Monday, August 23, 2010

CSFF Blog Tour: "Favorites" Day One

Howdy hey, blogosphere citizens! This month, the Christian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Tour isn't focusing on just one book. It's focusing on many books. This month, the tourists are talking about our personal favorites. What Christian speculative fiction books do we love? That's awesome, right?

Not so much if you're me. See, I've got commitment issues when it comes to naming favorites. Ask anyone who knows me. I don't have one favorite Bible passage. I've got like two dozen of them (and I can't even figure out which ones are in the top ten). Favorite movie? Couldn't tell you, there are so many that are good. Favorite musical act? Sorry, can't help you there either. So to ask me to talk about my one, absolute, take-it-with-me-to-a-deserted-island book? Yeah, that's not going to happen simply because I don't even know what my favorite is.

But my lack of commitment does not mean that I can't talk about the books that I've enjoyed over the years. So let's see here . . .

Well, we have to start with the Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers. This is the series that really got me hooked on the genre. Well, sort of. When I was in high school, I discovered the writings of Frank Peretti and that gave me a taste of speculative fiction goodness. But it was shortly after my ordination that I fell in love with Christian speculative fiction, and it's largely thanks to the writings of Tyers.

I still remember how it happened. I was on my computer (big surprise there) at the Christian Book Distributors website. I was browsing by genre, sorting through all the speculative fiction (which, at the time, was mostly just reprints of Tolkein and Lewis). But in the middle of it all was a trilogy of books, written by an author whose name looked familiar. Where had I heard of Kathy Tyers before? I looked to my left, up to my collection of Star Wars novels, and realized that Tyers had written The Truce at Bakura. Truth be told, it wasn't my favorite Star Wars story, but I remember thinking, Huh. So she wrote a Christian novel as well? On a complete whim, I ordered the first book in the trilogy, figuring that it'd be worth checking out.

After reading that first book, I ordered the other two and never looked back. I really appreciated the story and the way that Tyers handled it. And it was this trilogy that set me on my own path toward getting published. I had already been working on a Christian sci-fi trilogy of my own, but I'm not sure how serious I was about trying to get published. That changed after reading Tyers. Firebird will always hold a special place on my bookshelf.

Although I may have to upgrade soon. I'm sure we've all seen the news that Marcher Lord Press has signed Tyers to not only republish the original Firebird trilogy but two new novels as well. Normally I wouldn't buy copies of books I already have, but in this case, I'm making an exception.

As long as we're talking about series, let's talk about another one, namely The Legends of the Guardian-King by Karen Hancock. I recently re-read the series just a few months ago, so it's still fresh in my mind. You can read my thoughts here. I'll just say this for now: I appreciate the more mature spiritual themes that Hancock wove into the story. So much of Christian speculative fiction seems to be geared for younger audiences (not a complaint; if that's who's reading it, all well and good).

And of course, there's also Sharon Hinck's awesome Restorer trilogy. Back in February, I revisited that series as well. Funny story: the way I learned about Sharon's trilogy was from my wife's high school's alumni newletter. Turns out Sharon and my darling wife went to the same school, just not at the same time. So I kept my eyes out for it since I like supporting authors from my denomination.

And then there's Chris Walley's The Lamb Among the Stars trilogy! A great sci-fi series with some fantasy interwoven with it. While I don't agree with the series postmillennial bent, it was creative and exciting. And then there's Jill Williamson's two books, By Darkness Hid and To Darkness Fled, both worthy of Christys to be sure! And . . . and . . . and . . .

You see what I mean? I've got too many favorites! Don't make me pick just one!

Ahem. Sorry. Lost control there for a little while. Come on back tomorrow. I promise I'll be good. And I'll talk about another of my favorites trilogies, one you might not have heard of.

In the meantime, check out what the other tourists have to say:

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
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Jason Waguespac
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


Anonymous said...

great post.

Fantasythyme said...

John, you're right it is hard to chose a favorite author or series. Though you mentioned to mention many I've enjoyed reading.


Jason said...

I definitely enjoyed the Firebird trilogy and Hancock's excellent series. Man, there's some good CSFF out there! How do we get people to read them - that's the question.

BTW, love the new avatar. Makes me think of Jonathan Coulter's "RE: Your Brains" song. Never a bad thing.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

John, our posts started in a frighteningly similar way! There really are a lot of good books in our genre. I'm glad we get to talk about them (taken off the lease I think one participant termed it. ;-)