Monday, June 21, 2004

Thursday, June 17, 2004

After previously winning three Pride In The Arts Literary Awards from StoneWall Society, I’ve been nominated for three more. A link to the 2004 Pride In The Arts nominations appears near the top of that page. Click through for Literary Awards, then further for the voting form. Please support my work! Voting is open, one vote per person. StoneWall Society promotes gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender artists and causes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Monday, June 14, 2004

Movie review: Saved!

A student at a Christian high school wants to save her gay boyfriend by having sex with him. Another student there seems to see herself as God’s head cheerleader. Right away, this film shows its irreverence and its outlandish humor.

However, despite what the previews and the first half of the film suggest, this movie isn’t anti-Christian at all, but rather anti-hypocrisy and anti-bigotry. Too much prejudice parades around in the cloak of religion, and this little comedy tears that cloak off.

With a brilliant and mostly young cast that includes Jena Malone, Macauley Culkin, and Mandy Moore, Saved! calls us to laugh at our arrogance and ultimately feel more compassion toward those who might not fit into our world view…as well as those who mistreat us.

Some will dismiss Saved! as simply an attack on religion in general, while some others will see it as a specific attack only on fundamentalist Christianity. I wouldn’t call it either, and I speak as someone who attended Christian colleges and immersed himself in the culture this movie depicts: a culture of often-tacky Christian merchandising and a culture that centers around the constant politics of exclusion.

I would call Saved! a funny, enjoyable satire that might challenge us to show a little more love. And isn’t love the one virtue that Jesus stressed the most?

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventureicon: Reading Group Questions. I wrote down the following questions to possibly spark discussions, for reading groups, etc., or just anyone who likes talking about books.

What are the central themes of this novel?

If you read Degranon’s limited, first edition, how is it different from the second edition, Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventureicon?

How are the planets Degranon and Valchondria alike or different?

In which ways does this novel relate to real life?

How do Degranon’s themes of race and racism matter when all of the characters are people of color? How would this novel be different if all, most, or even some of the characters were white (Caucasion), or would it have no impact?

How do the characters’ religious views differ from or relate to each other’s, and to your religious views? What about their values and ethics? How closely connected are their values and ethics to religion?

Within the novel, which groups face discrimination, and why?

How does being colorsighted relate to being gay? How does being gay in the novel differ from in real life?

Are Valchondria’s laws and Degranon’s laws believable? Could those laws pass any place on Earth? Have they?

Which of the characters do you like the most or identify with the most? Why?

Can you point out the allusions to Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451? How does that novel relate to this one? Can you find allusions or parallels between Degranon and any other books?

How does Degranon relate thematically to The Acorn Stories? To Holding Me Together?

What is your favorite scene in Degranon, and why?

Which of the romantic storylines is your favorite?

Please mention and discuss other books or movies with gay or diversity themes.

Discuss Degranon at GoodReads.

Keywords: science fiction, scifi, gay science fiction, science fiction adventure, multiculturalism, diversity, fanaticism, God, religion, religious freedom, religious right, liberty, civil rights, gay, lesbian, queer, racial, people of color, racism + homophobia, racism, homophobia, weight discrimination, discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, Utopia, terrorism, Middle East, American history, free speech, romance, love, family.



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