CSFF Blog Tour Day 3: Offworld, by Robin Parrish

We’re having some unscheduled power disruptions and strange lights in the sky here on Maple Street, and my neighbors are starting to think maybe they were right all along about me being an alien invader, so I’d better get right to gleaning the collective wit and wisdom of my colleagues in the CSFF Blog Tour before things get ugly.

It’s Quiet…Too Quiet: Things were a little subdued this week–it looked like we were upstaged by the CFBA Book Tour, which reviewed Offworld a couple of months ago, so several of our regulars had already weighed in on it. I wouldn’t expect anybody to write two reviews, even for the next Landmark In Popular Fiction.

At Least it Wasn’t a Double McGuffin: John W. Otte (Least Read Blog on the Web? Pish tosh!) liked Offworld well enough, but thinks a key element of the story is nothing more than a MacGuffin, and explains why.

Total Drama Action: Everybody agrees Offworld is a real page-turner, with enough thrills, spills, and special-effects-worthy bang-zoom to satisfy any fan of Bruce, Arnold, Chuck, Clint, or (insert favorite action hero here).

I Liked the Book Better Than the Movie: Nissa at The Lina Lamont Fan Club (the name is reason enough to visit) discusses some of the marketing tools Mr. Parrish used to publicize Offworld and his other works, including video trailers, embeddable first chapters, and posting stories in serial format on his website.

Step Up to the Mike: Ryan Heart and Julie scored a couple of nice interviews with Mr. Parrish, in which he reveals some of the ideas behind Offworld, the joys and frustrations of writing, and his favorite guilty pleasure. Oooh, spicy!

That’s it for this month’s Tour. Wow, I’m still here! Of course, if everybody else is gone, that may not be a good thing. I’ll have to go check. Join us again next month as we review Donita Paul’s young-adult fantasy, The Vanishing Sculptor.

I’ve only got two entries so far for my Offworld book giveaway. Two! You can’t get odds like this at Vegas or Atlantic City. Only one day left to enter by leaving a comment, so don’t delay!

The other survivors on the CSFF Blog Tour:

Robin Parrish’s Website: http://www.robinparrish.com/
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Gina Burgess
Canadianladybug
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
Nissa
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Steve Rice
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Stephanie
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Dona Watson
Elizabeth Williams

>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<

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7 thoughts on “CSFF Blog Tour Day 3: Offworld, by Robin Parrish

    1. Ah, yes…I hadn’t seen her post today. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      I was tempted to say something snarky today about our usual (and really, very important) debate about whether the work in question is “Christian enough” to qualify as Christian fiction, but I restrained myself, partly because I didn’t want to make light of the debate, and partly because I’ve got a book of my own coming out soon, and I’ll likely face some of the same criticism–“Physician, heal thyself.”

      Parrish doesn’t worry much about it–he characterizes himself more as a Christian who happens to write rather than a writer of Christian fiction, and I’m sympathetic to that–but Amy hit on an issue that bothered me. I talked about a “deus ex machina” in my review, and didn’t want to provide more of a spoiler than that, but I was taken aback that Parrish literally put “God in the Machine.”

      The idea that you can take a sliver of The Word (which is not an amorphous force, but a Person, specifically the Second Person of the Trinity) and put it in some alien box to power a one-piece-at-a-time quantum engine, well, that was “game over” for me. At this point, I’d usually fall back on the idea that he’s writing fiction, not doctrine, but I think one line you have to respect as a Christian author, regardless of your approach to the art, is that whatever you do, you don’t get God wrong. You can’t misrepresent either His character or His nature. I’d hesitate to say the line was crossed here, but it came too close for my comfort.

      There was also the whole issue of Craig’s father appearing like the king’s ghost from Hamlet, but I’ve rambled enough here. 🙂

  1. ah yes.. i didn’t touch the ghost thing.. I didn’t want to go too hard on it, but that was something else i tempted to go off about lol .. and hey i’m all for Christians writing secular books… in fact I just read a great one, my point was just don’t call it Christian if it’s not… people will dig into the author if they think they’ve written something worthy… and fyi.. i googled Parrish and I didn’t find anything about him other than saying that he was a Christian and loved Buffy the Vampire slayer all in one breath and that sort of left me scratching my head.

    1. I think you’re absolutely correct that if you “show the flag,” that is, say up front that this is a Christian story by me, Mr./Ms. Christian Writer, you have signed up to a higher level of responsibility to include Christian content in your story, and to get it right.

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