Friday, April 15, 2011

Faith and Fiction Saturday: We Need Better Review Outlets

I've been wanting to write some time about the lack of reliable and quality fiction review sources for Christians.

I believe there is a need for this, and while blogs can help, they are certainly only a small effort. Book blogs are fantastic, but they generally reflect a personal bloggers tastes and one person cannot cover all that's out there. For example, I love quality faith driven work, but I also have a great fondness for vampire literature, dystopian work, and other fiction.

While there are some great book review sources for Christians, they generally focus on nonfiction. And the fiction they review is general market, and trust me they review very little fiction. OR they focus exclusively on Christian fiction.

For someone like me, who believes there is quality Christian fiction, and issues of interest to believers in unexpected general market books, there are no satisfactory review outlets. The question is why?

I think many Christians still find fiction useless or a waste of time. They look down on Christian fiction as being lesser and when they cover fiction it's usually something that was written by an author who is known to have faith or a book that has already received acclaim in the general market. A perfect example of this is that Christianity Today awarded Anne Rice's Of Love and Evil the fiction book of the year award. No offense to Ms. Rice, but this was a clear sign that few actual fiction books had been read in consideration, 2010 was a rich year for faith based fiction.

I believe this is a huge disservice we are doing to the imaginations of believers. Fiction is a powerful tool, but there are too many books out there for the average reader to begin to know where to start. There are books that introduce complex ideas of faith and religion that will never be touched by Christian review sources because they come in the wrong packaging. And there are thought provoking and beautifully written Christian fiction books that will be dismissed as trash because of who they are published by. There is a real need for a review source that will find these books and share them with their audience.

The INSPYs were my first effort to work to bridge the gap. This post is my second. I would love to see more Christians take fiction seriously and I would love to see a really strong Christian review outlet take up this burden. Oh and if anyone wants to know...yeah I'm available for this job. :)

(writing this post today was inspired by the comments left on Mike Duran's very excellent post yesterday)

I think from comments that people are misunderstanding what I'm saying here. I'm looking for this:
1) A review source written by Christians that reviews a wide array of BOTH general market and Christian fiction books...not just Christian fiction. :)


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