Fantasy Friday – Books, Books, And More Books


I love reading and I love having lots of books to read, but sometimes promising reviews kind of puts the pressure on, especially when several of these books release about the same time. That’s the state I’m in at the present.

Publishers have their reason, I know, but it really does seem unrealistic to try to read and review the books that all come out about the same time, within the three-month window the PR people say determines a book’s sales.

Three months.

Before I became a writer, there were books I hadn’t heard of three months after their launch. How was I supposed to read them and talk them up with my friends before the window closed?

It reminds me of movies that come out in May–when we here in California are still in school. By the time our school year ends in mid June, and I or my teacher friends have time to go see those movies, they no longer are in our theaters. Here and gone before I have a chance.

Thankfully the Spec Faith library gives us a place where we can find Christian speculative fiction, new and old. For that matter, it lists books that are traditional published or put out by a small independent press or even self-published. The problem there is, with so many books, how do you know which are the ones you’d really like to read? I mean, Spec Faith is closing in on 500 books cataloged in our database.

That’s were other readers come in. We need buzz–people talking about the books they’ve read. We need people willing to write a short recommendation or a longer review. We need them to copy and past reviews they’ve written on their own site or elsewhere, with appropriate links, so that readers can see more than a list of books with their cover art and back cover copy.

If someone is seriously trying to find the best Christian speculative fiction, they need to go where Christian speculative fiction readers hang out, where they talk about what they read, and particularly where they talk about what they like.

How great, then, to be able to go to a place like Spec Faith and peruse the offerings. But right now we only have six reviews for every one hundred books. That’s a lot of books without any buzz at all–at least on a site where speculative readers gather and speculative books are listed.

So I’m wondering, what’s keeping people from adding recommendations, at least. I mean, let’s say you’re a busy mom or dad with a 9 to 5 job and football games to attend. How are you supposed to write a review?

Well, buzz isn’t all about reviews. A lot of times it’s about a reader saying: I loved this one, don’t miss it. Or even, I liked the first one better. Or, if you liked this one, you’ll love that other one.

Buzz, folks. It’s just talking about books in a way that encourages other people to talk about books. Or to read them.

That, my friends, is what Christian speculative fiction needs most. So now I’m fired up and ready to do my own reviews! 😀

Published in: on September 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm  Comments Off on Fantasy Friday – Books, Books, And More Books  
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Since You’re Already Buying A Present …


No surprise — families buy each other Christmas presents. And often neighbors do too, and friends, and sometimes even co-workers. Since a present is in the works already, why not make it a book! And if you’re buying a book, why not make it a fantasy?

Happily, you have a one-stop source where you can find books you might like to give as Christmas gifts. I’m referring to the Speculative Faith Library (which might better be named, the Spec Faith Book Browser, since we aren’t actually able to lend books out).

The cool thing about the Spec Faith Library is that you can find the newest releases listed first on the Home page, or you can sort the books by the age of the person you would like to gift, or you can search for a book by a specific author by going to the author index or you can click on a tag and find other books tagged with the same term (for example, if you’re looking for fantasies, locate a book such as C. S. Lakin’s The Land of Darkness, and click on the word “fantasy” in the tags box. That link will take you to a page of books in the library with the same tag).

Not yet in the library is the new release by Wayne Thomas Batson that came out just last week: The Errant King, Book 2 of The Dark Sea Annals series (AMG Publishing). I might also mention that Sir Batson has started another one of his crazy fantabulous contests, known as the Seek The Stars Contest. 😉 Here’s the description:

WHAT IS IT?
The Seek the Stars Contest is an opportunity for my readers to have EPIC fun, exercising their God-given talents to form communities of readers and spread the word about books they know and love.

To learn more, check out Sir Batson’s informative blog where you can find all the guidelines and prizes.

Bryan Davis also has a fairly new book out, though I have to admit to my confusion about his similarly named series — one released by Zondervan and for young adults, the other put out by AMG and designated for adults. Here are the books as listed on his web site:

    Tales of Starlight
    Masters & Slayers
    Third Starlighter
    Dragons of Starlight
    Starlighter
    Warrior
    Diviner

The newest is Third Starlighter, which sounds like one part science fantasy and one part Christian horror:

In this second book of the Tales of Starlight series, Adrian Masters journeys into the wilderness of the dragon planet of Starlight in search of his brother Frederick. Carrying the comatose body of Marcelle, he has to find medical help for her, but the slave master dragons will kill him on sight if he comes out of hiding.

Adrian believes Frederick has set up a wilderness refuge for escaped slaves, so he hopes to join Frederick and devise a plan to rescue the humans enslaved on Starlight. Since Adrian cannot leave Marcelle alone, her nearly lifeless body becomes an anchor, both physically and emotionally, as he has to decide to care for her or attempt to rescue the slaves.

Adrian has no idea that Marcelle’s spirit has left her body and has traveled to their home planet in search of military help to rescue the slaves. She is able to materialize there in a temporary body that looks corpselike and feels icy cold. Because of her appearance, Governor Orion persecutes her as a sorceress and sentences her to burn at the stake.

If I were to give my suggestions of books I haven’t read yet (with links to their Spec Faith library post), I’d have to include
Matt Mikalatos’s Night of the Living Dead Christian
Athol Dickson’s The Opposite of Art
R. J. Anderson’s Ultraviolet
Austin Boyd’s Nobody’s Child
Ross Lawhead’s The Realm’s Thereunder

For books I have read, I suggest you take a look at my most recent reviews.

Happy book buying for those readers on your Christmas list. 😀

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