Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour

If you're wondering why I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, it's because I thought I was going to be somewhere with a reliable internet connection during this session of archaeological fieldwork, but have instead ended up back in Rump's End, Nevada, where I don't think they've even heard that there is an internet. In fact, they're still working on getting in those new-fangled telephone thingies. My motel room doesn't have one, at any rate.

Anyway, I'm currently poaching internet service off one of the more up-to-date neighbors so I can bring you word of this month's Blog Tour, so don't ever say that The Sci Fi Catholic doesn't go the extra mile for you the reader. It doesn't, but I don't want anyone to know.

Anyway, it has been a rough session, so if my humor seems unusually sarcastic or abrasive today, that's why. Good grief, I'm a Catholic, an archaeologist, and a science fiction writer, and I'm stuck in Rump's End where there's nothing to do but drink. With all that against me, it's amazing I even survived St. Patrick's Day. I had no idea I could hold that much beer.

So, this month's tour is dedicated to a little book entitled Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow by the Brothers Miller. Being stuck in Rump's End, I know nothing about it, but I do think that if Hunter Brown and Encyclopedia Brown got together, it would be totally awesome. I mean, Hunter could, like, shoot stuff, and Encyclopedia could, like, look up stuff... That would rock.

So, this is another one of those Christian fantasies about a kid who gets zapped into an alternate universe where there's magic. Prank-pulling protagonist Hunter S. Brown, a teenager, finds a magic book and then lands in a fantasy world called Solandria (is there a rule that the names of Christian fantasy otherworlds have to end in ia?), which is ruled by the ee-vil Shadow, which can cloud men's minds so that they cannot...oops, wrong Shadow. Anyway, Hunter joins a resistance group known as The Codebearers (whoa, my Thinly-Disguised-Christian-Allegory Dectector is pinging off the charts) and does some warrior-type stuff with a "Veritas Sword," which is apparently similar to the lightsaber ripoff carried by BibleMan.*

Good basic premise for a children's book, in other words. The Christian allegory comes through pretty strongly just in the product description, and for whatever reason I've never been a fan of obvious Christian allegory, but the reviews I've found have been quite positive. Of course, all the reviews I've found have been from this Blog Tour...

First of all, check Phyllis Wheeler's review at The Christian Fantasy Review. According to Wheeler, "In this middle-grade Christian fantasy novel, Hunter Brown keeps making bad choices. Nevertheless, he finds redemption." The rest of the review confirms my suspicions: very thinly disguised Christian allegory here.

The more flippant review at Back to the Mountains is amusing and delves more into the novel's cosmography, which looks reasonably interesting and rather complex, with Solandria intertwining with the real world; also, Solandria is apparently made up of "floating chunks of rock." For reasons I'm unable to explain (I'm dead serious here), I have a real soft spot for fantasy worlds containing inexplicably floating chunks of rock. I mean, heck, that was more-or-less the only good thing about Robota, besides the evocative picture of a robot riding a horse, I mean.

Then we have Rachel Starr Thomson, who complains about the book's numerous typos. Writing for Christ complains of a slow start.

Anyway, to learn more about the book and the Miller Bros., go to their website and blog, and I'll refrain from making any "Miller Time" jokes...oops.

It's Blog Tour Time:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Wade Ogletree
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

*You all know BibleMan, right? Cuz if Batman and BibleMan got together, it would be totally awesome. Batman could, like, punch stuff, and BibleMan could, like, look up stuff...
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