Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels "Ender's Game," "Ender's Shadow," and "Speaker for the Dead." "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: "The Tales of Alvin Maker" is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; his most recent novel, "The Lost Gate," is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, "Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show." Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.
Card here concludes the "Homecoming" saga (e.g., Earthfall, LJ 11/15/94).
This concluding volume of the Homecoming series (Earthfall, et al.) doesn't live up to the earlier books, which were notable for their subtlety in developing essentially religious themes through focused plotting and sensitive characterization. Here, the plot relies on familiar Judeo-Christian archetypes, tailored to examine discrimination, theocracy and the relationship to God-or, in this case, the powerful mystery of the Keeper. Three intelligent species now inhabit Earth: the sky people, who live in treetops; the earth people, who live in the soil and in tree trunks; and the middle people, humans descended from colonists who have returned to Earth after an absence of 40-million years. In addition to the stilted speech of some of the characters, the novel is slowed by Card's ``naming conventions,'' which increase the mystical and cultural importance of names but also force readers to refer frequently to the separate chapter on the author's system of compounded names, titles and endearments in order to determine which characters are speaking or acting. The conclusion of the story, however, in which the firstborn son of a former priest and leader sees the evil he has caused and selects his future, is vintage Card and a joy to read. This mildly disappointing wrap-up to a rich series about humanity's journey from Earth to the stars and back might be satisfying enough to Card fans, but it's not the book through which to meet Card for the first time. Author tour. (May)
"The fifth and last volume in Card's sprawling Homecoming saga.
More than parable, not quite allegory, Card's far-future religious
saga manages, brilliantly, to be at once entertaining,
unobjectionable, and edifying."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"The conclusion of the story, in which the first born son of a former priest and leader sees the evil he has caused and selects his future, is vintage Card and a joy to read."--"Publishers Weekly"