Category Archives: Community Voices

YA Corner: Lavina’s Library

The much beloved building didn’t look like much on the outside. The structure was old, a remnant of early mining days. It was one story with a façade front, making it look a lot more substantial. It had been painted … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, YA corner | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Sacred and the Profane

As Mormons we are a missionary people. We are specifically enjoined to share both intellectual knowledge and more intimate understandings of spiritual things. So how do we share the thoughts of our heads and the understandings of our hearts without trampling the sacred? How do we come to understand those things unless we consider them with sometimes brutal intensity? Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, General | 4 Comments

Mormon Enough? I’m Relieved to Discover…

I believe the tendency to reduce and exclude, to narrow definitions to simple, direct memes has its uses. In criticizing literature by Mormons or for Mormon audiences, Mormon critics must necessarily categorize and differentiate which shelves should carry which stories. Readers deserve to know.

But I think we do ourselves a disservice if we dismiss as irrelevant those works by self-described Mormon authors that are not told in culturally Mormon forms and terms. Because it is precisely these subconsciously Mormon tales that can reveal deep Mormonism to those audiences most capable of understanding those themes. Not better than more overt tales, but just as deserving of our thoughtful criticism. It would be a shame to institutionally dismiss what could be some of our most deeply Mormon works because that Mormonness was not obvious enough. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, General, Mormon LitCrit, SF&F corner, The Populist's Soapbox | 4 Comments

YA Corner: Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Marriage

Emma received a marriage proposal on Christmas Eve. Actually on the stroke of midnight, exactly between the “Eve” and Christmas Day. That is what they told us and there is a Facebook photo with a clock on the wall to … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, YA corner | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Orson Scott Card: Mormon Literary Pioneer

Quick: What author has arguably done more than any other to explore multiple ways of being Mormon, across multiple genres and audiences? Answer: Orson Scott Card. Which you already knew, because you read the title of this column. It’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Mormon LitCrit, SF&F corner | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Six Future Discoveries LDS Doctrine May Have to Handle

I’ve long thought that one of the advantages of having a church guided by modern revelation is that we Latter-day Saints don’t have to rely on finding ways to apply scriptural passages to technological developments in order to determine whether … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, SF&F corner | 30 Comments

But Is It Mormon Enough?

Any time you form a group and attempt to facilitate discussions of interest to that group, one of the first questions is where to draw the lines to distinguish what we are/do from what other people are/do. What’s our communal identity? How do we differentiate? Beyond what we choose to embrace, what do we choose not to discuss?

Part I of an extended meander triggered by a misreading, supported by a misremembering, and reflecting an outsider’s view on a fundamental question of Mormon criticism that took the long way around to dovetail with the more traditional academic view. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Mormon LitCrit, Storytelling and Community | 5 Comments

Reading Resolutions

As soon as the calendar changed to December 31st, posts began appearing in my Facebook and blog feeds from friends detailing their reading for 2013. Some had set goals to read a certain number of pages; others had set goals … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Community Voices, The Populist's Soapbox | 3 Comments

Christmas Stories Story

. I brought back A Christmas Carol this year after a three-year hiatus. It was a middling success. Perhaps my kids are still too young to follow Dickens’s sentences. Of course, we did Luke 2 last night, like every Christmas … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hope, Horror, and Context

Zombie lore is founded on the idea of thoughtless, mindless pseudo-people seeking to steal precious life—to no apparently constructive purpose. The twin terror of insatiable hunger and relentless pursuit by a foe that cannot be reasoned with speaks to an ultimate horror of battle that must be waged, but can never be won. If the battle of ideas can never be won, then I’m perfectly justified in characterizing the opposition as mindless, vapid, or unthinking, and casually dismissing them en masse.

The metaphor isn’t even remotely subtle. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Horror Shelf, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments