Monday, February 18, 2008

The Shadow and Night by Chris Wally CSFF

CSSF Blog Tour

Chris Wally, the Welsh geologist, teacher, and writer may be found many places... Sometimes Wales, Lebanon, and northern England for a few, but also on Wikipedia, Facebook, and his own area of webspace his website and his blog.

This week the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour for February is The Shadow and the Night by Chris Walley. This tour will run through from Feby. 18-21. Click on any of the links below to see other participants in the tour's input.

The Shadow and the Night is speculative fiction, pure and simple, learning "to fight evil without becoming evil." This book and the following sequels are not children's fiction. For me personally, I have never read a book quite like it and I must admit, as I am not finished, it is quite difficult to put down, because of the curiosity factor of what else and what next this author has put together. I find that reading something in the words of the author does well t
o sum some things up, or rather to at least touch to topic.

The book is The Shadow and Night, the first part of the trilogy whose overall title is The Lamb among the Stars. The two succeeding volumes are The Dark Foundations and The Infinite Day, which will be published in June 2008. Several things need noting. The first is that the tagline "in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and J.R. R. Tolkien" was given (not by me) to the books as much to mark out that they are British fantasy not in the tradition of J. K. Rowling (and Phillip Pullman). Yet Lewis and Tolkien are important influences. In terms of material, Lewis' science-fiction trilogy is perhaps these books' closest neighbour, and in terms of their scale and scope, a debt is owed to Lord of the Rings. Another point to be noted is that these books are neither a conscious imitation of, nor a reaction to, any existing work. The idea for them goes back nearly a quarter of a century and the first few chapters were written as long ago as 1988. In other words, the predate Pullman, Potter, and the Left Behind series.

To understand the theology of the story of the book, he has put together a great webpage "Puritans in Space". Overall, what I can tell you at this point is that Chris Walley has put together a story that all persons of intellect that enjoy a mind bending adventure will be pleased. For me, it is something that I could envision on something like the sci-fi channel, but at the same time couldn't, because it is so new and so different. I really like the way one tour participant describes it...

Imagine a perfect world. A world with no sin, no war, no murder, no theft, no need for law enforcement or weapons. A world where everyone believes in and worships the one true God. A world totally at peace. Farholme is just such a place - a man made world in the distant future many light years from earth.

Chris Walley has done a superb job of creating a perfectly believable world with characters that have depth and whom you come to care about.

 Brandon Barr

Jim Black

Justin Boyer

Grace Bridges

Jackie Castle

Carol Bruce Collett

Valerie Comer

CSFF Blog Tour

Gene Curtis

D. G. D. Davidson

Chris Deanne

Janey DeMeo

Jeff Draper

April Erwin

Marcus Goodyear

Rebecca Grabill

Jill Hart

Katie Hart

Michael Heald

Timothy Hicks

Christopher Hopper

Heather R. Hunt

Jason Joyner


Carol Keen

Mike Lynch


Rachel Marks

Shannon McNear

Melissa Meeks

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Mirtika or Mir's Here

Pamela Morrisson

Eve Nielsen

John W. Otte

John Ottinger

Deena Peterson


Steve Rice

Ashley Rutherford

Chawna Schroeder

James Somers

Rachelle Sperling

Donna Swanson

Steve Trower

Speculative Faith

Robert Treskillard

Jason Waguespac

Laura Williams

Timothy Wise

4 comments and creative thoughts:

Christopher Hopper said...

I liked your inclusion of Walley's own words; I thought that was a nice touch and put a lot of things in perspective that I've noted other people already discussing.

Despite my own critical issues with his work (which are really minor and mostly due to my own shortcomings as a conditioned reader), I am loving (LOVING) this read.


Rebecca said...

Nice introduction to the book. You hit on all the major points.

My own comments can be found here.
Dratted blogger unwilling to let me comment via wordpress. ;)

John (Grasping for the Wind) said...

Nice Coverage. One can't avoid learning about Chris now. Check out my interview with him tomorrow.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Excellent post. You've done a wonderful job whetting the appetites of sci fi fans who have yet to read these books.

I like Chris's words about the books, too. I think that puts a lot into perspective and makes them even more intriguing.