December 18, 2014
Sometime next month my new fantasy novel, “The Glass Bridge,” will be published, It has a gorgeous cover by Kirk DouPonce, which you can see if you visit my blog.
As I try to write it, fantasy is a lens through which to see truth—sort of like a book-length parable. Along the way, the fantasy also provides a respite from the swirling debris of our own time and place. So if you fantasy story features characters strongly resembling, say, John Boehner, Sandra Fluke, or Jesse Jackson, you should probably be writing horror instead.
“The Glass Bridge” is the seventh book of my “Bell Mountain” series. The series tells the story of a critical time, a time of shaking, in an imaginary world, during which its people are re-introduced to the God whom they’ve forgotten. They’re going to learn that the scriptures that they don’t read anymore are actually true. The books are intended for readers ages 12 and up and are all available via amazon.com or from The Chalcedon Foundation.
“The Glass Bridge” in particular is about faith. What do you do when faith tells you to go one way and your best calculations tell you to go another? Would you give up a vast store of treasure, and let your enemy have it, by faith? Would you take half your undersized army and invade an evil empire whose forces are many times stronger than your own, by faith?
If this is beginning to sound like Hebrews Chapter 11—well, it’s intentional.
And if these books strike you as a great deal wiser than I am, that’s only because they really are: for which I give God the glory. Don’t be surprised. A lot of writer have written books and stories that are way smarter than they are. It’s a blessing.
Following and writing about current events, especially these days, it’s hard to see things clearly. They’re all jumbled up. We’ve made it worse by encouraging everyone to lie—especially our public figures. This embrace of lying began as a bright idea by certain academic pin-heads who wowed each other and their students by teaching that there’s no such thing as truth. That became the credo of post-modernism. And since there is no truth, we’re all given license to spout some “narrative”—usually completely untrue—to convince others to do what we want them to. No one calls it “lying” anymore. Whether it’s Global Warming or “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” the narrative goes on and on even when millions of people know it’s a lie.
A fantasy is a story that everyone—hopefully!—understands is fictional: not factually true. The publisher doesn’t have to put a sticker on the cover warning the reader not to believe the contents. But the stories are true in other ways that are just as important. There was no such person as The Prodigal Son, but the parable is true in what it teaches.
I was gratified last week to discover a website, “The Lens of Optimism,” featuring a thoughtful essay on one of the characters in my books, “Obst the Missionary—Bell Mountain Series,” and drawing spiritual lessons from Obst’s career and adventures. This tells me I’m on the right track: which is to say, I have written the story God has given.
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Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com