Monday, August 23, 2010

CSFF Tour: Your Favorites

This month we are enjoying a change of pace here at the Christian Science-Fiction and Fantasy Tour. Instead of focusing on one book, one e-zine, one website, one…whatever, we all get to yak up about our favorite Christian science-fiction and fantasy novels.

Of course how do I even pick a favorite? I have a six-foot bookcase crammed with nothing but science-fiction and fantasy books. Books with fabulous writing. Books that tickled my imagination or caught my fancy. Books of incredible depth of thought, pushing me as a Christian and a person.

And I’m supposed to pick favorites?! I will be at this all week, with lists of lists.

Okay. Let’s start with one specific area. Seven fantasy and science-fiction stories/authors/series that have majorly impacted me as a writer:

1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: My first-grade Sunday school teacher read to my class a little each week from this book, and I was hooked.

2. George MacDonald’s children fairy-tales, especially The Princess and the Goblin, “The Wise Woman,” “Little Daylight,” and “The History of Photogen and Nycteris”: During my high school years, I was a huge fan of Michael Phillips. Through him I discovered George MacDonald’s adult novels, ultimately leading me to his fairy-tales, which I devoured.

3-5. Ian by Jeff Baldwin, The Seven Sleepers by Gilbert Morris, and The Archives of Anthropos by John White: These three reawakened my love for the genre in middle school/high school and later inspired me to write my own fantasy and science-fiction because, with the audaciousness of a teenager, I believed I could write something as good. Perhaps the only scary thing about that is, over a decade later, I still believe I can. :o)

6. Harry Potter and the Scorceror’s Stone by J. K. Rowling: Okay, I’m bending the rules here a little. Harry Potter is not a Christian series, and I hesitate to mention it as I consider it as one of my “not recommended” novels. But I cannot deny the huge impact it had on me, as it forced me to sit down and analyze what did I believe the biblical boundaries of “magic” were. That in turn sparked my deep passion to help readers and writers learn the practical application of discernment in fiction.

7. The Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers: This trilogy probably had one of the highest impacts on me since I discovered the Chronicles of Narnia, because it opened the world of modern Christian science-fiction and fantasy to me. It showed what those genres could be like, instead of the half-baked allegories for kids and Narnia knock-offs that I was accustomed to at the time.

Okay, enough from me for now. Go check out the favorites of other tour members, and go vote for your favorite of the new Christian sci-f/fantasy novels for the Clives Staples award--you can find the voting info here and the nominations here.

Other tour members:
Brandon Barr
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Jeff Chapman
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
George Duncan
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Mike Lynch
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Jason Waguespac
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Great idea to list the books that had the biggest impact on you, Chawna.

Hmmm, it seems I'm seeing Kathy Tyers' Firebird crop up more and more.

I'm sure you've heard that she's teaming up with Marcher Lord Press to continue the saga. How cool is that!


Grace Bridges said...

I got an early start with John White, too, when I was 7. Very different to the fantasy we see coming out today; but maybe that's just because it was the first thing I read after Narnia. It's interesting to observe the progress in the writing beginning with the Tower of Geburah.

Chawna Schroeder said...

Yes, Becky, I heard about Ms. Tyers new contract with Marcher Lord. I'm thrilled! I can't wait to see the orginal trilogy re-released, and as for the new installments that are to follow...well, they will be at the top of my order.

And Grace, it could be just me, but I do think most of the stuff coming out now is quite different, in many ways. But that style will never die, either, as the popularity of books like those by Chuck Black testifies to. And it was very interesting to see the progression of the writing in Mr. White's books; I enjoyed the later books much more the first ones.

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Interesting list!! You've whetted my appetite!

Chawna Schroeder said...

Glad to hear it, Phyllis! There's many great books out there worth tackling!