I wonder if I could get some help from OSC acolytes as to why this would push his buttons so much, because he's been pretty over-the-top antagonistic about it, talking down to me like I'm some kind of enemy to the faith. Also, I'll include my side of the correspondence below, and I wonder if anyone wants to weigh in on the debate?
Here's my first reply to him:
Hold on, it's not that absurd in a culture that believes (or at least some do) that an evil immortal embodied being named Cain still walks the earth, and perhaps Lameth (or whatever Cain's grandson's name is) and others as well. Personally, I suspect some vampire and werewolf types of legends could have something do to with the real-life Cain, not just Sasquatch legends. And it makes some sense to me that if there are good embodied immortals walking the earth, there could be some bad.Then this follow-up from me, trying to back off and cool him down a little while still holding my position:
OK, thanks for taking time to give your viewpoint. I wish we got as much feedback when we did something clearly worthwhile as when we cross a line for some people, but that's the nature of the beast.
Just to be clear, I'm an active card-carrying Mormon and a true believer, and I didn't anticipate a problem with a speculative fantasy novel on the terms of, "If vampiricism existed in some form, how would it play out in a Mormon milieu?" I still don't see why that's so threatening or offensive as a creative imaginative exercise. While I wasn't the editor who acquired and edited the book, I was impressed that the author pulled it off so well, and it didn't threaten or undermine my faith at all, even if it left me with unresolved questions to savor. And no, I don't believe in vampires, even if the jury is still out for me on Cain (what's so outlandish about thinking that if you have Three Nephites, you could also have evil equivalents?)
So what do you guys think? Is it somehow unethical or heretical to write/publish a speculative novel that looks at how fantasy-horror might intersect with Mormon theology?