Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guest post by Joseph Vasicek

I am currently in Utah for a family reunion. So this week I conveniently have a guest post by Joseph Vasicek. I met Joe during my BYU days while participating in a writing group there. He is currently doing a blog tour for his most recently indie-published book Genesis Earth, which I critiqued while in progress. Visit his awesome Blog here. You can find reviews and buy his book here on amazon.

Do Mormon writers of science fiction and fantasy have a unique perspective because of their faith? certainly!

One of the most obvious examples of this would be Eric James Stone's Nebula Award winning novelette, That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made. In that story, an LDS character quotes from the Book of Mormon while trying to save a sun-dwelling alien convert to the church from religious persecution. That is certainly a story that only a Mormon could have written.

I think it goes a lot deeper than that, though. You don't have to include explicitly Mormon themes to have a unique perspective; if you're living close enough to your beliefs, I believe it will come out naturally. I see this in works by such authors as Dan Wells, Dave Wolverton, Orson Scott Card, Stephanie Meyer, and Brandon Sanderson; even though their fiction might not refer to explicitly Mormon concepts or ideas, their spiritual sensibilities certainly inform how they address universal issues such as the problem of evil, the meaning of free agency, the importance of love and the power of redemption.

Science fiction in particular is one of the best genres for addressing issues related to faith. Even more than mainstream fiction, sf probes for meaning and depth, exploring new worlds of possibility while at the same time relating everything back to the human condition and our place in this boundless universe. Because of this, it's no wonder that so many works of science fiction refer to religious ideas or include religiously motivated characters--sometimes to promote an anti-religious bias or agenda, but more often than not to provide an extra layer of depth and meaning.

I wrote an article on the origins of the science fiction and fantasy community at BYU last year for Mormon Artist magazine, in which I was fortunate enough to interview several influential Mormon writers. From that experience, I realized that there's an urgent need for more LDS voices in sf&f--that we have so much of value to offer the community.

Certainly, we shouldn't be preachy or overzealous about it, since all that does is drive people away. But the more we write, and the more we write honestly, the more we enrich the genre and thus enrich other people's lives.

When I wrote Genesis Earth, I didn't set out to write about faith or sprituality. I did want to write about the human condition; to question whether we're all just automatons moving about in a predictable universe, or whether we're infinitely creative free agents in a universe of boundless wonders.

Quite unconsciously, the story of my main character (Michael) became a journey of faith. As the son of two well-renowned astrophysicists, he grew up with a deep devotion to science. Unfortunately, this also means he feels a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to his parents' expectations--a conflict that underscores the entire novel.

Michael's mission partner, Terra, is almost the exact opposite of him. She's a rebel who does not share his views on science and openly question some of his deepest, most personal beliefs. But I didn't just want this to be a story of disillusionment; I wanted Michael's faith to grow and mature, not just wither away and die. I suppose that was my LDS sensibilities speaking to me. So Michael's story became a deeply personal journey of discovery, and when he found the thing that helped him to come to a new realization of his faith, it surprised me just as much as it surprised him.

No matter what you believe, I think it's important to write honestly, especially when writing science fiction. If you do, your beliefs and values will inevitably come out in your voice, often in ways you would least expect. That's the way to be unique, and the best way to "let your light so shine."


ravy sok said...

Flamini’s own goal disappoints Wenger

Agen Bola terpercaya reported, Arsenal's spluttering title challenge suffered another major blow as Mathieu Flamini's last-gasp own goal forced the Gunners to settle for a 2-2 draw against Swansea City on Tuesday.
Arsene Wenger's side looked set to bounce back from Saturday's humiliating 6-0 defeat at Chelsea after two goals in the space of 60 seconds midway through the second half from Lukas Podolski and then Olivier Giroud erased Wilfried Bony's early opener at the Emirates Stadium, as reported by Agen Bola terpercaya
The comeback win was denied when Flamini deflected the ball into his own net from close range in the final moments. The draw leave Arsenal six points behind leaders Chelsea with only seven games left. Wenger said: "It is very disappointing but we have to take it on the chin.’’ as reported by Agen Bola terpercaya
While Swansea boss Garry Monk was pleased to escape with a point, he was furious with referee Lee Probert's decision to blow for full time with Jonathan de Guzman set to shoot.
"The players were magnificent but I spoke to the referee and told him it was a very poor decision. We were clean through on goal," Monk said.

ry chard said...

Garcia Congratulates on his team’s victory

Agen Bola terpercaya reported, Roma coach Rudi Garcia feels Tuesday's 2-1 win over Torino has all but secured them second place in Serie A this term.
Garcia's side left it late at the Stadio Olimpico - Alessandro Florenzi striking a 90th-minute winner after Ciro Immobile had cancelled out Mattia Destro's opener. With Napoli beaten by Fiorentina on Sunday, the gap between Rafael Benitez's side and Roma stands at nine points going into their final nine games of the campaign, as reported by Agen Bola terpercaya
Garcia considered the victory as a major boost for their hopes of securing the final automatic UEFA Champions League spot but refused to take anything for granted, as reported by Agen Bola terpercaya
He said: "This win is massive for us psychologically, that's why I was so happy. Torino isn’t a direct rival of ours so I decided to throw on the extra attacking players, even though it might have meant we lost. We needed to take a risk to win it.’’

som orl said...

Inter Bantah Sedang Dekati Dzeko dan Sagna

Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 –Milan - Dua pemain Premier League Edin Dzeko dan Bacary Sagna diisukan sedang didekati Inter Milan. Tapi kabar itu langsung dibantah oleh klub yang bersangkutan.

Kurang tajamnya lini depan Inter musim ini - 47 gol dari 29 pekan - membuat manajemen berpikir mendatangkan pemain depan baru musim panas nanti.

Walter Mazzarri musim ini terlalu mengandalkan Rodrigo Palacio sebagai penggedor di lini depan sementara Mauro Icardi masih tak tampil konsisten sementara Diego Milito dinilai sudah "habis" pasca cedera lutut parah musim lalu.

Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya –Alhasil nama Dzeko yang musim ini tak mendapat tempat di tim utama Manchester City jadi incaran Inter. Tak cuma Dzeko ada juga Sagna yang kontraknya bersama Arsenal habis akhir musim ini.

Sagna diproyeksikan mengisi posisi bek kanan Inter musim depan untuk bersaing dengan Jonathan. Rumor ini kian kencang setelah Direktur Umum Inter Piero Ausilio disebut sedang berada di London akhir pekan lalu untuk melakukan negosiasi.

"Tidak ada hubungannya antara perjalananku dan isu itu. Kami hanya ingin memanfaatkan waktu luang untuk menonton sepakbola di luar negeri dan memperluas jaringan. Sama saja halnya dengan Dzeko," ujar Ausilio.

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