August 5, 2015
Dan Simmons pays homage to The Canterbury Tales in Hyperion, his sweeping science fiction classic, by tracing a group of pilgrims who journey to confront the mysterious and godlike entity known as the Shrike. As they travel each one tells his or her tale of why they are compelled to go on this dangerous journey. We even find these long short stories or novellas entitled "The Priest's Tale," "The Poet's Tale," "The Soldier's Tale" and so on.
While the novel is full of galactic conflicts, "The Scholar's Tale" is the emotional center of gravity of the book. In contrast to the interstellar intrigues, sexual pyrotechnics and inventive technological advances that pepper the book, here is the very intimate, moving story of a father and sick daughter. Sol Weintraub is mystified by, then grieves over, then travels the stars to find a cure for the illness.
Here too we find deep theological reflection on the story of Abraham called to sacrifice his son Isaac. Weintraub, a non-practicing Jew, often finds himself in an internal argument with the God he doesn't even believe in. Nonetheless, Weintraub's conversation partner always seems to win each interchange.
While we are left to read the sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, to resolve these multiple storylines, it is worth the journey.
July 29, 2015
Bill was thinking about a mid-life career switch and wondered if publishing might be the right thing for him. He knew conventional wisdom says that you should move into expanding industries. But since he likes books and ideas, editing came to mind. So we talked.Continue reading "Authors Are Like Pioneers. Editors Are Like Settlers."
June 24, 2015
What if you had the opportunity to explain the gospel to an alien species? How would you go about it? Where would you start? That is the premise of The Book of Strange New Things, a science fiction novel that explores the ultimate in cross-cultural evangelism. While Peter is perhaps not the most likely person to be chosen for the task, he brings a winsome innocence and willingness to enter into the mental/cultural world of the Oasans. He also brings a certain optimism and faith that you wouldn't quite categorize as evangelical but is certainly deep and committed.Continue reading "The Book of Strange New Things"
May 26, 2015
Forty years ago the editorial department at IVP consisted of Jim Sire and me with Linda Doll working half time. We put out about twenty-four books a year. Today the editorial department consists of seventeen people and we do about a hundred and ten books a year.Continue reading "Forty Years Ago "
May 15, 2015
William Zinsser, author of the classic book On Writing Well, died this week. I have recommended his book more often and sold more copies of it than any other of many excellent options. The first hundred pages are a must for anyone writing non-fiction of any kind.Continue reading "Ode to On Writing Well"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:23 AM
April 14, 2015
"The war tried to kill us in the spring." From the first sentence of The Yellow Birds, we know that we are in capable hands. Kevin Powers is the well-named author who uses his formidable talent with understated power.Continue reading "Understated Powers"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:10 AM