BOW Award Strikes Close to Home

November 29, 2008

This week’s BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award hits a little too close to home.  The news item first appeared in the November 2008 issue of Locus, which for those of you who don’t know, is the self-described “magazine of the science fiction & fantasy field.”  In their “People and Publishing” section, under “Milestones” comes this little tidbit:

“J.F. Lewis was excommunicated from this church in response to his debut vampire novel Staked.”

I know J.F. Lewis as Jeremy Lewis.  He lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and we frequent many of the same cons in the Southeast.  Jeremy is as nice a guy as you’d ever want to meet, and I imagine that his new book, out from Pocket  Books, is very good.  For more on the circumstances of Jeremy’s excommunication, visit the site of Jackie Kessler, one of my cyber-buddies from SFNovelists.

Obviously a church is free to do whatever it wants, but in this case I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve crossed the line.  According to Jeremy, his church elders believed that “by writing the book, I committed the sins contained within it.”  They demanded that he renounce the book, apologize for writing it, and stop promoting it.  When he refused they kicked him out.

This is so uncool on so many levels I’m not even sure where to begin.  Don’t the church elders understand the meaning of the word “fiction”?  Don’t they understand that having morally flawed characters move beyond their moral failings can actually provide readers with a powerful message?  Don’t they see the dangers inherent in this kind of faith-based censorship?

Apparently the answers are no, no, and no.  So, for their contemptible treatment of fellow author J.F. Lewis, this week’s BOW Award goes to the elders of his church (out of respect for Jeremy and consideration of the church itself, I won’t publish the church’s name here).  Take a BOW there folks; you’ve earned it.  And here’s hoping that your shameful treatment of Jeremy translates into massive sales for Staked.

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One Response to “BOW Award Strikes Close to Home”

  1. […] excommunicates author By alan I read about this today over at David B Coe’s weblog. It’s truly astounding. Various churches around the world never cease to amaze me with their […]

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