Saturday, February 7, 2015

"Realists of a Larger Reality"

I draw inspiration from secular writers as much as from Christian writers because they often see with disarming clarity what writers are called to do. A good example was Ursula Le Guin's acceptance speech at the National Book Awards in mid-November. This 85-year-old writer of science fiction observed that sci-fi and fantasy seldom receive national awards, but...
I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.
Like secular fantasy writers, we seldom win national literary prizes and we feel pressured to conform to publishers' commercial formulas. But we don't write for prizes or profits. As Le Guin says, we write because we are "the realists of a larger reality." We see blessed "alternatives to how we live now," and we want to write that vision. Our standard of success is how faithfully we depict that vision.

Joe Allison and his wife, Judy, live in Anderson IN, where Joe serves as Editorial Director of Discipleship Resources & Curriculum for Warner Press, Inc. Joe has several nonfiction books in print, including Swords and Whetstones: A Guide to Christian Bible Study Resources. He's currently writing a trilogy of Christian historical novels set in the Great Depression.

Visit Joe's blog at


  1. This is very true and a good reminder. Thanks.

  2. Very good point, Joe. (Hope you note a comment made this long after the post.)