Orson Scott Card

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Author Review: Orson Scott Card (? Ė Present)
Review Written By: Alan

Biography 

Writing Style 

Body of Work 

Orson Scott Card Links 

Biography

Orson Scott Card was born in Richland, Washington and grew up in California, Arizona and Utah. He spent two years in Brazil as a missionary for the Mormon Church. He has degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. He is married and the father of five children. He named his children after famous writers such as Chaucer, Bronte and Alcott. He and his family currently reside in North Carolina. He was the first author to win the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel two years in a row (Enderís Game, 1986 and Speaker for the Dead, 1987).

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Writing Style

Card is probably best known for his inventive plots. This is not to say that he neglects other aspects of his stories, such as character development. But his plot lines are always compelling and unique. His early works, such as Enderís Game, tended to rely heavily on plot and action. Over the years his writing has matured and his more recent books now focus more heavily on character development and settings.

Cardís most notable work may be Enderís Game and its sequels, which are pure science fiction novels. But his range is not limited only to sci-fi. His novels Lost Boys, Treasure Box and Homebody involve extensive character development and exploration of moral dilemmas in the midst of old-fashioned ghost stories. Another of his contemporary novels is Enchantment, which is a beautifully crafted fantasy novel combining a modern day setting with the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

He has also delved into alternate history with Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus and The Tales of Alvin Maker series. In Pastwatch, time travelers from Earthís future try to interfere with Columbusí attempt to discover America. The Tales of Alvin Maker is a fantasy series that is set in an alternative version of the American frontier where magic actually works.

In addition, Card has endeavored to share his gifts with others by writing two books about writing: Character and Viewpoint and How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. The latter book won a Hugo award in 1991. Card has also taught writing courses at several universities and major writing workshops around the country.

A good place to start is with Enderís Game, which is often hailed as one of the classics of science fiction. If you lean more towards the fantasy realm, try Enchantment or The Tales of Alvin Maker. Whatever Orson Scott Card book you choose, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

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Body of Work

Ender Wiggin Novels

Ender's Game (1985)
Ender's Shadow (1999), a parallel novel to Enderís Game
Speaker for the Dead (1986)
Xenocide (1991)
Children of the Mind (1996)

The Tales of Alvin Maker

Seventh Son (1987)
Red Prophet (1988)
Prentice Alvin (1989)
Alvin Journeyman (1995)
Heartfire (1998)
The Crystal City (not yet published)

Mayflower Series (with Kathryn H. Kidd)

Lovelock (1994)
Rasputin (not yet published)

Homecoming Series

The Memory of Earth (1992)
The Call of Earth (1992)
The Ships of Earth (1994)
Earthfall (1995)
Earthborn (1995)

Stand-alone Novels

The Worthing Chronicle (1983)
Saints (1984), an historical novel
Wyrms (1988)
Treason (1988)
The Abyss (1989), with Jim Cameron
Eye for Eye (1990)
Lost Boys (1992)
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (1996)
Treasure Box (1996)
Stone Tables (1997)
Homebody (1998)
Enchantment (1999)

Books on Writing

Character and Viewpoint (1988)
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy (1990)

Collections / Short Stories

The Folk of the Fringe (1989)
Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card (1990)
The Worthing Saga (1990)
A Storyteller in Zion (1993), essays

Links

For a listing of all Orson Scott Card books available at Amazon.com, click go in the box below.

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Hatrack River - Cardís official web site. This is by far the most extensive author site I have ever seen. There is something for everyone here from interviews to writing tips.

Tor Publishing - Orson Scott Card's publisher and the publisher of many other fine science fiction and fantasy authors.

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