Dr. Strange — Invitation to the Occult or Gateway to a Biblical Worldview?

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In a recent Unbelievable podcast, pastor Tim Keller debated atheist Jeremy Rodell about whether humans “make sense without God.” At one point in the show the host reads from Keller’s latest book in which the author makes the claim that “Christianity is the only truly cross-cultural religion” and that unlike Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, which largely exist […]

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The Real Horror of Lovecraft’s Cosmicism

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Cosmic horror is a growing subgenre in the ranks of horror fiction. Cosmicism is “the literary philosophy developed and used by the American writer H. P. Lovecraft in his weird fiction.” The Wikipedia definition follows: The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans […]

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Should Novelists Avoid Expressing Their Political Opinions?

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Literary agent Wendy Lawton, who’s a member of the team I’m agented by, recently cautioned authors about publicly voicing their political opinions. In a Facebook post, she wrote: Guess what? You can’t win if you discuss politics on Facebook. No matter how passionately you feel about an upcoming election it is potentially damaging to open the […]

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3 “Theologies” That Inform the Christian Novelist

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Pastor John Piper, in this podcast, proffers a brief “Theology of Art.” His conclusion is that “Christians have deeper and better foundations for serious art than anybody.” While I agree with Piper, most of the evangelical artists (musicians, novelists, poets, craftspeople, etc.) I run into do not appear to have a well-developed “Theology of Art.” For […]

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Do Christian Novelists Need a “Theological Accountability Partner”?

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That was the question posed by Dan Balow, President of Enclave Publishing, the premiere press for Christian speculative fiction. In his recent post, Theological Accountability Partners, Balow writes: Just because an author is a mature Christian, doesn’t mean they are immune from writing something containing shaky theology. In an effort to craft compelling phrases and […]

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Planting Seeds in the Imagination

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In his interview with professor and apologist Holly Ordway, Brandon Vogt asks about her conversion from atheism to Catholicism, as recounted in her latest book Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms. Interestingly enough, it started with “Christian literature.” …classic Christian literature planted seeds in my imagination as a young girl, something I […]

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What FanFiction Reveals About the Nature of “Story.”

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Authors understandably have mixed feelings about fan fiction. For example, in How authors feel about fan fiction, George R.R. Martin is quoted as saying, “Every writer needs to learn to create his own characters, worlds, and settings. Using someone else’s world is the lazy way out.” Martin is joined by others like Anne Rice, Orson Scott Card, and […]

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Writers Helping Writers #WHW16

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I’m fortunate to be part of a great writing group. There’s five of us, and we’ve been blessed with moderate success, being published across a fairly wide spectrum of genres and markets, traditionally and independently, fiction and non-fiction. Our members have experience in numerous areas, including editing (copy and content), marketing, cover design, formatting, etc., […]

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Author Event at Mysterious Galaxy

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Even with the publishing industry in major flux, Mysterious Galaxy has run a thriving brick-and-mortar store, becoming one of the premiere independent booksellers in SoCal. The store hosts hundreds of authors a year for signings, discussions, launch parties, and other events. Mysterious Galaxy also hosts a monthly Writers Coffeehouse workshop led by local author and five-time Bram Stoker award […]

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Omniscient POV as Meta-Narrative

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The last half of my “writing life” has involved unlearning much of what I learned in the first half. Perhaps it’s necessary to teach beginning writers the “writing rules.” Some of those rules are: Show Don’t Tell — Use action and dialog rather than exposition POV — Maintain a consistent, realistic narrative point-of-view; don’t “head hop” from […]

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Horror v. Sci-Fi as a Vehicle for Morality

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One of the common arguments against a Materialistic, Naturalistic worldview is its inability to define or present a compelling Moral universe. And as much contemporary sci-fi is tethered to such a worldview, it could be asked whether science fiction (at least, of the Materialistic cloth) is a fitting vehicle to address issues of morality. The […]

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“Clean Fiction” as Evangelical White Magic

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Evangelical readers’ objection to fictional magic — i.e., Harry Potter-like spells and witchery — is far less evil than the actual incantations and “spiritual formulas” wielded by many believers. At least, that’s the going thesis in E. Stephen Burnett’s article, Six Christian White Magic Spells Worse Than Fantasy Magic. What are those “magic spells” evangelicals naively […]

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