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Archive for January, 2010

Now available (on CreateSpace) and soon to be available on Amazon.com:

Thinking With the Inklings

As a Catholic scholar who is also a fan of the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield and their friends, I have, through the years, written several essays which reflect upon their writings. Some of them have been traditional in form — critical essays looking to present their beliefs. Others, however, have gone beyond mere exploration of their beliefs; in them, I seek to think along with the Inklings, that is, to see how some of their ideas might impact my own religious and philosophical views.

In this collection, you will find examples of both.

Section I: Essays on the Inklings

4 Introduction

10 Should John Wain Be Considered An Inkling?

17 The Allegory of the Cave

29 J.R.R. Tolkien: A Catholicized William Morris?

57 The Significance of Adam Fox

Section II: Thinking with the Inklings

66 Overcoming the Great Divorce

107 C.S. Lewis and the Mind-Only Prison

115 On Three Representations of the Antichrist

129 Love and Lust

135 How Much is Too Much?

140 On Multiple Worlds and Multiple Incarnations

155 We Are Technological Magi

174 Context Is Everything

Section III: Reviews

180 Doctor Faustus

187 The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

190 Till We Have Faces

196 Eager Spring: The Coda of the Inklings

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It’s now live — one can order, at least from CreateSpace, my collection of short stories, Thumbnails of the Fantastic.

Soon, it should be listed on Amazon (CreateSpace is related to Amazon), and when I can find it there, I will let people know. I do not know if ordering it directly from CreateSpace or from Amazon will change things or not — though I would expect, if you order it from Amazon, they might put its shipping with everything else you order from them (so I would hope).

The collection is of twelve stories — some science fiction, some fantasy, some horror, but all of them have elements of myself and my thoughts on life, the universe, and everything in them.

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I’ve chosen, for now, CreateSpace for the print edition of the book. They do not offer a hardback edition, but for a collection of short stories, I do not think a hardback is necessary. At least, at this stage.

The cost right now will be $12 + S/H. The size of the book will be similar to a Verso book, and so I used Verso’s pricing to determine my own.

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I decided to bring three short essays I’ve written on Islam and put them together for a cheap e-book edition. The longest essay is available elsewhere online for free, explaining why Christians and Muslims can be said to share the same God, and raising the issue of whether or not Christians can even consider Muhammad to be a prophet.  The other two essays complement each other; one is on the early Islamic philosopher Al-Farabi, and the second is on Al-Ghazali. They represent two radically different Islamic takes on philosophy and reason.

You can order it here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/8176

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Through the years, I’ve been writing short stories and novels. Most of them remain unedited and so have not been submitted to any place for publication. A few of my stories have been edited (to various degrees), and I decided to collect them together, and offer them to anyone who might be interested in what I have written.

The texts have been collected, and I am ready to share them with the world.

I have first released them as an e-book. This is because this process was easier and quicker to do than trying to put them together for a hard copy edition. I am working on finding a place for such an edition;  if you are not wanting to order an e-book edition, but want a printed edition of my book,  you will have to wait. I hope the wait will not be too long (I am finalizing my decision as to where I will have them published, then I will edit it for the book format I choose, and then I will have to wait to see a proof of the book before it is finalized — I expect this will take roughly a month, if not less time).

You can order the e-book in smashwords, herehttp://www.smashwords.com/books/view/8099 .

I called my book Thumbnails of the Fantastic to represent the fact it is a collection of short stories from the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres. I have also included a brief introductory essay to indicate the value of these genres to a religious scholar as well as a concluding epilogue to point out the value of fantastic literature and why such tales should be studied by academics.

The table of contents reads:

Introduction

How Peter Lombard’s Sentences Saved the World

Fermi’s Pair of Ducks

The Innkeeper’s Secret

What St. Jerome Did Not Know

Death Awaits Him

He and She

The Test Subject

The Zombies

The Curious Case of the Missing Tea

What Dreams Are Made Of

The Vampire

The Puppeteer

Epilogue: On Fantastic Literature

Because of how e-books function, there is no page numbers in the title page for the electronic version of this book. I have linked to the previously released online versions of two of the stories (they have changed slightly for the e-book).

I am putting myself out on a limb with this publication. I hope people find the stories worthwhile and will recommend them to their friends.

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