Friday, 16 March 2007

On bits and pieces.

No major blog this week, I'm afraid; just various bits and pieces.

Perhaps one of the most significant things this week was that I had an interesting e-mail which I would like to think represents a very positive straw in the wind. A gentleman wrote saying ‘I haven't read your books but I've read the reviews and heard they are quite good. When I have some money, I will be buying them. But I want to say that from what I've read about the books, I have real problems with your theology. How can you possibly believe that …..?' Now I will try and reassure him as best I can. I may perhaps point out that if he thinks I'm heretical, he really ought to have a go at Jonathan Edwards (who held not dissimilar views) and is generally held to be the smartest mind America ever produced. (No snide comments please, Brits.) But this is most encouraging; if there's one thing better than praise for a book it's controversy, and nothing pleases an author more than the sound of a possible witchhunt. (As long, of course, as there is several thousand miles of ocean between you and the pitch forks.) I really don't mind becoming a figure of controversy. Indeed, I am half inclined to fake an Amazon review that says, ‘This wicked book should be banned and the author severed into small pieces, for his disgusting and shameless attempt to undermine biblical orthodoxy. Having failed with the open evil of the Da Vinci code the Devil is now at work amongst the faithful with the more subtle wickedness of The Lamb Among the Stars.' Oh please.

Another slightly encouraging sound sign this week was that I had two responses, to my website from people (or just possibly automated spammers), who really hadn't quite got it all together. The first was from a man who claimed to be have been abused by the son of a long dead author whose name is frequently mentioned in fantasy circles. I am circumspect here because I have no wish to promote rumours. If it is true, it is all very sad, but I'm not quite sure of the cause and effect here. Does writing fantasy encourage paedophilia in one’s children? The second one, which could have been funny if it wasn't blasphemous, was a man who sent me an advance copy of his ‘Inaugural Address from the Great White Throne’. I'm afraid I didn't read very far.

No: the reason for not writing a major blog here is that I have posted a very substantial article on the Speculative Faith website with the slightly bizarre title of ‘Jesus, the Fox, and the niceness of Christian fiction.’ It actually deals with a matter whose importance goes beyond fiction, namely the character of Jesus and has received some interesting comments; most of which seem to be very positive. To take a look and feel free to complain, either there or here.

And the meantime, the manuscript of The Infinite Day grows slowly longer. But unfortunately at the end of a busy week at college, I have not yet succeeded in being suspended on full pay. Memo to self: must pray harder.