Monday, February 19, 2007

Where do you after you run out of Map?


CSSF Blog Tour

Where The Map Ends is a graphically appealing content rich web site focusing on the field of Christian Speculative Fiction. WTME doesn't present a great deal of fiction on it's own site, rather it is more of an "industry" publication featuring interviews, tools for writers and links to other Christian Speculative Fiction sites. In that sense it is a "portal" into those other worlds.

Personally, I found the tools for writers to be most interesting. The how-to articles were alright, but in some ways lacked the depth that I would have preferred as someone with a lot of writing experience, however they could be helpful to the beginner. But most enjoyable were the "toys." These include idea starters, a random story generator and a map creator. You have that alternate world ready to go, but where is everything in that world? You can use this to begin to visualize the terrain.

WTME is visually appealing. I wish I had those graphics. However, I suspect that those accessing through a dial-up connection would need patience waiting for the screen to load. I don't know that for certain, but would love to findout from someone with a dial up ISP. My only irritation was the email newsletter sign up box which extended beyond the content box. But that is a minor design issue.

As with most Christian speculative fiction sites, there was a bit of defensiveness. I guess this is natural since in some quarters the term is considered a contradiction in terms. I'm just not sure we need to be bringing it up all the time. After all, if you have a speculative fiction site, you are "preaching to the choir." I believe our best promotion will be producing quality fiction which stands on strong theological grounds. However, I'm not totally sure we need to seek to convert those who don't like speculative fiction, but to serve those who do.

Where the Map Ends, also like most spiritually-based speculative fiction sites definitely targets a Christian audience, although it is generally free of "churchspeak" which I find refreshing. However, it reminds me of what my friend Tony Whittaker calls "The Old Story about the Old Story." It seems that 90 percent of all Christian web sites target a Christian audience. And I admit that, so far, my promotion for Wayfarers Journal has been in the Christian community, even though the site is designed to be seeker friendly. We all need to also think of how spiritually-based speculative fiction can help reach outside the Christian community to impact the world at large.

Nevertheless, this is a fun, informative site, and a must see for anyone interested in Christian Speculative fiction either as a fan or a writer.

Read other reviews of this site this week at these other blogs:

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
Tessa Edwards
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Kait
Karen
K. D. Kragen
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Timothy Wise

3 Comments:

Blogger Jefferson Scott said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Terri.

And thanks for pointing people to WhereTheMapEnds.

I hope you and your readers will join us on March 1 for the launch of our collaborative fiction project.

Thanks again for the thoughtful review.

Jeff

February 20, 2007 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

I'm looking forward to it. I hope I can make it.

Terri

February 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

You asked for input from someone on dial-up regarding this site. I have to say that I was fairly impressed. I thought that the pictures came up fairly fast, for dial-up. I also appreciated the booklist page and that it gave you a choice between pictures or no pictures. If you are on dial-up, JUST SAY NO. I also downloaded the Fractal Terrains Demo linked to from this site and it took less than an hour and a half, which I thought was decent, and am looking forward to trying it out.

April 18, 2007 at 11:08 AM  

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