Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender Wiggin is a “Third.” His parents were allowed to have him only because their first two children, Peter and Valentine, showed so much promise. Earth is expecting another Bugger attack from outer space and humans are desperately trying to breed and train the children who they hope will be Earth’s saviors. Peter, Valentine, and Ender Wiggin are all geniuses, but Ender seems to have just the right balance of intelligence, resolve, independence, and sensitivity to make a great leader for Earth’s international forces.
When Ender is only six years old, the International Fleet comes to take him away to Battle School. There he meets dozens of other little geniuses, some who resent Ender for his quick advancement, and some who would even like to get him out of the way. Does Ender have what it takes to make it through the rigorous training and to become the military hero that Earth hopes for? ... Read More
Orson Scott Card(1951- )
Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction and fantasy, but he also writes thrillers and historical novels. Card is the first person to win the Hugo and Nebula awards for a novel and its sequel, two years in a row (Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, in 1986 and 1987). Card was born in Richland, Washington, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He lived in Brazil for two years as a missionary for the Mormon Church. He received degrees from Brigham Young University (1975) and the University of Utah (1981). He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife and five children. See a catalog of all his works at Orson Scott Card‘s website.
Ender Wiggin — (1985-2012) Publisher: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut — young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is. Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
It’s been 3000 years since Ender Wiggin, as a child, was tricked into committing xenocide. While he and his sister Valentine traveled the universe and benefited from the effects of space-time relativity, Ender’s name has been reviled on Earth and all the inhabited planets. He is infamous for his childhood deeds, but almost everyone thinks he’s been dead for centuries. They don’t realize that the man who holds the respected position of Speaker for the Dead is actually Ender Wiggin. And they don’t know that the Hive Queen of the Buggers still lives and that Ender has vowed to find her a new home. When Ender is called to the planet Lusitania to speak the death of a beloved xenologer, he thinks he may have finally found a suitable place for the Hive Queen to resurrect her race.
In the author’s afterward to Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card explains tha... Read More
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
Xenocide is the third book in Orson Scott Card’s award-winning ENDER WIGGEN saga. In the first book, Ender’s Game, the child Ender Wiggen was trained to wipe out the alien “buggers” who were planning to destroy the earth. The second novel, Speaker for the Dead, takes place years later when Ender visits the planet Lusitania where Xenologists are studying two non-human species: the pequininos, who have an unusual life cycle, and the descolada virus, which is fatal for humans but necessary to the pequininos. In addition, Ender has brought the buggers’ hive queen to Lusitania so she can rebuild her species. When the human Starways Congress finds out what’s happening on Lustinania, it sends its fleets to blow up the planet. Speaker for the Dead ends with Ender’s sister Valentine, who write... Read More
The Tales of Alvin Maker — (1987-2003) Young Adult. Historical Fantasy. Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: From the author of Ender’s Game, an unforgettable story about young Alvin Maker: the seventh son of a seventh son. Born into an alternative frontier America where life is hard and folk magic is real, Alvin is gifted with the power. He must learn to use his gift wisely. But dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.
Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
When you’re surrounded by light, how do you know whether it’s the glory of God, or the flames of Hell?
Set in an alternate American frontier, Seventh Son is the first in Orson Scott Card’s THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER. Alvin Miller is the seventh son of a seventh son which makes him special and potentially a very powerful healer, or “maker” — at least that’s what many who practice folk magic, believe. They know that many folk have “knacks” and they’ve seen the effects of curses and charms. It’s obvious that there’s a supernatural war going on around Alvin Miller. He’s almost been killed many times (usually by water), but it’s clear that some other force is protecting him. While his family expects greatness from Alvin, some of his neighbors think he may be “devil spawn.”
Reverend Thrower, the new Christian ... Read More
Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card
Red Prophet is the second book in Orson Scott Card’s THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER, an alternate history set in a frontier America in which folk magic is real. In the first book, Seventh Son, we were introduced to the main protagonist of the series, Alvin Miller who, because he’s the seventh son of a seventh son, is a gifted healer. We meet Alvin as a baby and follow him into boyhood. At the end of the story he has a vision of a shining man who gives him moral guidance.
In Red Prophet we learn that the shining man is Lolla-Wossiky, an alternate version of Tenskwatawa, spiritual leader of the Native American Shawnee tribe. His brother Tecumseh is their chief. While Card f... Read More
Prentice Alvin by Orson Scott Card
Prentice Alvin is the third book in Orson Scott Card’s TALES OF ALVIN MAKER. After the excitement in the last book, Red Prophet, when Alvin and his family experienced the Battle of Tippecanoe, Alvin is finally off to Hatrack River, where he was born, to begin his apprenticeship to Makepeace Smith, the blacksmith. He’s also hoping that Peggy, the Torch who watches over him, can help him figure out what it means to be a Maker because he’s had a vision of the Crystal City he must build.
Peggy, who can see Alvin coming and knows he’s destined for greatness, realizes she’s in love with him and worries because she has no skills or education that will help him learn to be a Maker, or that will even cause him to admire her for more than her good looks. (Thank you, Mr. Card, for always giving your leading women a desire to be a... Read More
Alvin Journeyman by Orson Scott Card
Alvin Miller is finally a journeyman blacksmith and a Maker. He’s back home in Vigor Church, trying to teach others his Making skills because he believes he needs Makers to create the Crystal City he’s dreamed of. But the Unmaker is hard at work, trying to unravel Alvin’s plans. With the help of a girl who has a crush on Alvin, the Unmaker manages to get Alvin to flee back to Hatrack River where Makepeace Smith is waiting to sue him for that golden plow. The prosecutor is none other than Daniel Webster.
Alvin’s brother Calvin, who is jealous of Alvin, has gone to Europe to learn from Napoleon Bonaparte. While he’s there, he meets a young lawyer who is also a Maker and, inadvertently, sends him to Alvin’s defense. Meanwhile, Peggy, who continues to watch over Alvin and Calvin, is on a crusade to end slavery. She’d also like to ruin William “Tippecanoe” Harrison’s chance of be... Read More
The Crystal City by Orson Scott Card
The Crystal City is the (maybe) final novel in Orson Scott Card’s TALES OF ALVIN MAKER. This series started off strongly with Seventh Son and Red Prophet, but it bogged down during books three and four (Prentice Alvin and Alvin Journeyman) and I was ready to give up. However, since I had already downloaded the audio version of the sixth book, The Crystal City, from my library, I decided to finish the series. (My library didn’t have the fifth book, Heartfire, so I just read a plot summary of that one.)
Alvin and Peggy are married and have lost a child. Alvin continues his work as a Maker, trying to prepare people for his Crystal City, while Peggy is trying to end slavery. Alvin and Arthur are now... Read More
Pathfinder — (2010-2012) Young adult. Publisher: A powerful secret. A dangerous path. Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him — secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain. Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent… or forfeit control of his destiny.
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Rigg is a 13-year-old boy who lives in seclusion with his father, surviving as a trapper and only occasionally going to the nearest town to sell animals’ pelts. He is successful as a trapper in part because he has a unique ability: he can see the “paths” people and animals have taken, in the form of a colored trail that stretches behind them, showing where they’ve been. This way, he can track almost anything — “almost” because the only person who doesn’t have a trail is his father...
Of course, many readers will be able to predict where the story is going when they encounter a young boy with a mysterious ability being raised in relatively poor circumstances... and while Orson Scott Card does take a page out of the standard fantasy rulebook here, he also adds enough unique and surprising elements to the story to make Pathfinder a successful YA... Read More
Mither Mages — (2011- ) Young adult. Stonefather is a novella set in the same world. Publisher: Danny North grew up in a family of gods — or at least the poor remnants of the mages who once went by names like Odin, Thor, and Freya. When the gates that led to their home world of Westil were closed by Loki in 632 A.D., the Families lost much of their power. Despite this loss of power, the Families still consider themselves far superior to drowthers, the name they use for humans. Drekka — mages that possess no magical talent — are considered little better than drowthers, and Danny North fears he is one. But when Danny finally does manifest his ability, it is unfortunately not a cause for celebration. For Danny is a gatemage, which is considered even worse than drekka, and if any of the Families were to learn of him, then he would be immediately killed. So Danny flees the family compound to make his own way in the world, at least until he learns to control his rare gift and hopefully reopen a gate between Mittlegard (Earth) and Westil. It won’t be easy though. Not onlydoes he face the ordinary dangers of a teenager trying to survive on his own in America, while hiding from mages who would kill him on sight, but there is also the mysterious Gate Thief, who seems determined to keep all gates to Westil closed by stripping gatemages of all their power…
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
FORMAT/INFO: The Lost Gate is 384 pages long divided over 23 titled/numbered chapters and an Afterword. For two thirds of the novel, narration is in the third-person via the teenage gatemage, Danny North. For the rest of the novel, narration is in the third-person omniscient, mostly following the adventures of the mysterious Wad. The Lost Gate comes to a satisfying stopping point, but is the first volume in the Mither Mages series. January 4, 2011 marks the North American Hardcover publication of The Lost Gate via Tor.
ANALYSIS: The last — and only — time I read an Orson Scott Card novel, was Ender’s Game over ten years ago. Since then, I haven’t been interested in reading any more of the author’s work, until I heard about “Stonefather” — a s... Read More
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
In the fictional universe of Orson Scott Card’s latest novel The Lost Gate, what we think of as gods were actually people from another planet (called Westil), who arrived here through magical “Gates.” Passing back and forth through these Gates gave people with minor or latent magical powers huge boosts to their skills, resulting in god-like abilities — and as a result, they were often thought of as actual gods and entered Earth’s mythology. Some time in the 7th century, the trickster Loki closed all the gates between Earth and Westil, trapping all the “gods” here on Earth. Fast forward to the 21st century. Descendants of the Westillian “gods” still live on Earth, although greatly diminished in power. The North family are the many-times-removed children of the Norse gods, now living on a secluded compound in Virginia. Danny North, an adolescent member o... Read More
Stonefather by Orson Scott Card
Runnel isn’t appreciated by his family or his little village. His father abuses him, his siblings taunt him, and even his mother doesn’t seem overly fond. So one day he walks to the edge of his village and just keeps going. He’s never been outside of his village before, so everything is new. Eventually he comes to a city whose walls and bridges are crumbling. He’s told that this is the city of the water mages, the magicians who cast out the stone mages that built the beautiful city. After the mage war, the victorious water mages will only allow one stone mage in the town. He lives in a grand house and is treated with respect, but he is spied upon and mistrusted because if he ever brings his colleagues back into the city, the water mages fear that they’ll lose their ruling positions.
After meeting a friendly girl at the city’s well, Runnel follows her home and finds employment in the home... Read More
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is an award-winning author of dozens of science fiction and fantasy books, including the Hugo and Nebula award winning Ender’s Game. So who else would you turn to for instruction on how to write a science fiction and fantasy novel? I’m working on a novel — isn’t everyone these days? — and picked up How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy for some instruction. I’m used to writing for an academic audience, so bridging the chasm between peer-reviewed journals and publicly read books is a big step for me. I have to say, though, that I’m not sure this book is really worth all the kudos it has in the writing community, and I think that’s mostly because it hasn’t been updated. The original publication date is 1990. Whole genres of fantasy have come out since 1990, not to mention the advent of the Internet and its revolutionary changes to t... Read More
Hamlet's Father by Orson Scott Card
Those of us who majored in English in college have all read Shakespeare’s Hamlet at least once, and we’ve all seen at least one performance. Some of us go to as many performances as we possibly can, enjoying every new spin on the old tale. I’ve seen at least three movies made from the play and seen it staged at least five times. I’ve studied the text of the play in detail, and one thing never changes: Claudius murders King Hamlet in order to bed the king’s wife, Gertrude, out of good old heterosexual lust; and out of a lust for power, for the right to take the throne rather than see it go to Hamlet the younger when King Hamlet dies.
Trust Orson Scott Card, noted for his outspoken condemnation of homosexuality, to turn Shakespeare on his head and make his new novella, Hamlet’s Father, all about King Hamlet’s homose... Read More
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams
John Joseph Adams assembles a wide variety of apocalypse-related fiction in Wastelands. some of which are older than I am, while others are more recent. What you end up with is a diverse anthology covering topics such as religion, war, and exploration while containing horror, comedy, and a sense of wonder.
The majority of the stories are easy to get into. Some stories are more subtle than others. Overall, Wastelands is an enjoyable read and the selection seems balanced. Having said that, here are my top three stories:
"Bread and Bombs" by M. Rickert is one of the more horrifying stories in this anthology, and this is achieved through her characterization and commentary on society. It's easy to jump into Rickert's text and there is a foreboding established early on w... Read More
Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams
Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn’t stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving at the moment. See, for example, the recent success of Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut The Windup Girl Read More
Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)
Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan, and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.
Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Robin... Read More
Brave New Worlds (second edition) edited by John Joseph Adams
This anthology of dystopian fiction, edited by John Joseph Adams, contains stories from some of the greatest names in fantasy and science fiction, including Ursula K. LeGuin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow and Kim Stanley Robinson. The first edition was reviewed by Stefan Raets and earned a five-star rating. I picked up the second edition to see what the new volume added.
What I found was that the entire first edition was intact. Three stories were added, along with a study guide featuring questions for some of the stories if you wanted to use this in a book club (I w... Read More
The Worthing Chronicle — (1979-1990) Publisher: It was a miracle of science that permitted human beings to live, if not forever, then for a long, long time. Some people, anyway. The rich, the powerful — they lived their lives at the rate of one year every ten. Somec created two societies: that of people who lived out their normal span and died, and those who slept away the decades, skipping over the intervening years and events. It allowed great plans to be put in motion. It allowed interstellar Empires to be built. It came near to destroying humanity. After a long, long time of decadence and stagnation, a few seed ships were sent out to save our species. They carried human embryos and supplies, and teaching robots, and one man. The Worthing Saga is the story of one of these men, Jason Worthing, and the world he found for the seed he carried.
Maps in a Mirror — (1992-1993) Fantasy/Sci-fi story collections. Publisher: Maps in a Mirror brings together nearly all of Orson Scott Card’s short fiction written between 1977 and 1990. For those readers who have followed this remarkable talent since the beginning, here are all those amazing stories gathered together in one place, with some extra surprises as well. For the hundreds of thousands who are newly come to Card, here is chance to experience the wonder of a writer so versatile that he can handle everything from traditional narrative poetry to modern experimental fiction with equal ease and grace. The brilliant story-telling of the Alvin Maker books is no accident; the breathless excitement evoked by the Ender books is not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this enormous volume are forty-six stories, plus ten long, intensely personal essays, unique to this volume. In them the author reveals some of his reasons and motivations for writing, with a good deal of autobiography into the bargain.
Homecoming — (1992-1995) Publisher: High above the planet Harmony, the Oversoul watches. Its task, programmed so many millennia ago, is to guard the human settlement on this planet — to protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all threats. To protect them, most of all, from themselves. The Oversoul has done its job well. There is no war on Harmony. There are no weapons of mass destruction. There is no technology that could lead to weapons of war. By control of the data banks, and subtle interference in the very thoughts of the people, the artificial intelligence has fulfilled its mission. But now there is a problem. In orbit, the Oversoul realizes that it has lost access to some of its memory banks, and some of its power systems are failing. And on the planet, men are beginning to think about power, wealth, and conquest.
Empire — (2006-2009) Publisher: The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone. The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop, and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own. When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on? Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science fiction and fantasy novels. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near future scenario of a new American Civil War.
The Formic Wars — (2012-2013) With Aaron Johnston. Publisher: A hundred years before Ender’s Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies. The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems… not important. They’re wrong. It’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity’s first contact with an alien race. The First Formic War is about to begin.
Songmaster — (1978) Publisher: An SF classic from the author of Ender’s Game. Kidnapped at an early age, the young singer Ansset has been raised in isolation at the mystical retreat called the Songhouse. His life has been filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any heard before. Ansset’s voice is both a blessing and a curse, for the young Songbird can reflect all the hopes and fears his auidence feels and, by magnifying their emotions, use his voice to heal — or to destroy. When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset’s hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror, or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos. Songmaster is a haunting story of power and love — the tale of the man who would destroy everything he loves to preserve humanity’s peace, and the boy who might just sing the world away.
Treason — (1979) Publisher: Lanik Mueller’s birthright as heir to planet Treason’s most powerful rulership will never be realized. He is a “rad” — radical regenerative. A freak among people who can regenerate injured flesh… and trade extra body parts to the Offworld oppressors for iron. For, on a planet without hard metals — or the means of escape — iron is power in the race to build a spacecraft. Iron is the promise of freedom — which may never be fulfilled as Lanik uncovers a treacherous conspiracy beyond his imagination. Now charged with a mission of conquest — and exile — Lanik devises a bold and dangerous plan… a quest that may finally break the vicious chain of rivalry and bloodshed that enslaves the people of Treason as the Offworld never could.
Hart’s Hope — (1982) Young adult. Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: A dark and powerful fantasy from the bestselling author of Ender’s Shadow. Enter the city of Hart’s Hope, ruled by gods both powerful and indifferent, riddled with sorcery and revenge. The city was captured by a rebellious lord, Palicrovol, who overthrew the cruel king, Nasilee, hated by his people. Palicrovol, too, was cruel, as befitted a king. He took the true mantle of kinghood by forcing Asineth, now Queen by her father’s death, to marry him, raping her to consummate the marriage. (But he was not cruel enough to rule.) He let her live after her humiliation; live to bear a daughter; live to return from exile and retake the throne of Hart’s Hope. But she, in turn, sent Palicrovol into exile to breed a son who would, in the name of the God, take back the kingdom from its cruel Queen.
Wyrms — (1987) Publisher: A New York Times Best Book of the Year. New York Times bestselling author of Ender’s Shadow. The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world: When the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation… or the destruction of the cosmos. Patience is the only daughter of the rightful Heptarch, but she, like her father before her, serves the usurper who has destroyed her family. For she has learned the true ruler’s honor: Duty to one’s race is more important than duty to one’s self. But the time for prudence has passed, and that which has slept for ages has awakened. And Patience must journey to the heartsoul of this planet to confront her destiny… and her world’s.
The Folk of the Fringe — (1989) Publisher: Only a few nuclear weapons fell in America-the weapons that destroyed our nation were biological and, ultimately, cultural. But in the chaos, the famine, the plague, there exited a few pockets of order. The strongest of them was the state of Deseret, formed from the vestiges of Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. The climate has changed. The Great Salt Lake has filled up to prehistoric levels. But there, on the fringes, brave, hardworking pioneers are making the desert bloom again. A civilization cannot be reclaimed by powerful organizations, or even by great men alone. It must be renewed by individual men and women, one by one, working together to make a community, a nation, a new America.
The Abyss — (1989) With James Cameron. Publisher: Far beneath the blue Caribbean sea lies Deepcore, the world’s most advanced high-technology drilling station. When a mysterious force sends the submarine USS Montana spinning out of control, Deepcore is commandeered as the base for a naval rescue operation. Lindsay Brigman, designer of Deepcore, insists on joining the team. When the operation gets underway, she witnesses something astonishing, activity she can only define as non-terrestrial intelligence. Nobody takes her seriously — there are far more pressing concerns. For up above, the world is spinning towards nuclear war…
Eye for Eye — (1990) Publisher: Mick Winger is only seventeen — and already he’s killed over a dozen people. Not on purpose; he never meant to hurt anyone. But when Mick gets angry, people die, even the people he loves the most. Now he’s on the run from his own terrible talent, and from those who would use his power for their own obscene purposes. But Mick is not alone. There are others like him. And if he will not join them, they will make him pay — Eye for Eye. Orson Scott Card is one of the world’s best-loved writers, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row. He is author of Ender’s Game and many New York Times bestsellers. Card’s latest novels are Shadow of the Giant and Magic Street. This recording features Stefan Rudnicki, who has narrated around 100 audiobooks, receiving an Audie for his solo narration on Orson Scott Card’s Lost Boys and Earphones Awards for his productions of Card’s Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead and Crystal City.
Lost Boys — (1992) Young adult. Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: For Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children, the move to tiny Steuben, North Carolina, offers new hope and a new beginning. But from the first, eight-year-old Stevie’s life there is an unending parade of misery and disaster. Cruelly ostracized at his school, Stevie retreats further and further into himself — and into a strange computer game and a group of imaginary friends. But there is something eerie about his loyal, invisible new playmates: each shares the name of a child who has recently vanished from the sleepy Southern town. And terror grows for Step and DeAnne as the truth slowly unfolds. For their son has found something savagely evil… and it’s coming for Stevie next.
Treasure Box — (1996) Young adult. Publisher: A shattering childhood tragedy left Quentin Fears devastated and unable to cope with the world and its citizens. It didn’t, however, prevent him from making millions through brilliant investments. And now the enigmatic recluse has experienced the extraordinarily unexpected: love at first sight. But a whirlwind courtship and marriage to Madeleine — beautiful, witty, and equally ill-at-ease with reality — is bringing Quentin something other than the bliss he anticipated, for now he must meet his new wife’s family. A bizarre, dysfunctional collection of extreme characters, they are guarding a secret both shocking and terrifying — as is Madeleine herself. And suddenly Quentin Fears must prevent his dream woman from unleashing an ageless malevolence intent on ruling the world.
Homebody — (1998) Young adult. Publisher: Damaged Houses. A master craftsman, Don Lark could fix everything except what mattered, his own soul. After tragedy claimed the one thing he loved, he began looking for dilapidated houses to buy, renovate, and resell at a profit — giving these empty shells the second chance at life he denied himself. Damaged Souls. Then in a quiet Southern town, Lark finds his biggest challenge: a squalid yet sturdy mansion that has suffered decades of abuse at the hands of greedy landlords and transient tenants. While two charming old neighbor ladies ply him with delicious cooking, they offer dire warnings about the house’s evil past. But there is something about this building that pushes Lark on, even as its enchantments grow increasingly ominous. Will finishing the house offer Lark redemption, or unleash the darkest forces of damnation upon him?
Enchantment — (1999) Young adult. Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: As one of the most consistently exciting writers to emerge in the last twenty-five years, Orson Scott Card has been honored with numerous awards, immersing readers in dazzling worlds only he could create. Now, in Enchantment, Card works his magic as never before, transforming the timeless story of Sleeping Beauty into an original fantasy brimming with romance and adventure. The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek’s farm. Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long-ago day in the forest — or convince himself it was merely a frightened boy’s fantasy. Compelled to return to his native land, Ivan finds the clearing just as he left it. This time he does not run. This time he awakens the beauty with a kiss… and steps into a world that vanished a thousand years ago. A rich tapestry of clashing worlds and cultures, Enchantment is a powerfully original novel of a love and destiny that transcend centuries… and the dark force that stalks them across the ages.
Magic Mirror — (1999) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Orson Scott Card weaves a tale of a mythical family’s upheaval, showing the consequences of misplaced hopes and what happens when people let themselves become disconnected from one another. Somewhere between medieval fantasy and contemporary fairy tale, a dark story turns into light. Ultimately, we see that is never too late to escape from a dream gone bad. This is truly a fable for our time.
Robota — (2003) With Doug Chiang. Publisher: Academy award-winning artist Doug Chiang and best-selling sci-fi author Orson Scott Card join forces for an extraordinary publishing adventure: Robota. An original illustrated science fiction novel, Robota follows the fortunes of a strangely powerful amnesiac named Caps as he navigates an ancient, decaying world in which a dwindling human population battles a society of merciless robot warriors. Aided by talking animals and stalked by terrifying hunter robots, Caps slowly rises to fulfill an awesome destiny. Integrating word and image, Card’s masterful storytelling is interwoven with 75 pieces of Chiang’s wildly imagined, meticulously rendered art. Packaged in a dramatic metallic case, this unusual and powerful collaboration is tailor-made to thrill.
Magic Street — (2005) Available for download at Audible.com. Publisher: Orson Scott Card has the distinction of having swept both the Hugo and Nebula awards in two consecutive years with his amazing novels Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. For a body of work that ranges from science fiction to nonfiction to plays, Card has been recognized as an author who provides vivid, colorful glimpses between the world we know and worlds we can only imagine. In a peaceful, prosperous African American neighborhood in Los Angeles, Mack Street is a mystery child who has somehow found a home. Discovered abandoned in an overgrown park, raised by a blunt-speaking single woman, Mack comes and goes from family to family–a boy who is at once surrounded by boisterous characters and deeply alone. But while Mack senses that he is different from most, and knows that he has strange powers, he cannot possibly understand how unusual he is until the day he sees, in a thin slice of space, a narrow house. Beyond it is a backyard–and an entryway into an extraordinary world stretching off into an exotic distance of geography, history, and magic. Passing through the skinny house that no one else can see, Mack is plunged into a realm where time and reality are skewed, a place where what Mack does and sees seem to have strange affects in the “real world” of concrete, cars, commerce, and conflict. Growing into a tall, powerful young man, pursuing a forbidden relationship, and using Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream as a guide into the vast, timeless fantasy world, Mack becomes a player in an epic drama. Understanding this drama is Mack’s challenge. His reward, if he can survive the trip, is discovering not only who he really is… but why he exists. Both a novel of constantly surprising entertainment and a tale of breathtaking literary power, Magic Street is a masterwork from a supremely gifted, utterly original American writer — a novel that uses realism and fantasy to delight, challenge, and satisfy on the most profound levels.
The Space Boy — (2007) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Is it space that children dream of, or merely visiting other worlds? Todd had always set his heart on being an astronaut, but when he meets an alien and travels to another world, he doesn’t use a spaceship, he just hangs out in his own back yard. In Space Boy, Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, takes readers into a strange and wonderful future, where people from another world regularly visit Earth — usually without being noticed. And when humans travel to their world, they find themselves dangerously weak and powerless. Until Todd finds a way to set both worlds to rights. By turns funny and painful, Space Boy is Card at his best, exploring human nature for the entertainment of readers young and old.
Invasive Procedures — (2007) With Aaron Johnston. Publisher: George Galen is a brilliant scientist, a pioneer in gene therapy. But Galen is dangerously insane — he has created a method to alter human DNA, not just to heal diseases, but to “improve” people — make them stronger, make them able to heal more quickly, and make them compliant to his will. Frank Hartman is also a brilliant virologist, working for the government’s ultra-secret bio-hazard agency. He has discovered how to neutralize Galen’s DNA-changing virus, making him the one man who stands in the way of Galen’s plan to “improve” the entire human race. This taut thriller takes the reader a few years into the future, and shows the promise and danger of new genetic medicine techniques.