Not A Fan of Fan Fiction? Some Things To Consider

Last week’s release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones marked, for many, a new low in the burgeoning world of fan fiction. The film, the first in a projected series based on Cassandra Clare's novels, is a mash-up of popular fantasy worlds that barely bothers to cover its tracks, and it’s duly suffering at the hands of the critics. “Methadone for Twi-Hards,” quipped one, repeating a common sentiment.Clare’s original stories were fan fiction of Harry Potter villain Draco Malfoy, but her d … [Read more...]

Should Pastors (or any of us) Read the Word on an iPad?

I have a Bible app on my phone and I love it. I usually use it in the morning to listen to my daily readings as I putter around making coffee and becoming human again. I've sat down with a number of my students and helped them download that same app in order to show them how easy it is to read a chapter a day instead of spending those 5 minutes checking some inane Reddit thread that, like sugar with teeth, will eventually rot their souls. (I might have to pay for that one later.)That said, … [Read more...]

Defeating Gnostic Forces In Fantasy Fiction

Kathy Tyers has more reasons than most to track the development of the new Star Wars films.While Disney may be the franchise’s new owner, able to continue its story in film, Tyers was among the first authors to explore that world officially after the (chronologically) final film, Return of the Jedi. At the recent Realm Makers conference for Christian fantasy writers and fans, she wonders aloud: Will the new films keep Luke Skywalker’s marriage that Tyers happily supported, and her role as … [Read more...]

Reza Aslan’s Grand Inquisitor

Reza Aslan’s new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, pits a "historical" Jesus against the orthodox Christian Jesus that founded Christianity and shaped Western Society. Non-Christians have been writing books that challenge the historical, biblical person of Jesus for millenia. And even though Aslan's Jesus has been getting a lot of press, I am not worried that Aslan is harming orthodox Christianity any more than I'm worried  A-Rod is ruining the entire sport of baseball by lyi … [Read more...]

New Adult Fiction’s Unhealthy Marketing Gimmick

Somewhere between the Twilight series and The Nanny Diaries, publishing marketers decided that twenty-somethings lacked a relevant fiction genre. YA novels hold our attention and adult fiction contains the thematic content that we greedily consume, yet neither adequately address the awkward Peter Pan phase many millennials experience.In 2009, St. Martin’s Press challenged novelists to a contest in which they introduced the New Adult Fiction genre—fiction aimed at the average twe … [Read more...]

How Should We Then Upgrade Christian Fiction?

It’s a truth globally agreed upon: Young evangelical readers should be able to find Christian fiction beyond historicals, Amish romances, and subpar stories in all genres.What isn’t as universally acknowledged is how to fill this need.On July 29 The Weekly Standard’s Jon L. Breen arrived to this conversation and extolled author J. Mark Bertrand’s crime novels from Christian publisher Bethany House. In Breen’s view, Bertrand’s talents have been underappreciated and likely restricted: J. M … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Cormac McCarthy and Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” is Probably Going to be Terrible

I love Cormac McCarthy, a lot. Ever since I read Blood Meridian for a Freshman Composition class (no, really) I've been in love with the man's prose. I read all his novels, wrote my Master's thesis on him, visited his archives at TSU San Marcos and read his original manuscripts, taught The Road in several courses, published two papers on him in literary journals, wrote about his works for CaPC (here, and here, and here), and was even quoted in Wikipedia on No Country for Old Men (no, real … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: A Missed Connection for the Ages

It's interesting to think about literary genres "coming of age." Often it has to do with the arrival of a work that realizes the potential of the genre like nothing that came before it. That day has come for the genre known as Craigslist Missed Connections, where a recent post ostensibly aimed at finding the woman in the "vintage white skirt and smart red blouse" goes off the functional rails and lands in downright literary territory. Read the text over at Gawker, and then tell your loved ones … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Lions and Little Foxes

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the “peace that passes all understanding” from Philippians 4:7, and even now I would say that I require daily, if not moment-by-moment, reminders that this world is not my eternal home. For a while I told myself that the anxieties born along with my children would subside. I would name a milestone and anticipate the alleviation of my worries, only to find more fears lurking around the bend.There are many scriptural passages that speak to these k … [Read more...]

The Magical Worlds of ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Left Behind’

This month brings fans one fantasy franchise’s new covers, and the start of production of another franchise’s film remake. But the backstories of both franchises are more alike than we may think.Once upon a time, specifically the late 1990s, these franchises fought. One was set in a world of good wizards, a dark lord, non-magical citizens, and a global battle between light and darkness. It won over bestseller lists. This surprised readers, because this series was by a Christian thriller nov … [Read more...]