Friday, July 20, 2007
Of Fantasy and Fiction
Dragons in Our Midst, The Legend of the Firefish, the DragonKeeper Chronicles, Oracles of Fire and The Hand That Bears the Sword ... the sound of authors rushing to fill J.K. Rowling's soon to be retired shoes? Why, yes ... though perhaps not from a source you'd expect. You see, all those titles are from practitioners of something called "Christian fantasy fiction."
It seems that between bouts of some Christians busily trying to have young master Potter removed from libraries and such, other Christians are scrambling to climb aboard the gravy train, once Rowling lets some air back into the market.
According to this story in The Baptist Standard [tongue firmly bitten]:
The books may carry overt references to Jesus and Scripture -- or simply an understated Christian perspective with clean content, positive role models and unambiguous depictions of good and evil in the style of C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien.The (financial) success of the Left Behind series has not served to open up Christian publishers to the notion of pursuing Christian fantasy. And:
For Christian writers who think mainstream presses might be an option, "it’s a very crowded area, and there’s debate about whether if you write for a secular publisher are you able to be as Christian as you want to be."Darn the ways of Mammon! Just how are you going to give those kids any positive role models if ya can't make a buck at it, anyway?
Oh, and looky here: it seems that Christians may be getting over Potteritis:
The fifth film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," charmed its way to the top of the global box office last week with $333 million, the best debut for a Potter movie. It was the No. 1 film in each of the 44 countries where it was released.Oh, drat! Now what are we going to do for entertainment?
"And it's loaded with positive messages for the young," said Dr. Britt Minshall, pastor the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew in Baltimore.
More important, Christians say, is that Potter stories have not spawned what was feared -- rampant Satanism among the young.