You know who is awesome? Philip Pullman. He's the author of the marvelous His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass), a kind of anti-Christian un-Narnia series for kids who would rather have their fantasy reading unadulterated by Christianity. Excellent starter books for the tot too young for Nietzsche or Rand.
Sample Pullman line: "I suppose technically, you'd have to put me down as an agnostic. But if there is a God, and He is as the Christians describe Him, then He deserves to be put down and rebelled against."
He has a new book due out called The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. Naturally, the title makes some folks feel tetchy. Asked about it at an Oxford lecture, he gave a pleasingly blunt and complete defense of free speech:
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