Sunday, September 17, 2006

Edenstar Books & Games

Even though fantasy as a genre has its roots in Christianity with such authors as John Bunyon, Edmund Spencer, C.S. Lewis and JR.R. Tolkien, it has not yet really caught on with Christian readers in today's market, particularly adults. The last of the genres to find a place in the Christian publishing industry, speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction and horror) continues to struggle to find its readers. For one thing, those who love this kind of fiction often do not go into Christian bookstores or even the Christian fiction aisles of the general bookstores because they know the offerings will be slim to nonexistent.

In Feb 2003 Bill and Cheryl Bader opened their online store Edenstar Books & Games to provide a place for such readers to find and purchase the relatively limited number of books in this subgenre. And it is the Edenstarbooks website that will be the focus of our Christian SFF Blog Tour this month. There, classic fantasists like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald share the listings with contemporary big names like Frank Peretti, Stephen Lawhead and Bill Myers, as well as lesser known writers like, um, Karen Hancock! (smile) Also Donita Paul, Bryan Davis, Kathy Tyers, Randall Ingermanson, James Beausigneur, Michael Warden, Lara Lond, L.B Graham, F.W. Faller... slowly but surely, the list is growing longer.

Over time, the Baders dropped the store part of their enterprise and transformed Edenstar into a database of over 600 items for "those who enjoy a good, clean science fiction or fantasy story in books, videos and games." Out of print and hard to find titles are included and each title is linked through for purchase. Originally the Baders planned to have reviews for each entry, but this proved to be more time-consuming than they could accomodate. So while a few books do have reviews specific to Edenstar, most come with links to other review sites for those who are interested.

You can find a list of books reviewed by Edenstar (which includes my own The Shadow Within) HERE.

In addition to reviews and booklistings. Edenstar also features a few interviews of contemporary Christian SF/F authors (including me) which you can find HERE.

I find the site very attractive and easy to use, and a great resource, though I would like to see them return to the effort of providing reviews specific to Edenstar of their titles.

Besides fiction, they also have listings for commentaries on Christian speculative fiction, biographies, and other non fiction related to the field. I invite you to investigate the great wealth of information they have gathered and organized with respect to what is available in the realm of Christian-themed science fiction and fantasy: Edenstar Books & Games.