Book of the Fallen

by MW Cook

I just picked up the first book of a fantasy series written by Canadian author, Steven Erikson.  The series is The Malazan Book of the Fallen and I’ve heard good things about it.  I haven’t even started it yet.  I opened the first few pages, though, and saw a forward written by the author.  He was talking about how he and a friend had some great TV scripts they were trying to sell.  He got nothing but rejection slips, it seems, and he reproduced one:

Wonderful!  Unique!  Very funny, very dark … but here in Canada, well, we just can’t budget for this stuff.  Good luck. … Try something simpler.  Something like everything else out there.  Something less … ambitious.

 Erikson’s response: “Well, screw that.”

That’s all I’ve read, and I’ve already fallen in love with this guy.

I’m not 100% sure, but I get the feeling that society generally rewards mediocrity.  And it punishes wild excellence.  Why?  I think, perhaps, because most of us are unwilling to rise above mediocrity.  Ambition is risky.  Excellence is dangerous.  If you bet all your chips on one hand, you just might lose.  Better to not play at all, right?

Well, screw that.

We were made for excellence.  We were made to reflect greatness.  And we’re not going to be able to do that by running through the same motions we’ve always run.  I think that people who love Jesus should be on the front lines of producing the greatest art, music, literature, business and products.  But since we often try to marry Jesus to religion and money, most Christian products are unoriginal and shallow.  I think this is because unoriginal work is both religiously safe and lucrative.  Hurts, I know.  But true.

What do you do?  What do you want to do?  Excel at it.  If you refuse to do that, you dishonor the divine image stamped on your soul.

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