monthly fandom

Lewis and the Internet

C.S. Lewis considered himself a “dinosaur” even in his own time, but his works have adapted fairly well to the 21st century–well, to our technology anyway. Here are links to some fun websites dealing with his works:

Into the Wardrobe – a C.S. Lewis website with a daily quote, news, a complete bibliography to Lewis’s books and links to many of his essays, and more stuff.
http://cslewis.drzeus.net/

Slightly more fluffy – here’s the Narnia wiki: http://narnia.wikia.com/wiki/Narnia

A lot more fluffy – here’s the most comprehensive website for Narnia movie news (which is still a thing – they’re officially making a Silver Chair movie. More on that later.): http://www.narniaweb.com/

Less fluffy – here’s a site for scholarly discussion about C.S. Lewis’s writings and theology: http://www.cslewisreview.org/

I’m sure there are many more I could list, but this is what sprung to my attention. Have fun! Namarie!

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monthly fandom

New Book!

If you follow my blog for very long at all, you’ll soon learn that N.D. Wilson is one of my favourite living authors (there’s really only one other, and she also goes by her first initials). Of course, you’ve never heard of him, because none of his books have been turned into movies, and therefore his fandom pretty much consists of…me. And maybe a few smart preteens and adults of the sort who like to discuss the writings of G.K. Chesterton in pubs. N.D. Wilson is a wonderfully creative writer who deals in adventurous young adult novels and equally adventurous nonfiction for adults. And today he just released Empire of Bones, book 3 in the fantastical Ashtown Burials series.

empire of bones

Hooray! I can’t wait to go out and buy it!!

The Ashtown Burials series isn’t technically steampunk. It takes place very definitely in the present, and doesn’t involve a whole lot of clockwork. But the story does contain all kinds of anachronistic technology and situations. The plot revolves around Cyrus and Antigone Smith, siblings who are recruited into a secret society, the Order of Brendan, whose main job is to protect the world from the mischief of “transmortals” – powerful humans who have made themselves immortal. These beings include real-life historical figures like Robespierre and Rasputin, and also mythological characters like Arachne and Dracula.

Since so many of the main characters come from the past (whether it’s the 18th century or prehistoric times), Cyrus and Antigone get into a lot of interesting situations. They fight with swords and guns, fly around in helicopters and ride nauseating underground trolleys, face mutant zoo animals and telepathic sorcerers, and wear World War II air force jackets with their jeans and backpacks. The main villain of the series, Dr. Phoenix, uses a very Victorian concept of “science” and genetics, combined with some magic and relics from Greek mythology, to do his evil deeds. In the first book, The Dragon’s Tooth, Cyrus receives a dangerous gift from a man named Billy Bones (who literally has his skeleton tattooed on his skin), and is later betrayed by a cook named Sterling who has two wooden legs. In the second book, The Drowned Vault, the Smiths meet their ancestor John Smith, of Jamestown fame, and his reactions to modern technology result in a lot of laughs. It’s past-meets-present, history-meets-fantasy–almost like steampunk on steroids.

Anyway, it’s an incredibly fun series so far. Think Percy Jackson and the Olympians meets Treasure Planet, only way better. We should have more steampunk books like these. I can’t wait to read the next one! Namarie!

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And now, a word from my hero

Well, one of them.

“…I write for children because I have read more than my fair share of adult ideas set out and explained by adult thinkers and theologians, philosophers and pundits, and I may as well admit that I have been more influenced (as a person) by my childhood readings of Tolkien and Lewis…than by any idea books that I read in college and grad school. The events and characters in Narnia and Middle Earth shaped my ideals, my dreams, my loyalties, and my goals. Kant just annoyed me.”

-N.D. Wilson, “Death By Living”

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A Good Book You Should Read

Tolkien bio

J.R.R. Tolkien changed the literary world. He was the first modern writer to take fairy tales seriously, and practically all fantasy books written today exist because of him (including C.S. Lewis’s fiction). He was a creative genius who created a fully realized imaginary world, complete with languages and mythology, out of his head.

But what was Tolkien like as a person? That’s what I’ve always wondered. That’s why I loved reading Humphrey Carpenter’s biography of Tolkien. It’s well-written and balanced, and it gives a great insight into the creation of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien lived a pretty normal life, it turns out, apart from his forbidden romance and experience as a soldier in World War I. And like me, he was a procrastinator who took FOREVER to get any writing done. So there’s hope! Yes! 🙂

Anyway, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about J.R.R. Tolkien, I’d recommend J.R.R. Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter. It gave me an even greater appreciation for Middle Earth and its creator, and it was tons of fun to read.
Namarie!

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