Christian SF and Fantasy Reading List
Note: This page is adapted from two versions of the recommended reading list by the late Ross Pavlac. One version is dated February, 1996, and can be found as the appendix to Ross' article, "Some Thoughts on Ethics and Science Fiction" published in The Ethical Spectacle, March, 1996, and another is dated November, 1996, and was recovered from his web site, The Avenging Aardvark's Aerie (as archived by The Internet Archive.)
[Academic Collections of Interest]
This reading list is presented by Christian Fandom, an interdenominational fellowship of SF fans interested in the courteous and accurate representation of Christian viewpoints within the SF community. Works recommended here are designated Christian in the C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity sense; they portray a variety of viewpoints, both Catholic and Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox.
Disclaimer: we make no representation re the personal theology
of the authors herein; works are on this list because a positive view of Christianity plays some role in the story.
Items that are of special interest are indicated by a dot to the left of the item. Highly interesting items are marked with a blue dot (). Items that are "must-have" are indicated with a red dot ().
While this list is eventually intended to be complete, we know the current version is not. If you have suggestions or corrections, contact Ross Pavlac. (Note: This version of the list will be left as Ross wrote it, but if you want to suggest works to add to the Christian Fandom site, let the webmaster team know by using this form, or by E-mailing us at email@example.com.)
Credit where credit is due: Compiled by Ross Pavlac with assistance from Elisabeth Brown, Deborah Feaster, Marty Helgesen, and Carey Martin. This list is © 1996 by Ross Pavlac. Anyone is welcome to create links to this page from your home page, but you may not reproduce this page.
- Bayly, Joseph
- Winterflight Waco, TX: Word Books, 1981, 174 pp.
Dystopian novel of the near future when euthanasia is imposed by the government.
- Bibee, John
- The Magic Bicycle series: The Magic Bicycle, The Toy Campaign, The Only Game in Town, Bicycle Hills, The Last Christmas, The Runaway Parents, The Perfect Star, and The Journey of Wishes. 8 volumes, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
This juvenile series about a boy and his magic bicycle is a lot of fun.
- Blish, James
- A Case of Conscience London: Faber and Faber, 1959.
Classic novel addressing the question of whether Satan has creative
Black Easter London: Faber and Faber, 1968.
Classic novel about a deal with the Devil that goes really, really awry.
The Day After Judgment London: Faber and Faber, 1972.
Lesser-known sequel to Black Easter. What happens if Satan wins Armageddon?
Doctor Mirabilis London: Faber and Faber, 1964, 318 pp.
A novelization of the life of Roger Bacon.
- Blaylock, James P.
- All the Bells on Earth New York: Ace Books, 1995.
Blaylock makes yet another attempt at a Charles Williams-type novel, but fails. Major plot elements are all too similar to The Last Coin.
The Last Coin
Charles Williams-type supernatural suspense novel about a hunt for the 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid with. Good concept, so-so execution.
- Boucher, Anthony
- "Balaam" and "The Quest for Saint Aquin"
In various collections, including Other Worlds, Other Gods (ed. Mayo Mohs, out of print)
- Bradbury, Ray
- Something Wicked This Way Comes New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962. Paper: New York: Bantam Books, 215 pp.
A carnival run by the forces of darkness comes to a small town.
"The Man" (in The Illustrated Man and numerous other collections)
Powerful, classic story that posits Jesus will incarnate on any world where intelligent life arises.
- Bransford, Stephen
- High Places Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1991.
- Carver, Jeffrey
- Dragon Rigger New York: Tor Books.
Dragons in the Stars New York: Tor Books, 1992, 312 pp., paperback.
From my original review for Radio Free Thulcandra:
This is the latest in Carver's series about star riggers. Riggers are people with special training who can guide starships through the Flux, which is the space-time that exists when warping through hyperspace between the stars. I read Carver's first rigger novel (and first novel, period), Star Rigger's Way, in 1978. At the time, I did not sufficiently appreciate the relationship between a Rigger navigating through the Flux and the Cyberspace concept used by William Gibson et al. In this latest book, Carver makes no bones about the parallels.
Star Rigger's Way 1978.
In this book, a couple of riggers come across life-forms that appear to live in the Flux. They just happen to take the form of dragons. I was gritting my teeth throughout this part, as I am getting mightily tired of the fixation that many SF fans (and writers) have on dragons and unicorns. Where is the great SF about aardvarks? Hrumph. Oh well, at least the cyberspace parrot who is the companion of the riggers is a lot of fun he reminded me of a friendlier version of Iago, the parrot in Disney's Aladdin. Nonetheless, the dragons happen to be sentient, and the riggers get caught up in a civil war that is going on. The thing that makes the book interesting to RFT readers is that the civil war has definite spiritual war overtones. This book appears to be a prelude to something larger, and the something larger shows definite signs of being some sort of spiritual-based war.
- Chambers, Mary, et al
- Faith in Orbit: A Spaced Odyssey Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995.
Humorous cartoons exploring the intersection of SF and religion.
- Chase, Carol
- Hawk's Flight New York: Baen Books, 1991.
This flashed in and out of print real fast, but is well worth finding.
- Chesterton, G.K.
- The Ball and the Cross 1909.
An apocalyptic vision of Christianity versus atheism.
The Flying Inn 1914.
No, the Inn does not take off from the ground, despite the title. Dystopian novel about prohibition, Islam and other topics. Highly recommended for Christians who enjoy a good beer now and then; those from militant teetotaler denominations should avoid this book.
The Man Who Was Thursday 1908.
A nightmare about anarchy in a world without God. This is Chesterton's best-known fiction work other than his Father Brown detective stories, and with good reason. If you love paradoxes, this book is for you!
The Napoleon of Notting Hill 1904.
A Utopian novel showing the logical results of increased nationalism.
- Dante, Alighieri
- The Divine Comedy Numerous translations available.
I prefer the Dorothy L. Sayers translation. Charles Williams recommended the book to her, and she first read it while sitting in a bomb shelter during a WW II London air raid. This was the major writing project that occupied most of the rest of her life, and the translation is well worth it.
- Edwards, David
- Dreams, Tales, and Lullabies Newbury Park, CA: Lexicon Books, 1985, 123 pp.
A collection of stories done in the style of George MacDonald. A full-length record album with songs relating to the stories was released simultaneously with the book.
- Elwood, Roger
- The Angelwalk trilogy: Angelwalk, Fallen Angel, and Stedfast Inspirational Press
- Hand, Bill
- The One Prince Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1992.
- Heeren, Fred
- "The Message From Space" In Show Me God, Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications, 1995. (847) 541-5200.
This is a bit of an odd duck, sort of like the stuff in Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos. Show Me God is a non-fiction book about the evidences for God based on various constants and values in the universe being necessary for life to exist. The short story is included at the beginning of the book to show an all-too-possible version of what might happen if the SETI project ends up finding life out there, but not the kind of intelligent life they were expecting.
The book, by the way, is excellent it contains a lot of interviews and quotes from astronomers, physicists, etc., many of whom are non-Christian. Recommended.
- Henderson, Zenna
- Ingathering: The Complete People Stories. Framingham, MA: NESFA Press, 1995, 577 pp.
Low key, powerful tales of a group of aliens stranded on Earth who are trying to live their lives in a peaceful valley and not bother anyone and not be bothered by anyone.
- Hughes, Robert Don
- The Tales of Pelmen the Powershaper (listed in internal series chronological order): The Forging of the Dragon New York: Del Rey Books, The Faithful Traitor New York: Del Rey Books, 1992, The Prophet of Lamath New York: Del Rey Books, 1979, paper, 357 pp., The Wizard in Waiting New York: Del Rey Books, 1982, paper, 358 pp., The Power and the Prophet New York: Del Rey Books, 1985, 339 pp.
Well done, underrated light fantasy series. One of my favorite characters here is the sentient castle.
The Fallen Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995, trade paper.
- King, Stephen
- The Stand (Complete & Uncut Edition) New York: Doubleday, 1990, 1153 pp.
Arguably Stephen King's best work. While a lot of his work is heavily
occult (e.g., It), this is by far his most "Christian" work.
- Kurtz, Katherine
- The Deryni Series. Here are the books in internal-chronology order: "The Catalyst" Deryni Archives 1986, Camber of Culdi 1976, Saint Camber 1978, "Healer's Song" Deryni Archives 1986, Camber the Heretic 1981, The Harrowing of Gwynned 1989, King Javan's Year 1992, The Bastard Prince 1994, "Vocation through end" Deryni Archives 1986, Deryni Rising 1970, Deryni Checkmate 1972, High Deryni 1973, The Bishop's Heir 1984, The King's Justice 1985, The Quest for Saint Camber 1986, King Kelson's Bride 1997.
- Lafferty, R.A
- Past Master New York: Ace Books, 1968, 248 pp.
Thomas More is brought back from the dead to save a "utopia" based upon his work that has gone awry.
- Lanier, Sterling
- Hiero's Journey Chilton Books, 1973. Paper: New York: Bantam Books, 1974, 372 pp.
Post-holocaust Earth in the far future.
The Unforsaken Hiero
- Lawhead, Steve
- Dream Thief Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1983, paper, 410 pp.
A criminal has the ability to enter people's dreams.
The Dragon King Trilogy:
- Empyrion I
- Empyrion II
The Pendragon Cycle (a Christian perspective on Arthurian legends; just
the thing to counter Marion Zimmer Bradley's occult garbage):
- In the Hall of the Dragon King Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982, 351 pp.
- The Warlords of Nin Westchester, IL: Crossway Books 1983, paper, 367 pp.
- The Sword and the Flame Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984, paper, 313 pp.
Song of Albion trilogy:
- Taliesin Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1987, 452 pp.
- Merlin Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988
- Arthur Westchester, IL: Crossway Books
- The Paradise War Lion Publishing, 1992
- The Silver Hand Lion Publishing, 1992
- The Endless Knot Lion Publishing, 1992
- Lawrence, David
- The Wheels of Heaven Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1981, paper, 139 pp.
Answers for high-energy physics.
- L'Engle, Madeleine
- Wrinkle In Time Series:
- A Wrinkle in Time New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1962. Also: Dell books, paper, 190 pp.
Children plus tesseracts = adventure. Winner of the Newbery Award.
- A Wind in the Door New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1973. Also Dell, paper, 203 pp.
Further adventures of the children from A Wrinkle in Time.
- A Swiftly Tilting Planet New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1978. Also: Dell, paper, 256 pp.
Further adventures of the children from A Wrinkle in Time.
Some of the characters from A Wrinkle in Time meet Noah.
- Lewis, C.S.
- The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet (John Lane, 1938), Perelandra (John Lane, 1943), and That Hideous Strength (John Lane, 1945)
The Chronicles of Narnia (Geoffrey Bles, 1950-56)
The Screwtape Letters (Geoffrey Bles, 1942)
- Lucas, J.R
- Weeping in Ramah Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985
Dystopian novel about the future of abortion.
- MacDonald, George
- Lilith Chatto & Windus, 1895
Phantastes Smith, Elder, 1858
The Princess and the Goblin Strahan & Co., 1872
The Princess and Curdie Chatto & Windus/Lippincott, 1882
The Golden Key
The Light Princess
The Wise Woman
The Gray Wolf
The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald
The Story of Little Christmases
- Martin, Walter
- Screwtape Writes Again
A pastiche of Lewis' Screwtape Letters, written as a sequel. Nice effort, but Martin was nowhere near the writer that Lewis was.
- Miller, Calvin
- The Singer Trilogy: The Singer Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975, The Song Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977, The Finale Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979.
The Singreale Chronicles: Guardians of the Singreale San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982, paper, 216 pp., Star Riders of Ren San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983, paper, 225 pp., War of the Moonrhymes San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984, paper, 214 pp.
- Miller, Walter R.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz
- Moffett, Judith
- Time, Like an Ever-Rolling Stream New York: Del Rey, 1992.
This sequel to The Ragged World gets mixed reviews from me. Earth is dominated by aliens who order us to go back to 19th century level ecologically-friendly low-tech...OR ELSE. The heroine is a theologically liberal Christian. There are conservative Christians in the book, and they are painted as the bad guys. Personally, while the conservative Christians' actions are in some cases inappropriate, the heroine, as far as I'm concerned, is a quisling and collaborator.
- Morressy, John
- The Juggler New York: Henry Holt, 1996, Clothbound, $16.95.
A fantasy novel showing how a deal with the devil really works. This takes place in a Crusades-era time, and Morressy heavily researched what life was like for people undertaking a pilgrimage in that era. Very thoughtful book.
The Mansions of Space New York: Ace Books, 1983, paper, 232 pp.
A quest for the Shroud of Turin in the far future. This book is loosely related to Morressy's overall SF universe.
- Myra, Harold
- The Choice Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1980, 167 pp.
A retelling of the Garden of Eden story in a parallel universe.
Escape From the Twisted Planet Waco, TX: Word Books, 1965?, paper, 217 pp.
- Percy, Walker
- Lost in the Cosmos: the Last Self-Help Book New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1983, 262 pp.
Though putatively non-fiction, several SF "short stories" are included as examples of ethical dilemmas. Guest cameo appearance by Walter M. Miller's Liebowitz. "The Last Phil Donahue Show" is of particular interest.
- Peretti, Frank
- This Present Darkness Westchester, IL: Crossway Books
I recommend this not so much because of the writing quality (which is so-so) but because this book was the Christian fiction bestseller of the 1980s. It sold more than 1.8 million copies in trade paperback, 90% of which were sold through Christian bookstores (and industry figures show only 10% of Christians ever walk into a Christian bookstore.) Why? Because people are desperate for a book to read after they've finished C.S. Lewis! If you want to write SF/fantasy from a Christian perspective, you need to pay attention to this book!
Piercing the Darkness Westchester, IL: Crossway Books
The Oath Word Books, 1995, clothbound
This is an important book. If you like horror novels (Stephen King, Clive Barker, etc.), then you must, repeat, MUST go out and buy this and read it immediately!
The basic plot can be summarized as The Bridges of Madison County as written by Stephen King. It reads like a typical Stephen King novel, but with a decidedly Christian slant. Quality-wise, it's not as good as King's best (e.g., Salem's Lot), but is better than his more mediocre writings.
The significant thing here is that Frank Peretti's writing skills have dramatically improved! His earlier books (e.g., This Present Darkness) I compare to 1930s science fiction you read them for the ideas, not for the writing quality. But becoming a millionaire (due to the sales of the Darkness books) and having the time to sit down and work on the craft of writing has apparently had its effect. The Oath is the best horror novel that has been published by a Christian book publisher, and can hold its own with most horror being written today on the terms and playing field defined by mainstream SF and horror writing.
No, Tolkien it ain't. And it's not necessarily going to be a classic that will be read a hundred years hence. But it's a darn good read, and can be held up to SF fans as an example of a decent fantasy/horror novel written by a Christian and published by a Christian publishing house.
Also note that Word has arranged for the book to appear in at least some Barnes & Noble and SuperCrown bookstores (and presumably Borders as well, though I have not yet seen it in a Borders.) Please if you buy it, do it through Borders or Barnes & Noble or Crown this will provide better sales incentive to the mainstream bookstores to carry Christian fiction than if you buy it in a Christian bookstore. A little-known fact is that the reason Christian books don't show up on the best-seller lists is that the best-seller lists completely ignore sales done by Christian bookstores they don't "count." So, if you buy it at a "mainstream" bookstore, it will impact the publishing industry statistics in a way that buying the same book at a Christian bookstore will not. and Peretti gets his cut no matter where you buy it.
- Powers, Tim
- The Anubis Gates New York: Ace Books, 1983
Easily Powers' best novel. Avoid his more recent work, which dabbles in occult themes in universes without any concept of God or Christianity.
- Rogers, Mark
- The Dead Berkeley, 1989
A really great book telling the story of what would happen to those left on earth after the Rapture. Very gritty, much more grim and graphic than similar novels published by Christian publishing houses, which tend to sanitize just how bad things will get.
The Zorachus series:
Warning: Mark Rogers' books are extremely violent. Definitely R-rated.
- Zorachus New York: Ace Books
- The Nightmare of God New York: Ace Books, 1988
- The Blood of the Lamb: The Expected One New York: Ace Books
- The Blood of the Lamb: The Devouring Void New York: Ace Books, 1991
- The Blood of the Lamb: The Riddled Man New York: Ace Books, 1992
- Schaeffer, Franky, and Fickett, Harold
- A Modest Proposal for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984
A bit heavy-handed but chilling novel of the all too near future.
- Siegel, Robert
- Alpha Centauri Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1980, 255 pp. (also in paper)
The Kingdom of Wundle Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982, 47 pp.
Whalesong Westchester, IL: Crossway Books
Delightful fantasy about the adventures of some whales. Suitable for all ages.
- Simak, Clifford D
- The Fellowship of the Talisman New York: Del Rey Books, 1978, 249 pp.
In a parallel fantasy world, a Bible manuscript is carried through country filled with evil beings.
- Smith, Cordwainer
- The godson of Sun Yat Sen. A professor of Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University by day. A consultant to the CIA and U.S. military intelligence by night (including authoring Psychological Warfare, the definitive work on the subject, under his real name, Paul Linebarger.) A writer of some of the most elegant, poetic science fiction ever. Period. And a committed Christian. While Tolkien rules the fantasy genre, in the (sometimes not so) humble opinion of Ross Pavlac, no one touches Cordwainer Smith in the science fiction genre. You want to see uncompromising top quality SF with a no-nonsense Christian theme underlying the action? No one did it better than Cordwainer Smith.
Note that you may see other titles by Cordwainer Smith in bookstores. The two editions below are his complete works if you own them, you will own all
of his science fiction output.
Norstrilia Framingham, MA: NESFA Press.
This is the restoration into a single whole of the novels The Planet Buyer and The Underpeople, which were originally published separately. Smith's only SF novel, this is the heart of his Lords of the Instrumentality series.
The Rediscovery of Man (collected short fiction) Framingham, MA: NESFA Press, 1993.
- Stasheff, Christopher
- The Warlock in Spite of Himself and the various sequels.
- Stewart, Ed
- Millennium's Eve Wheaton: Victor Books, 1993.
- Turtledove, Harry
- Agent of Byzantium New York: Baen Books, 1994, 311 pp., paperback.
This is the only example I am aware of with an Eastern Orthodox SF/Fantasy novel. It's an alternate history book in which the Byzantium empire never fell.
It's a good read, though slightly flawed for Eastern Orthodox readers. Turtledove, who is Jewish (but with a degree in Byzantine history) made a couple of mistakes (including one which would have gotten the Orthodox hero killed by his Roman Catholic foes) that could have been corrected had an Eastern Orthodox SF fan been given a chance to read the final draft. Still, it treats Orthodoxy with respect and is a fun book in the tradition of the "Wild, Wild West" TV show.
- Tyers, Kathy
- One Mind's Eye Bantam Spectra paperbacks, New York, 1996
A workmanlike space opera with some Christian threads running through the storyline. Tyers is an author to keep an eye on. (If you like her writing style, you might want to try The Truce at Bakura a Star Wars novel she authored. No Christianity in it, but a good read nonetheless.)
- Wangerin, Walter
- The Book of the Dun Cow
The Book of Sorrows
Crying for a Vision
The Book of God
- Wellman, Manly Wade
- Who Fears the Devil?
John the Balladeer New York: Baen Books, 1988
- White, James
- The Genocidal Healer Ballantine, 1992
White is (along with Murray Leinster) the top name in "Medical science fiction." This recent novel of his covers a lot of bioethics issues. White was Guest of Honor at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention.
- White, John
- The archives of Anthropos:
- The Tower of Geburah Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1978, paper, 402 pp.
- The Iron Sceptre Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1981, paper, 408 pp.
Winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the ECPA.
- The Sword Bearer Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986, paper, 294 pp.
- Williams, Charles
All Hallows' Eve Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1945.
Descent into Hell Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1937.
The Greater Trumps 1932. Paper: William Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 230 pp.
Many Dimensions Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1931.
The Place of the Lion Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1933.
Shadows of Ecstasy Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1933.
War in Heaven Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1930
Note that Charles Williams' novels are not in a series, and may be read in any order. His writing style is dark and complex, and heavily laden with atmosphere and symbolism; thus, his books are not to everyone's taste. A good "first" book to try would be either The Place of the Lion or All Hallows' Eve.
- Willis, Connie
- Doomsday Book
A pretty dark book, but well-written.
- Wirt, Sherwood
- The Doomsday Connection
- Alice Cooper
- The Last Temptation Epic Records, 1994.
Style: rock. (There is also a companion comic book trilogy from Marvel, available individually or in a single volume. And yes, Alice Cooper is now a Christian! Miracles do happen!)
- Warrior Joyeuse Garde Recordings
Style: Celtic. Contains "The March of the Ents."
Write: Joyeuse Garde Recordings, P.O. Box 840501, Houston, TX 77284-0501.
- Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
- Into the Labyrinth, Volume 4: Special Order Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Original radio drama of a Lovecraftian Cthulu Mythos story told from a Christian perspective. $9.95 plus $2 postage.
Write: Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, P.O. Box 1675, Duluth, Georgia 30135-1880.
- The Gospel According to Barnabas Thorne Records
Style: Punk rock. Note especially "Waiting for the Aliens."
Write: Thorne Records, 100 South Sunrise Way, Suite 409, Palm Springs, CA 92262.
- Cockburn, Bruce
- Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws and various other albums
Charles Williams references.
- Crabb, Kemper
- The Vigil Joyeuse Garde Recordings
Write: Joyeuse Garde Recordings, P.O. Box 840501, Houston, TX 77284-0501.
- Daniel Amos
- Alarma Chronicles:
Style: Progressive rock.
- Vox Humana Stunt Records
- Edwards, David
- Dreams, Tales, and Lullabies
Style: light pop. George MacDonald references.
- Glass Hammer
- Journey of the Dunedan Lazeria Music
Style: Progressive/Celtic. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien.
Perelandra Lazeria Music.
Songs inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis. There are references to Lewis
books, but the album is not a retelling of the stories.
Write: Lazeria Music, 1612 Cooling Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32935. (800) 997-9137.
- Johnson, Jeff and Dunning, Brian
- Songs From Albion: Volume I Ark Productions
Songs From Albion: Volume II Ark Productions, 1994
Songs From Albion: Volume III Ark Productions, 1994
Style: Celtic. Songs based on Steve Lawhead's Albion series.
Write: Ark Productions, P.O. Box 230073, Tigard, OR 97281.
Through the Door
Art-rock, somewhat reminiscent of the Alan Parsons Project.
- Lewis, C.S.
- John Cleese reads The Screwtape Letters Collins Audio
3 hours listening; ISBN 0001071777.
- Longcor, Michael
- Michael Longcor Undead Firebird Arts & Music of Oregon
"The Last Hero" is an adaptation of a poem by G.K. Chesterton. For the complete poem text, go to G.K. Chesterton.
Write: Firebird Arts & Music of Oregon, P.O. Box 14785, Portland, OR 97214.
- Second Chapter of Acts
- The Roar of Love
Harmonious soft rock. A concept album centered on C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
American Chesterton Society
The Man who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
The Monastery's CS Lewis Page
The C.S. Lewis Page
Into the Wardrobe: A Web site devoted to C. S. Lewis
The Light Princess by George MacDonald
J.R.R. Tolkien Information Page
Bruce Edwards' Inklings page
The Web of Exchange: the Charles Williams WWW page
Discussion of Alice Cooper's conversion to Christianity.
Steve Silver's list of Jewish Science Fiction
(Editor's Note: All of the links Ross included were invalid by the time I tested them. I have included updated links where I have been able to track the sites, and links through the The Internet Archive where I could not. For those sites not archived by the Internet Archive, I have left the linking text without the broken URL.)
- Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and again from 9:00pm to 12:00 midnight Eastern Standard Time.
Subject: C.S. Lewis and related topics
If unfamiliar with undernet, go to www.undernet.org.
#Narnia is administered by Dr. Zeus.
- An annual academic journal devoted to the works of Christian authors C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, G.K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Owen Barfield.
Write: English Department, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187.
- WONDER magazine
- Eclectic SF media/pop culture magazine; has G.K. Chesterton columns.
Write: 2770 Fairlane Dr., Atlanta, GA 30340. $15/4 issues.
Note: inquire before sending money; WONDER may be defunct.
- Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter Hammer Films, 1974. Dir: Brian Clemens
- One of the last and best of the Hammer horror films of the 1960s and 70s. This is also one of the last of the vampire films under the "traditional" rules that have vampires affected by crosses. The hero is a Christian mercenary who travels around in search of vampires to kill. Direction is by Brian Clemens (who did The Avengers TV show). Rating: PG.
- The Phantom of the Paradise 1974. Dir: Brian DePalma
- A re-telling of the Faust tale, done in a rock and roll format, centering on a retelling of Faust done as a rock and roll cantata (i.e., a story within a story, both of which are about Faust.) The film dates a bit, because DePalma's 1974 vision of what would be "outrageous" rock and roll concert behavior by the artists has been, shall we say, surpassed by reality. Otherwise, though, it's an underrated, quirky film about the nature of choices and compacts, and a study in just how much one is willing to sacrifice for one's goals.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes 1983
- Based on Ray Bradbury's wonderful novel about a mysterious carnival that arrives in a small town. Though the plot is reasonably close to the book, it never quite captures the suspense and tension of the book.
- Bone Doctor
- Mere Bones Production Studios, 920 West Wilson, Chicago, IL 60640. $1.95 each plus $1.50 shipping/handling.
Superhero comic with a Christian slant. 2 issues out as of August, 1996.
- The Gospel of John
- Gospel of John, c/o Maranatha! Music, P.O. Box 1396, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
This one-shot comic book is a paraphrase of the Gospel of John by well-known pastor Chuck Smith. What you buy it for is the illustrations the absolutely gorgeous illustrations are by Rick Griffin, who was one of the top psychedelic artists of the 1960s (he did a lot of rock album covers and underground comics.) Griffin became a Christian and this is his most stunning achievement. Several of the illustrations deserve to be framed prints.
I don't know if this is still available, but it is worth seeking out.
- The Illuminator
- Marvel/Thomas Nelson, 1993. 2 issues published
This comic was an attempt at a joint venture between one of the larger Christian publishers and the largest comic publisher to create a superhero comic that was authentically Christian and had standards that would hold up to those held by comic book fans. It was doomed largely because Thomas Nelson insisted on no advertising, and the graphic novel format caused the comic to carry a $4.95 pricetag quite expensive for a comic, particularly one that did not contain any "big name" artists or writers. You can still find this in some Christian bookstores and some used comic book stores.
- Legends of Larian
- Lion publishing, 1993. 2 issues published.
This was an attempt by a former Judge Dredd artist (Jeff Anderson) and others to do a Christian fantasy comic that had a complex plot and top quality artwork and it succeeded. The main plot is the attempts of Sheela, a blind woman, to become queen of a country in another world, another time. The more interesting subplot is the tale of the redemption of Madlin, a half-elf mercenary hired as a bodyguard for the queen. This is an INCREDIBLE comic that Lion stopped publishing because of the tremendous cost versus sales (though a Lion rep noted to me that the comic generated more letters than most of the books they have published in the last several years.) It can still be found in some Christian bookstores (and a few comic book stores) in the U.S. and England/Scotland/Ireland definitely worth searching for!
- Pilgrim's Progress
- Co-produced by Marvel Comics and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Comic book, 96 pp., 1992, $9.95.
My original review for Radio Free Thulcandra:
This is another product of the joint venture between Marvel Comics and Thomas Nelson. It's the first of a series of Christian Classics. The idea here is to take the old Classics Illustrated approach and produce comic book versions of famous Christian works. This is an adaptation of John Bunyan's famous 1676 work. The producers updated the story so that it takes place in the 20th century, but it is an otherwise faithful rendition of the Bunyan work. The 20th century timesetting makes it much more accessible. The accessibility is proven by a friend of mine who gave it to his 11 year old son. The kid devoured the comic and apparently was quoting from it for days afterwards. I like this idea. I like it a lot. If you've never had the nerve to read Pilgrim's Progress, well, do what we all did in high school now you can buy the comic version and try the story out. If you like it, then maybe you'll be willing to tackle the original.
- The Screwtape Letters
- Marvel/Thomas Nelson, 1994, $9.95. (Graphic novel format.)
A very good adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic.
Following is a bibliography of works that deal with religious themes in SF/fantasy, both from a literary criticism and writing advice viewpoint. Again, note that all authors are not necessarily Jewish/Christian.
- Boyd, Tammy
- "Mutant Missionary Redeems Saturday Morning TV." Cornerstone, Vol. 25, Issue 109 (1996).
In depth article on the 1995 X-Men cartoon episode "Nightcrawler" (written by Len Uhley with story consultant Bob Herras), in which the X-Men take shelter in a monastery and religious discussions ensue. The episode had a remarkably positive view of religion.
- Buechner, Frederick
- Telling the Truth San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977, 99 pp.
A discussion of the Gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale.
- Etchells, Ruth
- Unafraid to Be Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1969, paper, 128 pp.
A Christian study of contemporary English writing.
- Filmer, Kath
- Skepticism and Hope in Twentieth Century Fantasy Literature Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1992.
Survey of 20th century fantasy, with emphasis on Lewis, Tolkein, Russell Hoban, Orwell, and others.
- Haughton, Rosemary
- Tales from Eternity New York: Seabury Press, 1973, 191 pp.
A study of fantasy and religion.
- Hertenstein, Mike
- "Star Trek's Undiscovered Country" Cornerstone, Vol. 25, Issue 109 (1996).
Analysis of religious-related themes in Star Trek, with emphasis on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Huttar, Charles (editor)
- Imagination and the Spirit Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1971, 496 pp.
- Kilby, Clyde S.
- C.S. Lewis: A Mind Awake New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968
Selected quotations by C.S. Lewis.
The Christian World of C.S. Lewis Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1964, 198 pp.
The late Clyde Kilby was the single greatest authority in the world on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings. He began the task of gathering the papers of these people for study at a time when no one else cared, and the Wade Center at Wheaton College is his legacy. Brilliant, brilliant man.
- Le Guin, Ursula K.
- The Language of the Night New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979, paper, 270 pp.
Essays on SF and fantasy.
- L'Engle, Madeleine
- Walking on Water Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1980. Also in paper: New York: Bantam Books
Brilliant essays on art as an act of faith.
- Lewis, C.S. (editor)
- Essays Presented to Charles Williams Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1947. In paper: Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 145 pp
A memorial collection of essays published after Williams' death. This includes Tolkien's classic essay, "On Fairy-Stories."
- Lewis, C.S.
- On Stories New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982, 153 pp.
A posthumous collection of essays by Lewis, some of which have appeared elsewhere (e.g., in Of Other Worlds.)
- Montgomery, John Warwick (editor)
- Myth, Allegory, and Gospel Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1974, 159 pp.
Essays on fantasy from a Christian perspective, with emphasis on the Inklings.
- O'Connor, Elizabeth
- Eighth Day of Creation Waco, TX: Word Books, 1971, paper, 115 pp.
A discussion of Christian creativity.
- Ryken, Leland
- The Christian Imagination Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981, paper, 448 pp.
A classic collection of essays by different authors on Christians and the arts.
Triumphs of the Imagination Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979, paper, 262 pp.
A study of literature from a Christian perspective.
- Sayer, George
- Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times (1988, rev'd ed. 1994).
This is the best biography of C.S. Lewis published thus far.
- Sayers, Dorothy L.
- The Mind of the Maker New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1941. Paper: San Francisco: Harper & Row, 229 pp.
- Classic essays by Sayers on God and the creativity of man.
- Tymn, Marshall, Zahorski, Kenneth, and Boyer, Robert
- Fantasy Literature New York: R. R. Bowker Company, 1979, paper, 273 pp.
Good overall survey of the field.
- Urang, Gunnar
- Shadows of Heaven Philadelphia: Pilgrim Press, 1971, 186 pp.
An examination of religious themes in the Inklings' work.
- Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
- Marion E. Wade Center
- The world's largest collection of material by and about the "Inklings" and their close associates and influences: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Owen Barfield.
Curator: Chris Mitchell
- Madeleine L'Engle's papers
- Curator: Mary Dorsett
- Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Has the original manuscripts for Lord of the Rings and some other Tolkien works.
- Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Has a large G.K. Chesterton collection.
- Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, England
- Has an Inklings collection second only to the Wade.
- Pavlac, Ross
- Article I wrote for Christianity Today on the Illuminator comic book.
- Anderson, Jon
- "Religious Literary Revolution." Chicago Tribune, Sept. 19, 1995. p. 2C1.
Frank Peretti and The Oath. Includes a photo of fans standing in line (including yours truly), and a quote from me on why Christianity and SF are not oxymorons when placed together in the same sentence.
© 1996 by Ross Pavlac. Contents of this page are for private, non-commercial use only!
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