Tuesday, March 6, 2018

If Oscars Were Given to Books…

Watching the Oscars this past Sunday has inspired me to take a break from my normal series on the Bible and supernatural and have a little fun: I decided to imagine which Oscars I would award to various books.

Now obviously books create a very large category, and I could narrow it down in many ways. Since this blog focuses on science fiction and fantasy, especially for Christians, I decided to create my list around that. So here’s my current “Academy Awards” list, with a few adaptations, for current Christian speculative novels:  

Male Protagonist (Leading Actor)
Kieran, The Restorer’s Son by Sharon Hinck. This memorable character brings the page the right combination of strength and tenderness, flaws and virtue. And I’m pretty sure most would say his rugged good looks don’t hurt either. :o)

Male Secondary Character (Supporting Actor)
Albert, The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star by Jenny Cote. This big, Irish scaredy cat wouldn’t be considered the brightest bulb in the box, but his lovable manner, his huge appetite, and unwitting wisdom brings humor and insight at the most unexpected of times, providing the perfect complement to his more serious cast members.  

Female Protagonist (Leading Actress)
Firebird, Firebird by Kathy Tyers. This spunky character, much like Wonder Woman, combines strength with femininity. She is smart, skillful, and artistic, yet vulnerable in all the right ways. She asks a lot of hard questions, but when she finds the truth, she embraces it with her whole being.
Female Secondary Character (Supporting Actress)
Sandy, Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul. The younger sister of the main hero, this character’s influence and effect is charming and sweet; we wouldn’t like the main protagonists nearly as much without her.

Book for Readers Under 14 (Animated Feature Film)
The Dreamer, The Schemer and the Robe by Jenny L. Cote. This retelling of the Joseph story, mainly through the eyes of animals, brings to life this familiar Bible story with plenty of humor and intrigue.

Description (Cinematography)
Undercurrent by Michelle Griep. Her turn of phrase, whether about a person or place, are both vivid and memorable.

Clothing (Costume Design)
Failstate by John Otte. Because every good superhero has to have a good costume. . .

Makeup and Hairstyling
Secret of the Swamp King by Jonathan Rogers. Let’s face it; the wild feechiefolk who live in the swamp are going to need an extra layer or two…

Original Score
Firebird by Kathy Tyers. What can I say? The chapters even have musical headings.

Original Song
“Day of the One,” The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck. Haunting and beautiful.

Setting (Production Design)
The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson. Although this covers a multitude of locations, each place is vivid and real both due to the setting at large and the props within each location.

Narrator Voice (Sound Editing)
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson. Written about a synesthete, where things like sounds take on visual representation, Ultraviolet creates a very unique voice as she tells the story.

Dialogue (Sound Mixing)
DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul. With quotable lines like, “I like questing generally speaking, expect for the uncomfortableness of it all,” and character voices so distinct that you know exactly who is speaking, dialogue doesn’t get much better than this.

Visual Effects
Circles of Seven by Bryan Davis. Excaliber. A boy who breathes fire. A girl with dragon wings. A land seemingly inhabited by ghosts (characters whom your hand passes through). Just to name a few. Yeah, the special effects are amazing…

Novel Based On Another Story (Adapted Screenplay)
Waking Beauty by Sarah Morin. This “retelling” of the Sleeping Beauty legend is unexpected yet true to the original, bringing extra dimension to the story and characters you always thought you knew.

Unique Story (Original Screenplay)
A Little Taste of Poison by R. J. Anderson combines a fantasy world with a mystery plot, populated by memorable characters and seasoned well with humor.

Best Picture
Impossible to choose!

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