We geeks are lovers of myth, speculative fiction, wonderous tales, and fantasies of idea and imagination. We love to ask, “What if?” and to surround ourselves with works of transcendent beauty or compelling mystery. We long to immerse ourselves in worlds more glorious and dramatic than the one we experience everyday. We yearn for connection, communion with the characters in those stories that lift us beyond ourselves.
Whether we write these stories ourselves or enjoy those that others have written, we are engaging in one of the most human of activities. In English, we have two words for it, one derived from Greek and the other from Latin. These words are “poetry” and “fiction”, and both share the same root meaning: to make something. As many have noted throughout history, including the great writers Dorothy Sayers and J.R.R. Tolkien, to be human is to be a maker, to be a storyteller.
Both those writers rooted their conviction on the idea that humanity is made in the image and likeness of God: God who is a creator, a maker of things, a storyteller. In his essay “On Fairy-Stories”, Tolkien noted that “the Gospels contain a fairy-story [a category which contains myth, fantasy, science fiction, and all imaginative literature], or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories.”
But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfilment of Creation. The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. … For the Art of is has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation.
This conjunction of the Divine Story and all our human stories, of Creation and sub-creation, is what we celebrate at Christmas. This is where we see faith and fantasy side by side, each showing the glory of the other.
The Doxacon Seattle planning committee wishes all of you a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! We hope to see you in February!