Lorehaven Launch: Enter the Review Chief

Lorehaven issue 1 launches this spring. Get to know our crew, including review chief Austin Gunderson.
on Mar 20, 2018 · No comments

This spring, we’ll release the first issue of Lorehaven magazine.

In this groundbreaking digital publication, we’ll review and help you find only the best Christian-made fantastical novels. We will also find truth in these fantastic stories, with cover stories, articles, Roundtable discussions about hot topics, and beyond.

Email subscribers keep rolling in. At first, they’ll get to read the magazine exclusively. You can join this fine quest party, and show your support for this new ministry.

Here at SpecFaith, I’ve been announcing the crew behind this launch. To date, we have:

Next comes a name familiar to SpecFaith readers. He’s written some of the most in-depth and popular reviews we’ve featured, including his reviews of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the controversial film Noah, and author Kerry Nietz’s Darktrench Saga.

Name, role, and crew

Austin Gunderson is review chief of Lorehaven magazine.

Austin was born and raised in western Washington state, where the shining summers were for playing mock-war in the woods and the somber winters were for reading. He met Kay, his future wife, at a college swing dance. They married in 2013, and in 2017 welcomed a daughter, Marit.

Personal log

For Austin, storytelling is both passion and occupation. By day he works as a video editor for a Seattle-area ad agency; by night he writes high fantasy. He believes stories are vital to human life: it’s through them that we interpret the world, and by them that we become conscious of things greater than ourselves.

When he’s not crafting or ingesting a story, Austin enjoys board games, the wilderness, and the shooting sports.


Raised in a Christian home, Austin prayed the sinner’s prayer at age five. He has since been working out the implications of that simple declaration of trust. He believes the gospel is the ur-story, the ultimate hero’s journey, and the Champion who wrote it in his own blood is also a king who demands fealty.

Austin has alternately attended Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, and Baptist churches, and part of his experience in the Body of Christ has been the discovery of its potential for corruption. But by God’s grace he’s gotten back on the horse, so to speak. Both he and Kay were involved in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship in college, and are now members of a local CMA church.

New worlds

Epic fantasy is Austin’s first fiction love. He cut his teeth on Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, then encountered The Lord of the Rings at age twelve. As soon as he turned the last page, he began it again, in awe of a secondary world so vast and deep that it overspilled his memory.

Since then he’s devoured the works of Frank Peretti, Tad Williams, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, C.S. Lewis, Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Bernard Cornwell. He particularly loves fantasy that doesn’t attempt to out-Tolkien Tolkien (the old master can’t be beat). And his labor of love over the past decade has been his own as-of-yet-unpublished high fantasy series.

Home base

Austin wrote dozens of book and film reviews as well as many articles at Speculative Faith.

However, aside from these and the scattered vestiges of a few derelict blogs, Austin’s presence online is practically undetectable. (This bio will self-destruct in thirty seconds.)

Next week—enter the book club coordinator, Steve Rzasa.

E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of Lorehaven.com and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.

What do you think?