Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I write novels

An article by James A Herrick in Christianity Today got me very excited. It's about how science fiction produces myths that supplant the (true) 'Christian myth.'

An executive summary
'Pop-culture fiction, not academic nonfiction, is now the cutting edge of public discourse on spirituality.'

Juicy bits from the article
'The culture-shaping force of science fiction storytellers may be more significant and more widespread than we imagine. That's because they trade in myth. By myth, I mean a transcendent story that helps us make sense of our place in the cosmos. This common definition makes the Christian gospel, as C. S. Lewis suggested, "God's myth"—not because it is fiction, but because it is a story that gives ultimate meaning. We live in an age in which new myths, born mostly of science-fueled imaginations, are crafted and propagated at an unprecedented rate...

'Ironically, the universe that science stripped of the supernatural is being resupplied with deities and redemptive purposes by science fiction writers and moviemakers. Apparently, we cannot do without myths...

'A discerning student of culture, Lewis answered modern scientific myths with daring retellings of the Christian story that integrated the patterns and language of the new myths. His science fiction trilogy provides an admirable model of storytelling that intelligently and artfully incorporates foundational truths from a Christian worldview...

'Human spiritual well-being, and thus the humaneness of civilization, depends in large measure on which narratives hold sway in our souls.'

Another reason, if I may suggest it, to buy my book. You know it makes sense.

The value of a college education

Well how super. My daughter tells me that in her first year geography course at her Russell Group university (total fee income for geography department, approx £1m per year), she will receive a princely total of 26 hours of total contact time between today (Feb 18) and Sept 26 2011.

Twenty-six hours' teaching in the next seven months. Become a lecturer.