Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Fate of Christian Fantasy

There are two very important things that you should know about me. I love to read and I love to write. Since I was very young I have loved telling and writing stories. My pet genre is speculative fiction - which is a swiping term which includes everything the least bit abnormal. Therefore, I've been keeping a close eye on the Christian fantasy industry.

Remember, epic fantasy - at least as we know it today - has its roots in Christian authorship. There was a time when it was unheard of for a fantasy novel not to have Christian worldview. But, the devil has this tendency to hijack our stuff. As a result, many Christians have given up on fantasy.

Of course, it doesn't help that we as men have stopped paying attention literature. In fact, bookworm often has an inherently feminine flavor. As a result, prairie romances dominate Christian bookstores. It's been a long time since we've seen a big, quality Christian fantasy hit the shelves.

The exception would be people like Ted Dekker. His Books of History Chronicles - a trinity series which includes the Circle Series, Paradise Trilogy and the Lost Books novels - has been widely successful. However, Dekker had already made a name for himself in the thriller department before he decided to try his hand at fantasy. It's extremely hard for new authors to get fantasy published.

However, all is not lost. Having been rejected by the bookstores, many authors are turning to the Internet to sell their work, with varying levels of success. Jay L. Young self-published his Heroes of Old series, which I've heard is a cross between the Bible and X-Men (yeah, I had to think about that for a bit too). Young's series has seen a tremendous level of success for a self-published book. A friend of mine, Adrianne Redding, self-published a beautiful book called RoseBeast (learn more)And some smaller publishers, namely Marcher Lords, have devoted themselves to Christian fantasy.

What does all this mean? It means that there are a growing number of people out there who are hungry for a meaty portion of Christian fantasy and, if necessary, they're willing to go follow some unorthodox roads to get it. With the movement rapidly catching on, it may not be long before we see Christian fantasy hit the mainstream once again.

So, how knows, maybe the days of Tolkien and Lewis may yet return.

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