Tag Archives: Faerie Queene

Writing and Reading Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science Fiction can glorify God if the writer can keep his facts straight. It’s a haven for uniformitarianism, the perfectibility of man, in short, secularism of all kinds. But since true Science is based in the Scriptures, true Science Fiction must be based in factual information and reasonable speculation based on what may happen.

Man is still compelled to work hard, suffer failures, setbacks and fears because of sin, and will not be able to become a god and fix everything. He will not evolve beyond the need for morality, self-control, personal sacrifice, or buying and selling what he needs to make a living and to live.

Science Fiction frequently gives man extraordinary power to do without money, having unlimited materials, knowledge and resources. Who pays the bills for all these Starship Enterprises, anyway? One time someone actually mentions “buying” someone a cup of coffee, and is quickly told that one cannot buy anything on the Enterprise. A visit to the past results in the query, “What does it mean, ‘exact change?'” Economics aren’t going to evolve away.

Neither is belief in and reliance upon the True God, because He is real and the Scriptures are true. The universe is not eternal. The world is not billions of years old. Those “vastly superior aliens” out there are angels and demons. They are real, but they are not from other planets. They live in obedience or disobedience to their Creator, God, just as men do, only they are powerful and capable of influencing man for good or evil.

Man cannot solve the problem of sin. Therefore he cannot cure all diseases, end all wars, or preserve primitive cultures in pristine “innocence” according to a “prime directive.” Technology can be used to advance culture but if it goes bad or evil and attacks us it is because sinful men created it, not because we live in a universe of random chance. Plan, purpose, order, and the Designer of all things must be foremost in the mind of the Science Fiction writer.

Many people lump fantasy and Science Fiction together. Sometimes we speak of Speculative Fiction, which can include both genres. C.S. Lewis, particularly in his adult Science Fiction books Out of the Silent Planet, That Hideous Strength, and Perilandra, talked about possibilities with planets untouched by the curse of man’s fall. He speculated on the mythologies of our ancient cultures even in the Chronicles of Narnia for younger readers. J.R.R. Tolkien did the same thing in his Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit.

Fantasy fiction in modern times usually glorifies magic and human strength and cunning. It often gives man a means to control his world. Though he may still struggle, stories like the Harry Potter series show a progression not unlike the mythology of evolution. Harry’s “ancestors,” his dead parents and the elderly wizards who instruct him, are not as evolved as he is. Fantasy borrows freely from the biblical concepts of a chosen one, a messiah, but gives no credit to the God who met the need of lost man by providing Jesus Christ as atonement for His sins. Rebirth is a common theme in fantasy, the warrior going through a deathlike experience and thereby growing in power and even fighting some form of ultimate evil. All of these things are stolen from the Scriptures without mentioning the true source of power, of rebirth, of the ability to defeat the enemy.

Man is the source of the power, says modern fantasy, or the earth or its personified elemental forces. Other movies have even gone back to the concept that the Greek and Roman gods are real and still give birth to demigod children with great powers to help the world. Mutants such as the X-Men skip the necessity to make or remake gods. They are just the next step in evolution, spewing pseudoscientific gibberish about how such nonsensical powers might be possible in a materialistic context. Many video games are based on this concept, that man can and will evolve into an all-powerful being who can right wrongs and save worlds without any spiritual force behind him.

Worlds peopled with elves, centaurs, dragons and dwarfs promise adventure along with the triumph of the human spirit without the true and living God. The message is the same. Man can overcome. He doesn’t need God.

But fantasy, not so long ago, centered on allegory, the adopting of a veil of mythical settings and creatures to teach Scriptural truth and explore man’s proper relationship with God. Tolkien did not claim to write a true allegory in The Lord of the Rings but hinted at elves who stood for angels, trying to help man but disgusted with his corruption, yet sometimes intermarrying with men. Wizards, goblins and orcs are spiritual beings trying to destroy man or in some cases cooperating with him, or pretending to do so. Magical powers frequently lead to an evil corruption. This is echoed in Star Wars. The temptation to the dark side is presented to Gandalf and to Luke Skywalker. Gandalf resists, and is even reborn in a sense to become a powerful spiritual helper. The person behind the “ultimate” power of good is vague in Tolkien, especially in the movies.

Tolkien was inspired by an earlier work, as was John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress. That work was the Faerie Queene, an epic poem by Edmund Spenser, contemporary to Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh. Few people even know of it today. It centers on the English hero Saint George and his quest to slay the dragon. Spencer envisioned both a patriotic and spiritual meaning in his work, but especially he meant to glorify God. The fairy queen Gloriana represents God’s glory, the young man chosen for the quest wears the armor of Ephesians 6, magic is condemned as corrupting and wicked, and life is a series of victories and setbacks in the process of Christian growth. Spenser rose to a height few other fantasy writers have even attempted, but he is the standard to reach for in Christian fantasy.

Watch the YouTube (Channel ffvp5657) videos of the Faerie Queene commentary to better understand this timeless epic.

The Space Empire Saga is a collection of stories around a common theme. Here is the future of persecution. Here is the tale, beginning in “City on a Hill,” of ordinary family man John Winthrop and a group of believers literally driven out of this world by government persecution. Their only hope for freedom is to restore and make prosperous a sabotaged Lunar Mining Colony.

In “Sojourner,” the Space Empire expands throughout the Solar System, but its godly foundations have eroded into government corruption. Michelle and Mark, pioneers to the outer planets, fear their leaders will steal the possible fruits of their giant, gas-collecting “balloon ship.”

In “Humiliation,” internal rebellion and forbidden romance complicate the godly but hamstrung King of the Space Empire’s plans to control his son Michael. “Repentance” sees Michael conflicted over his duty to his father and to his empire in an encounter with a mysterious “fourth Empire” on Earth. His adopted brother and best friend Randoph struggles with understanding how to have godly character while planning, against everyone’s advice, marriage to Aidan, an Earth woman. The King still sees hope for peace but the old specter of persecution rises again in “Sanctification.”

“Bonus features” for this book include YouTube videos of the complete 3D novella Sojourner. Check out the ten-minute segments on YouTube Channel ffvp5657. We also have a gallery called “Stills from Sojourner and the Space Empire Saga” linked at the top of the blog.

Here is a link to a video with background on Findley Family Video and the Science Fiction books.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnqKrJe05V4&feature=plcp&context=C3be7f63UDOEgsToPDskJ_sgWtDWK1QkY-hf_aNB1i

The Sojourner 3D video links, in five 10-minute segments, are as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-pAngIkV1w&feature=plcp&context=C3d8b432UDOEgsToPDskIhRt3-xw-5NlsRlv4Gz-M9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__oPqb967Bg&feature=plcp&context=C310399cUDOEgsToPDskIN1bWGORY_qJcCO5Z4WlgW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIZuEKQ8qhM&feature=plcp&context=C3f841b9UDOEgsToPDskJrgfdJZGEFpHy_CdEiynih

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mNq21wioJ4&feature=plcp&context=C3f0c518UDOEgsToPDskIiZMEsvRukfXoCpcpRZYMq

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFqntYpSQuk&feature=plcp&context=C3bf0e61UDOEgsToPDskI5AYswoxF_–rey8_RkBsX

Here is a teaser for the Faerie Queene Teaching materials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxdPx2XhFps&feature=plcp&context=C325bbfdUDOEgsToPDskIlefym7RFerXZ3T10Kjlme

You may also wish to watch the Faerie Queene summary and teaching video by following the links below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYIyM5TvE9E&feature=plcp&context=C31188b4UDOEgsToPDskKsufH-2BSF9d2_jdxN4Va7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaF2WEXwduY&feature=plcp&context=C31002e0UDOEgsToPDskLwyT-1Xl4IbWpx0PYH3lNG

This is a link to our website, Findley Family Video Publications, with the Faerie Queene summary materials, more pictures like the one above, and even a game you can play if you wish. Let us know if you can put the pictures in the correct order!

http://findleyfamilyvideopublications.com/FaerieQueeneLinksandsummary1.html


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Filed under Excerpts from our Fiction Books, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Principles of Writing Fiction

It’s hard to say when people began writing fiction, but it has been used for millennia to communicate truth. Seems strange to say that something that isn’t true can teach truth, but good fiction always has done that. Using characters, settings or events that didn’t actually happen, writers create a vehicle by which to make a point. Jesus Christ taught parables, beginning with “A certain man … or “A sower …,” or “A woman …, ” a clue that what he was about to say was not about a particular person, but was going to make a point about people. Even the Old Testament had parables, such as the Parable of the Trees, warning a king not to get too big for his britches.

Writers of the genre contemporary fiction write about the time they live in. Charles Dickens was immersed in the culture of his times and used his fiction for social commentary, to try to change what was wrong with life as he lived it. Writers like Georgette Heyer use historical fiction to go back to a time and place where things were done differently, to deal with certain social customs, or just to show the readers the color and life of a lost way of living. Science Fiction writers bridge from existing technology to what may be sooner or later. Robert A. Heinlein colonized Mars, updating the pioneer/settler storyline with futuristic adaptations.

Fantasy writers usually base their works on smidgins of reality or convention, classic creatures of Greek mythology or simple agrarian economies. Then they add an element of magic, spirit intervention or other supernatural influence. Allegories are a subcategory of fantasy, but they differ in including an element of teaching, usually related to religion. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory. Things and people stand for something other than the reality. Pilgrim becomes Christian, symbolizing the salvation experience. His journey is Christian growth. Pilgrim’s Progress was inspired by Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, another story of a Christian and his armor fighting and serving God. This in turn was derived from Ephesians 6, a parable of sorts describing the Helmet of Salvation, the Sword of the Spirit, and the rest of the equipment the Christian needs to wrestle against the dark forces of this world.

The point is that the best fiction, the right fiction to read, is based on Scriptural principles. It treats good and evil as the Scriptures do. Articles, excerpts and essays in this section will show how that should be done.

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Filed under Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Godly Womanhood

(A note on the picture with this post: Just to prove women can be both beautiful and godly, three Barbie “Makeovers” representing characters from Edmund Spenser’s epic allegory the Faerie Queene: Left to right, Gloriana, representing the glory of God, Una, representing Truth, and Goldenberry, wife of Satyrane, a godly knight protecting Una in her forest journey.)

Girls, Ladies, Women, Mses; — What happened to us? We were so busy proving we were as good as men we became harpies, beautiful faces on voracious, soulless killing machine bodies. Yes we did. No, it isn’t an exaggeration. We learned to distrust men, to do without them, to hate them. We celebrated ourselves, we sang ourselves, we roared “in numbers too big to ignore”; (mostly too loudly and a bit shrill), we had “me time,” we went from eyelet pinafores to blue jeans to navy suits, we got most of the jobs, the scholarships, the promotions — and we left all that was important ground into the dust.

Come back with me along the road and let’s pick it up and try to put it back together. What is it? It is our girlhood, our femininity, our love of boys and men, our attraction to the other slightly less than half of the world, which we can no longer deny we desperately miss and need. By following me, by reading this ongoing rant, you give up nothing except stress you were never intended to suffer, loneliness you were never intended to bear, hatred and suspicion no one should ever feel except for really bad people (which most men are not).

You gain — oh, where do I begin? Beauty, mystery, fun, tenderness, excitement, security, protection, power no feminist can imagine. You can set the whole world back to its proper course. That ancient saying that behind every great man there is a woman is true in every possible sense. A woman has the power to make or break a man. Unfortunately we’ve been busy breaking the good ones and making the bad ones. Yes, it is our fault men are the way they are, in large measure. If you don’t believe that, forget about reading this. You can’t fix anything if you won’t even acknowledge that you broke it.

All right. Those of you who want to be ladies, listen up. First of all, we have to fix our conception of what it means to be a girl. Mostly, at first, it means staying away from boys. What? Yes. There’s too much mingling of young children these days. Unisex daycare, unisex PE class, pushing girls into traditionally male sports and organizations (Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, not Unisex Scouts, get it? Marines don’t run unisex boot camps for so many reasons.) Girls need to do things with girls and women when they’re young. Young being most of the way through high school.

Those segregated boarding schools you used to hear about had the right idea. Our modern moral “messedupness” tells us it just creates more desire when you separate boys and girls and drives them to sneak around and “do it” behind our backs. That is not true. Out of sight, out of mind is true. Familiarity breeds contempt is true. You have to keep them apart so they’ll appreciate their proper chances to be together, so they’ll have something to look forward to. Of course they’ll think about each other, wonder about each other, want to be together as time goes on. But you’ll also keep those girls so busy growing sweet and pure and lovely that they won’t have much time to think about boys.

Ah, yes, purity. Time to talk about that. We have reacted against the feminist culture to the extent that girls are struggling to get back to feminine attire again. However, they have few examples of feminine women to copy. Where are those ladies with a touch of lace at their throats and a swish of skirts? I see women in their sixties and seventies in jeans and Tee Shirts. So, girls seem to have got the idea that dressing like a prostitute makes them feminine. After all, those are the women who are attracting the men. So girls pour themselves into sausage skins with glitter pasted on them, cover themselves no farther than between the cleavage and the buttock, and think they are pretty.

So, let’s go back to playing dressup, ladies. I’m going to call all my readers ladies, regardless of age, because that’s what we’re striving to be, if we aren’t there already. Once upon a time, little girls played dressup. They looked in their mothers’ closets and got flowery hats and lacy dresses and high-heeled shoes, and they pretended to be ladies. Do they do that anymore? What do they find in mom’s closet? Jeans, sweats, running shoes, maybe some “look-just-like-the-men” suits. Flowers? Lace? Pooh. Maybe a dress that isn’t big enough to be a slip.

Where did they get that idea that pretty women expose everything they have to men? Please don’t tell me they got it from you. “Shrinky” tops on three-year-olds. Poured on miniskirts on ten-year-olds. Low-rider jeans and low-plunging tops on thirteen-year-olds. Where is that child’s mother? Standing right there, so happy that her little girl is “growing up.” Stepping out, did you say? Step back and look at that child. She’s not a whore. Don’t let her dress like one. And don’t you, either.

The first thing about dressup is the clothes are never too tight, right? It’s mommy’s dress, and it flows down to the floor. It doesn’t grab your bosom in a death-throttle and try to pop it out in everyone’s face. Do you expect to see your mother’s bellybutton on a daily basis? You shouldn’t. Only daddy should. Frankly, nobody but daddy or husband should see anything much below the shoulders or above the knees, ever, beachwear excepted and then, still, a one piece suit with a properly-covered bosom and a bit of skirt goes a long way toward expressing modesty. So loosen up your clothes, ladies. Cover yourself, and leave some space between skin and fabric.

Dressup is where you learn beauty and modesty. And it’s a “girls only” pastime. Spending time with other girls and your mom, trying on modest, pretty, feminine clothes is quality time. Learning what’s decent, what’s proper, what’s truly beautiful. So many women, even good women, have lost the ability to care about what they look like. Some women even think it’s a waste of time to be pretty, to wear makeup or jewelry. And some women will wear it to work or to go places but not for their husbands. They’ll bag around the house in sweats and never think about who the most important person to dress up for is.

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