Why I Support The Lost Genre Guild


No not pocket change. I’m talking about the change that redirects us in a path that we weren’t headed towards before.

Why are we so scared of change? Particularly Christians. We should be the least to fear change. In the end, we’ll be resting with our reward, so you’d think that we’d fear it the least. Not so.

Did you know that in the next ten years, fifty thousand churches in America will close their doors. Why? Because they fear change. You cannot expect to run a business-in today’s world-like you did in 1960. It’d be destined to fail. However, many churches still operate this way.

Many Christians go by the motto, “If it was good enough for my grandfather, then it is good enough for me.” I’ve heard it a thousand times. But I can’t say that I totally agree with it. They say, “God doesn’t change. His message doesn’t change.” Now this I can totally agree with.

It’s not about changing the message. I don’t want to change the message, just the method.

Changing the method is exactly why I support the Lost Genre Guild. Take a look at the CBA. Not much different then most churches (and Christians). They have all of these rules and guidelines, some I think are good but others I believe they could pitch. The problem is that they don’t leave any room for change.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think CBA is great. I’ve read plenty of good CBA books. However, those books aren’t for everyone. In fact, many that fit under there guidelines will never find their way into an unbeliever.

Say What?

Sure that’s just an assumption, but I’d say it’s fairly accurate. And if that is true, then I’d say that we need to change the method. That’s where Lost Genre Guild comes in. Behold a group of people within the industry that are promoting books that are beyond what CBA will publish.

Think about it. How many people out there read science fiction and fantasy? What about horror novels? Well, if I can use movies for an example since it’s so hard to get accurate book figures. Out of the top fifty all time box office movies, thirty-six are of the three afore mentioned genres.

It seems like to me that promoting these types of stories with a Christian slant would be ideal. Seems like a great way to change up the methods a little bit. Billions of box office dollars tells us that.

I’m not saying that we need to conform to the world. We can’t reach the troubled souls of this world from our churches, we have to go out where they are. Find ways to extend Jesus to them.

Don’t ever let someone tell you that it can’t be done. Just because no one else has done it, doesn’t mean it cant be done.

Remember, all things are possible through Jesus. Your idea can never be too big. Reach for the stars, and above all don’t let the dream killers kill your dreams.

God doesn’t change. His message doesn’t change. The method…it can be revolutionized for the generations to come.


cyn said...

Well said Chad! The Lost Genre Guild promotes books that CBA houses won't touch with a long pole. Is it book quality? well I will go out on that pole and say that the quality of the LGG-promoted books equals or surpasses others in terms of skills and content. Are they "Christian enough"? The LGG-promoted books must uphold Christian values. LGG-recommended/ promoted books are approved by the group before they can carry the logo. So what is the deal? Ah, they are edgy, they are a gamble and one CBA houses won't take. And, what an unfortunate state of affairs.

Well, perhaps the LGG could be said to have an niche of their own: Christian spec fiction that reaches out and beyond the traditional Christian offerings. And, even more importantly reaches out to those traditional CBA publishers are unable or unwilling to touch. Nothing wrong with the old ways . . . until they stop being meaningful to new generations.

The Writers Cafe Press

Chad Lavender said...

yeah, cyn. I'm all for changing the method. No matter what you're doing, if it doesnt work then you change the method.

Andrea Graham said...

Now, we shouldn't be looking at business models at all. That really bothers me--the church is not a business and shouldn't be run like one; it's a family, the bride of Christ, and should operate as such.

However, that's no excuse for being held captive to tradition (the extra-biblical stuff we add on I mean.) As I was saying about satellites on my post, to stay in the same location over the earth, a satellite actually moves in the same direction as the earth's rotation at the earth's speed. A stationary satellite will move across the sky, like the sun does.

This is why our unchanging God is constantly shaking things up and doing the unexpected, and the Son does what He sees His father doing, and we're supposed to be becoming like Christ (that's what discipleship's all about, and discipleship is the actual core function of the church--with evangelism a necessary step in the process)

On an unrelated note, the LGG needs it's own publising label in my little opinion. But the shaking things up aspect is what draws me to the Lost Genre, personally.

Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Chad,

What you say about change is so true. And what's really sad is that the way churches operated in the 60's was already off the New Testament mark.

What happened to the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Unfortunately, within the earthly Christian community, business has taken on the ways of the world. Marketing chooses books based on the same criteria used by non-Christian publishers only they add a Christian slant.

And it's sad, because look at all the people they miss? I love fantasy and Sci-fi. When I found Orson Scott Card's works I said, "I bet this guys a believer." Not because he hit me over the head with one Christian word. And who is his publisher? Tor Publishing. Not a Christian publisher. What a shame. All those books!

Anonymous said...

Well said Chad! The Lost Genre Guild promotes books that CBA houses won't touch with a long pole. -- Cyn

All I can say about this was said by Dr Morden in his essay "Sex & Death & Christian Fiction". (Both he & I have stories in the new anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God by Twilight Times Books.)

P.S. Donna Sundblad: Orson Scott Card is Mormon, a distant descendant of Brigham Young. He is also one of the best writing teachers anywhere; his Writers' Digest non-fiction books are some of the best writer's aids I've found.

cyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyn said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing the link to Dr. Morden's essay/ talk. I urge everyone to read it.

I was particularly interested in Tyndale's guidelines and the "tell don't show" of violence. Is it really possible to make a story about war, for instance, meaningful without showing at least some of the violence? Is Tyndale sure that its readers want to read about a white-washed version of the world? where everything comes out nice and clean in the end? I guess there are a lot of folks out there just like that. I, on the other hand, want to be able to understand the motivations for characters, want to get inside their heads and walk in their shoes. Think of the judge, the facts of the murder case are whitewashed so not to offend any of the readers and then she gives the death penalty--why? from what I read the event sounded like a accidental shooting -- wow! what a harsh judge.

There are, however, many of us who want meaningful reading (apart from the good message). And, I have to admit that the majority of Christian fiction I read before encountering the LGG was not meaningful (apart from the good message -- which I get everyday through Bible study). It is why I stopped reading Christian fiction decades ago -- about the same time as I stopped reading Harlequin Romances. But, I'm not "everybody." Harlequin Romances (a rose by any other name) are still going strong and the type of fiction published by members of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association obviously has a large and loyal audience as well.

I personally think that the future of "edgy" Christian spec fiction is a rosy one and that it will be independent publishers who lead the way . . . with the secular houses (Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, etc.) who've acquired smaller Christian publishers along with them.

But what do I know? Mr. Hyatt, president and CEO of the largest Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson says differently: [Mr. Hyatt] predicts tough times for publishers owned by the major New York houses. "I think we're going to see some of those Christian publishing houses back on the block," he says. "Christian publishers can be more innovative than the New York houses.” (Sources: CBA newsletter; Dale Hanson Bourke, Religion News Service).

Wishful thinking? or a visionary?


kc said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Great post.

Keep the faith,