Other OSC books?

Discussion in 'Orson Scott Card' started by Brian Turner, Mar 15, 2004.

  1.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I mentioned in another thread about the Ender Wiggins series being continually revisited - but I'm curious - what about OSC's other works?

    How about the "Tales of Alvin Maker" series? The "Homecoming" series? How about some of his standalone novels?
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    I haven't read either of those series, so I can't really say anything about them.

    OSC has written some good stand-alone novels. In fact, there are two I like much better than the Ender/Bean series (which the exception of "Ender's Game", which I like a whole lot). One of these stand-alones is, go figure, a time travel story called "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus". It plays with the complications and ethics of time travel in a fascinating way. There continue to be rumors that there will eventually be another novel to go with this one, not exactly a sequel but utilizing the same technology introduced in "Pastwatch". And there is already an OSC short story, "Atlantis", that also addresses these issues, which is available to be read on his website, www.hatrack.com.

    The other OSC stand-alone novel that I like very much is called "Enchantment", and is a modern retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. There is also some time travel that goes on in this novel, but that is the least of its attractions. Sometimes, modern retellings of fairy tales don't work very well. This one does work, wonderfully well. It isn't cutesy, and it isn't a children's novel at all. It turns the story we all heard growing up into a quite adult (not in any sort of explicit way, of course - this is OSC, after all) story about love and responsiblity and duty and, maybe, fate. This is the book I chose to take along when I went to an OSC book-signing, because it my favorite of all his work that I have read.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Did you actually meet him and have it signed? :)
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Sure did. Despite the fact that there were zillions of people in line (it was at a con - he was the guest of honor that year) and some of those people had stacks of like ten or fifteen books to be signed, he was quite gracious and took the time to speak with each person, even if they only had one book to have signed, as I did. It was pretty cool.
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    Yvienn

    Yvienn New Member

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    I'm fond of OSC novels. I don't know how much he have written, but I know there is a serie of four books of his novels. The one I have, "Maps in a Mirror - Cruel Miracles", contains six wondrous novels connected with religion. I don't know the titles of the others, but one another book contains SF novels, the third fantasy novels and the forth - horrors (I suppose its title is "Mosaics" or sth like that). For me novels from these books are better than "Alvin the Maker". Have anyone read them?
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    polymorphikos

    polymorphikos Scrofulous Fig-Merchant

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    I'm currently ripping through The Memory of Earth, the first of the Homecoming books, and I haven't found a single thing to complain about. It's excellently written, has some great characters, and it is using a captivating character-based plot. The Oversoul reminds me of Karl Schroeder's Ventus (if you haven't read it, find it, as it is one of the most imaginative and clever books I've read in quite a while), and there isn't any flippant dismissal of the benefits of technology, which is a plus. Only on 170, though, so I can't speak fully for it, but I like what I see.
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    jenna

    jenna smiling politely

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    i read memory of earth years ago and loved it, but i could never find the next books in the series around where i lived so i kind of forgot about them. ah, thank god for the internet hey? i'm definitely going to order the rest of the series, i've read the synopses for them which was dumb, but i couldn't resist! and it looks like it gets so much better!
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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  9.  
    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    I am going to read the Ender Saga, as Ender's game is entertaining me somewhat. I am generally loyal to an author if they are any good.
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    The cool thing about the Ender Saga (the originals - "Speaker for the Dead", "Xenocide", and "Children of the Mind" - not the Bean offshoots) is that the sequels aren't really traditional sequels, and could each stand on its own.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Written to explore different elements of Ender's Game, if I remember right...
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    Hypes

    Hypes Emperor!

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    Personally, I find the rest of the Ender books to be very repetitive, and not very groundbreaking - he simply reiterates the morals of the first book, and elaborates on them.
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    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    These are the 'Ender's' sequels that youve read, right, not 'Speaker for the Dead' and 'Xenocide'?
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    Hypes

    Hypes Emperor!

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    I've always considered them the sequels to Ender's Game.

    Are you thinking of the Bean parallel series?
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    There are two streams of "sequels" to "Ender's Game", and neither of these streams are really sequels to "Ender's Game" in any strict sense of the word (as in, the next one picks up more or less where the previous one left off). The first stream are the aforementioned "Speaker for the Dead", "Xenocide", and "Children of the Mind". The other stream begins with "Ender's Shadow", which tells more or less the same story as "Ender's Game" but from the perspective of Bean, a character that does not appear until about halfway or so through "Ender's Game". "Shadow of the Hegemon" and "Shadow Puppets" are the sequels to "Ender's Shadow". They follow Bean and the other Battle School graduates and are much more in the way of traditional sequels than the "sequels" to "Ender's Game" are.

    I would agree to an extent with Hypes's evaluation that the "Bean" stream gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly, especially "Shadow Puppets". Personally, I didn't find "Speaker for the Dead" and the rest of the novels of that stream to be repetitive in the least, and I enjoyed all three of them. I think "Xenocide" was my favorite. It tackles some interesting philosophical questions in an interesting way, and also does something very interesting with the idea of obsessive-compulsive behavior. I also think it is intereting that Card has said that what "Ender's Game" really is, is a prologue he wrote so that he could write these other three novels (the first stream). Of course, as you probably know, "Ender's Game" actually started out as a short story.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    One thing about the books - buggers.

    It seems such a tongue-in-cheek word for an alien race - I wasn't too sure if I was supposed to be taking the story seriously when I read this - as if Card was making a very profound statement usnig Yorkshire-slang, but I just couldn't figure out what it was.
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    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    Only SF would have two streams of sequels...
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I wondered about his choice of terminology, too. I kind of doubt that it was a double-entendre, though. I think it mostly was just picked because the aliens looked like bugs to humans. Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of SF writers, though.:p

    Yeah, that's true. On the whole, though, I think the first book of the second stream, "Ender's Shadow", was an interesting and largely successful experiment. It asked and answered the question, "Can a writer retell a story he's already written from a different point of view and get people to actually read it?" As I said in my review of the book, it is a good read. It approaches the story from a different enough perspective - and begins with a fairly thorough telling of the story of how Bean ended up in Battle School - that it stands up even if you've read "Ender's Game". I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the two sequels, even though they go on to explore the story after the events in "Game" and "Shadow".
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    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    Bean seems to be a very interesting character. I hate SF - as a rule, but allowances have been made for this series.
  20.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Have you finsihed it yet? :)

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