Their Fantasies are Wackier than Mine!

Our nation’s leaders have blurred the line between fantasy and reality so you can hardly see it anymore.

Item: Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, says we need a “national starting salary” for public school teachers–$60,000. Teachers should be paid “the same as engineers,” babbled the secretary. Is the man insane? Or is he just anticipating union dues from hundreds of thousands of highly-paid teachers flowing into the campaign chests of the Democrat Party? Gee, the world’s most expensive public education system is–let us put it as charitably as possible–a shameful failure. Better throw more money at it!

Item: An official report by a NASA panel headed by somebody named Shawn Domagal-Goldman has recommended that we go back to living like 12th-century peasants so that potentially hostile space aliens won’t spot our carbon footprint and come over and conquer us. Maybe we should also get rid of electronic communications, especially TV and radio. Haven’t you seen this exchange a thousand times in 1950s science fiction movies? Terrified Earth Person: “But how is it that you speak our language?” Bug-Eyed Space Monster: “For many years we have monitored your radio transmissions…”

Item: Maxine Waters, a member of the United States Congress, recommends that the government “tax the banks out of existence.” How can we even comment on such a statement by a person in a position of responsibility and leadership?

Item: Former Vice President and almost-president Al Gore said recently that “climate change deniers” are “like racists,” ignorant, bigoted, superstitious, evil, blah-blah… and they should be treated like racists. Chimes in The Democrat (what else?) Examiner, climate change deniers should be “ostracized and marginalized” until they repent of their “moral failure.”

Are all these people crazy? If they believe the fantasies they put out there, the answer is yes. But if they say all these wacky things and don’t believe in them, isn’t that even worse?

Another Real-World Fantasy

Okay, now I’ve seen everything–a “secular humanist Sunday school.” It’s going to be just a few miles from my home, according to the local paper.

Sponsored by a Temple (“A Temple of what?” you ask), the curriculum will emphasize “social justice” and “diversity” while pretending to be Jewish. “Social justice” is the art of using the government to force other people to finance your charitable impulses. And I think by now we all know what “diversity” means–uniformly Leftist thought.

As a lowly fantasy writer, I never could have imagined anything as goofy as a Judaism without God. Nor could I ever have imagined any need to set up a Sunday school for the teaching of a world view that already saturates our culture. It’s like building a zoo where people can go and see squirrels, pigeons, dandelions, and mosquitoes.

The real world today is infinitely more irrational than anything we fantasists dream up.

A New Computer (Groan!)

I have a new computer. Heaven help me!

They changed everything. So at this writing I don’t know how to send email, or reply to email–and this new keyboard is the worst example of built-in silliness I’ve ever seen. Two days ago I could do all those things, and more. But now I can’t. I’ll have to learn everything all over again.

Wouldn’t it be great if they made cars like that? If every time they brought out a new model, you had to go back to driving school?

(I absolutely hate, loathe, and abhor this keyboard!!! It was obviously designed for elves, not human beings.)

All I can ask is that my dozens of readers please bear with me while I try to orient myself…

Fiddling with Fantasy while Rome Burns?

The world’s on fire, and you’re writing fantasy?

Mobs have trashed London, and you’re writing about a couple of kids trying to climb a mountain to ring a legendary bell. We’ve got a Marxist in the White House, and you’re writing about imaginary kings of an imaginary country.

What good does that do?

These are questions that I sometimes ask myself. I suspect every fantasy writer since L. Frank Baum has done the same. (For the video-game generation, Baum’s the guy who wrote The Wizard of Oz. “The what?” Oh, never mind…)

In fairness, fantasy is not the only thing I write. I tackle the old burning issues all the time. But to this day I’m not sure of having changed one person’s mind with any of my columns. No one has ever written in to say, “Oh, now I see! Gee, I was totally wrong to be a socialist/atheist/Darwinist nudnick–thank you so much for setting me straight.” Nope, I’m afraid that doesn’t happen.

Ta-dah!

OK, I have finally finished writing Book #5 of my Bell Mountain Series, The Fugitive Prince. Meanwhile, #3, The Thunder King, is almost ready for release, and artist Kirk DouPonce has been tapped to create a cover for #4, The Last Banquet. I love the work he’s done so far.

The arc of the story demands another two books, at least. I wonder what they’ll be like!

Meanwhile, readers of this blog might enjoy my articles on News With Views, and maybe even the postings on my “Playground Player Chess Forum” on chessgames.com . There have been some pretty sharp discussions on that forum, none of which have anything to do with chess.

‘Fugitive Prince’ Coming Down the Home Stretch

Book #5 of my Bell Mountain Series, The Fugitive Prince, is finally heading toward completion. Whew! I think it’ll wind up with 55 chapters or so.

There’s nothing quite like watching these books take shape under my hands–often a surprising shape. You know I don’t map them out ahead of time, but rather rely on Our Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell. This can be nerve-wracking for the writer, but the rewards of this process far outweigh the drawbacks.

Meanwhile, Book #3, The Thunder King, should be published by the end of the summer. I think I can safely say the climax of this book will knock you for a loop! Oddly enough, the climax was the very image that I started with. Getting there, though, was quite a wild ride.

The Cellar Beneath the Cellar Review by Steve Wilson

Latest Review (7/9/11) – The Cellar Beneath the Cellar by Lee Duigon

Genre: Christian Fantasy

Recommendation: Excellent

Originality: 5/5         Writing Style: 5/5         Plot: 5/5             Characters: 5/5   Aesthetics: 5/5

If you’re not reading Lee Duigon’s Bell Mountain series, you need to be! It’s absolutely one of the best out there!

In this amazing second volume, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, First Prester Reesh, the leader of the entire organized “Church”, is purposely misinterpreting Scripture to serve his own ends while a barbarian army streams into Obann, hungry for the slaughter.

Meanwhile, the Bell has rung and God has continued to call His chosen ones to a great and final purpose. He is speaking through the Toddler Prophet, has gifted the Old Man Missionary, has strengthened the Flail of the Lord, has commissioned the Finders of Lost Scripture, and has anointed the Boy King.

With so much going on, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar can’t fail to be an intriguing read for any fantasy-lover. Lee’s writing is refined, his characters deep, his action non-stop, and his vision big. This is indeed an epic worth following.

It all starts with Bell Mountain, continues in The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and then on into the soon-to-be-released The Thunder King. I can’t wait for it to come out!

Okay, I’m done gushing, but as you can tell, I’m giving The Cellar Beneath the Cellar a big recommendation of Excellent and personally guarantee that this will be one of the best series you’ve ever read. Check it out today!

The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is available in print from Amazon.com.

SOURCE

My Favorite Authors

I’ve always said that if you want to write, you’ve gotta read–a lot. And I’ve learned a lot from my favorite authors.

If I wanted to show off, I’d say they were Henry James, Proust, E.M. Forster, Alice Walker, and so on. But that would be a lie. Serious Mainstream Literature–phooey. But without further ado, here are my favorites (in no particular order).

1. Agatha Christie. Never mind the whole mystery aspect of her work, which is justly famed. I read Dame Agatha for her wonderful and pithy insights into character. Nobody understood human nature better. And she can say so much about a character in so few words, deftly employing dialogue. Not like Stephen King, say, who beats you over the head with the character’s whole life story.

2. Edgar Rice Burroughs. The creator of Tarzan has two things going for him. First, nobody, but nobody, ever did a better job of juggling a complicated plot. When it comes to interweaving a bunch of subplots and keeping the action going, he’s up there with Charles Dickens. And second, Burroughs was one of those rare writers who let his imagination rip. I mean, he came up with some very wild stuff! And he knew how to make you believe in it. His Mars/Barsoom novels are his finest work.

Bell Mountain Review by Steve Wilson

Recommendation: Excellent

Originality: 5/5             Writing Style: 4/5              Plot: 5/5                 Characters: 5/5        Aesthetics: 5/5

God is at work in Obann.

A thousand years ago, King Ozias, the last king, placed a bell on top of Mount Yul. Scripture says that when someone rings that bell, God will hear it.

But no one ever has rung the bell.

Until now.

Many people, from the head priest to a small-town teacher, have felt God stirring their heart to ring it, but the only ones obedient enough to answer that call are two children – Jack and Ellayne.

Jack is a poor boy, a child of misfortune; Ellayne is a rich girl, child of the town’s chief councilor. Together they will make it to the top of the mountain and fulfill their calling.

Bell Mountain is such a fun read for people of all ages. It’s interesting and moves at a quick pace with lots of action and adventure. As you read, you’ll meet new creatures, an expert assassin, Helki the Rod, Obst the Hermit, and Wytt the…? (Well, you’ll just have to read about Wytt.)

It’s a perfectly clean read with a ton of depth and good Christian messages. One of my favorite themes was the question of how we should treat Scripture. Is it to be taken at face-value and treated seriously, or is it just a collection of myths and metaphors?

I give Bell Mountain an enthusiastic recommendation of Excellent and will look forward to diving into the sequel, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar.

Bell Mountain is available in print from Amazon.com.

SOURCE

Four Outrageous Fantasies

Betcha thought I was gonna talk about fantasy novels! But no such luck–we fantasy story-tellers can’t compete with some of the fantasies that are floating around out there in the real world. The difference is that our stories are plainly packaged as fantasy, while these other products of the imagination try to pass for reality.

Here are four of my favorite real-world fantasies. (Others will occur to the thoughtful reader.)

1. “A good person will be good, no matter what he believes.”  This is a distortion of the Christian notion of  “common grace” shared by all mankind, born of a wish to get out of owing God anything. Try to imagine a benevolent jihadist, just before he detonates his suicide belt amid a crowd of children, or a kindly SS man wishing people “a nice trip” as they’re herded into the cattle car, and you’ll see what I mean.  Humanists also invoke this fantasy when they try to take credit for the moral and cultural capital built up by Christendom over the centuries.

2. “Our leaders know what they’re doing.” One hardly knows whether to laugh until one cries, or to reach for the barf bag… It seems incredible that anyone still believes this fairy-tale. Our leaders can’t even manage relatively simple tasks, like jumping hotel chambermaids or broadcasting lewd pictures of themselves, without making a total hash of it. To entrust them with war and peace, trillions of dollars, and the destinies of nations seems downright suicidal.

3. “Scientists are honest and objective seekers of truth.” Actually what they’re seeking is bigger grants, bigger paychecks, fame, and political power for themselves–and they’ll do just about anything to get it. If you can believe in the objectivity and honesty of the scientific establishment today, you shouldn’t have much difficulty believing in flying, fire-breathing dragons.

4. “Our freedom under the U.S. Constitution rests on the separation of church and state.” I’m always astounded by how many people believe this. The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution! Honest. Look it up, read the document. As easy as it is to obtain a copy of the Constitution, and to read it, people will prattle on about “separation of church and state” without having the slightest idea of what the Constitution says or means.

How many of these fantasies do you believe in?

One is one too many.