“The Soul of Sci-Fi”: An Interview with John C. Wright

Janice Walker & Eleanor Bourg Donlon

The most widely attributed quote to John C. Wright (at least, in the realm of blogs and livejournals, to which he is a regular contributor) is, “If Vulcans had a church, they’d be Catholics.” This remark brilliantly encapsulates the nature of Wright the writer: a man deeply entrenched in the landscape of popular science fiction—a genre he once described as “one chamber in the sprawling, Gormenghastian pile” of fantasy and horror (and which this interviewer could not resist quoting as any sentence that uses the word “Gormenghastian” ought to be shouted from rooftops)—and gravely committed to the presupposition that “objective moral order” is the bedrock of all good literature. [Read more…]

The Birthday Suit

Tony France

Jimmy Barbucci slept peacefully through the continuing devastation of the Asian markets. He always awoke famished, unperturbed by the streak of bad news from Europe. Whether the markets were up or down, money could be made both ways with a little foresight. His bets were covered—or so he thought. As he left for work one bright summer morning Jimmy Barbucci faced something he didn’t foresee. A tarot card was nailed to the door of his apartment: a young man clad in princely attire dangled upside down from a cross beam. [Read more…]

Who is the Artist?

Eileen Cunis

An artist is a human person who, like all persons, is marked by his Creator with an ultimate purpose. He pursues his unique vocation by power of certain characteristics shared by all humans, and in addition, if the artist is to fulfill this vocation well, enjoys special gifts of the intellect and the body that dispose him for his work. An accurate portrayal of the artist’s identity must develop out of the context of his human purpose; there can be no setting aside of his fundamental being without a drastic warping of his secondary calling. As critic Amanda Coomaraswamy writes, “the artist can be separated from the man in logic and for purposes of understanding; but actually, the artist can only be divorced from his humanity by what is called a disintegration of personality.” [Read more…]

Mary, Queen of Angels 2009

On the People’s Business  John C. Wright

Who is the Artist? Part 2 of “On the Vocation of the Christian Artist”  Eileen Cunis

Some Remarks on Autism and Catholicism  Michael L. Ortiz


The Birthday Suit  Tony France

Viaticum  Fiorella de Maria

Dirty Little Coward  Gerald C. Matics


Outside a Clinic  Mark Amorose

The Theology of Waiting  Genevieve Cunningham

Reaching to the Choir  R.S. Mitchell

Betrayed by a Kiss  John Savoie

Pulling Free  John Savoie

Hamlet, Reviewed  Gabriel Olearnik

Horae mortis  Gabriel Olearnik

itinerant intimacies  Joshua Hren

4/8/77, St. Luke’s Church  Nick Ripatrazone

It’s a dark mimesis, death  David Craig

The right to shape  Tim Davis


“The Soul of Sci-Fi”: An Interview with John C. Wright  Janice Walker & Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Art and Photography

Untitled No. 1  Missy Scarlett

Untitled No. 2  Missy Scarlett

Blue Cheese & Beer  Tim Jones

Before They Wake  Cameron Smith

Kristen Reading  Cameron Smith

Detail, Getting Dressed  Cameron Smith

Boy in Fountain  Cameron Smith

Online Bonus

Ten Commandments for How to be
a Writer
 John C. Wright

It’s a dark mimesis, death

David Craig

It’s a dark mimesis, Death. Seeing, he prods
with what seems a foot, asks for the Baptist, makes
him John the less too soon, this mime of God,
trumped spade. He imitates sleep, but never wakes.
Look! An absence, he brings the Man, a band
of funny Galileans—and more of the lost
in Capernaum, little ditzes, building on sand.
Who else but God would choose such layered dross?
As our sin, like Naphtale’s, starts to fall by degrees,
we Jungian shadows of death unclench our wills
so slowly you’d think that Jesus charged a fee!
What’s death when it dies on every southern sill?
Our Death is a shade whose song is not his own.
He takes the sun’s, leaves it, singing to bone.

David Craig has published nine collections of poetry and three works of fiction. He is also working on a play and a work in fantasy. His poetry has been widely published (200+) and anthologized. He holds M.F.A. and Ph. D. degrees from Bowling Green State University and teaches Creative Writing as a Professor at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He lives in Weirton, WV with his wife Linda and their three children, David Thomas, Jude Francis, and Bridget Jean.

itinerant intimacies

Joshua Hren

(written on the feast of st. teresa of avila,
doctor of the Church)

the flesh locked in doing
activistic pursuing happiness
in hurried happenstance
so pure so practical the frame
bold of the world in the world
wide wooing
soul flesh solidity
solidarity made maimed. [Read more…]

Horae mortis

Gabriel Olearnik

Sliced moonlight, cut like cheesecake
the half-circle of white glare: a moon of cats
the night majestic in silence
when above the terror of mouse-waters
death came with a banana. [Read more…]

Dirty Little Coward

Gerald C. Matics

From the testament of Father Liam O’Neill:

Never kept a diary before. Never felt the need. I’ve always placed my trust in God and had faith he’d see me through every peril, so when I felt the need to talk, I talked to Him.

Tonight I’m writing this diary—on scrap paper tucked into my Bible—because I’m afraid God isn’t listening in my final hours. And I’m scared. [Read more…]

Some Remarks on Autism and Catholicism

Michael L. Ortiz

When I was in college, I conceived a great devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi. Though raised in the Catholic faith, I became interested in Francis—oddly enough—only after being drawn away from the Church by a small Christian sect. This seeming paradox is made explicable by the fact that, like many in my generation of Catholics, I was only nominally catechized. I never fully understood that the beliefs and practices of the sect represented a significant departure from the faith handed down from Christ and the Apostles. Its members had approached me on campus with the promise that I would be transformed by their supernatural love; I was lonely, so I had joined with scarcely a second thought. [Read more…]