I’ve long argued that Western men thirst for stories that reflect their culture, and that Hollywood’s woes and the decline in readers clamoring for mainstream fare are healthy signs for the future. It’s time to show you a proof of concept.
The following review of my latest novel, “Space Princess” was written by a reader with exactly one review on Amazon. I’ve edited out most of Gryphon’s praise for the book (full review here), because the context of the review is much more important from a cultural standpoint than what makes “Space Princess” such an engaging read. As you read this, consider that Gryphon represents hordes of readers.
I’ve been reading quite a few independent published novels over the past few years. There are some gems out there, and a number of them happen to be very fun Catholic novels. Or at the very least, novels that show an accurate Catholic world view, while having some fun in a given genre. Take the secret agent fun of Val Bianco or Declan Finn, or the vampire novels of the latter. Even the great Father Baptist books by William Biersach, or the eclectic works of Karina Fabian. There is a unique joy in the reading of these books, because I take it they were written with a fair amount of joy. They are likely written for the joy of writing and telling a story, and because there is Hope at the heart of them, they lift you and you are happy to have made the trip through their world. I digress a bit.
I wish there were more science fiction or fantasy like this, and have a few on my reading list that may fulfill my wish. For now, this hits a spot for the modern Catholic nerd who wants to race around and save the galaxy, for Altar and Throne. As Lewis presented Earth as a place others noted because “Our Beloved” had become one of us here, Mollison likewise presents “Holy Terra”. I found it similar, and love the idea. I’ll leave it there because I want you to take the journey.
Gryphon gave “Space Princess” five stars, but I consider this a six star review. Plenty of people enjoy my novels, but Gryphon enjoyed “Space Princess” enough to sit down and really think about the work. Gryphon then chose to take action to spread the word about it, and did so in a way that was wholly new and potentially fraught with peril. What if no one liked the review? What if no one cared? That takes courage, and that my novel might have played a small role in encouraging Gryphon to embark upon this path to help push back against the regression of western culture means far more to me as an author than any written praise that might show up on Amazon.
It should mean a lot to you, too. Because Gryphon is only the tip of the spear. He represents hordes of consumers starved for soul-nourishing fare, who have only recently begun to understand how empty their diets have been for the last few years, thanks to the sometimes difficult to unravel feedback process that operate in cultural shifts. The enemies of truth, justice, and the American way have taken advantage of the feedback cycles to push back against virtue in media. For decades they worked to feed a system that made it hard to supply entertainment reflecting the ideals of Christendom due to lack of demand, even as that very lack of demand arose from the dearth of a supply of examples of the ideals of Christendom.
That was the whole point of forcing conservative voices out of coastal elite media offices for so long. As the examples of virtuous stories dried up, so too did the public’s desire for virtuous stories. Which led to the coastal elites pushing ever more venal media onto the public under the safe cover of arguing that ‘there’s no demand for it’.
And then self-publishing came along and cut that Gordian knot. It didn’t matter if there was scant demand for stories that reflected American or English or Christian ideals because the people crafting those stories weren’t interested in the pursuit of wealth or fame at the expense of those very ideals. If they could produce works that they felt good about, and those works found an audience – no matter how small – then the effort was justified. People who have their souls nourished by positive stories don’t relapse, but seek out more examples of those stories. And more and more of them, as exemplified by Gryphon, are turning away from the empty media generated by the coastal elites and toward the far more fulfilling works crafted by self-publishers.
And so we find ourselves entering a cultural springtime within western culture. Thanks to readers like Gryphon, the feedback cycles are operating towards Christendom’s advantage now. And the future looks sunnier every day.