K. J. Parker on religion founding

Wm alludes to Mormon resonances he experienced while reading K. J. Parker’s The Sun and I. Go read it and them come back and talk to him about it.

Subterranean Press Magazine has labeled its Summer 2013 edition a “K. J. Parker Special Issue”. This is very good news for someone like me who is a major fan. If you are not aware of her work, Parker writes no/low-magic, secondary-world fantasy that takes place in a medieval-through-Renaissance-like world. Her stories are complex, dark, humorous, and often quite dry, filled with academic and bureaucratic language, which gives them a sense of realism that secondary world fantasy often lacks.

I write her, but that may not be correct — Parker is a closely-guarded pseudonym, and there is debate over his/her gender (not to mention all sorts of guesses about the person behind the pseudonym might be).

The special issue features one nonfiction essay and two stories written Parker his/herself. I read the essay first and then moved on to The Sun And I. It’s a story about a group of young men who start a religion. As I read it, I was delighted to find that in addition to it pushing all the aesthetic buttons that Parker usually does, it also brought in some slight, but fascinating (to me) Mormon resonances.

I recommend it. And if it turns you off at first–keep reading. There are some surprising turns that it takes.

Let me be clear: I am not suggesting that the story itself is indicative of what I believe/feel about the Joseph Smith story . Or the Moses or Mohammed one, for that matter. What’s important is not the exact details, but rather the emotional states. And the inevitability of the course the religion takes.

But I’ve said too much already and don’t want to color your experience of the story further (warning: it’s quite long). Go read it. And maybe skip the comments until you do because I hope we can toss around some spoilers down there.

_The Hobbit_ Strikes a Personal Chord– Again.

My wife and I finally got the chance to see the first part of The Hobbit trilogy the other day (with two young kids, our opportunities become more rare, so having Anne’s parents in town really helped in this regard). I was wary at first. I had read a number of negative reviews and, being a lover of Tolkien’s work and the previous Lord of the Rings films, I was afraid to see the film version not live up to expectations. Lowered expectations always help when going into a film (part of why I read the critics first), and this proved to be the case here. But, even if I had higher expectations, I still believe I would have been just as moved by the film. Continue reading “_The Hobbit_ Strikes a Personal Chord– Again.”

Preparing for Black Friday with Brandon Dayton


I’ve been noticing the fervor around Black Friday this year and so it seems appropriate to interview a Mormon artist who is–for a limited time only–offering his already inexpensive comic book (with shipping), for less than I paid for it (without). Act now.

Brandon Dayton works in the video game industry by day and makes comics by night. He recently released his first book, Green Monk, a fantastic action story set in a fairytalish version of Russia featuring a monk with a magical weapon and a fearsome monster. He brings more humanity to the story than the quota require and in the process proves that simple drawings can be a powerful mode of storytelling.

You can read my reviews of Green Monk here and here.greenmonk1
(source of all images) Continue reading “Preparing for Black Friday with Brandon Dayton”