First, I was troubled by the presentation of fantasy. Having read more of how Fandom came into being (the organization forming as a direct result of Star Trek conventions), I understand WHY the fantasy work is weak, but I still don’t like it.
Weak? Yes. First, the list of fantasy titles is approximately half the number of Sci Fi titles. Secondly, the list is … somewhat outdated. Finally, although the inclusion of some secular fantasy is commendable, I don’t think the site does justice to Christian fantasy, especially not the work that’s been done in the last two years (which may be a reflection of the second point).
That raises a very good point. The truth is ... those of us who are currently writing reviews (and there aren't many) have so many other things on our plate that ... this has gotten scooted aside. We're trying—we really are. Greg asked me to take over the Fantasy pages, and although I'm sorely tempted, I can't. I'm already so overcommitted that I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever write my own stuff again.
Part of the problem, too, is that many of those who founded Christian Fandom haven’t tended to follow CBA fantasy because, well, early CBA fantasy was less than stellar in many respects. (I won’t beat that topic any more, since it’s an ongoing discussion in our community of late.) Marketing techniques by CBA publishers of this genre have been less than stellar, as well. So when you combine flagging interest from longtime SF/F fans with lack of knowledge of what’s out there, well …
But that’s precisely what we’re trying to change, both with our blog tours, and in building the site.
Greg said it in his interview with Kameron—we need reviews. Desperately. If you have a review of something on that page—or of any book that would fall within the categories described by the Fandom pages—then by all means, let us know. And since we’ve been contacted by a few authors offering review copies of their books to interested parties—I could connect those of you with the time and inclination to review with those needing someone to read, too.
So, Becky, get with me about the titles you want to see listed there. And yes, I’ve made it my goal to get reviews of Bryan’s books up before his interview in September.
Oh, and I realized last night that I made it sound like the only reason I stay on the email list is my involvement. Not so. Discussions are sporadic, so you’re likely to get your email box flooded only when the list in is full swing of such discussions as the messianic parallels in Superman (and what denomination he and other traditional superheroes are), or how much of a romantic storyline should be present in SF/F novels. (I’m still planning to comment here on that one.) It was an excellent place both to get to know other Christians of varying “flavors” (especially coming from the ecumeniphobic background I had) and to ask the question I posted here several weeks ago, about what longtime Christian fans of SF/F want. We also get Peter Chattaway’s film reviews fresh from the pen—thorough and thought-provoking. There isn’t a lot of idle chatter or banter—but new members will still find a welcome, even if they have never attended a con. ;-)
I hope you’ve found this an entertaining and informative primer to the organization that is Christian Fandom. Live long and prosper!
Again, the list of other participants. Thank you so much to all of you!
Rebecca LuElla Miller