1. Christian says:

    It really is a difficult question. There are so many. My favourite novels now are Stephen King’s The Stand and C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Both explore the nature of faith, sin, suffering, free will, community and redemption. Both have hugely memorable characters – eg. Narnia: Puddleglum and Aslan, The Stand: Mother Abigail and Randall Flagg. Both are highly imaginative and challenge the reader to think deeply and are well-written.

  2. Becky, Great book and author suggestions. There are so many more good Christian SF/F choices available than just a few years ago.

    Thanks for suggesting the Free Choice Blog Tour this month. Now we can learn about even more great stories.


  3. Becky, your question prompts me to admit something I’d rather not say. Sometimes (cringe) I, too, fall victim to my Nonfiction Side, a sort-of Evangelical Pragmatism, and fail to see the “point” in some fantasy stories. Perhaps I have not been reading the right stories? This is when I tend to opt either for science fiction, or a more-specific hybrid of fantasy and stories set in the “real world.”

    Or perhaps I lean toward novels with real-world settings, yet supernatural edges. Thus I’ll say here, that in addition to the usual fantasy staples of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, one of my favorite novels is The Visitation by Frank Peretti.

    Its setting is in the real world, and is one of the few “evangelical” novels that admits

    1) there is a Church, manifested in local churches, and it factors into characters’ lives;
    2) the Church and a local church are certainly not perfect;
    3) imperfect churches do not have simple problems that you can easily dismiss with “well, if only they would believe this / do that, the problem might be resolved”;
    4) actual, named Christian denominations exist, and have their silly idiosyncrasies — and can even be gently, gracious mocked without turning off readers, being heavy-handed, being too inside-jokey, or sacrifice story integrity.

    Also there is the fantastic story itself, balancing action and character-driven elements in ways that Peretti had not done before — and hasn’t done since. (Hmm, perhaps this Thursday I’ll repost the review I wrote last year. …)

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  5. Heather says:

    My favorite fantasy changes every time I read a new one–besides the staples of Lord of the Rings and Narnia. Those never change.

What do you think?