Monsters & Mormons: I got something to say

I have something to say: I’m already blown away.

You know, this started as a joke on Twitter. Me and some others making up bastardized Mo-lit and LDS-fic titles, riffing off of that whole Pride and Prejudice and Zombies phenomenon. And then I got a notion. And Theric responded. And he and I talked, and it became a real idea, with a solid theoretical foundation buoying up one heckuva cool concept.

With the way some of the early submissions poured in so early, it was clear that some of you had already stories that fit the concept. Stories that you maybe had even shopped around, but that clearly, up till now, were still in the drawer. So maybe we were just tapping in to the Zeitgeist.

And some of you simply embraced the idea and ran with it and told us you were going to write something and were true to your word.

We’re still expecting some more good stuff to come in. And, yeah, we’ll be rejecting some of the submission we have received so far. That’s the way anthologies work. But I am humbled and proud and a little bit awed by what has been unleashed. You all are pushing my Mormonism mingled with genre with sometimes a dash of literary buttons, and the idea that we’re going to be able to give voice to some of these stories and put them all together in one mighty roar of talent and ethno-religious pride (unabashed, but also not entirely un-complicated) — some thrill rides; some laugh riots; some chills; some deep ponderings — is just way too sweet. And so much fun.

Yeah, we have reason to hype this thing so take what I say with a grain of salt. And I can only speak for my reactions. But speaking selfishly, reading the submissions ranks up with watching New York Doll with a bunch of Mormons and punks in San Francisco in terms of hitting my sweet spot; hitting me right in the center of so much of what I love in this mortal life. I expect it’ll rank even higher when this is all done.

So thanks. I look forward to more (9 days left). And sorry to be such a tease, but I had to say it. It’s been building for a couple of months now. And at this particular moment it just couldn’t be contained.

6 thoughts on “Monsters & Mormons: I got something to say”

  1. ethno-religious pride

    I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while (as Th knows because he’s been the victim of my late-night mental regurgitations).

    As I’ve been working on mine (yes, it’s coming!) and sharing it with my batch of beta readers, I’ve piqued some interest because of the ethnoreligiousness that gives it a unique twist on what these jaded readers/writers are used to seeing.

    In short, our stories write themselves. And if we show them to the outside world as if they SHOULD know our jargon, they will come with us.

    Last night I was thinking about it again and realized that as bland as we seem TO US, we have a rich cultural heritage that is just waiting to be tapped. As bland and commonplace as we seem to us, we’re EXOTIC to everyone else.

    So, as I told Th., I’ve revised my opinion on the possibility of the Great Mormon Novel. I now agree: There is no Great Mormon Novel. What there is is the Great Mormon Genre.

  2. No Nephies yet, Stephen. But there’s still time.

    Exactly, MoJo. I can’t comment on submissions that we haven’t formally accepted or rejected, but I will say, for example, that part of what makes Steven L. Peck’s novella so interesting is that much of the comes about in uniquely Mormon ways — not that other cultures don’t have similar issues, but the whole package becomes very Mormon. And the humor and action in both Nathan Shumate and Jaleta Clegg’s stories is both easy to relate to by non-Mormons and also very much tied in to American Mormon culture.

  3. In short, our stories write themselves. And if we show them to the outside world as if they SHOULD know our jargon, they will come with us.

    This is very true. I’ve been known to eavesdrop on Catholic or Jewish forums (and ones discussing rather mundane things, at that) and I find the conversation fascinating. I have to do a lot of Googling and inferring to follow what’s going on, but it’s worth it.

  4. This ties into something I’ve frequently said (in other context): there is no “general” experience, only particular experiences. Good literature consists in the writing of the particular. (Traditional literary criticism adds “and the exposition of the universal,” but I’m not frankly so sure about that part.)

    On a completely different note: It’s a vast hoot to see names like “Jaleta Clegg” in a context like this and then remember Aleta (pre-Clegg days) as one of the undergraduate rugrats of the BYU sf&f community of my youth… The Mormon literary community is both surprisingly large and (sometimes) surprisingly small.

    Anyway, I can say that I’m definitely intrigued. Count me among those planning to buy, read, and (hopefully, if I can get to it) review!

  5. Hi, Jonathan. Long time no see.

    It’s a thrill to be part of this anthology. I’m still pickled tink over my story. Now to make more of those delightful Sunbonnet Cthulu pillows for enrichment night…

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