Archive for the ‘Christian Fantasy’ Category

Don’t Drink the Wrong Elixir!

By Brent King On November 16, 2015 No Comments

Hyde Tweety“I’ve gone too far. I can’t be good, and now even God can’t help me!”

Those were the words of a colleague of mine—with whom I worked side by side for over a decade—just before he killed himself. Of course I was deeply troubled, first because he was my friend, but second because the thought of stepping past the point of no return terrified me.

As I contemplated the fate of my friend, images of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde flooded my mind. Dr. Jekyll wants to become a better person and, thinking he can accomplish this himself, he develops a potion to exorcise the dark side from his life. But it turns out that his bad side is worse than he expected. It completely seizes him every night in the violent and selfish form of Mr. Hyde. Even in this dark

Bring Me To Life

By Brent King On November 2, 2015 No Comments

andreasrochaWhat is it about zombies that capture society’s imagination? Is it the graphic horror that rivets our eyes to them? Do they somehow trigger our innate sense of survival? Or is it just another manifestation of our intuition that the end of all things is near?

A Metaphor That Runs Deep

Whatever it is, our strange infatuation with zombies has run deep enough to hold them strong in our consciousness for many years. I have to admit that it makes me sick to look at humans so hideously mutated. Then again, have you taken a stroll in a large city center lately? Have you listened to how our youth talk in our schools? Have you seen the recent suicide statistics? The horror of the zombie runs much deeper than our movies about them. The metaphor strikes to

“But why werewolves, Brent?” my mother asked.

By Brent King On April 8, 2015 No Comments

Werewolf_By_Night_(Jack_Russell)That’s a good question.

It all started with a healthy dose of Tolkien and Lewis when my kids were young. For some reason, it never hit me before: fantasy could talk about life in such powerful ways. There were things about reality that could only be said in this genre.

But werewolves? By rights I should be writing high fantasy, with its amazing worlds and creatures. Since I am what some would call a Ringer (having written a book on The Lord of the Rings), I’m not really sure why I don’t. I certainly wouldn’t say I’d never create a world like Tolkien did but, for now, the themes I am driven to talk about are best imaged with low fantasy. Yes, with werewolves.

For, after all, even my mother can see that the werewolf doesn’t

An Interview with Ebenezer Scrooge

By Brent King On December 22, 2014 1 Comment

ebenezer-scrooge_optI rapped lightly on the swagged entry of the townhouse. A gaunt man in a robe opened the door and peered out.

“Mr. Scrooge?” I asked.

“Your servant sir,” he said.

“I’ve come for our interview.” I held up my pen and notebook. “Remember—for school?”

“Ah yes.” He opened the door wide and embraced me. “Come in my son. I didn’t recognize you at first. Old age does something to the eyes. I am glad you’ve come.”

I stepped into a room with high ceilings and rows of books. Mr. Scrooge ushered me to a high back chair near the fireplace. He settled across from me. The firelight flickered in his eyes.

“Where shall we begin?” he asked.

“With a confession,” I said. “No story has made such an impact on me as your story. I have no doubt that

The Real Santa Claus

By Brent King On December 18, 2014 No Comments

FatherChristmasAt this festive season of the year, those who celebrate the Child in the manger often look down on Santa Claus. Though he comes across the centuries with a splash of Yuletide passion, not everyone gets delightfully wet. A tsunami of skepticism drowns many.

Down through the years, he comes to us through myth, story, and song. Yet is this cultural icon really an antichrist, a counterfeit who exists solely to steal the limelight from the baby Jesus?

I Think Not

Though midwinter festivals and the tradition of Santa Claus existed long before Jesus was born, Christians drew these celebrations up into a greater reality. Their hearts overflowed with the joy of Immanuel. This joy embraced diverse cultures, each bringing its own legends and festivals to the jubilee. The resulting pageantry is humanity’s attempt to embody the

Annexed by Satan?

By Brent King On November 24, 2014 No Comments


Is the Archetype Too Strong?

The dragon is considered evil in Christian mythology, indeed the ultimate symbol of evil. Some creatures in our world have been appropriated to typify Satan or parts of his kingdom. Does the fact that Satan monopolizes parts of God’s creation mean that we shouldn’t use those things as protagonists or positive elements in our books? Or are they scrapped to the realm of villain forever?

It is true that dragons, snakes, goats, rams, spiders, falcons, and other creatures have been used to represent Satan. Yet does that mean it’s impossible to use them in a positive way, to employ them as good guys?

The Archetype Is Strong

Tolkien wrote that in myth there were “many heroes but very few good dragons.” In On Fairy Stories he confessed that he “desired dragons

Fantasy Training 101

By Brent King On November 11, 2014 2 Comments

GethsemaneFantasy has helped many of us reach beyond the physical world toward God. We thrill as we imagine God in a new way, interacting with Him in worlds of dragons or fairies or werewolves.

Yet Fantasy is a Two-Edged Sword

With our fallen natures, fantasy will just as likely take us into realms of temptation. The lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life are ever lurking in the shadows, waiting to take our imagination where it shouldn’t go. This fabricated world is even more likely to ensnare us than the physical one. Whether we are exploring someone else’s fantasies or our own, the same imagination that is so adept at lifting us up to heaven can also drag us down to hell.

In the real world, there are checks and

Fantasy: An Indispensable Way to Understand Ourselves

By Brent King On September 22, 2014 2 Comments

“The problem…is that whereas adults are readily aware of myths they have outgrown, they are blind to ones that they currently hold to be real.” – Carl Johnson

holly fairyLike Peter Pan, too many of us enter the “real world” of adulthood and forget how to fly. Our wings are clipped by failing to preserve the imaginative vitality of our childhood. The result is a life that never reaches maturity, for many things about life and ourselves can only be explored through fantasy.

It’s In Our Blood

Fantasy is not merely the result of adults telling children wild stories. In his book, From Two to Five, K. Chukovsky relates a telling story about how the minds of children work. Though it is easy for us to believe that realism is what our children

Fantasy and Temperance

By Brent King On August 21, 2014 4 Comments

midnight readingSome mark all fantasy as an evil influence and a worthless waste of time. Those of us who read and write fantasy know that this is not the truth. Imagination can be redemptive as well as destructive.

However, There Are Dangers

While much has been said about fantasy’s amazing ability to teach truth and we love to laud its graces, treacherous reefs lie just below the surface of its sea. They wait to shipwreck the unsuspecting and naïve. While some may say that the worst of these reefs is a secular world-view, I see more peril on another shoal.

The Biggest Danger, I Believe, is Intemperance: Imbalance

We have all experienced the obsessive power of imagination: the game or book that kept us up till 5am when we had to go to school or work at 8.

Why I Write Stories That Go Bump in the Night

By Brent King On July 26, 2014 No Comments

Monsters_UniversityFrom my youngest years, things that go bump in the night have impacted me. My first response to the scariest things of this world was fear—the fear driven by self-preservation, the fear prompted by the unknown.

I Wanted To Know Why

Gradually, this fear gave way to curiosity. What were these threats in the dark? Why did vampires suck blood and zombies eat flesh? Was there a reason why they haunted our tales?

There Is a Reason

At last I discovered that there is reason why the boogieman lurks in our bedrooms and cemeteries. It is because death reigns in this world. In death the spirit is torn from the body, creating two halves: the ghost and the zombie. These are staples of horror.

A Reunion of Ghosts and Zombies

Yet there is another story that is told in our world,

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