Corey Redekop has undertaken the Herculean feat (like that Greco-Roman mythic metaphor there? I’m so subtle) of interviewing the contributors to Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods as part of the 18 Days of Tesseracts event, on now. I have the honour of being interview number seven. Here’s a taste of the thought-provoking questions he had, and my best attempts at provoked-thought answers. You can see the entire series as it unfolds at Corey’s site.
What is it about so-called “genre” writing that makes it such an effective avenue for theological discussions?
I think genre stories can tap into what we now call myth. Modern audiences maybe need that little lever to get us out of literalist thinking—as if any fiction, genre or otherwise, is absolutely realistic. I don’t think people treated stories in such a fragmented way in the past; we didn’t have to distinguish between the historical or factual or fantastic to get enjoyment and value out of a story. But since religion and faith necessarily deal with questions of meaning, as I think the really old stories do, and aren’t bounded by what we conceive of as the natural world, I think speculative fiction is aptly suited to tackle similar questions.
Who’s your favourite god?
My favourite is Thor, but I think the best stories in the Norse tales we still have access to are about Loki. If you take them as a whole, you see how problematic but also necessary the Trickster figure is. Loki is at times helpful, indispensable, foolish, spiteful or disastrous. We’re much poorer for all the Norse myths that went unrecorded and were lost.
If you were a god for one day, what would you do?
I’d visit the bottom of the ocean and wrestle with krakens.
You can read the entire interview here.