Stuck in the middle.

There are a few kinds of fiction that I’m a total sucker for: SF and some gentler fantasy, things with zombies. And vampires — ever since I read Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire at an impressionable age. I’ve had the occasional awkward conversation (“Do you really think a good, Christian lad should be (reading watching) that kind of thing?”), but my response is generally along the lines of, “It’s fiction. Fick-shun.” I don’t think it’s done me any harm. Actually, I think I’m well past due a re-read of Jim Butcher’s excellent Dresden Files. (I keep meaning to post about Dresden — there are some interesting things to talk about from those books.)

That’s the background. Here’s the fun.

A series of books I haven’t read, by Stephenie Meyer, is starting to make it’s way to film; the first, Twilight, has hit cinemas in the States and will do so here around the middle of next month. It’s about a girl who falls in love with a vampire, and it all sounds very teenager-y angst-y: just the kind of thing that gives YA fiction a bad name.

Cue tension.

In the red corner we have the concerned Christians, represented by Jonathan McKee. (I used to follow quite closely what he wrote, but got a bit turned off when he relaunched his site and resources as The Source for Youth Ministry. The teeth were also a problem, although that shot shows them as a bit less extremely white than I recall.) Actually, I don’t want to slabber too much as what he’s been saying is generally of the “take care and make your own decisions” variety. I’ll never pretend that the media we expose ourselves to can’t influence us to a frightening degree (although I have a suspicion we get distracted by the bits that don’t pretend to be anything more than a good story and let a great volume of much more insidious material go past unchallenged), and that’s always good advice.

What I find amusing is the contrast between the counsel on McKee’s site and this outraged piece on io9.

Short version: in the blue corner we have a SF/fantasy blog up in arms over the books’ expression of the author’s Mormon morality:

The more you examine author Stephenie Meyer's themes, the more obvious it becomes that her books are a thinly-veiled religious screed against teen sex. ... Of course Meyer should be allowed to write her own values into Twilight and its sequels, but we are doing young readers a disservice by rubber-stamping these books without a forewarning of what lies within.

And it goes on.

Poor Stephenie Meyer. She seems a little bit out on her own.