1. Me and Scott just joined a most excellent group called AS IF! Authors supporting intellectual freedom. It’s a bunch of writers of young adult fiction, including folks like Holly Black and a host of other amazing writers, who’re fighting the good fight against book banning and other attempts to control the content of books for young adults. The blog lists all the members and our first action. Yay us!
2. Novelist Nicole Galland is following the path of the fourth crusade (which never reached the holy land) as research for her third novel and she’s blogging it in a most entertaining manner.
3. Claire Light just wrote a very fine piece on Rosa Parks and how her story has been distorted over and over again.
4. Magic or Madness got a B for morality! Joking aside, I really like this review, especially the third paragraph. That’s exactly what I hoped I was doing. It’s always a lovely feeling to be understood. I think the trilogy is very moral (and in that site’s scheme of things a B is a good grade), but no one else is going to be able to see that until they’ve read all three, which is one of the many problems with trilogies: you don’t know the whole story until you’ve read all the books. Things that may seem one way in the first book could well be totally transformed by the last book.
The review is on Refracted Light: A Christian perspective on fantasy. I was impressed by the site. The reviews are thoughtful and include warnings about content Christians might find offensive (Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, for example, gets an F for morality, but an A- for writing). I think people should be warned about books they might be offended by (I can think of a tonne of books I wish I’d been warned about!), but like the other members of AS IF! I don’t believe books should be banned. Sites like this are a smart alternative to the book-banning strategy; rather than trying to suppress information they’re trying to provide it. Yay them!
Update: Coalescent posts about the site and there’s much discussion. Though, not enough people seem to be noticing that most of the reviews are pretty smart.
You weren’t miffed that your writing warranted a mere B+? Good show, old girl. Nice to see the upper lip stiffening.
justine, thanks for the shout out!
regarding “refracted light”: i have to say i object to the use of the word “morality”, since it’s clear from reading through a few reviews that “morality” means “alignment with MY IDEA of christian strictures.” that is to say, they are using the term “morality” to mean “the morality of OUR christian sect.” i would have no problem with that if they would just say so, but i do have a problem with them using general “morality”, because their morality is clearly not mine, and their use of language is misleading.
basically, they’re doing what all christian fundamentalists seem to do, which is to say that their christian fundamentalist morality is the only “morality”; that my system of rules and mores–which includes supporting gay marriage, and finding many non-christian and anti-christian ideas and narratives good and compelling–is not a system of “morality” at all. basically, they’re saying that only christians’ ethics can be moral.
Claire: No worries, it’s a lovely post, thanks for writing it. Yay, Rosa Parks!
As for Refracted Light, I have no problem with their use of the word “morality”. They explain exactly what they mean by it, and, you know, it’s their website. Their Christian website, so, of course, it’s going to mean their version of Christian morality. Also I’m not sure they are fundamentalists. One of the reviewers is a Catholic and the other a Presbyterian. I certainly didn’t get an over-the-top fundamentalist vibe from the reviews.