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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Coupla Quick Things...

#1. The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour is gathering steam. God has literally opened the floodgates and is blessing us silly: Publishers Weekly and Christian Retailing Magazine have already agreed to cover the tour. Radio stations in several cities will be involved. Barnes and Noble stores are completely welcoming us for events in every city. And Real Armor of God, a Christian Swordsmith, Armorer Extraordinaire will be donating swords and other medieval props for each of the authors to use. Check out the Real Armor site--some cooooool stuff. And finally, The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour now has a dedicated website with all official press releases, Author Q&As, and more. Check it out if you have the chance:

#2 I have a new article up on SpecFaith website. This is something I'd love some feedback on because it's a controversy that I want to understand better. The article is about Christians reading or writing fantasy that have magic in them. Click here to read the article:


Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

It'd be great if The 700 Club could cover you. I say why not? This tour is big stuff, man.

- Jason

everlastingscribe said...

I agree with Jason! Cool cool stuff m'lord. :-D Now the question becomes, where will you alight? I mean we might be sleeping on the sidewalks the night before to walk in and say hi at this rate! ;)

PatShand said...

Isle of Swords is now up for PRE ORDER on

Eve said...

looks really exciting! I'm so happy for all of you=what a great opportunity!

amy said...


This is the comment I left on the Spec Faith article:


I honestly believe that magic in fiction is what the author intends it to be. If one author chooses to add content that lends itself to a belief in magic outside the realm of the pages, then that is how it will be viewed. If an author such as CS Lewis, spins a tale of magic that occurs strictly within the fictional world he's created, then that is what the reader will experience.

The responsibility of the author is simply to write as you intend it to be viewed. If for some reason, a young reader misinterprets your world and ideas of magic, is it your fault? I think not. That's like saying that a pastor's sermon could cause people to try and walk on water and drown in the process.

A certain portion of all fiction is left open to interpretation, that is what makes it so wonderful and so personal. Each story means something different to each person.

I find the idea of taking responsibility in your writing absolutely makes sense and honors God. You can weave an amazing story that involves magic without overtly telling kids to seek the occult.

It's easy for some Christians to say that all magic is bad, but that's unrealistic. Jesus' magic was good. Therefore, a faith-based story, involving magic can't be ALL bad.

God knows the heart and intention of each author, and if we continue to seek his guidance as we write, we will continue to write stories that glorify Him.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Jason, my agent does have some connections with the 700 club. I'll have to look into that.

Scribe, thanks for the flattery. Tell you what: if we ever get to the point where people are camping out, I'll make the lembas bread!

Pat, thanks for the headsup about Isle of Swords. I noticed its up with artwork on CBD as well.

Eve, thanks for the kind wishes. It's great having you as a regular around here.

And, Amy, WOW, powerhouse encouragement--thanks for those insights.

Scribe, what's your point of view on the whole magic issue? I seem to remember you having some thoughts on the matter.

David Adams said...

I just finished Door Within. I picked it up while on my trip to Borders, looking for something to appease my hunger after having read Return of the Guardian King and Blade Of Fire, and also to make me stop wishing July 21 would come sooner. Of course since I am not a young kid, the book did not take me long, but I really enjoyed it and was hooked from page one. The book really felt like a movie playing in my head ( more like an anime movie since I seem to enjoy picturing everything I read in anime form). I hope to go to the Lancaster stop of your tour, I can't wait I will get to meet both you and Bryan Davis (if Karen Hancock was there also, it would be even better). Got to go to Borders to pick up the other two books of the Door Within Trilogy. Hope to read the rest of what you write!

WayneThomasBatson said...

David, welcome to Enter The Door Within blog! It means a lot that you took the time to stop by and say some nice things about my books. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed The Door Within. I hope to continue to earn your readership with future books.

Eve said...

Thanks, Wayne. I feel accepted here, I think you may see more of me yet :)

everlastingscribe said...

I'll hold you to that, m'lord. Mmm, lembas bread. Though it wasn't 'xactly flattery. Rather an educated guess?

Though I must admitt today at work (which was bad) I was able to lift my spirits with the thought of how you have been so blessed in this signing. I grinned from ear to ear. And what is not to love about long sharp metal pointy things? :-D I wonder if mayhaps at some time Real Armor of God might be persuaded to have a go at actually making "Son of Fury".

Now see, I'd spend the night on the sidewalk to see that. Oh, and you of course.

chrisd said...

When I'm done visiting my links, I'll try to look at your article.

Hope you are doing well.

Brett said...

SWORDS!!! Ooooh!

K. Vorhis said...

Would you consider visiting, say, Ohio?? I live in Northern Indiana, and TN is just not feasible for me. -OR- would you consider a midwest tour later in the year??


WayneThomasBatson said...

Hi, Kelly! I'm sure I speak for all the authors involved when I say we'd love to come out your way and into the midwest. This tour, however, travels the US East Coast because it begins at the International Christian Retailers Show in Atlanta this year.

The convention is the kickoff and kind of determines where we go because it is the one time when all these busy author-type folks are sure to be in one place and have itineraries someone clear.

The convention is in a different locale each summer. Denver is a frequent stop, so maybe it will be there next year. If so, I could easily see the Fantasy Tour swinging through the midwest.

And next year, God willing, the Tour could be even better as Donita K. Paul and a few other authors might be joining us.

In the meantime, I'd be happy to sign your books through the mail. I could send you signed bookplate stickers to affix on the inside cover.

Just email me your snail mail address and let me know which book(s) I'm signing, and I'll put some stickers in the mail.

And really that goes to any visitor to Enter the Door Within.


Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

I hope we can get a Deep South tour someday. I live in the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana. I imagine we have readers in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas who would like to see you guys come through their neighborhood one day!

- Jason

amy said...

Yep - we West Coasters would love a tour too!

Eve said...

Canada! Don't forget us! I live on the East Coast in Canada (New Brunswick, to be exact).

everlastingscribe said...

Everyone has made wonderful points here, some looking at Tolkien and Lewis and hashing out what has been already done by Christians writers past and present, others looking at the intent of the writer and wrestling with the responsibility that an author has to their readers, still others sharing straight from their hearts.
While I don’t agree with everything said it’s refreshing to see this topic handled with respect for one another and with real passion for the truth.
I came at the question a little differently, and started digging about in the Bible just to remind myself what the Lord says about witchcraft, sorcery, and magic. I knew He forbade it to those who followed Him, but what I didn’t remember is just how much He hates it. The language in the Scripture is so heated about this topic that there is no middle ground, magic of any kind is an abomination to Him. Here are several references that I found, though I’m sure there are plenty more.
“You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.” Lev. 19:26
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer” Deut. 18:10
"You shall not allow a sorceress to live.” Exodus. 22:18
“They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10"You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun."
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.” Acts 13: 6-12
“And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver” Acts 19:19

So there is no ‘good’ magic according to Scripture, and with respect to the others here, the miracles done both by Christ and the Apostles are never referred to as ‘magic’ deeds. They are supernatural, above the realm of what man can do, but they are not magic. Magic is, according to Webster’s Dictionary ”The use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces b : magic rites or incantations 2 a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source b : something that seems to cast a spell 3 : the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand” And a miracle is “ An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs” the italics are mine. Magic by its’ nature (leaving out the occult which is inherently part of it) is impersonal and the one guiding or starting the magic is the one held up as the savior or hero. In contrast miracles give glory to God, for only He, no mortal and no impersonal force is able to speed up, interrupt, or turn back the natural laws of our world.
At the heart of all magic is the same darkness that is found in Satan’s intent to overthrow the Lord and be worshiped in His place, the same darkness of the first sin in the Garden of Eden, it is the rejection of the Lord’s order of things and the attempted seizing of power that belongs only to Him.
Having sited all of those things I’m sure the majority of you reading this are wondering why I took so long to go over why magic is wrong when the topic was ”Is there an issue with Christians using magic in fantasy worlds they have created?” I wanted to clearly define what magic is before I went on to say that yes, it is wrong for a Christian to write magic in a fantasy world that they create and use it for anything other than evil. Magic is a stench in the Lord’s nostrils and there is no way that it can bring glory to Him. I know that C.S.Lewis and Tolkien wrote magic in their books and the Christian community embraces them as legends and heroes of the faith. But their works are tainted, according to what is found in Scripture.
There are thousands of readers, perhaps tens of thousands of them today that argue and argue very well that Tolkien and Lewis wrote fantasy, not Christian Fantasy and that there is no real Christian message in their works, just good solid themes common to all of literature. I respect both gentlemen greatly, and their books are by far some of the best in their field to date but that doesn’t mean I am blind to the flaws in them.

How much stronger would it have been if Aslan had said to Susan in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe “Work against the Emperor’s power?” instead of “Work against the Emperor’s magic?” or “This is the Deep Power” instead of “This is the Deep Magic”. And if Tolkien had called Gandalf something other than a wizard, if he had his elves merely dominate and control certain elements as their natural gift, then there would be less room for readers to debate his intent.
As for the thought that the world that is created by the writer is subject to its’ own laws and exists outside of our own and therefore it is okay to have magic in it both good and bad, I would say this; we live in this world, we write in this world, and we are subject to the Lord for this is His world. It grieves Christ to have any one following Him to do anything with magic. Therefore it grieves Him to have us write magic.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to writing magic in fantasy. You can pen a rip-snorting adventure with passion and danger and creatures that dazzle the imagination without a single sorcerer in the mix. How do I know this? I know this because I’ve found the books that do just that; The Door Within, Rise of the Wyrm Lord, The Final Storm, Legend of the FireFish, Children in the Night, A Wolf Story, The Bloodstone Chronicles, Landon Snow and the Auctor’s Riddle, Bark of the Bog Owl and Rise of the Dibor just to name a few. I know this because Christian authors have created fantasy realms without magic that have hooked me heart and soul and they are; Wayne Thomas Batson, George Bryan Polivka, Harold Myra, James Byron Huggins, Bill Myers, R.K. Mortenson, Jonathan Rogers, and Christopher Hopper. And I know this because I have met writers like you, who have dazzled me with your ideas and made me impatient to see and buy your books.
I’ll close with this, don’t be swayed by my words alone, one day they will pass away just like everything else on this planet. His words won’t, and The Author and Finisher of your faith, the Word dwells within you. Seek after Him, ask Him to explain this matter to you and He will, and He’ll do it so much better than I have.
If you are interested in further dialog on this matter, come by my blog and leave me a comment, I’m posting this there too. I pray I haven’t hurt any here, I admire you all greatly. You are such and encouragement to me and a delight to my heart.

Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

Actually, I read that the elves did have their "magic" as a natural power as given to them by their Creator. Tolkien looked at the elves magic as an art, a creative expression like music, not like real magic spells.

It sounds like you're saying all Lewis and Tolkien had to do was change "magic" to "power" and it'd be okie-dokie. And as I mentioned on the spec faith blog, Tolkien wasn't keen on using "Wizard" but he was stumped for a good alternative, and he eventually decided that the word's connection to the word "wise" would serve his purpose.

Since Lewis and Tolkien's magic doesn't bear any resemblance to the magic you cited from the Bible, it shouldn't be a problem.

- Jason

Janey DeMeo said...

Great review for CSFF this month. And your blog is always awesome. Wish I knew how to do all that coooool stuff. And wish I had a Mac (sigh! Envy's a sin).

Just got back from Africa...More on that later.