Now, you're walking through the mall or past your local bookstore and it hits you...That glimpse of a knight, castle, spaceship, alien, or monster on a book jacket that sets your literary taste buds aflame! Your mind begins salivating as it recounts the last adventure or scare you experienced after your last book store visit. Maybe your self-control wins out...Maybe you just keep walking...but the hunger lingers.
We crave adventure. We crave excitement. We crave the "fantasy" that Speculative Fiction affords. Like some secret addictive ingredient, Speculative Fiction is embedded with the very stuff that keeps us coming back for more...That makes our literary pallets water.
((Okay, now before anyone jumps the gun and suggests I am comparing our craft to some kind of drug, I am not. Just creating a vague similarity for the sake of the topic.))
Now, back to it...Fiction by definition is a lie. Regardless of whether you write fantasy, science-fi, horror, romance, or even historical fiction...Fiction is just that...Fiction. You are creating a momentary escape from reality for your reader. And what better escape can there be than to venture to a whole new world, or explore the unknown or supernatural? How much farther from reality can you venture than a place entirely removed from it?
For Speculative Fiction fans...THAT is the secret sauce that keeps us coming back for more.
Everyday life is mired down with "reality." And we should never seek to entirely escape reality. Our very souls hang in the balance of what we do and say in reality. Others' very souls lie in the balance of what we do and say in reality. But as with everything in life, everyone needs those moments outside of reality where they can "recharge."
For Spec Fic fans, there aren't many places better to recharge than in another world, on another planet, in some creepy house, etc. And for those of us who chose to write Biblical Spec Fic (and definitions of Biblical Spec Fic, its purposes, etc, are all fodder for another post) even those escapes can strengthen our souls as we experience characters' redemptions or see Christ shining through their lives.
It all comes down to hunger. We are a hungry race...We hunger for knowledge...We hunger for experience...We hunger for redemption...We hunger for our God's embrace. We hunger to know Him more...
And that hunger is what makes our work so much more important. There are those out there that don't know Him. There are those that have found their satisfaction in other places. And for them, I will continue to serve up another helping of the Colonel's secret recipe and keep them coming back for more so that through my work, some might see His Light.
Daniel I Weaver
--Fiction to scare the Jesus into you--
And, for the final day of October's CSFF Blog Tour . . .
To encourage readers to spend some time at Dragons, Knights, & Angels Magazine, I thought I'd do a quick run down on some of this month's selections. Without further ado, here is a partial October Line-Up:
Plaque ct matthews (fiction speculative)
-an unusual vampire story that answers the question: what happens to a vampire when it feasts on "bad blood"?
"His victim's blood had not yet dried on his razor sharp fangs, now badly corroded and about to dissolve altogether."
A Song for the Orcs J Evans Seton (poetry fantasy)
-in a day when kings and knights have forsaken their faith, a bard calls Orcs to action: now is their time to be redeemed.
To rescue the damsels
and soft, gentle forms
you once would have gnashed and
with hungry teeth!
To live that life
whom you so
have in decadence
come to hate.
The door is closing,
Dragon . . . Knight . . . Angel Genevieve Cunningham fiction fantasy-student)
-an order of knights have drifted from their oaths. All warnings about their fallen ways go unheeded. A meeting with a dragon and an angel first enlightens and strengthens the leader's soul.
"It steadily pressed at his heart and mind, from what seemed like all directions. Yet it was not a forceful or invading power; it did not incite fear or the desire to flee. It only asked for a response."
Damage Jane Lebak (fiction speculative)
-a fallen angel is sent to ensure an unborn child's soul ends up in Hell. He is amazed at the mother who stubbornly carries the anencephalic baby to term!
"In a way it was a fascinating entity, and I found myself staring at the viscous soul as if it were a carcass in the woods. It would have been mine if things had worked out differently."
An Epitaph for Shangri-la George L Duncan (fiction science fiction)
-space travelers discover that utopia is not all it's cracked up to be
"Shangri-La, indeed. The planet was a cemetery circling a sun."
A Swarm of Mermaids Christie McCreadie (fiction speculative)
-after facing mermaids, a dragon, and fear itself, a Guardian Angel gets his license
"I know what to do! Suddenly I know what to do.
What has Gabriel always told me? In the long darkness, turn to God for help."
Useless Meetings Ivy Reisner (fiction fantasy)
-in the format of a series of memorandum, Satan and his co-horts make a hilarious attempt to shake up humans
Re: Ill will
Explain how this useless meetings concept can
engender ill will. I’m out of Hell this week, overseeing the Battle at Thermopli. I’ll returnon Monday. Get Mephistopheles to help you.
You can go, of course, to Dragons, Knights, & Angels (DKA) for a good read; writers of Biblical Spec-fic can also check out DKA's submission guidelines.
This 'zine is unique for several reasons but for writers, two things stand out:
- First, DKA actually pays for submissions, albeit a small amount; and
- Second, if your submission is declined or has a request for revisions, it is DKA's practice to provide editor comments on your piece!
DKA is a non-profit magazine that operates with a bunch of great, dedicated volunteers and donations from its readership.
Once you have read this post and have perused Dragons, Knights, & Angels 'zine, check out what other members of the CSFF have to say:
- Jim Black
- Jackie Castle
- Valerie Comer
- Kameron M. Franklin
- Beth Goddard
- Todd Michael Greene
- Leathel Grody
- Karen Hancock
- Elliot Hanowski
- Katie Hart
- Sherrie Hibbs
- Joleen Howell
- Jason Joyner
- Karen and at
- Karen’s myspace
- Oliver King
- Tina Kulesa
- Kevin Lucia
- Rachel Marks
- Shannon McNear
- Rebecca LuElla Miller
- Caleb Newell
- Cheryl Russel
- Mirtika Schultz
- Stuart Stockton
- Steve Trower
- Speculative Faith
- Frank Creed
- Christina Deanne
- John Otte
The Lost Genre Guild is a stop on the October Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour. This month's feature review is about the on-line 'zine Dragons, Knights, & Angels (DKA).
Two months ago, I'd never heard of the beast. October, however, finds me entangled in its impressive array of arms and legs and its furriness. I am not at all clear on how blog tours operate, but I can appreciate their value for providing more exposure to the Lost Genre. It is kind of like the whole live t.v. thing--I can't get my head around how the picture on my t.v. arrives in front of me at the same time it is being taped, but I can certainly appreciate its usefulness. ANYHOW . . .
Flipping through the pages of Issue 37 of Dragons, Knights, & Angels was a real treat for me.
It is an on-line 'zine that features speculative fiction melded with the spiritual. Each issue contains short stories and poetry that contain "a moral code without being preachy" (definitely a topic that has generated much discussion on the Lost Genre Guild blog). And, DKA stays current--every week or so a new article is added and the oldest one rolls over into the archives. The 'zine also offers a forum for discussing individual pieces. In this issue I was especially entertained by the flash fiction of Ivy Reisner; you must read Useless Meetings: A group of corporate demons implement a policy of inflicting useless meetings on humans.
DKA provides a menu sure to please fans of Biblical Spec-fic; do check it out!