLight will want to spend some time with the helps provided—a nice map and cast of characters in the front and a glossary of terms in the back. Understandably, DragonLight brings in many of the characters from the earlier books as part of the conclusion of the series. Without knowing these characters, much of the import of this book may be lost.

The story is enjoyable. It is another quest tale, one of Ms. Paul’s best, in my opinion. The characters set out to find the hidden meech colony and aren’t deterred from that goal, though many complications arise. More so than in other DragonKeeper books, these complications interconnect with the overarching goal and this gives a completeness to the story. I also found the antagonist to be truly menacing—a worthy opponent for the assembled forces.

The strength of DragonLight, as with the other books in the series, is the characters, in my opinion. And by “characters” I’m including the dragons. No race of the many races in the series is so well developed as the minor dragons.

When it seems Ms. Paul could not come up with another job for the little, lovable beasties, up pops the protector dragon, completely different from any of the others. These minor dragons, above all else, create the DragonKeeper world of Amara as a unique place. They add the texture that stamps these books and sets them apart from any other.

The other characters develop during this book more than in any other, too. Kale, Toopka certainly, and Gilda, are different at the end of the story. They change in significant ways that I won’t mention here because I don’t want to give spoilers.

Another thing I thought was especially strong about this book was the theme. Or more accurately, themes. There are some obvious spiritual threads running through the story. Dependence upon Wulder is key. Changed lives is another. Even for Holt, a fairly minor character. But there is the equally significant theme regarding spiritual heritage and false teaching and the steps away from the Truth that can snowball into apostasy. For a book I termed “light fantasy” in my post at Spec Faith there are some exceedingly thought-provoking ideas to consider.

Is DragonLight a perfect book? No, like most it has a few weaknesses. The end seems rushed to me. Some of the significant action happens off stage. The numerous obstacles seem to resolve in amazingly easy ways.

But in the end, these shortcomings don’t deter from the enjoyment. This book, this series, is truly one of the fun fantasies. I highly recommend DragonLight to all fantasy readers.

Now see whether my opinion differs from others on the tour:
** Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
# Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
# Beth Goddard
Mark Goodyear (note corrected link)
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
# Katie Hart
+ Timothy Hicks Don’t miss his interview with Donita
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Magma
Terri Main
Margaret Check out her contest explained in her Day 1 post
# Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
+ Nissa
John W. Otte Don’t miss his “0 Day” recap of the other books in the series
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice Don’t miss his interview with Donita posted last week
# Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
+ Sean Slagle
James Somers
* Robert Treskillard
# Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams

A “+” indicates a blogger left off the original list
Bold type indicates a site I know has posted.
An “*” indicates “must read” content.
“**” indicates “must read” content, an intriguing discussion you might want to join.

“#” indicates CSFF participant in the 2006 tour for DragonKnight

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 11:07 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

CSFF Blog Tour — DragonLight, Day 1


It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! Yes, I’m a little excited. I love CSFF Blog Tours, and I’ve been looking forward to this one for oh, so long. For the next three days we are featuring Donita Paul’s DragonLight , the final volume in the DragonKeeper Chronicles.

As I often do, I plan to give a review of the book, either Tuesday or Wednesday, but this month I’m also planning a contest: What’s Wrong with This Picture. For the prize, Donita has offered one of her famed DragonKeeper t-shirts (limited size available). It makes sense, then, for any who hope to win the prize to 1) read this heads up; and 2) to take time to study. 🙂 (Ooooh, the school teacher in me persists in showing itself from time to time!)

Here’s the heads up. The contest is simple. I will write what appears to be a normal, informative post about Ms. Paul and her books, in particular DragonLight (though not the content, since this contest is available to everyone, even those who have not yet read the book). However, I will include one inaccuracy that you must spot. The first person to email me with the correct error ( 😉 ) at the address I’ll provide will be the winner.

So now you can see why studying might help. 😀

But study what? Well, since Ms. Paul has been writing fantasy since 2004, she has given a number of interviews, one posted here (and here) at A Christian Worldview of Fiction back in 2006 during the first CSFF book blog tour. In addition, you’ll find a few interviews during this tour, too.

Of course, those of you not inclined to study might rather spend some time exploring. Donita’s Web site is full of goodies. You can learn about her other books, take a look at the related games and art work, check out her fan forum, and even participate in some fan fiction. You might also make a note of the fact that Donita participates in a regular chat.

And of course, there are also all those other CSFF participants to check in with. Enjoy!

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
# Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
# Beth Goddard
Mark Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
+ Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Magma
Terri Main
Margaret
# Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
+ Nissa
John W. Otte
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice Don’t miss his interview with Donita posted last week
# Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
+ Sean Slagle
James Somers
* Robert Treskillard
# Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams

A “+” indicates a blogger left off the original list
Bold type indicates a site I know has posted.
An “*” indicates “must read” content.
“**” indicates “must read” content, an intriguing discussion you might want to join.

“#” indicates CSFF participant in the 2006 tour for DragonKnight

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 11:06 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

The Chief Means of Marketing, Part 4


Be interesting, or be invisible.” So said Andy Sernovitz as part of his golden rule for business in his book Word of Mouth Marketing.

What an important principle for writers! Just the other day, fantasy author Karen Hancock blogged about a book she was to read in order to provide an endorsement. The problem was, she couldn’t get into the book. Not “engaging” we say, which is a code word for interesting.

I’ve thought about this topic some, wondering how it is some people can write about things I have no interest in at all and they make them sound so fascinating, I’m only sorry there isn’t more on the subject.

I wish I was a witty writer. I know of several humor writers that can turn prose into insightful laughter. Undoubtedly I’d even have a few more repeat visitors here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction if I could just say what I wanted to say about marketing but do it so that readers would be holding their sides (rather than rubbing sleep from their eyes 😀 ).

But here’s the thing. Don’t we all think we’re interesting? I mean, I never intentionally sit down to the computer thinking, How can I bore my readers today? I never write a story knowing the editor probably has seen sixty dozen just like it already.

How do we know if what we’re writing is fresh, new, interesting? Isn’t that the key to avoid being invisible?

One writer who definitely is NOT invisible is Donita Paul. The last volume of her DragonKeeper Chronicles, DragonLight will be on the CSFF Blog Tour in ten short days, and you’ll have the chance to learn all about Donita, the series, and this book in particular.

In the mean time, I’d like to think about being interesting. What makes a blog post interesting?

What makes a novel interesting?

Fantasy Friday – The Defense Continued


As part of the assault against fantasy, the writer I mentioned yesterday used some verses of Scripture as a way to prove the genre is ungodly. One such verse is 2 Timothy 4:4. Her translation says And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.

Context, context, context. But here’s what this writer is missing. Fantasy is all about the struggle between good and evil. Not a struggle in the physical realm alone. The beings she so hates, and the ones she doesn’t know about because she hasn’t read Christian fantasy, are often symbols.

Consequently, wizards in Donita Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles, for instance, are not literally the male version of the Biblically forbidden witches, women tapping into satanic power to conjure and control the physical world. In fact, the wizards in that series have power that seems intrinsic, not derived. And they can align themselves with whomever they wish.

In truth, they are more closely symbolic of angels than anything else. But they aren’t allegorical figures. Consequently, one of the characters, a young girl at the beginning of the series, must learn to develop her wizarding skills.

She studies, practices, receives instruction from older wizards. Hmm, now it sounds more like a young Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, being discipled by older saints. Nowhere in the books are these good wizards deriving their power from some satanic-like force.

Yes, I said “good wizards,” because there are also evil wizards. These are powerful beings out to achieve their own ends, looking for more power for their own purposes, with a desire to defeat anyone aligned with Wulder, “the creator and one true, living God of Amara.”

So evil, defined by the books themselves would be those opposed to God. Sounds like truth to me, not fable.