It certainly wasn’t my intention to base the content of my blog on the thoughts of others. However, for the second time in two days I find myself referencing a post from John Scalzi on his (insanely popular) blog, ‘Whatever.’ If you read blogs, and you’ve come to this one, chances are you already read Whatever. However if you don’t, read the post 'Things I Don't Have To Think About Today' here. Really, you should read it even if that means you navigate away from this page. If you don’t read it, what follows will be fairly meaningless. Scalzi is essentially drawing attention to the life of the privileged and the many difficulties that they (we) do not have to endure, most of which are related to the perceptions of other people.
This puts me in the dangerous territory of seeming like a Scalzi fanboy, which I can reasonably say I’m not. My attention was drawn to the post by the attention it received on Twitter.
See, there I go second-guessing myself. If I was a Scalzi fanboy, why shouldn’t I embrace and enjoy, instead of making excuses for the things I like that may conflict with other people’s tastes. I often find myself telling people about my writing or what I read, then I start defending my love of genre fiction and my desire to engage in the Speculative Fiction community before they even get a chance to respond.
Today I don’t have to think about the possibility that people will mock the things I love.
This is a relatively insignificant example, and citing it reminds me that I am about as privileged as it is possible to be. Yet I have been fortunate (if that’s the word I want to use) in having my perspective refined by some difficult experiences.
I can be shy about what is essentially my hobby – it isn’t a patch on how shy I can be in revealing something much more fundamental about myself; my Christian faith. I didn’t start this blog for discussion of beliefs, but the nature of Speculative Fiction material is such that I know it will come up. I won’t hide… but I’m sure times will come up when I feel like doing so.
In my experience the Speculative Fiction community, perhaps unsurprisingly, isn’t all that sympathetic to Christianity (and God knows plenty of people calling themselves Christians don't exhibit much sympathy either). I’ve heard or read comments from some of my favourite authors that were far from complimentary. Significant voices in the community will acknowledge their respect for the work of writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and Gene Wolfe while strongly criticizing their beliefs. People are entitled to their opinion – that’s one of the joys of free will, and I am happy to engage in discussion or debate. I won’t conceal the fact that I am a Christian, even if that means losing credibility in some people’s eyes.