I’ll continue my series on Motivations and Reactions in my regularly schedule blog later today. But I thought it would be appropriate to take note of an important launch that is happening TODAY.
I went to a talk about a year ago by my buddy John Olson. John showed a list of the Top Ten best-selling novels of all time. I was a bit surprised to see that PILGRIM’S PROGRESS topped the list. I never much liked that book, to be honest. The big surprise to me was that of the other nine books on the list, the overwhelming majority (6 or 7) were in a category that I don’t read much — fantasy. But I’d read all of those on John’s list and loved them all.
John’s point was that there is something in the fantasy genre that is massively appealing to readers. But there’s something very strange about fantasy. Three of the most popular fantasy series of all time are LORD OF THE RINGS, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, and the Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis. All three authors were British authors with a strong background in classics, and all three wrote from a Christian worldview, using well-known Christian themes.
The very strange thing is that Christian publishing in the US has been unable to make fantasy “work” as a genre. Yes, there’ve been isolated successes, but the fact is that Christian fiction is dominated by romance, suspense, and women’s fiction, while fantasy novels are blindingly absent. The quickest way to get a rejection from a Christian publisher is to start out saying, “I’m writing a fantasy…”
You might say, “Who cares? Fantasy is doing pretty darn well in the general market. If Christian readers want to buy fantasy, they can go there.”
This is true, but the whole thing just seems strange. A lot of the young writers I meet these days are writing fantasy. In fact, the MAJORITY of the under-25 Christian writers I meet are writing fantasy. And they all have the same question: Where are they going to get their work published? Something is seriously wrong in the Christian publishing industry.
My friend Jeff Gerke is a huge fan of fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, and as he say, “anything weird.” Jeff is also a very accomplished editor who has worked at three Christian publishing houses and has acquired a number of excellent authors. One of his goals is to bring fantasy fiction home–to create a publishing house that does those “weirdo books” from a Christian worldview (which can be a very broad label, if you remember that it includes Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, and a whole lot more).
Today, Jeff is launching the first three books from his publishing house (Marcher Lord Press). He’s giving out some special incentives for people who buy TODAY. So if you like “weird fiction,” check out his first three books: HERO, SECOND CLASS by Mitchell Bonds, SUMMA ELVETICA, by Theodore Beale, and THE PERSONIFID INVASION, by R.E. Bartlett.
You can take a look at them all here: www.MarcherLordPress.com/store
I dropped by Jeff’s online store today to check them out. All three books look seriously weird.
So I bought them all.