Orson Scott Card

Master Storyteller

Unalloyed Pleasure

The science fiction and fantasy novels by the master storyteller Orson Scott Card have to be some of the most satisfying top fiction books I have read.

His latest: a prehistory to Ender's war - written with long time colleague Aaron Johnston - and reveals how the Formic wars began - and which Ender finally conquered.

When I went back into reading OSC’s books and I embarked on a wonderful return journey – beginning with The Tales of Alvin Maker and The Songmaster.

It was “The Songmaster”, of all his books, that made me aware of Card’s unique niche as a writer. Something in it rang bells for me – emotionally and intellectually.

In some ways Card stands alone in the genre – as his tales combine thought provoking morality, with seriously deadly action and stimulating narrative. His writing skills are a pleasure in themselves – regardless of the subject or tale. This is borne out by the fact that his work is increasingly being used in schools – as they are suitable for young adults - as well as adults with no diminution of quality.

I don’t usually place reviews here, but OSC is in such a class of his own that I think the following are worth adding as they exemplify what I mean about him as a writer.

"Card is a powerful storyteller, with the gift of making mundane details sparkle." (Los Angeles Times)

"[His] prose is a model of narrative clarity; the author never says more than is needed or arbitrarily withholds information, yet even a simple declarative sentence carries a delicious hint of further revelation." (New York Times)

"Card is skilled at pacing and good with an action scene. But he has raised to a fine art the creation of suspense by ethical dilemma, and in so doing has raised his work to a high plane." (Chicago Sun-Times)

The “Ender” series

I have read 6 of them – and they all maintain the same high standard and hold a readers interest well.

Reading the rest is a pleasure delayed. I can’t remember why I didn’t finish the series – probably went onto others while waiting for the next installment and never got back – which is about to be rectified.

"The Homecoming” series is a 5 book lot that tells of re-discovery of the lost Earth.

Besides ’Ender’ and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts. He recently began a long-term position as a professor of writing and literature at Southern Virginia University

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OSC is a sheer genius!

His imagination is not just fertile - it is magical.

The variety of his sci fi and fantasy novels is endless and non-repetitive as these examples exemplify.