1. bainespal says:

    We must expand into reading groups at churches, book donations to public libraries, nonfiction materials available for actual money, and in-person conferences.

    I understand and agree with the general point — that we should participate in the real world with our speculative fiction stuff. But what on earth do you mean by “nonfiction materials available for actual money”? Do you mean nonfiction books about our kind of fiction, or do you mean trinkets and baubles for fans — t-shirts, mugs, card game/RPG adaptations, etc? If you mean books, then that sounds like a significant concession to writercism, to me. Trinkets could be part of reaching out and participating with the audience, but they really are unrelated to the real storytelling, a form of fan service. Focusing too much on fan fun is not necessarily good for the genre, I think.

    • I suspect the explanation behind “nonfiction materials available for actual money” could take up a blog post of its own. And I hope it will, Stephen. 😉

    • Or a single comment, which alone could seem a bit spammy. 🙂 It occurs to me that youths and especially parents — perhaps the sole groups Christian spec authors should “target” with their offerings — would benefit from nonfiction materials, made available for Suggested Donations, that encourage Biblical approaches to fantastic fiction and debunk myths about such stories. For example, Jared Moore and I are finally wrapping up our Teaching Story Transitions series tomorrow. Once we tighten that in some places and add more to other places, we believe this could make a first-rate ebook for dealing with many un-Biblical and uniquely evangelical barricades to enjoying all kinds of stories for God’s glory.

  2. Clint Hall says:

    Great blog. I wholeheartedly agree. I’ve always loved this C.S. Lewis quote: “What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects–with their Christianity latent.” This feels particularly relevant for Spec Fic authors.

    Even as a new writer, I feel like there’s a perceived pressure in the CBA to check off specific elements from some mandatory list to be considered a “christian” book.

    However, I love the approach that instead of criticizing what we see as flaws in the existing infrastructure, the responsibility is ours to create our own channel to the audience. As mentioned in the blog, you can’t blame the golf store or the golf store customer for not wanting to buy your amazing chair.

    I’ll be marking my calendar for Realm Makers 2014.

  3. I’m a writer of other things (romances, bildungsroman, folklore-influenced historical fiction). I read spec-fic avidly but have heretofore enjoyed only a very few spec-fic novels written from a Christ-centered worldview. So I suspect I’m the audience Realm Makers’ authors are hoping to secure.

    Many of my friends attended Realm Makers and their reports have renewed my interest in the genre (that is, the subgenre of spec-fic written by those with a Christ-centered worldview.)

What do you think?